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The next PAS meeting is Friday May 8, 2015

7:30 pm, Room 5015, Foothill College

Featuring Dr. Michael Busch of SETI

"Near Earth Asteroids and Space Missions"

The near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) are a population of objects on orbits around the Sun that cross or come near that of Earth.  They represent remnants of material from the early solar system that never accreted into planets.  In addition to scientific motivations, NEAs are important because of the Earth impact hazard - dramatically demonstrated by the impact of a small NEA in the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013.  Many NEAs are accessible targets for spacecraft missions; some require less fuel to get to than the Moon.  I will review the near-Earth population and efforts to discover and characterize NEAs from the ground.  Then I will describe past, upcoming, and potential future NEA missions by NASA, ESA, JAXA, the Chinese National Space Agency, and other groups.

Dr. Busch received his BS in physics and astronomy at the University of Minnesota in 2005.  He went to Caltech for grad school where he was advised by the late Steve Ostro and by Shri Kulkarni under a graduate fellowship through the Hertz Foundation.  He completed my PhD in planetary science in 2010 at Caltech, and did postdocs at UCLA and at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory - under the Jansky Fellows program - before starting as a research scientist at SETI in September 2013.

Next Speaker:  Dr. Mark Krumholz of UC Santa Cruz on June 12, 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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