Events on the Horizon – January 2021

AAA is kicking off the new year with some stellar courses, lectures, and livestreams! If you see a “members only” event in the list below that you want to attend but can’t, become a member ASAP so you can take advantage of these useful opportunities to meet amazing people, gain new skills, and learn about the universe!

 

Lecture: Dr. Jerry Bonnell Presents the Best of APOD

Tuesday, Jan. 12

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: FREE

Register HERE.

This month’s speaker, Dr. Jerry Bonnell, is the co-creator of NASA’S “Astronomy Picture of the Day” (APOD), which describes itself as follows: “Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.” The site has over a billion views and has been translated into dozens of languages. It’s also been featured on CNN and is the basis of the book, The Universe: 365 Days, written by Dr. Bonnell and APOD’s co-creator, Dr. Robert Nemiroff.

When he isn’t curating APOD, Dr. Bonnell is a NASA astrophysicist whose research interests include time histories and the spectral evolution of cosmic gamma-ray bursts. In this month’s lecture, Dr. Bonnell will present the best of APOD’s photos from 2020.

 

 

Astronomy Smorgasbord Class Series— “Into the Unknown: The Voyager Interstellar Mission”

Wednesday, Jan. 13

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $15 for individual class, $45 for entire six-class series, AAA members only

Class-by-class synopses and registration HERE.

Where is the edge of the solar system, and what is the nature of space beyond it? For two generations the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts have been traveling away from Earth, towards interstellar space. Review their journey from launch to present, survey their milestones, and consider what lies ahead for these missions. This class is a precursor to the upcoming Current Missions course. Instructed by Irene Pease.

About the class series: Sample from a smorgasbord of astronomy! Explore varied avenues of astronomy with this six-week course of one-off topics, from the mysteries of light and black holes, to sundial and space exploration, and ways your computer and smartphone become tools for observing and imaging the night sky.  As an astronomical taste-tester, you can expand your horizons and help shape future AAA class offerings.  This is one buffet that won’t break your New Year resolutions.

 

 

Course: Night Sky Photography

Thursdays, Jan. 14, 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, and 18

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $60 for the entire six-week course, AAA members only

Register HERE.

An in-depth course about wide field night sky photography with digital SLR or mirrorless cameras and ordinary lenses (not through telescopes). How to shoot well composed and exposed starscapes, night sky landscapes, eclipses, the Moon, the Sun, and astronomical phenomena. Instructed by Stan Honda.

Class-by-class Synopsis:

Jan. 14 – Why Night Sky Landscapes? Composition, visualization, storytelling. Looking vs. seeing in evaluating photos.

Jan. 21 – Camera Settings: Working in the Manual mode. Exposure: how to get there. Exposure equivalence. Histogram, LENR, lenses, perspective. Focus. Tripod use.

Jan. 28 – Planning the Shot: Apps. Analogue tools for remote locations. Fitting objects into the frame. The Moon. More on perspective.

Feb. 04 – Processing I: Backing up files, editing – making selections, processing – working on file in Camera RAW + Photoshop. Single image adjustments. Saving the file.

Feb. 11 – Processing II: Layers – non-destructive processing. Star trails. Preparing for printing.

Feb. 18 – Putting it All Together: Review of procedures. Class volunteers present planning, shooting and processing of a picture. Instructor will also process a class member’s file.

 

 

Livestream: Moon-topia

Monday, Jan. 18

7:30 – 8:00 p.m. EST

Cost: FREE

Location: AAA Facebook Live

Moon-topia – a monthly look at a few of the amazing moons of our solar system.

 

 

Course: Current Missions

Tuesdays, Jan. 19 and 26; Feb. 2, 16, 24; Mar. 2

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $60 for entire six-week course, AAA members only

Class-by-class synopses and registration HERE.

At this moment there are dozens of probes, orbiters, and landers throughout the solar system, probing, orbiting, and investigating other worlds. This class will survey current space exploration missions. Which are the most cost effective? Which has the cleverest backronym? Each week we’ll discuss the missions operating in a region of the solar system and compare aspects such as delivery methods and scientific objectives. For some of the longest running missions we’ll consider their relevance to more recent missions. Over the span of the course, we’ll build a timeline to show the duration of current missions. As we discuss details of the missions such as flight paths, instrumentation, and target worlds, we’ll need to sprinkle our discussions with some relevant topics in physics and planetary science, including gravity, energy, differentiation, and magnetic fields. Instructed by Irene Pease.

 

 

Astronomy Smorgasbord Class Series— “Sundials in Depth”

Wednesday, Jan. 27

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST

Location: Zoom

Cost: $15 for individual class, $45 for entire six-class series, AAA members only

Class-by-class synopses and registration HERE.

The simplest sundial is a vertical stick. Then it gets complicated with adjustments for a uniform scale, latitude, longitude within a time zone, daylight savings time, the Sun’s analemma, and refraction. Elaborate sundials give the date and the Sun’s zodiac position. In this class, clever sundials will be presented beyond the ubiquitous garden type, as well as scholarly texts, worldwide associations, vendors, and typical costs. Instructed by David Kiefer.

About the class series: Sample from a smorgasbord of astronomy! Explore varied avenues of astronomy with this six-week course of one-off topics, from the mysteries of light and black holes, to sundial and space exploration, and ways your computer and smartphone become tools for observing and imaging the night sky.  As an astronomical taste-tester, you can expand your horizons and help shape future AAA class offerings.  This is one buffet that won’t break your New Year resolutions.

 

 

AAA continues to follow official recommendations regarding COVID-19 and coordinates with any partner institutions regarding event cancellations.

For the status of any event, check the AAA Calendar or Upcoming Events on the AAA website home page.

You can subscribe to the AAA Google Calendar on this page by clicking the button in lower right corner of page.

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