Category Featured Events

MAS June Meeting

Three Myths of Science Education

MAS June Monthly Meeting: John Rudolph

Few people question the importance of science education in American schooling. It’s the key, after all, to economic growth, develops the ability to reason more effectively, and enables us to solve everyday problems. Good science teaching results in all these benefits and more—or so we think. But what if all this is simply wrong? What if the benefits we assume science education produces turn out to be an illusion, nothing more than wishful thinking? In this talk, Rudolph will examine the reasons we’ve long given for teaching science and assesses how they hold up to what we know about what students really learn in science classrooms and what research tells us about how people actually interact with science in their daily lives...

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MAS May Meeting

A Window to the Universe in My Backyard….

MAS May 2024 Monthly Meeting - Brian Champion "A window to the universe in my backyard…"

Having a backyard observatory is like having my own window to the universe. Any clear night I can roll the roof back and marvel at all the wonders available to see.

Having a backyard observatory means not having to spend time setting up or breaking down my equipment. I can be ready to start imaging in just a few minutes and in the morning; just roll the roof closed and I can head off to work.

I designed my observatory with Shapr3D on my iPad. I looked at many different designs and chose the most useful features for my own needs.

Brian’s biographical sketch:

My astrophotography journey started a little over 25 years ago as an extension of my photography hobby...

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MAS April Meeting

1919 and the new Universe… Echos and Beyond, the Modern Eddington Experiment

MAS April Meeting

When Einstein published his general theory of relativity it reinvented one of the most fundamental characteristics of the Universe, and as such it came with predicted phenomena that would settle the issue of whether or not the “King” of Newtonian gravitation was really dead. One of the predictions concerns the existence of a value for the curvature of spacetime based on the presence of mass...

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MAS March Meeting

The April 2024 Total Solar Eclipse: Prepare to be Gobsmacked!

March 2024 MAS Monthly Meeting

Bob Hamers and Jeff Shokler will help you prepare for your total eclipse experience by sharing the insights, tips, and lessons learned from their own eclipse experiences. During the talk, they’ll help you consider your eclipse viewing and/or imaging goals, discuss the many ways one can enjoy experiencing a total solar eclipse (including the numerous phenomena to keep an eye out for), and share important safety considerations.

If photographing the eclipse is one of your goals, they’ll also talk about the kinds of imaging gear that is most appropriate for photographing total eclipses, and how to plan and prepare for taking pictures – particularly under the demanding, tight timelines total eclipses present imagers...

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MAS February Meeting

Chasing ghost particles: searching for neutrinos from high-energy sources in real time.

MAS February 2024 Monthly Meeting - Jessie Thwaits

Neutrinos are tiny, nearly massless particles that interact very rarely. Because of this, astrophysical neutrinos can travel very far, all the way to the South Pole, carrying information directly from their sources. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has detected these astrophysical neutrinos, but only a few sources have been identified thus far. We search for these neutrinos from transient sources – sources that vary in their brightness over time, such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), supernovae, novae, or mergers of compact objects. These sources often have very energetic processes happening inside them to accelerate particles and produce these neutrinos...

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MAS January Meeting

Searching for Exoplanets Born Outside the Milky Way

MAS January 2024 Meeting - Bob Aloisi

Over 5500 exoplanets have been found orbiting stars in the Milky Way, with projections that most stars host planets. This poses the question of whether planets also exist orbiting the remnant stars of smaller dwarf galaxies that merged with the Milky Way, and if so, how do they differ from their Milky Way counterparts? VOYAGERS Views of Yore – Ancient Gaia-Enceladus Exoplanet Revealing Survey is a radial velocity search using precision spectrographs to find exoplanets orbiting low metallicity ([Fe/H] from -2.8 to -0.x, Vmag 8 to 10 stars born in the dwarf galaxy Enceladus, which merged with the Milky Way galaxy about 10 Gyr ago...

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MAS December Meeting

Annual Holiday Party and Telescope Clinic

December MAS meeting - Annual Holiday Gathering and Telescope Clinic

So You Want To Buy a Telescope?

There will be a short (15-minute) presentation by John Rummel, former president and current historian of the Madison Astronomical Society:

Do you have a telescope that’s giving you problems? Has it been gathering dust in your closet instead of giving great views of the moon and planets? Are you stuck and can’t get to the next step? Our experts can help you diagnose the issues and get it figured out. Bring your telescope to this meeting and we’ll take a look at it with you.

Also, feel free to bring a holiday snack to share with the group. Cookies, brownies, or similar finger foods are preferred for minimal cleanup.

This meeting will take place in-person at our usual Space Place classroom location...

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MAS November Meeting

Love Letters to the Universe

MAS November Meeting with Kelly Kizer Whitt

“My twin passions have always been writing and astronomy, and I’ve been lucky enough to have a career that combines the two. As a science journalist, I focus on astronomy and earth topics, and as an author, some of my books center on space. I will talk about the path of my career and how I branched off into creative endeavors and also share some of my writing.”

Kelly Kizer Whitt has been a science writer specializing in astronomy for more than two decades. She began her career at Astronomy Magazine and is currently a writer and editor at EarthSky.org. She’s also an author of nine books, including a children’s picture book, Solar System Forecast, and a young adult dystopian novel, A Different Sky.

This meeting will take place in-person at our ...

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Moon Over Monona Terrace

Friday, October 20, 2023, 7:00-9:30pm

8.8 day old moon

FREE and Open to the Public

For more information, and to get your FREE tickets, visit: https://www.mononaterrace.com/event-group/moonmononaterrace/

FREE ticket required for admission. Tickets are required for all attendees; subject to venue capacity and are issued on a first come first serve basis. There is a limit of 8 tickets per patron.

Explore the surface of the Moon and other celestial objects through telescopes provided by MAS members.

Young and old alike are invited to view the Moon and other celestial objects, such as Jupiter and Saturn, through a multitude of different telescopes provided by the Madison Astronomical Society (MAS)...

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MAS October Meeting

Increasing Vision

Rick Wayne, October 2023 MAS Speaker

A photographer’s personal journey into deep-sky astrophotography, from mild interest through the slow but inexorable descent into madness. Lessons learned. Pitfalls explored (from the bottom). Equipment choices, techniques and resources for beginners: how to put a toe in the deep-sky or planetary waters and avoid most of the piranhas.


Rick Wayne is a husband, a dad, and a software engineer for UW Soils, where he writes agronomic decision-support software (motto: “Sweet Bog where do I put all these tons of cow poop?”)

He is an Outdoor Emergency Care instructor and runs the regional instructor-development program for the Ski Patrol, and holds National Appointment #11910...

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