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SMCAS General Meeting, March 2, 2018
Possibly pizza along with conversation at 7:00PM in the ISC.
Talk at 8:00pm in the Planetarium

Dr Chris McKay
Sr Scientist
NASA Ames Space Sciences and Astrobiology

Enceladus: a moon of Saturn with a life of its own?  

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College of San Mateo
1700 West Hillsdale Blvd.,
Bldg 36-100, San Mateo, California 


In the Mail and In the eMail

Table of Contents

Events and Club News
Star Parties at Crestview Park

SMCAS Monthly Calendar

The complete SMCAS Newsletter in .pdf format is available from:


SMCAS,  Club Membership

SMCAS,  patches on sale  

New SMCAS astrophotography website







Crestview Star Parties

Star Parties at Crestview Park.

 Crestview 2010 Sun Chart



Come out and bring the kids for a mind expanding look at the universe!

The City of San Carlos Department of Parks and Recreation and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society have open Star Parties twice a month. These events are held in Crestview Park, San Carlos California.

Note that inclement weather (clouds, excessive wind and showers) will cause the event to be canceled without notice.

or go to:
for most recent update.


Reasons to Attend
  1. If you have kids interested in space or planets bring them here for a real life view of planets, nebula, star clusters and galaxies.
  2. If you are thinking of buying a telescope or want help using a telescope you own, come here to talk with experienced users.
  3. If you think you might have an interest in astronomy come and talk to experienced amateur astronomers. 

        Astronomers arrive to set up at around sunset. Observing starts at about one hour after sunset and continues for two to three hours.

Crestview Park is at W122  17',   N37  29'



With its planetarium, variety of astronomy courses, top-notch faculty,
and special events such as Star Parties, when the College partners with the
San Mateo County Astronomical Society...or with CSM's many A.A., A.S.,
and certificate programs, its scenic and historic campus, the ease with which
you can sign up for classes online as a first-time or returning student...
The possibilities are astronomical. 

Astronomy Events in Our Area ( Edited for March )

Bay Astro,  Ken L's Event List

SLAC Physics Lecture Series at Stanford Linear Accelerator (how to get to SLAC)

Archive of past lectures:


Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures




On Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2018 at 7 pm, Dr. Michael Busch, of the SETI Institute, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on:

”Rubble Piles in the Sky: The Science, Exploration, and Danger of Near-Earth Asteroids”
in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College, in Los Altos.

The talk is part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series at Foothill College, now in its 18th year.

Near-Earth asteroids are a population of small bodies whose orbits around the Sun cross or come near our planet’s orbit. They turn out to be unusual physical environments: rubble piles, with shapes and spins determined by effects like the pressure of the Sun’s radiation. Near-Earth asteroids are also accessible targets for spacecraft missions. And they represent a natural hazard we ignore at our peril, because some of these bodies have the potential to impact Earth. Dr. Busch will review the near-Earth population, programs to track and characterize as many near-Earth asteroids as possible, and current efforts to address the danger of asteroid impacts.

Michael Busch is a planetary astronomer based at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. His research focuses on characterizing near-Earth asteroid shapes, spins, and motions using radar and radio techniques. He obtained his PhD in planetary science at Caltech, and worked as a postdoc at UCLA and at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory before starting as a research scientist at SETI in 2013.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos. For directions and parking information, see:
For a campus map, see:

The lecture is co-sponsored by:

* The Foothill College Astronomy Program

* The SETI Institute

* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

* NASA’s Ames Research Center.

We get large crowds for these talks, so we ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Past lectures in the series can be found on YouTube at

Andrew Fraknoi
Emeritus Chair, Astronomy Department
Foothill College
Check out my New Web Site:

Contacts mailing list

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, May 15th, 7 pm at Foothill College
Smithwick Theater (part of the Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures,
but on a Tuesday, not the usual Wednesday):


Dr. Alan Stern (Principal Investigator, New Horizons Mission)
With Dr. David Grinspoon (Astrobiologist and Popular Book Author).
Come hear the man who spearheaded the mission to explore Pluto explain the latest news about what we’ve learned, and preview the next New Horizons flyby. First come, first served seating. We suggest arriving a little bit early to park and find a good seat in the Theater.

