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Lincoln Hills Astronomy Group

Past Meetings

December 7      General Meeting   "
Touring the December Sky"
Ron Olson described  how to use a star chart to identify the major stars and constellations, star clusters and galaxies
                          that you can see in the winter sky using only your naked eye or binoculars. Click here
to view December slides
from the December presentation.

November 2      General Meeting    "Near Earth Objects - Will An Asteroid Strike Earth in 2036?" 
There are an estimated 300,000 Near-Earth Objects orbiting near the Earth’s orbit. A total of 3,400 NEO have been
                          discovered so far of which 71 of these may hit the Earth during the next 100 years. One of these objects is Asteroid
                          2004MN4 which has the possibility of striking the Earth with devastating consequences in the year 2036. In this
                          presentation John Combes described Near Earth Objects and the measures that may be used to prevent Asteroid
2004MN4 or any other NEO from hitting the Earth.

October 5          General Meeting   "Possibility of Other Intelligent Life in our Galaxy"
Joel Thomas described and illustrated the factors in the Drake Equation which provide a way to estimate how many
                          intelligent, communicating civilizations there are in our galaxy.
September 14    General Meeting    "James Lick Observatory"
Video on history and recent research at James Lick Observatory in San Jose, CA 

August 17          "Recent Discoveries in Astronomy,"
At our August meeting, Dr Houpis of Sierra College gave a very interesting presentation on followed by a
                           planetarium show illustrating the stars and constellations of the summer sky. Topics included recently discovered
                           potential planets in our solar system, the Huygens probe that landed on Saturn, and the Mars Rover mission.


July 13               The topic will be "The Life of a Star." 
                           Dave Wood described stellar evolution, stellar energy generation, mass-luminosity relationship, and the HR

June 8                General Meeting     The topic was the "The Sun." 
John Combes  presented some interesting facts about the Sun. Without it, life on Earth would not exist. The Sun is
                          an ordinary "run-of-the-mill" star so massive over one million Earth’s could fit inside it. It is a huge nuclear furnace
                          which will supply the Earth with a steady supply of energy over the next 4 to 5 billion years. Telescope viewing of
                          the sun was postponed until the July meeting due to cloudy weather .

ay 11              The topic was "Telescopes and Binoculars; Basic Types and Modern Features.".
                          John Combes described basic telescope types and selection criteria. Harry Collings and Ron Olson described and
demonstrated modern features including automated GoTo and computer control capabilities.  

April 13             General Meeting    Nina Mazzo  presented "The Moon, Our Closest Neighbor". 
                          The presentation covered lunar observations; lunar features and lunar explorations. Other topics included why the
                          Moon sometimes appears in the daytime; what’s the weather like; where Neil Armstrong first set foot; what’s a blue
                          moon and is a Gibbous moon made of green cheese? Telescopes were set up for viewing following the presentation.

March 15           Star Party  
                           The LH Astronomy group held a very successful Star Party in March behind Orchard Creek Lodge. Seven
                           telescopes ranging in size from 3 to 13 inches provided members with outstanding views of the Moon, Jupiter,
                           Saturn, the Great Orion Nebula, star clusters and galaxies.

March 9            General Meeting    Antonio Nafarrate presented "Animal Navigation."  
                          Early observations and current studies support the viewpoint that animals during homing or migration have very
                          accurate and reliable navigational skills. How do they do it? What cues are they using? Antonio presented a 
                          summary and overview of the major findings and ideas.

February 9         General Meeting
Dave Woods  presented "Binary Stars" based on research he has done in observing and modeling eclipsing binary
                          stars. The presentation covered types of binary stars and how we use them to deduce the masses, sizes, shapes,
                          temperatures, etc. of stars. Telescopes were available for viewing of Saturn, the Orion Nebula and other stars
                          following the presentation.

January 11        
Our January meeting was at the Sierra College Planetarium 
                          Dr. Harry Houpis, Chairman of the Sierra College Astronomy Department presented a planetarium show on
                          featuring Winter Constellations, followed by a presentation on recent developments in Cosmology. Viewing of the
Comet Machholtz with binoculars followed the meeting.