||Steering Committee and
||Meeting / Events Calendar
||Cosmology Interest Group (CIG)
||Telescope Interest Group (TIG)
||Observing Sites + Weather
||Pictures and Poems
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
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 .
May 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.