North Houston Astronomy Club .:NHAC:. | Observe . . . Learn . . . Share . . .

May General Meeting

JamiePublished June 9, 2021 by Jamie

Join us on Friday, June 25th for our monthly meeting.  The novice talk will be presented by Rob Brayton at 6:30pm.  Our main talk will be a presentation on the James Webb Telescope by Dr. Kelly Lepo starting at 7:30pm.  The link will be posted here shortly before the meeting.


What to expect from the James Webb Space Telescope

 The James Webb Space Telescope is NASA’s next flagship space observatory, which will launch in late Fall 2021. In this presentation, Dr. Lepo will discuss the science and challenges of infrared astronomy, as well as the big questions that the Webb telescope will help to answer: What were the first galaxies like? How do galaxies change over time? How do stars and planets form in those galaxies? What are the atmospheres of planets around other stars made of? She will also discuss what to expect in the 6-months after launch, as controllers carefully unfold and prepare the telescope to take its first science images.



Dr. Kelly Lepo is an Education and Outreach Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, where she primarily works to support outreach efforts for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope. She received a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Toronto. During her time in Canada, she made numerous local and national media appearances to talk about everything from the 2012 Mayan Apocalypse to the Super Blue Blood Moon. She has also served as the Coordinator of the McGill Space Institute, taught physics at Gonzaga University, and helped build the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

May Meeting: Solar Gravitational Lens for Exoplanet Imaging with Viktor Toth

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 is posted here.

Topic: NHAC May Meetings
Time: May 28, 2021  Novice 6:30 PM Central Time (US and Canada)  General 7:30PM CDT

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 845 7319 4388
Passcode: 789851
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,84573194388#,,,,*789851# US (Houston)

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