Astronomy Lecture: From John Brashear to 21st Century Optics and Telescopes, by Blaise Canzian, Ph. D., 7:30 PM May 12, 2017, Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA

From John Brashear to 21st Century Optics and Telescopes, by Blaise Canzian, Ph. D.

The public is invited to the Amateur Astronomer’s Association of Pittsburgh’s Monthly Meeting Lecture, Friday, May 12, 2017, 7:30 PM, at the Science Stage of the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Telescopes have evolved both in technology and mission since the early days of John Brashear’s company. Today’s telescopes are tasked with satellite laser ranging, laser satellite communication, challenging astronomical research, and satellite imaging. Complex engineering combined with new technological advancements in optic fabrication have expanded our space situational awareness and enable astronomers to explore the universe like never before.

Dr. Blaise Canzian, Ph. D.  has a B.A. in Physics from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology. He is currently the systems engineer group manager for L3 Brashear and has Read more

April 7, 2017 AAAP Meeting: Hunting for Powerful Monsters, Super Massive Black Holes in Distant Galaxies by Chien-Ting Chen,Phd Astrophysicist, Penn State University

Galaxies are the building blocks that astronomers use to understand the evolution of the observable universe. During the past two decades, the most profound discovery in the cosmic evolution of galaxies is that in the center of almost every large galaxy there is a black hole with a mass range from tens of thousands to billions of times of the mass of the Sun. 

Our speaker Chen-Ting Chen,* Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University  will discuss how we find these supermassive black holes, and how their  “fiery breath” affects the evolution of their host galaxies that are usually billion of times larger in physical size. Click the image above for more about our speaker.

This lecture, “Hunting for Powerful Monsters, Super Massive Black Holes in Distant Galaxies,”  by Chien-Ting Chen, Phd,  Astrophysicist, Penn State University  is part of the monthly meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Assocition of Pittsburgh on the Science Stage,  Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Lecture begins following the meeting opening at 7:30. As part of the meeting opening there will be a brief presentation by Mars,PA‘s, Mayor Gregg Hartung and Mars New Year Spokesperson Missy Graylish. Our visitors from Mars will reveal the spectacular plans for this biennial May 4-6, 2017 event with three days of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) activities. Click image below for Butler County Tourism promotional video about the Mars New Year Celebration.

Mayor of Mars Greg Hartung and Missy Graylish Mars New Year Spokesperson.

A break follows lecture. AAAP April meeting resumes after break with a review of the current and upcoming club activities including the nomination of officers and astronomical events.

Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. There is no charge to attend the meeting or lecture. The public is invited to attend. The upcoming program of 2016-17 Meeting Speakers may be downloaded here. Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

 

Chien-Ting Chen is currently a postdoc working with Professor Niel Brandt in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also a member of the extragalactic survey and the obscured AGN science groups of ex the recently launched NuSTAR space telescope. NUSTAR was recently in the news (March 27)  for a puzzling galaxy merger. http://www.nustar.caltech.edu/news/nustar170327

AAAP March 10 Meeting and Speaker Presentation: High-Energy Astrophysics: the Fascinating World of Supernova Explosions and Pulsars, Presenter: Harsha Blumer, PhD

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will meet 7:30 PM, Friday, March 10, 2017, Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The Lecture Presentation begins at 7:30 PM:

High-Energy Astrophysics: the Fascinating World of Supernova Explosions and Pulsars.

Presenter: Harsha Blumer, PhD, Post-doctoral researcher, West Virginia University , Morgantown, WVA and Geeenbank Observatory. Lecture will be held on the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA at 7:30 PM, Friday March 10, 2017.

Abstract of Talk

An observer looking at the night sky sees a peaceful, never changing universe. However, there exists a violent and highly energetic universe concealed by this serene starlit sky. A universe that is filled with catastrophic blasts from the death of massive stars or supernova explosions, which are nature’s spectacular fireworks, to the birth of exotic stars such as the neutron stars (incredibly dense stellar objects as big as the city of Pittsburgh, but with a teaspoonful of neutron star material weighing about billion tons), or the magnetars – the most magnetic stars with a magnetic field of about a hundred trillion fridge magnets. The launch of high-resolution X-ray and gamma-ray telescopes in the last decade has offered new perspectives on our understanding of these sources and the prospects for continued discoveries are very promising. I will talk about these exotic stars that provide us with a unique opportunity to explore the behavior of matter and energy under the influence of its most extreme environments and magnetic fields, impossible to be reproduced on earth.

Harsha Blumer, Phd.

