Monthly Archives: May 2014

Astronomy + Memorial Day Potluck, South Bay Hills invite

Hi All,  if you don’t have Monday afternoon plans join the The Villages Astronomy club for pot luck dinner and guest speaker Brian Day from NASA

The event kicks off at 4:30 with some folks from the San Jose Astronomy Association and their Solar Telescopes (ie at least me, Michael, with my own solar scope and Hershel wedged refactor) to view a very active sun. Bring your solar, night scope or just yourself/family. The Villagers are very nice folk that join our Houge events every so often. Here are the details:
 The Villages Astronomy club will host a pot luck dinner and provide complementary grilled burgers and hot dogs.  Join in and bring your favorite dish! 

After solar viewing and food there will be a talk titled: “Exploring the Moon with NASA.”  Brian Day will overview NASA LUNAR activities with a focus on the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. Bring your laptop or smart phone and he will show you some steps to do your own exploration. WiFi on site.

As evening falls, several telescopes (bring yours), partnered with knowledgeable Villager astronomy members  – will share views, check out NGCs and take any requests.

Join us for the full event or feel free to pop in for a specific area of interest! There is also a radio telescope HAM base.
Where and when:
Monday, May 26th, Vineyard Center
Solar Viewing 4:30 – 5:30
BBQ and Pot Luck:  5:30 – 6:30

Please RSVP, to plan accordingly for complimentary BBQ and seating for our Guest Speaker.
RSVP  Trish: 408-384-1043 trishmb AT yahoo DOT com
trishhmb@… <mailto:trishhmb@…
From 101 take the Yerba Buena exit 
• Drive east on Yerba Buena to San Felipe (2.3 miles)
• Turn right on San Felipe Road
• Make a left turn at Villages Parkway continue to the entrance gate
• After you enter the Villages, continue on the Villages Parkway to Fairway Drive
• The Vineyard Center is at this intersection on Fairway Drive
• You can either cross the street into the parking lot, or park on the street

Mag 7 and -26.74 Packer

Posted in Anouncements, Blog

Results: Matching Funds For Lick – Sandy Faber Talk

Dear All,

The Thanks goes to you!


Lick received $1582 in donations from Sandy Faber’s Talk

Based on this preliminary number, SJAA will write a check to Lick for at least $3082. We had a few IOUs and we hope to see those funds come in to ensure we max out. So please send to our address below.

From support of our Solar , Quick STARTt and Advance Loaner program, Library and now the support the Lick Observatory, SJAA is freakin’ proud to be apart of this community.

Check out this page in a week or bit more for final update. Thanks again all and thank you Sandy.

Clear Skies,

San Jose Astronomical Association

San Jose Astronomical Association
PO Box 28243
San Jose, CA 95159-8243

(ps Bob Fles please send your email ATTN membership to

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog, General Meeting, Programs

Astronomy Day at MKL Library

Observe The Sun Safely! Never look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park weather permitting.
Astronomy Day A Visual Rock Concert!
1-2014-AstroDayWith A Sunspot number of 123 (NOAA) and several active regions, notably AR2055, 2056 and 2057, El Sol was a plasma rock on a roll during National Astronomy Day 2014.
2014-05-10Wh9 SunSpotcloseup 2014-05-10-3860Ha9
Photo credit Robert Duvall – Thanks Robert!
Click the May 10th Sun images above to enlarge. The H-Alpha Flares – solar prominences – were also putting on a great show. All in all we shared astronomy with about 75 patrons of the library and SJSU Campus.

Enjoy the below pics and much thanks to MLK Library support from Ashour Benjamin, Reed Duong, and Deborah Estreicher. You guys Rocked! And to SJAA Volunteers Marion Barker, Paul Colby, Terry Kahl, Kevin Lahey, Bill ONeil, Michael Packer, and Teruo Utsumi – you all jammed!

Posted in Articles, Blog, Programs, Solar

My Favorite Things, Vol. 1.3 – Trek/There’s More

Star Trek

It’s amazing what this 60s TV show did. It lit up the imagination of the public and inspired the generations since to pursue science and engineering. NASA recently presented an award to William Shatner. He narrated this short Space Shuttle history video.


Electromagnetic Spectrum Blindness

Sometimes there’s more than “What you see is what you get.”

For the past 400 years we’ve had great improvements in telescopes. Just a look at a few images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope will convince anybody that’s true. And with that you might not even think to ask: “Is there’s more?”

Imagine being colorblind and able to see only green. You’d be able to read this blog (unless someone was really mean and set your computer to display any color but green), drive a car, and do any number of other things, but still…. Then if you gained full vision, you couldn’t help but see all the things you couldn’t perceive before.

Until the advent of electronics in recent decades, we were in a manner of speaking electromagnetic (EM) spectrum blind — we could see what’s in the sky through only a tiny part of the EM spectrum. Notice in the diagram below how narrow the range of visible light is compared to the entire spectrum and how much the atmosphere blocks.

[source: Wikipedia]

We’ve had radio telescopes for decades and in just the last 10 to 20 years we’ve started to get good images in the infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray, and gamma-ray. In other words we can “see” just about everything else now. Now try to imagine the excitement astronomers experienced as they were first able to observe in each of these new EM regions.

Different EM regions give different clues. Like any good detective (Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, anyone?), astronomers are putting these different clues together.

One nice example of this is shown in a recent S&T article about a specific supernova. The first frame shows radio, then infrared, then visible, then X-ray, and finally all four. (Obviously, except for visible, the images are shown in a false color since we can’t directly see them.) Each shows the same region of space but different aspects of the supernova. Read the article for details.

This type of multispectral imaging has become more prevalent over the past several years, and this trend will only continue to grow.

So what happens now that we’ve been cured of EMSB? (What an acronym!) Does this mean there are no other means to observe the universe? I’ll let you think about it until next month. You’ll see!

Till next time, Clear Skies!

Posted in Articles, My Favorite Things

1st Sunday May 4 Solar

Observe The Sun Safely! Never look at the Sun without a proper filter!
Solar Programs are held 1st Sunday of every Month 2:00-4:00 PM at Houge Park weather permitting.

Wafty | Delicate | Detached prominences today surrounded the solar disc along with one lone stout double helix. And on the solar disc, a plethora of sunspots, 120 NOAA, filled the view.


RobertDuvallMay4SolarRobert Duvall (foreground below) took the above shots with his duel telescope setup. Nice capture – thanks Robert!

An SJAA solar crew of 6 scopes were right on these features with 3 photosphere/sunspot scopes: 127mm SCT, 204mm SCT, 204mm Dobsonian and 3 chromosphere prominence scopes: 40mm, 80mm, 100mm tuned refractors. 
Throughout the observing session we had about 20 people stop by to take a look. All in all a truly stellar California Spring day.
Clear Mag -26.74 Skies  Next weekend, Saturday May 10th, SJAA Solar Scopes will be at the downtown San Jose MLK Public Library from 11:00AM to 2:00PM. Stop on by!
Posted in Blog, Solar