Blog Archives

Gregory Award 2016

On behalf of the San Jose Astronomical Association, I am pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 A. B. Gregory Award.  The award is a plaque which reads “In Recognition of Outstanding Contributions of Time and Effort to Others in Amateur Astronomy”, and I can think of no one in the SJAA who deserves it more than Paul Mancuso.

Paul is in the top three longest members of the SJAA, joining up in the early 1970s.  He was a member of the Board of the Directors from 1983 to 1993, then again from 1996 to 1998 and did one more stint from 2001 to 2003.  He was Vice President from July 1988 to March 1993, and then again from 1997 to 1998.  In addition to these formal administrative roles, Paul has been a stalwart with the School Star Party program, rarely missing a night at a local school to use his scopes to bring the night sky closer to area students, faculty and their families. Paul has also been a reliable regular participant at In Town Star Parties and Solar Days at Houge Park and other local venues.

Paul usually finds his way to the general meeting, or to Auctions and Swap Meets and other SJAA events. When he does, I make a point to come over and say Hi, and see what he’s been up to.  It’s great to have him around, and for so long, too, not to mention all his participation and effort he puts into the SJAA.

Paul, thank you for all you do, and congratulations on being the 2016 A. B. Gregory Award recipient!

You can find more information about the award, a list of past recipients, and information about Dr Gregory and the past recipients on the website.
Posted in Anouncements


Searching for SJAA Board Candidates

Hello SJAA Members,

Winter is here and along with the long nights comes SJAA Board Member elections! This year we have 6 seats that will be opening up at the end of this year’s term.  Only 3 current board members are running for re-election, so that means we are looking for at least 3 enthusiastic SJAA members to help out. What exactly is expected of an SJAA board member?  Well to be honest, not very much:

  • Serve a 2 year term
  • Attend the monthly board meetings, currently 6pm-8pm at Houge Park on Saturdays nearest the full moon

And that is it!   If you want to be a program director or a member of the executive staff, you are more than welcome to offer to take on the extra responsibility, but board members are not required to do so.

If you are interested, please email me at secretary@sjaa.net.  Remember, the vote will be held at Houge Park on February 11th at 8pm, so make sure to get your name to me before then.  Voting is open to all club members, so even if you aren’t interested in joining the board, come by and make yourself heard!
Posted in Anouncements, General Meeting
Tags: ,

Swap Meet – Sunday, March 20 2016

Hello SJAA Members and Friends,
Just a reminder that the SJAA Swap Meet is happening this Sunday, March 20, 2016 at the Hall at San Jose’s Houge Park. Here is the announcement that went to the Announce list (which is still being used, we encourage people to join), and here is the Meetup for the event (we encourage RSVPs!).

It’s important to note that the official start time is noon. That’s when the doors will open for business. For those of us who will be selling items, the hall will be available as early as 11am for people to come and set up their wares, for instance, if you have full scopes to bring in and set up for display. We are discouraging any buying and selling to happen during that “setup” hour, just so we stay true to the official opening time of 12 noon.

If you plan to sell items, please be aware that you will be asked to read and sign a form, which have a few guidelines. I’ve included them below so you can review them ahead of time, and it’s not new to you when you arrive.

We’re expecting a fun and sociable event. See you Sunday!

The Suggestions, Guidelines and Rules:

  1. Please read and sign this form before setting up.
  2. You will receive a name tag, please write your name on it and wear it where people can see it.
  3. You should have prices in mind ahead of time for all your items and ideally have the pieces labeled with the price.
  4. It’s a good idea to have a towel or sheet to place over your items in case you need to step away.
  5. Though we don’t expect any nefarious types, SJAA cannot be held responsible for any missing or damaged items
  6. Keep it fair: please refrain from conducting business before the official noon start time, which is when the doors open.
  7. Keep all the business inside the Hall rather than out on the grounds of the park.
  8. Event photos may be taken, in which case your likeness may be captured and posted to the SJAA website or newsletter.
  9. If there are any questions or need assistance, please see any of the volunteers.
  10. This event is run 100% by volunteers. The suggested donation to SJAA is 10% of sales.
  11. Have fun!
Posted in Anouncements, Articles
Tags: ,

