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The next PAS meeting is Friday March 13, 2015

7:30 pm, Room 5015, Foothill College

Featuring Dr. Sarah Kernasovskiy of Stanford University

"Searching for Polarization in the Cosmic Microwave Background"

Sarah Kernasovskiy is a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC).    Her research focuses on the measurement of B-mode polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), including the technological developments needed for the next generation of telescopes.  A positive detection of B-mode polarization would be direct evidence for the theory of cosmic inflation as well as setting the energy scale of inflation.

Sarah's graduate student work focused on BICEP2 and the Keck Array, which are microwave telescopes at the South Pole.  Sarah has completed 4 seasons at the South Pole Station on these projects.  Outside of research, she is an avid trail runner, having completed several 100 milers as well as the Race Around the World.  Sarah received her undergraduate degree in Physics at California Institute of Technology in 2008,  and completed her PhD in Physics at Stanford University in 2014 with her thesis 'Measuring the Polarization of the CMB with the Keck Array and BICEP2'.

In her talk, Sarah will discuss the various telescopes used in the CMB measurements, research goals and findings, as well as give us a glimpse of the challenges of life and research at the South Pole Station.

Next Speaker:  Dr. Mark Krumholz of UC Santa Cruz on April 10, speaking on the birth of stars.

 Location: Foothill College room 5015, next to Parking Lot 5
Bring $3 for a parking permit


Wiehe Memorial



In Memory of Sarah Wiehe

The PAS suffered a great loss with the passing of Sarah Wiehe last October.  Sarah served on the PAS Board of Directors from March 2003 onward, including several years as Vice President and PAS Liason to Foothill College.  She was instrumental in working with Foothill College during the transition from the old 16" Newtonian telescope to the new modern 16" Schmidt-Cassegrain now being used.  The remake of the Board Room downstairs at Foothill, the computers, eyepieces, H-alpha Solar Telescope, etc. were very much due to her labors.  She had an excellent working relationship with the College.

Thank you, Sarah, for all your years of service to our Club.  You will be greatly missed.



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 holds meetings on the second Friday of each month at 7:30 pm on the campus of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA (between San Jose and Palo Alto).  The meetings are usually held in Room 5015, next to Parking Lot 5 (see map). 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 - 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.



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

   Join the Peninsula Astronomical Society



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