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Foothill Telescope Remains CLOSED

Following guidance from the
Santa Clara County Health Officer and Foothill College, PAS is extending the suspension of our Friday and Saturday public viewing sessions at Foothill Observatory for the foreseeable future.  We will be able to resume operations once Foothill College reopens the campus.

Please check back periodically for the latest status.

March 11, 2020; updated April 7, May 4, June 5, and July 7

 

 

The Peninsula Astronomical Society is a group of some 200 Bay Area astronomy enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds. Some members are professionally trained in astronomy, others are just starting and have never looked through a telescope before. One thing that we all have in common is an interest in the sky.

The PAS generally holds its meetings on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 pm, either on the campus of Foothill College (between San Jose and Palo Alto) in Los Altos Hills, or at the Los Altos Public Library. Each meeting features a speaker (or speakers) bringing us up to date on different topics in astronomy. The public is welcome to attend these meetings; there is no charge to attend.  Note, however, that there is a $3 charge for parking at Foothill College - visitor parking permits are available from the machines in the parking lots.  Please do not park in spaces marked "Staff" - you will be ticketed!

As part of its commitment to bringing astronomy to the public, the Peninsula Astronomical Society operates the Foothill College Observatory (click here for more information). The Observatory is staffed by members of the society who volunteer to conduct the regularly scheduled public programs.

In addition to operating the Foothill Observatory, the PAS has its own observatory in the nearby Santa Cruz Mountains. This location has AC power and room for members to set up their own telescopes at our monthly star parties. This site is also the home of the society's 12" telescope, available for member use after a checkout.

For informaton about membership in the PAS, click here.


PENINSULA ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY MONTHLY MEETING AND LECTURE

 

"Lick Observatory During Pandemic Times"

Featuring Dr. Elinor Gates of Lick Observatory

 

August 14th, 2020 at 7:30pm

 online via Zoom Meeting

(meeting link will be emailed to club members)

 

Details:
Lick Observatory has been doing ground-breaking research since its opening in 1888. 30 years after Lick Observatory established itself as a world leader in astronomical research, the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic hit the United States. Pandemics create challenging times for any organization, so how was Lick Observatory was affected by the Spanish Flu in 1918? Research, while hampered by the conditions at the time, continued with the dedicated efforts of William Wallace Campbell, Heber Curtis, and other notable astronomers of the day. I’ll highlight the hot topics of research being done in 1918 and how the observatory persevered through the difficult conditions of that era.

Today in 2020 we are experiencing another devastating pandemic with COVID-19. Shelter-in-place orders and shutdowns have limited Lick Observatory operations. I’ll describe how we have adapted to the current conditions to continue as much research and data acquisition as possible, particularly in the areas of supernovae, exoplanet, and SETI research.

Dr. Elinor Gates is a staff astronomer at Lick Observatory specializing in laser guide star adaptive optics and near infrared camera instrumentation and observations. She did her undergraduate studies, majoring in Mathematics and Astrophysics, at Mount Holyoke College. She received her Ph.D. in Physics/Astronomy from the University of New Mexico in 1998. Before moving to Lick Observatory, she worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, IAU Minor Planet Center, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, and the Air Force Phillips Laboratory. Dr. Gates’ current research interests are studying quasars and their host galaxies, discovering dust obscured quasars, and measuring the masses of quasar and AGN central black holes. Asteroid (2650) Elinor is named in Dr. Gates’ honor.

 

Next Meeting: 

We are looking for more speakers able to present via Zoom; please check back periodically for the latest.

 

TWITTER - follow     @pastronomical  

Twitter link -  twitter.com/pastronomical   

 

 

  

 

PAS Logo clothing and other cool items are available at Cafe Press - click on the T-shirt:

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