After the free talk, there will be a book signing for their brand new book on Pluto, with the same title as the talk.

Andrew Fraknoi Emeritus Chair,
Astronomy Department Foothill College
(Currently teaching at U. of San Francisco & San Francisco State U.)
E-mail: fraknoiandrew zazt
Web site:
AstroProf Facebook Pages: _______________________________________________

Contacts mailing list


UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science 

Lick Observatory

Plan to arrive after noon and before 3 PM for best access to Public Areas.
This is an all day trip climbing to 4200 feet on the historic
Mount Hamilton Road, Route 130, Alum Rock off of 101 or 680.
Please don't pass bicyclists on the blind curves.

   Gift Shop
   The Gift Shop is your best contact for current visitors progam status.

Visitor Center & Main Building
12:00 noon - 5:00 pm
Shane Telescope Gallery
Every Day: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Visitor's page

The APF Telescope is now doing science.
What this means to you (all)  is that the dome and telescope can move at any
time without warning. Often we are doing tests during the day so please don't
enter the building unless you have a good reason to be inside.

Summer Visitors Program

Guided tours
Summer Programs

The Shane Reflector, 
celebrating the first 50 years

From Eyeballs to Electrons is the first online exhibit from the Lick
Observatory Historical Collections Project.

The exhibit draws on artifacts and images from Lick's collections
to illustrate the evolution of light detection in astronomy,
with special attention to Lick Observatory's role.

Part One begins with astronomy's first detector, the human eye,
and ends with photography's long reign as the principal means for
recording starlight.

The Historical Collections Project is a work in progress. It was
created to preserve and make accessible the observatory's historical
holdings through cataloging, online databases, and exhibits.
Please visit the Project website at:

Dear UC Observer,

As many or most of you know, Google has given (through UCB) a major three-year gift to help with the operation of Lick Observatory; see
 (it's actually $1.5M -- we got the third year upon showing good progress).

We hope that this is just the beginning of a long relationship between Lick and Google, and several UC astronomers are already doing various activities with Google.

...portions deleted

Alex Filippenko
Professor of Astronomy
UC Berkeley
alex zazt
posted July 21, 2017

Lick Observatory Science Talks 
posted September 25, 2017

Lick Observatory on 'Facebook'
posted November 11, 2014

Mount Hamilton Wildflower Collection

California Condors visit Lick Obsevatory

Music of the Spheres,  2001 program.

For those of you with an interest in Java Programs and/or
extra-solar planet search see:
This is a forum run by students and instructors at Lick Observatory
concerning the reduction of extra-solar radial velocity data.
Update at:

Extra Solar Planetary Orbital Stability, The Game
(This link posted May 18, 2014)

Reference April 8, 2014.


Keck Observatory Science Talks  



Disney Museum in the San Francisco Presidio

California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park

The Tech Museum downtown San Jose

Western Amateur Astronomers

Peninsula Astronomical Society

PAS membership information

OTHER CLUBS EVENTS  For regularly-updated information on other astronomical organizations and events
we refer you to the website of the Astronomical Association of Northern California;

Astronomical Society of the Pacific
ASP Website

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey,
Public Programs:


The Intel Museum

Computer History Museum



NASA Ames Research Center

The NASA Exploration Center is open to the public
free of charge.
For information about the Exploration Center
please visit:

To learn about other events hosted by NASA Ames:

JPL Lecture series, video on-line

PARC Forum videos, PARC a Xerox Company





Astronomy at College of San Mateo



Webmaster's Links

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SMCAS Patches

The SMCAS patches are on sale. 

Actual diameter is 9 centimeters or about 3 1/2 inches.

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SMCAS March General Meeting