Harsha Blumer is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the West Virginia University. She has a Master of Science degree in Physics from the Mahatma Gandhi University and a Master of Technology degree in Space and Atmospheric Sciences from the Center for Space Science and Technology Education, affiliated with the United Nations. About 10 years ago, she moved to Canada where she did her PhD studies in Astrophysics and worked as a Postdoc at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. She has been recognized with numerous awards and honours during her academic career, including the Governor General Academic Gold Medal in 2014 which is the most prestigious award given to a doctoral student in Canada. Her research is focused on studying the aftermath of supernova explosions of stars, pulsars, and magnetars. At WVU, she is also the Project Director for the Pulsar Search Collaboratory program, a joint project between the Green Bank Observatory, West Virginia University, and 13 other institutions throughout the United States, aimed at involving high-school students and teachers in pulsar searching to give them real research experience with the Green Bank Telescope.

After an intermission the March business meeting follows. The agenda will include overview of current and upcoming club activities and astronomical events.  Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. The upcoming program of 2016-17 Meeting Speakers may be downloaded here. Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

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AAAP Meeting, 7:30 PM, Friday, February 10, 2017, Carnegie Science Center

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh will meet 7:30 PM,  Friday, February 10, 2017 at the Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.  The meeting is free and open to the public. The featured presentation for February, the annual planetarium show will be provided by the Carnegie Science Center Staff.  Members and guests should convene on the second floor (ramp or elevator available) at the Buhl Planetarium where we will start with the planetarium show presentation at 7:30 PM. At the time of the show, the room darkens and entrance door closes until the show ends.  Please arrive before the doors close.  The show will last about 30 minutes. After a short recess the business meeting will begin. We distribute the Night Sky Network Outreach Award Pins at this meeting.  NSN Pins are awarded to members participating in 5 or more NSN eligible outreach events and feature an astronomy event of the coming year.  This year’s pin commemorates the August 21, 2017 Solar Eclipse. There is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse from 5:34 – 9:53 PM, coinciding with the February 10 meeting.  Some AAAP members with binoculars and perhaps dobs, weather-permitting will be available at the entrance to provide a detailed view of the Moon in Penumbral Eclipse. If the skies are clear, plan to arrive in time to get a closer look at this phenomenon prior to the meeting start. The agenda will include overview of current and upcoming club activities and astronomical events.  Parking is $5 payable at the parking kiosk in the lobby. The upcoming program of 2016-17 Meeting Speakers may be downloaded here. Please see the AAAP Guide Star Newsletter and the AAAP Facebook Page for additional information.

Fri, Feb 10, 2017, 5:34 -9:53 pm, Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

Friday , February  10, 2017, start 5:34 pm, maximum 7:43 pm, end 9:53 pm, a Penumbral Eclipse of the Moon (Lunar Eclipse) will be visible in the Pittsburgh Area, weather permitting. Some individuals will recognize the diffuse shadow moving across the Moon. To others, it may look like an ordinary Full Moon.  With a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse there is no distinct missing “bite” visible as there is at the beginnings of Partial and Total Lunar Eclipses. AAAP will offer 7PM binocular viewing and telescope viewing weather-permitting to attendees prior to that evening’s 7:30 PM February Meeting of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh. 7 PM the Moon will be at 32 degrees elevation and this time observant people will notice a dark shading on the moon’s face.  Wherever you may happen to be in the Pittsburgh Area on Friday February 10, 2017 with your unaided eyes you should be able to observe this event. Binoculars should heighten the view. Click image below for more Penumbral Lunar Eclipse information.

February 10, 2017 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse, Pittsburgh,PA at Maximum, 7:43 PM

AAAP January 13 Meeting

AAAP Meeting, 7:30 PM, January 13, 2017:

 

The AAAP Meeting is 7:30 PM this evening at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center . The first and featured presentation is

“Well, Now What? What to Do Once You’ve Found Another Earth”
Thomas Beatty, PhD
Post-doctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds
7:30 PM, Friday, January 13, 2017 Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh Meeting at the Science Stage, Carnegie Science Center, One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Recent discoveries by the Kepler mission have shown us that Earth-sized planets are fairly common in the Galaxy. We expect to find several “habitable” planets that are the size and mass of Earth over the next decade, but then what? How do we distinguish between a nice temperate Earth, and an acidic metal-melting Venus? What can we learn about the climates, and even the weather, of exoplanets? Could we identify life, or even intelligence?

The second speaker after the break is John Jardine Goss
Astronomical League President www.astroleague.org . John will commemerate the 50th anniversary of the Messier Observing Certificate. The first recipient was former AAAP member Catherine Delaney.

Following the speakers there will be a business meeting with exciting announcements about our club’s upcoming activities.

 

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