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May Meeting: Solar Gravitational Lens for Exoplanet Imaging

JamiePublished May 3, 2021 by Jamie

Join us for the next NHAC meeting on May 28th.  The novice talk begins at 6:30pm and our main presentation starts at 7:30pm. The Zoom link to join us will be posted on this site on the day of the meeting.

Using the Solar Gravitational Lens for Exoplanet Imaging
Viktor has been collaborating with researchers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the advanced concept of a deep space observatory that would use the bending of light by the Sun and the resulting Solar Gravitational Lens (SGL) to image distant objects. The light amplification and resolving power of the SGL far exceed anything possible with realistic conventional instruments. At the same time, there are many severe challenges, both practical (distance, communication, navigation) and theoretical (imperfect lens, light contamination, integration times). Viktor will discuss these challenges as well as the strength of the mathematical model, developed with Slava Turyshev from JPL, that allows us to efficiently model the point-spread function of the SGL and convolve it with that of an optical telescope, to study image formation and signal-to-noise ratios.

 

About Viktor:
Viktor Toth is an IT professional and “part time” physicist from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He played a key role in the resolution of the Pioneer anomaly, the anomalous acceleration of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, back in 2012. He has since collaborated with physicists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, from The Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and other institutions. Since 2017, he has been involved with research on using the gravitational field of the Sun, in the form of the Solar Gravitational Lens, to image distant objects, among them potentially life-bearing exoplanets. Viktor’s papers and publications can be accessed through his Web site, at https://www.vttoth.com/CMS/physics-papers

 

April Meeting

JamiePublished April 7, 2021 by Jamie

 Friday, April 23

6:30 pm novice talk
7:30 pm general meeting

Join Zoom Meeting click here

or cut the lines below and paste in your browser
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88040570463?pwd=UWpjcC9IVWh6bDJTZlkwK0ZPdDNCdz09

Meeting ID: 880 4057 0463
Passcode: 855572

Zoom will go live at 6:15 PM

 

Our general meeting speaker will be Robert Reeves with his presentation,

Not Your Daddy’s Astrophotography
In this new presentation, Robert Reeves contrasts today’s astrophotography techniques with those of just 20 years ago. Robert demonstrates how modern celestial photography allows the back yard amateur to not only exceed the quality of past professional lunar and planetary photography, but to perform back yard deep sky photography that was once possible only from dark sky sites. Additionally, Robert will show how a simple camera and tripod, coupled with free software, can create stunning wide-field panoramas that span half the sky.

 

Robert Reeves Biography

Robert Reeves has been exploring the Moon since 1958 and took his first lunar photograph in 1959. He began telescopic astronomy with a four-inch Criterion Dynascope, his Christmas present in 1960. In 1975 he acquired a Celestron 8 telescope, which he still uses today. In 1977, Robert acquired a Celestron 8-inch Schmidt camera that he used for a quarter century for deep sky photography. Today, Reeves uses a Celestron 11 Edge HD, a Sky-Watcher 180mm Maksutov, and a Celestron 14 Edge HD telescope for lunar and deep sky photography from his Perspective Observatory located in central Texas.

In 1984 Reeves began publishing articles about astrophotography in Astronomy magazine. Since then Robert has published over 250 magazine articles and 200 newspaper columns about astronomy. His articles have appeared in Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Deep Sky, Deep Sky Journal, Amateur Astronomy, and The Astrograph. In 1994 Reeves published his first book, The Superpower Space Race, followed by The Conquest of Space, co-authored with Fritz Bronner. In 2000, Robert published Wide-Field Astrophotography, followed by Introduction to Digital Astrophotography in 2005 and Introduction to Webcam Astrophotography in 2006.

Although Robert Reeves is an accomplished deep sky astrophotographer, his current passion is re-popularizing the Moon within the amateur astronomy community. Robert has perfected image processing techniques that allow the amateur astronomer, using modest equipment, to exceed the quality of Earth-based professional lunar photographs taken during the Apollo era.

Robert Reeves enjoys speaking to astronomy conventions and spreading his passion for the Moon and capturing the beauty of the night sky. Reeves has spoken at the Winter Star Party, Apollo Rendezvous, the Advanced Imaging Conference and SpaceFest. He has spoken twice to the Okie-Tex Star Party, the Mid-West Astro Imaging Conference, and the Southwest Astrophoto seminar. Robert has also spoken three times to AstroImage and spoken four times to ALCON, NEAF, and NEAIC, in addition to many presentations to the Texas Star Party. Robert has also been the Master of Ceremonies at two ALCONs and three times at the Arizona Science and Astronomy Expo and is the evening speaker coordinator for the Texas Star Party. Other travels include a five-city speaking tour in China where Reeves was the first westerner to address the Chinese astronomy community about the Moon.

Asteroid 26591 Robertreeves is named in his honor and asteroid 26592 Maryrenfro bears his wife’s name. Robert and Mary Reeves are the only husband and wife team to have sequentially numbered asteroids.

NHAC Bylaws Update

JamiePublished March 12, 2021 by Jamie

We are updating the NHAC bylaws to better reflect changes in board operations as well as the way media is consumed in 2021. You can view the updated changes here. The NHAC Board has approved these changes and will be bringing them before the membership during the March 2021 meeting. The final vote will occur during the April 2021 meeting and then they bylaws will be worked into place by the December board member elections for 2022.

For clarity:

Current bylaws here.

Proposed bylaws here.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the March Zoom meeting!

March General Meeting

JamiePublished March 7, 2021 by Jamie

March 26 – 7:00 pm

This presentation will be about 90 minutes so please note our 7pm start time. We will not have a separate novice program this month.

This month we will have a combined program for novices and experienced astronomers alike! Join us as we learn about the Antikythera Device, a wonderfully complex mechanism first built in Greece around 205 to 60 BCE. It predicts eclipses, the positions of the planets and the dates of the Olympic games. Although the device is singular, its intricate gearing suggests that it must have been the result of a long series of development. It was discovered in 1900 in the remains of a shipwreck, near the island of Antikythera, Greece. Our speaker, Kurt Baty, built a faithful Lego model of the Antikythera Device designing pieces and printing them with a 3-D printer. He will speak about the device, how it works and provide the background needed to understand this marvel.

 

Kurt Baty is a Life Member of the IEEE. He has 44 years’ experience in the electronics industry and has been, since 1988, an independent design consultant. His client list includes many large companies and he holds many basic patents in computer technology. Kurt is also an avid science fiction fan and numismatist.

 

Join the Zoom meeting!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87199027244?pwd=cWZrVmhyaXRESHlyclgzUUdiNFhZZz09

Meeting ID: 871 9902 7244
Passcode: 367650
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