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Cosmology Interest Group (CIG)
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Lincoln Hills Astronomy Group

Past Meetings


December 8      LHAG Holiday Party

December 4       LHAG General Meeting      "Stellar and Planetary Evolution - from the Ground Up" by John Neil  
Have you ever wondered how the chemical analysis of extraterrestrial and terrestrial material generates theories as to
the evolution of stars and plants? John Neil explained how geochemistry is applied to astronomical questions.

November 15  
CIG  DVD Lecture Series "Cosmology - The History and Nature of our Universe" by Professor Mark Whittle
Lecture 05 - The Sweep of Cosmic History
Lecture Discussion and Q & A

November 6      LHAG General Meeting   "Astronomy Apps" by Dave Wood, Nina Mazzo and Ron Olson
                          Our speakers described astronomy related applications for iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets, iMac and PC
                          computers. App categories include observing, information astronomy news, science and more.

October 21      
CIG  DVD Lecture Series "Cosmology - The History and Nature of our Universe" by Professor Mark Whittle
Lecture 03 - Overall Cosmic properties
                          Lecture 04 - The Stuff of the Universe
Lecture Discussion and Q & A

October 2          LHAG General Meeting   "Hubble's Amazing Universe"icrowave Background                           Lecture 14 - Conditions During the First Million Years                           Lecture Discussion and Q & A National Geographic video with an update by Anthony   
The Hubble Space Telescope has been responsible for unlocking many mysteries of the final frontier. The most
                          renowned telescope in the world is reaching the end of its mission. It has explored the creation of stars and planets,
                          the glory of supernovae and the formation of super massive black holes. It has charted dark matter and changed
                          forever our understanding of the universe we live in.
Hubble's Amazing Universe is a National Geographic video
                          with spectacular images of the groundbreaking discoveries made by the Hubble Telescope during its 20 year history.

This was followed by an update of the latest Hubble discoveries and Hubble's successor, the James Webb Space

September 16    CIG  DVD Lecture Series "Cosmology - The History and Nature of our Universe" by Professor Mark Whittle
Lecture 01 - The Journey Ahead
                          Lecture 02 - Denizens of the Universe
Lecture Discussion and Q & A

September 4      LHAG General Meeting    "Comet Curiosities" by Ron Olson and " We Are All One With the Universe" by
                          Morey Lewis
                          Comet PanSTARRS and ISON have been in the news as possible "Great Comets." Ron Olson discussed the who,
                          what and where of these unique celestial objects along with their potential hazards for life on Earth.
Morey Lewis took  us on a journey of discovery regarding some elements  in the Universe in our bodies              
                          formation. How do Cosmologists figure out these complex issues? Follow the steps from the Big Bang to the
                          formation of planets rich with the elements for life.

Lecture Discussion and Q & A               
August 21          Sierra College Planetarium Show and Presentation   "In the Shadow of Time" by Professor Dick Marasso
Professor Marasso presented some key articles appearing in Sky & Telescope magazine over the past 50 years he
                           has been an educator. The planetarium show demonstrated the equation of time and described various sundial

August 19           CIG
                                         Video "A Universe from Nothing" by Professor Lawrence Krauss.

August 7             Star Party at Blue Canyon

June 5                 LHAG General Meeting  "Saturn's Rings - New Results from Cassini"  Robert French from the SETI Institute
                           NASA'a Cassini spacecraft, launched in 1997 has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004. During that time it has
                           taken over 70,000 picture and millions of spectra of Saturn's rings. This unprecedented amount of information has
                           led to the discovery of many new features, such as a "wobble" in the rings likely caused by a cometary impact in
                           1993 and a small ringlet that always orients itself toward the Sun.
In addition, Cassini has enabled the continuing   
                           exploration of previously known features, such as the weird F ring with its kinks and clumps and the sparse E ring
                           produced by the ice geysers of the moon Enceladus.

