||Steering Committee and
||Meeting / Events Calendar
||Cosmology Interest Group (CIG)
||Telescope Interest Group (TIG)
||Observing Sites + Weather
||Pictures and Poems
December 5 General Meeting "Navigation by the Stars Using the Sextant " by John Roumbanis
How did sailors find their location before GPS Satellites? How can you navigate "by the stars?" John gave an
overview of the sextant and its use an effective navigation tool in determining the precise location on our spinning
planet using celestial objects as reference points.
November 7 General Meeting "Physics of Star Trek and Star Wars – Fantasy vs Feasibility " by Tom Eason
"Beam Me Up, Scotty," "Warp speed," wormholes, light sabers. Are they possible or are they figments of science-
fiction writers’ overactive imaginations? What do we know about present-day physics that can help us make
intelligent guesses about the future? Tom gave a very informative and interesting presentation on how modern
science views these futuristic capabilities.
October 1 Sierra College "Life on Other Worlds " and Planetarium Show by Chuck Pullen
One of the most profound questions Science will someday answer is the question of the existence of extraterrestrial
life. Be it bacteria or big-headed-brainy-guys, it is highly unlikely that we are alone in this vast universe. Adjunct
Professor Chuck Pullen presented a frank, and occasionally funny discussion of how the search for alien life reflects
on occasionally intelligent life here on Earth. A planetarium show followed the presentation.
September 5 General Meeting "Signs of the Zodiac - Libra to Aquarius" by Joel Thomas
What’s Your Sign? Can you find your sign in the night sky? The astronomical (not astrological) history, mythology,
location and star patterns of the Zodiac constellations were be discussed. Emphasis was be on those now visible in
the summer and fall night sky, from Libra to Aquarius.
August 15 Star Party at Blue Canyon
25 members and guests gathered at Blue Canyon to enjoy outstanding viewing under a dark sky. Using six telescopes
and different sized binoculars, we viewed the Moon, Jupiter and its moons, the Milky Way, many constellations,
stars and deep sky objects.
August 1 General Meeting "The Observatories" Videos and Dave Wood
Two videos describing the capabilities, facilities and operation of five national observatories were presented,
followed by a description by Harry Collins of the new 8.4 meter "Large Binocular Telescope" in Arizona. Optical
and Solar telescopes at Kitt Peak in Arizona and Sacramento Peak in New Mexico and radio telescopes in
Greenbank, W. Virginia, Aricebo, Puerto Rico, and the Very Large Array in New Mexico were discussed.
July 12 LHAG Social - "A SUMMER COSMIC EVENT" - Kilaga Springs Lodge
In July, the Astronomy Group held a very successful potluck dinner, including entertainment from the group Jam
Junction. Thanks to Nina Mazzo, John and Carmie Roumbanis, Don and Carol Bowen, and Al and Carol Witten for
organizing this event. Also, thanks to Dave Wood for arranging and participating in the evenings entertainment.
June 6 General Meeting "The Ancient Maya: Tools of Astronomy" DVD and Dave Wood
This DVD presentation provided a look at the astronomical science of the ancient Maya. Without the aid of
magnifying technology or even a firm idea of where they stood on the planet, the Mayan grasp of the universe
through astronomical observation was amazing.The video showed
pyramid of Kukulkan which functioned as a giant solar observatory. Other subjects included El Caracol at
which looks amazingly like a modern day observatory, how the Maya used the sun to lay out their various temples
and observatories, and examine their incredibly complex and accurate calendar.
May General Meeting "Saturn - the Ring World" John Combes
After viewing a video of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons, John discussed the makeup of
Saturn which is less dense than water, followed by a look at the evolution and makeup of Saturn's rings which are
considered the flattest structure known to science. The exploration of the moon Titan with its many similarities to
Earth as well as the peculiarities inherent to some of the other moons.
April 4 General Meeting "Space Suits - From Astronauts to Practical Medical Innovations" by Bill Elkins
The U.S. Space Foundation's Hall of Fame member and holder of several patents for space suits and medical
equipment, Bill described the development of highly mobile space suits, including the first rigid structured space
suit to provide a safe exoskeleton for astronauts. He also discussed cooling devices for industrial workplaces, and
research into the effects of cooling technologies on patients with Multiple Sclerosis.
March 5 General Meeting "What in the Universe Happened to Pluto" by Prof. David Dunn
Recently, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from the lofty planetary status it enjoyed for over
seven decades to a "Dwarf Planet." Prof Dunn from
and what might lie in the future for Pluto and other worlds in the outer reaches of our solar system.
February 7 General Meeting "Signs of the Zodiac" by Joel Thomas
WHAT’S YOUR SIGN? Can you point to it in the night sky? The mythology, history, location and astronomical
(not astrological) features of the twelve constellations of the zodiac were discussed. Emphasis was on those visible
in the winter and spring night sky.
January 3 General Meeting "Fact and Fiction of the Night Sky" by Carol Witten
Carol took took the audience on a beginners ride through the dynamic winter sky, exploring some facts and some
lore about the constellations and their brightest stars.