2016 Election Results Are In

Last Saturday night was the annual membership meeting of the SJAA. There was a potluck, awards, and the annual election for about half the seats of the board of directors. Bill O’Neil, Glenn Newell, Rob Jaworski and Dave Ittner were all up for reelection, and we are happy to report all nominees, all of which are incumbents, were reelected to another two year term by the membership. Each candidate received 24 votes in favor and zero against.

Congratulations to all the candidates! The SJAA membership and the broader amateur astronomy community appreciate your service to this important educational institution serving the south bay and beyond!

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, General Meeting


New additions to SJAA library!

This is my long due blog post…but better late than never!
I am excited to announce that thanks to a very generous donation to SJAA library, we now have some more great books in store for members to check out. Here’s the list –

The First Three Minutes
The Red Limit
Black Holes and Warped Spacetime
Galaxies and Quasars
Sundials – Their Theory And Construction
The Milky Way
Space Shots
Comets
Cosmology + 1
Astrophotography II
Astrophotography
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Star Catalog – Part 1 to 4
The Astronomical Almanac – 1990 to 2000
Telescope Optics

As you can tell by the book titles, the central idea is to try to reach out all our readers by keeping variety of books and DVDs in our collection. In addition to these, we also have lots of books suitable for kids and young adults. I would highly encourage you all to check them out!

I would also like to take this opportunity to let our readers know that due to limited space, we have decided to give away most of our magazines collection. If there are any particular issues you are interested in, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at librarian.sjaa@gmail.com. You can find the current collection at SJAA Magazines.

If you have any suggestions/comments about SJAA library program, I can be reached at librarian.sjaa@gmail.com

Happy reading!
Sukhada

Posted in Anouncements, Blog


SJAA Coders

CodeIgniter Code III

The SJAA is in the process of automating various aspects of club operations. Examples include subscribing (and unsubscribing) to email lists, renewing memberships, maintaining event calendars, creating and adapting an auction system, and lots more. We are forming a team whose mission will be to identify these needs, prioritize them, projectize them, and tackle them. These are essentially software development, implementation and integration projects.

A kickoff meeting has been scheduled to get this started.

Event: SJAA Coders Inaugural Meeting
Place: Houge Park, Bldg 1, San Jose, Calif
Date: Sunday May 17 2015
Time: 2-4pm

We’re looking for people with various skills including:

  • WordPress (to help with the sjaa.net website)
  • Python
  • Django
  • PyQt/PySide, Kivy
  • SQL
  • Apache
  • testing
  • technical writing

Our annual spring auction is our biggest single fundraiser of the year, and hence it’s very important to the club. It can get intense, so we’re looking to automate the bookkeeping and item/bidder/seller tracking. During this kickoff meeting, we’ll demo a prototype of a python-based auction manager that’s in the works. We’ll throw in a wrinkle into the demo to make things interesting, so bring your laptops/tablets!

Those who want to acquire new skills are also welcome. If you’re interested please join us at our inaugural meeting and/or join the new SJAA Coders Google group.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


Send us your pics! Comet LOVEJOY

Send Pics of Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) To
mDOTpackerATyahooDOTcom – We’ll Post Below

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Isaak Cruz, Canon T5i 16/30s images on Astrotrac Mount, 200mm f/2.8

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ricky Pan, Cupertino, Olympus OM-D E-M5 60s ISO 800 221mm f/6.3

LovejoyMPerry

Marilyn Perry, Sunnyvale, Tue 01/0615 9:20PM, Canon T3i, 8s ISO 800 200mm f/3.2.

