||Steering Committee and
||Meeting / Events Calendar
||Cosmology Interest Group (CIG)
||Telescope Interest Group (TIG)
||Observing Sites + Weather
||Pictures and Poems
December 2 General Meeting "Exobiology - The First Search for Life on Mars" by Nancy Whittaker
Nancy presented "Exobiology-The First Search For Life On Mars". She reviewed the Viking biology experiments, the
personalities of the scientists, their results, and the current thinking on the probability of life on Mars.
Novemeber 4 General Meeting "Binoculars and Telescopes" by Al Witten and John Combes
Al and John gave a presentation on binoculars and telescopes that assisted members considering the purchase of
optical equipment and a better understanding of their operation.
October 7 General Meeting "Extra Solar Planets" by Dave Wood
Extra Solar Planets, what and where they are, how we find them, and what our plans are for future discovery. It is of
particular interest to find Earth-like planets and look for evidence of life.
September 24 Star Party at Orchard Creek Lodge
Members set up telescopes behind OC lodge for a moon viewing "party". Over 35 Sun City residents and guests
September 13-14 10th Anniversary "Fun Events"
Fine Arts Room - OC Lodge
September 2 General meeting "The Moon - Our Closest Neighbor" by Nina Mazzo
In 1609, Galileo sketched the moon using a telescope he constructed. In 2009, NASA is launching an orbiter to the
Moon, hoping to find a whiff of water. A large audience enjoyed Nina's presentation as she discusses Earth's
relationship to our Moon and explores its landscape.
August 20 Star Party at Blue Canyon
August 5 General Meeting "Gravitational Lensing - The Telescope of the Universe" by Tom Eason
Tom described how the fact that massive celestial objects such as galaxies bend light passing in their vicinity results
in them acting like giant telescope lenses. This makes it possible to detect and study extremely distant objects not
easily accessible to man-made telescopes.
July No General Meeting
June 3 General Meeting "How to Imagine the Universe" - An Introductory Talk on Cosmology by Prof. Milan Mijic
(professor at CSU Los Angeles and Sierra Community College)
A hundred years ago it was believed that we live in an eternal, dark, mostly empty space, sprinkled with stars and
filled with ether that carries light and radio waves. Now we know that we live in an expanding, evolving universe,
larger and more complex than we ever imagined. Milan explained the modern picture of the universe, and how
astronomers arrived at it.
May 21 Star Party at Blue Canyon
May 6 General Meeting "Titan, Cassini and Huygens" by Tom Eason
Tom presented highlights of the Cassini Mission to Saturn and the consequent Huygens Probe Mission to Titan, a
moon of Saturn.
April 6 General Meeting "Common Misconceptions About Astronomy" and Planetarium Show by Prof. Dick Marasso
Sierra College professor and former Chairman of the Astronomy Department Dick Marasso presented a planetarium
show featuring the Spring and Summer skies, and discussed common misconceptions about astronomy students have
had over the last 40 years that he has been teaching in a community college. This meeting was held in the
Planetarium (Room S202) of Sewell Hall on the Sierra Community College campus in Rocklin.
March 04 General Meeting "Messier Objects: Nebulae, Galaxies and Star Clusters" by Don Machholz
Don Machholz spoke about Charles Messier, a famous French 18th century astronomer and celestial objects he
discovered and cataloged. He walked the audience through a Messier Marathon using star charts and astrophotos.
February 04 General Meeting "Cosmic Collisions" by Connie Coolidge
Connie presented “Cosmic Collisions” including formation of the Moon from a planetoid into the smashing Earth,
colliding stars, and the coming cosmic crash between the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy. This was followed by a
Question and Answer session about a variety of topics in astronomy.
January13 California Academy of Sciences bus trip
Click here for more information on this trip.