May 15              CIG  Video Lecture "Black Holes Explained"
                           Lecture 11 - Black holes and the Holographic Universe
                           Lecture Discussion and Q & A

                          Current Topics in Cosmology - Article Review/Discussion
                          Don Wilson - "Cosmology's Dreamscape:  Big Bang and the neo-astrologers

May 15              SCLH Community Star Party 
                          Our star party was set up behind OC Lodge on the Terrace and started at Sunset.
Telescopes were setup  to view the
                          Moon and its craters and mountains, Jupiter and its moons, Saturn and its rings and other interesting night sky
                          objects.  A large turnout of viewers enjoyed a great night of viewing these objects for several hours
September 16  

May 1                SCLH Community Forum in the OC Ballroom "The Race Back to Space"  NIck Poppelreiter 
                          Who is SpaceX?  What is the SLS?  Is the Dream Chaser just that?  From commercial spaceflight to NASA’s next 
                          big rocket, Nick presented what the score is in America’s attempt to get back into space. He compared players in
                          the commercial space flight arena, provided status on what NASA’s currently building, and discussed the ISS and
                          its International Partners.

April 15           
CIG  Video Lecture "Black Holes Explained"
                          Lecture 10 - Stephen Hawkings and Black Hole Evaporation
                          Lecture Discussion and Q & A

                         Current Topics in Cosmology - Article Review/Discussion by Don Wilson

April 3              LHAG General Meeting    "Space Shuttle Spin-offs" by Nina Mazzo
                         Nina presented some of the technological spin-offs from the Space Shuttle including firefighting, land mine removal
                         devices etc. Morey Lewis narrated a video on the Atacama Large Millimeter Array.

March 26         Group Expo  Orchard Creek Lodge

April 15            CIG  Video Lecture "Black holes Explained"

March 18          CIG  Video Lecture "Black Holes Explained"
                          Lecture 09 - Shortcuts Through the Universe and Beyond
                                       Lecture Discussion and Q & A

                         Current Topics in Cosmology - Article Review/Discussion
Don Wilson discussed various topics including Black Hole DVD Comments, Cosmology's Latest News, and the use
                         of fudge factors (Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark ...) in the Classical Tests to justify the Expanding Space Model
                         (Big Bang) interpretation.

March 6            LHAG General Meeting   "Prehistoric Astronomy Observatories"  John Neil 
In early civilizations knowledge of the stars and their positions was important for the practical matters, i.e.
                         agriculture, as well as predicting the future and receiving messages from the gods. Alignments of stones and
                         openings that could be used to predict or observe astronomical events were often incorporated in their public
                         buildings thus making them observatories. With those societies that left written records, we have information
                         that explains their purpose. However, with those societies that did not have written records (prehistoric) it is
                         challenging to recognize an alignment and to determine its astronomical function.

February 18     
CIG  Video Lecture "Black Holes Explained"
                          Lecture 08 - The wildest Ride in the Universe
                          Lecture Discussion and Q & A

                         Current Topics in Cosmology - Article Review/Discussion
                         Don Wilson discussed various topics including some of the history of astronomy/cosmology, the astronomers            
                         involved, and how their approach has changed over the years.

Feb 6               LHAG General Meeting    "Seeing the Unseen - The Hidden Treasure" by Morey Lewis
                        How do Astronomers learn about the stars, galaxies and other deep-sky objects when they cannot travel to them and
                        make direct measurements of their characteristics? Visual telescopes provide one window into these distant objects,
                        but much of the information astronomers gather comes from specialized telescopes designed to receive radiation from
                        other parts of the Electromagnetic Spectrum (EM) including Radio, Microwave, Infrared, Ultraviolet, X-ray, and
                        Gamma-rays. Morey described how EM radiation is used in astronomy.

January 21      CIG  Video Lecture "Black Holes Explained"
                        Lecture 07 - Gravitational Waves - ripples in Space-time
                                   Lecture Discussion and Q & A
Lecture Discussion and Q & A           Lecture Discussion and Q & A
                               Current Topics in Cosmology - Article Review/Discussion by Don wilson
Alternate Views of Cosmology

January 2       LHAG General Meeting    "Expanded "What's Up"    Presentation by Joel Thomas
                      Joel took us on a tour of the January night sky visible from your backyard with binoculars or your naked eyes. He
                      showed us how to locate Orion, Taurus and other notable star patterns. He also showed us how to locate Jupiter, the
                      king of planets with binoculars as well as how to watch the hourly changes on the historical "cosmic clock" formed by
                      Jupiter's four major moons, first discovered by Galileo in 1609. Joel also explained how, using this "cosmic clock" the
                      Danish astronomer Ole Romer first calculated the speed of light in 1676 and nearly a century later the young surveyor
                      George Washington used the clock to place the Ohio Valley on the map.


k Whittle                        Lecture 33 - Inflation's Stunning Creativity                        Lecture 34 - Fine tuning and Anthropiic Arguements                        Lecture Discussion and Q & A