 

LoveJoy01brez

Michael Packer, Los Gatos, Wed 01/07/15, Nikon D300s 4s ISO 2500 480mm f/6.3

With a pair a binoculars look for Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). Folks with good skies can just make it out naked eye.  In binoculars some folks have said it looks like greenish cotton ball. See below for its path in the sky:

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

2015-Comet-Lovejoy

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


Fall 2014 Swap Happiness

Remember Friday Night Observing This Nov 14 at Houge Park weather permitting. See Calendar
xx
2014 Swap made many a stargazer happy!

There is something beautiful about a swap meet that beckons back to the day of selling a sheep for wool coats. Shear Poetry Ha Ha Ha! Well OK – anyway folks sold equipment that they no longer need to folks who can’t believe they’re walking home with telescope, eyepiece, tripod, binocular. On the club side of things – SJAA provided pizza and drink – and we got donations. Stellar Cheers, Stellar Gear – Thanks go to all.
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

2014-SWAP-01 More Pics 2014-SWAP-02 2014-SWAP-03 2014-SWAP-04
And don’t forget – Houge Park Star Party  coming up Friday – Mag 7’s
Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


New arrivals in SJAA Library!

Hello there,

Thanks to generous donation by some nice people in our community, SJAA library now has few more interesting books –
Star Ware – Philip S. Harrington
Norton’s 2000.0 Star Atlas and Reference Handbook – Arthur P. Norton
The Cambridge Star Atlas – Wil Tirion
Uncovering the Secrets of the Red planet – Mars – Paul Raeburn
365 Starry Nights – Chet Raymo
Astronomy – Fred Hoyle
Looking at the Earth – Priscilla Strain & Frederick Engle
A Dictionary of Astronomy – Dr. Robert Maddison
Don’t Know Much About The Universe – Kenneth C. Davis
The Accelerating Universe – Mario Livio
Thursday’s Universe – Marcia Bartusiak

And thanks to Eric Randall, we also have some fantastic new DVDs in our collection –
Astronomy Magazine – Infinite Cosmos DVD Series
Episodes available –
Biggest Things in Space
Astrobiology
Can We Make it to Mars?
Catastrophes That Changed the Planets
Colonizing Space
Constellations
Cosmic Collisions
Dark Matter/Dark Energy
How Big, How Far, How Fast
How the Solar System was Made
Life Beyond Earth
The End of Earth: Deep Space Threats to Our Planet
The Journey to Palomar
The Search for Cosmic Clusters
To the Moon
Unexplained Mysteries
Wildest Weather in the Cosmos

Stop by and check these out!

As always, if you have any questions/suggestions/comments/feedback, please email me at librarian.sjaa@gmail.com.

Thank you!
Sukhada

Posted in Anouncements, Blog


NASA Ames 1st open house in 17 years

NASA Ames Open House

Saturday October 18

Check our Martian Landscape area, wind tunnels, labs….

Perhaps a SJAA Group Trip? Post us a note below…

More Details here:

http://www.mercurynews.com/science/ci_26468180/moffett-field-nasa-ames-host-first-open-house?source=rss

 

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog, Education & Reference Info


Perseids – Fear Not the Moon – start now

Fear Not the Moon, Perseids Always a Great Show so look for it this weak starting now.

CLICK TO ENLARGEClip_4

Read more at: http://www.universetoday.com/113776/fear-not-the-moon-perseids-always-a-great-show/

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


In Memory to Dr. Armstrong

Write up by Mark Wagner
In Memory
Dr. Robert F. Armstrong
July 22, 1938 – June 17, 2014
Los Gatos, California 

The SJAA and amateur astronomy have lost a dear friend with the passing of Dr. Robert Armstrong.  It was an unexpected and sad loss for all who knew him, and the many who benefited from his quiet generosity.

