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SMCAS General Meeting, October, 2019

In place of the October General Meeting efforts will be directed to the College of San Mateo Family Day and Evening activities on Saturday October 5.


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



In the Mail and In the eMail

Discussion of significant events coming up:

- General meeting and presentations September 6th

- CSM Family Science and Astronomy Festival October 5th (volunteers needed!)

- SLAC/KIPAC Community Day with SMCAS Star Party October 19th (volunteers needed!)

Save the Date! Our next general meeting and presentation is Friday, September 6th, starting 7pm,
with our pizza social and business meeting in the ISC room at CSM. Speaker in the Planetarium starting at 8pm will be Dr Ross Beyer,
Senior Research Scientist at the SETI Institute, on the topic:

Charon, Pluto’s Companion: What We’re Learning from New Horizons
( See poster at page bottom )

Pluto’s large moon Charon turned out to be far more interesting than astronomers expected.
Pluto was the star of the New Horizons show, but the features on Charon’s surface tell a fascinating tale of how
icy worlds could form far from the gravitational influences of the giant planets.
There is evidence of a world-wide sub-surface ocean early on, and of global expansion as that ocean froze solid.
Charon’s surface also has a region of plains where icy materials may once have flowed and smoothed over the
fractures present elsewhere on its surface.
Dr. Beyer will be your guide through this story of formation and change in the frozen reaches of the outer Solar System.

Marion Weiler
Posted July 8


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

October 10

Final entry for September Newsletter  






Crestview Star Parties

Star Parties at Crestview Park.

Crestview 2010 Sun Chart

2019 Schedule, local copy

Posted June 9, 2019  


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 September )

Bay Astro,  Ken L's Event List

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

Archive of past lectures:


Advance Announcement for Newsletters and Web Pages:

On Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 7 pm, Dr. Jeff Moore, of NASA’s Ames Research Center, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on:

”Encounter with Ultima Thule: The Most Distant Object Humanity Has Ever Explored”
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 20th year.

After a successful encounter with Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft, for the first time flew by a member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune. This particular object, officially called 2014MU69, but informally named “Ultimate Thule” (meaning the farthest place beyond the known world,) turned out to be a “contact binary” – two smaller icy worlds stuck together. Such objects are left over from the time our solar system was first coming together and provides scientists with a glimpse of what it was like here before the Earth even formed. Dr. Moore will share an insider’s view (with great images) of how the mission got to its targets and what we learned while passing by Ultima Thule.

Dr. Jeff Moore is a Research Scientist in the Space Science Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center and a leader of the Imagining Team that explored both Pluto and Ultima Thule. He has been a member or leader of several other space mission teams, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. His research focuses on the nature and evolution of the surfaces of planets and moons in the solar system, including the role of impacts, quakes, and volcanoes on other worlds. He has also worked at the University of Oklahoma’s National Severe Storms Laboratory and at the SETI Institute.

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 Physical Science Division

* 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


An excellent image of Ultima Thule can be found at:

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:  

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lectures




Please help us spread the word. Thank you.

You are cordially invited to:
Earth to Space: A Free Day of Astronomy at San Francisco State Oct. 18

Join astronomy enthusiasts from around the Bay to celebrate the 130th year of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), and the outreach work of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at SF State University, during an astronomy festival from 1 to 10 pm on Friday, Oct. 18th, 2019, on the university’s campus.

Activities include panels, talks, telescope observing, and shows at the university planetarium. Admission is free and first-come, first-served. For more detailed schedules, plus parking and transportation information, see:

Speakers include Debra Fischer (Yale University), who discovered the first system of planets orbiting another star, NASA’s Kimberly Ennico Smith, who has been a part of a number of space-probe and space-telescope missions, and Steve Richard, local co-chair of the Climate Reality Project. The 7:30 pm Keynote Lecture (on “The Top Tourist Sights of the Solar System”) will be given by Andrew Fraknoi (former Executive Director of the ASP).

San Francisco State staff will offer an open house at the campus Observatory and Planetarium (star theater) and there will be students and volunteers with telescopes set up for safe viewing of the Sun during the day. Families are welcome.

The ASP was founded in San Francisco in 1889, but has, since that time, become of the largest and most active astronomy organizations in the world. San Francisco State is one of the premier institutions of higher learning in the Bay Area and has an active program to train undergraduates and graduate students in astronomy.


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

The Apollo Cube Reflectors and Lick Observatory 

Lick Observatory on 'Facebook'
posted November 11, 2014

Mount Hamilton Wildflower Collection

California Condors visit Lick Obsevatory

Music of the Spheres,  2001 program.

About Adaptive Optics

Adaptive Optics on U Tube

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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