Robert was known to many simply as Dr. A.  He had a keen love for astronomy, regularly taking his 20″ telescope to Fremont Peak, was a fixture each year at the CalStar dark sky star party, and traveled the world to experience numerous  total solar eclipses.  He served on the SJAA Board of Directors for many years, handling the officer duties of Treasurer.  Always gentle, kind and positive, he embodied the club as an open and welcoming organization, supporting and promoting new ideas for making amateur astronomy more accessible to the public, and members of the SJAA.

Professionally, Dr. Armstrong was an infectious diseases specialist, practicing in Los Gatos.  Several members of the SJAA, and their families, owe their lives and those of their family members to Dr. A’s expertise and advice.  All who knew him saw his deep caring for people, in how he connected on a very personal and human level.

Dr. A. had a fine, quiet, and playful sense of humor, and a great understanding of human nature.  Never heard raising his voice in anger, he was one of those people, who are really few, who could always be counted on.  Robert set a great example for all.

With the SJAA, his dreams were for the club to have a first rate solar telescope, and to acquire land at a dark site so amateur astronomers could have a place of their own to enjoy their hobby.  He recently helped guide the club in acquiring a wonderful solar telescope which now is used monthly for public viewing.  It is an appropriate legacy he leaves the SJAA, as none shined so brightly as Dr. A, at the SJAA.

Dr. Armstrong will long be missed by the SJAA, his friends, and those whose lives he touched.

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


Indie SiFi To Play in San Jose

For those not going to GSSP, COHERENCE might satiate at least a need for intriguing Sci-Fi.

! Plus mark the date for SJAA SCI-FI Night: Saturday August 9th !

COHERENCE

Camera 12 on June 27th

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Coherance_2013

More The X-Files than Star Wars

“On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery.”

Official Website:

http://coherencethemovie.com/

Camera 12 showing:

http://www.cameracinemas.com/cgi-bin/movies.cgi?cmd=dm&m=15-11-49-4-4-2014-5533

Posted in Anouncements, Blog


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@…
DIRECTIONS
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!

LickLick

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 sjaa.mail@gmail.com)

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


Save Lick – How You Can Help

How You Can Help?

SJAA Will Match Your Donation At Sandra Faber’s Talk!

Lick-BanerThinThe best way you can help save Lick is to get the word out and make a tax deductible donation here: http://www.ucolick.org/SaveLick/help_save_lick.html

But you can double that donation at Sandra Faber’s SJAA talk. The SJAA board approved matching funds and so will match total contributions during Sandra Faber’s talk of up to $1500. If you give $10, SJAA will match that and make it $20. If you donate $100 SJAA will match that and give or add a year to your new or continuing membership. Or for of $100 or more well give you the 2014 Royal Astronomical Handbook ($25 value) while supply lasts.

Posted in Anouncements


At SJAA: Dr. Sandra Faber Talk!

Dr. Sandra Faber On Lick May 10th

World Renowned Astrophysicist Dr. Sandra Faber, Director Of UC Observatories, Will Talk On The Research And Vision Of Lick Observatory Saturday May 10 At Houge Park!

Lick

photo credit www.lauriehatch.com

Some of you may have heard that Lick Observatory may close due to funding issues. Sandra Faber and other astronomers throughout California and beyond are working to save Lick for the simple reason that research there is now, and in the future, viable. Vital in fact. Join Sandra at our monthly program as she talks on the future of Lick Observatory. The observatory the South Bay sees from its own backyard.

Sandra Faber speaks at:
Houge Park 
Saturday May 10 
7:30 PM Social
8:00 PM Talk

Help Save Lick – How You Can Help! Read more ›

Posted in Anouncements, Blog, General Meeting


April 2014 Lunar Eclipse Photos

Did some of your eclipse shots look turquoise?

The source of the turquoise is ozone. Prof. Richard Keen, an atmospheric scientist from the University of Colorado explains: “During a lunar eclipse, most of the light illuminating the Moon passes through the stratosphere, and is reddened by scattering. However, light passing through the upper stratosphere penetrates the ozone layer, which absorbs red light and actually makes the passing light ray bluer!” This can be seen, he says, as a turquoise fringe around the red.

Members, send us one of you lunar eclipse photos (m dot packer at yahoo dot com) and we’ll post here. People shots welcome too

CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE

Michael Eclipse TrioAbove Michael Packer Moon Spica Mars

PackerElcipseMoonEAbove Michael Packer Full Eclipse At Maximum

Mark StriebeckEclipse1bAbove Mark Striebeck: Lunar Eclipse with Spica

Mark StriebeckEclipse2bAbove Mark Striebeck Image of Near Full Eclipse with Spica

EDeclipseBEd Wong Full Eclipse

TerryEclipseBAbove Terry Kahl Eclipse Shot

TerryEclipse2BAbove Terry Kahl Eclipse Enhanced

Marilyn Perry12-06Marilyn Perry Partial Eclipse 12:06AM

Marilyn Perry1-01Marilyn Perry Full Eclipse 1:01 AM

Paul SummersPaul Summers: Eclipsed Moon with star Spica and planet Mars at upper right

Hemant AgrawalHemant Agrawal Full Eclipse

PjmahanyPaul Mahany: Full Eclipse using 6″ @ F 4.85 ISO 400, 15sec

Chris AngelosChris Angelos Lunar Totality

Mark ScrivenerMark Scrivener: Eclipse with Spica. 80mm F/7 refractor, no tracking.

MarionMarion Barker & Paul Colby: Canon 3Ti 4sec ISO400 & SCT 1sec ISO 800.

PaulK1Paul Kohlmiller: Eclipse and Spica

PaulK2Paul Kohlmiller: Eclipse, Spica, and Mars

Bob Taylor: 5DIII at 560mm (200-400 1.4x Canon) 

CLICK ABOVE  PICS TO ENLARGE

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Observing Reports


2014 Golden State Star Party

GSSP

June 25-29, 2014

There is still time to Register for the Golden State Star Party. Go to www.goldenstatestarparty.org and sign up today!

A dozen or more SJAA members were there last year and over 400 Astronomers from up and down the coast. Great BBQ! And last year we had some of the darkest skies on record. Did we mention great BBQ! We’ll see you there June 25-29, Frosty Acres Ranch for another fun and memorable GSSP experience!GSSP_resize

GSSP2012

Posted in Anouncements, Articles, Blog


Announcing: SJAA Auction XXXIV

Announcing the thirty fourth annual SJAA Auction!  This year, it will be held on Sunday, 16 March 2014.  The bidding starts at noon; specific times are below.

If you are interested in picking up some used astronomy gear, this is the event for you. Likewise, if you have astronomy gear that you no longer use or want, this is a good way to find it a new home.

Volunteers have developed an online pre-registration form that sellers can use to expedite their registration on the day of the event. Get to it by clicking here: the Auction page.

Timeline:
10:00AM – Registration starts for sellers
11:00AM – People not selling but interested in bidding can arrive to register, get a bidder number
11:30AM – Registration ends
11:30 to noon  – Official viewing time
12:00PM – Bidding begins
4:00PM – approximate time that bidding ends and accounting starts

Note there will be at least one break in the bidding.

As in the past, this is a full on auction.  So the following rules and guidelines will apply.
– Buyers and sellers must stay to end of auction, no cashing out until then.
– This is a cash or check -only event; no credit/debit cards.
– Auction management reserves the right to limit the number of items anyone can put up for selling
– For sellers, you can have a reserve price, but consider an opening bid amount, otherwise, opening bid will most likely be $1.
– There will be a separate form for a detailed item description to be used by the auctioneer.

Updated information will be made available on the auction page at the sjaa.net website.

Regards,
Auction Committee Volunteers
San Jose Astronomical Association

Posted in Anouncements, Articles