CAS Monthly Meetings and Astronomical Programs are held the Saturday closest to the Full Moon at the Mars Hill Campus of Lowell Observatory, Hendricks Center for Planetary Studies Auditorium (6:45 pm - 8:00 pm., unless otherwise noted) followed by refreshments, and informal discussion. Meetings are open free to the public.
Saturday, January 7, 2023
Presenter Jeronimo Vasquez and Bryan Bates
Title: “The Mayan Calendar: Its cultural roots and Astro-mathematical foundations”
Through long-term observation of the sky, the Maya documented the movement of the planets and stars and built the most fascinating and accurate calendars known.
It was predicted that the world would end (yet again) on Dec 21, 2012 when the Maya Calendar reached its first Baktun Anniversary since the Mayan leader-deity Maize God raised up the sky with the sacred Ceiba Tree. The world never ended because the Maya never predicted the ending, but rather based their calendar on cycles that repeat over time. All are welcome.
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Presenter Dr. Padraig Houlahan
Title: “Your first telescope - Getting started in Astronomy”
Got a telescope over the holidays, or plan to get one? Padraig will be discussing how to choose a telescope and what you might reasonably expect to observe. He will review the different types of telescopes available to the amateur astronomer, their basic optics, and show how you can easily take lunar photographs using your cellphone camera with a telescope.
If you have questions about your new telescope, bring it and Padraig and other CAS members will be happy to answer them.
Background: Dr. Houlahan received his BA in Theoretical Physics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and his MA and PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin. Padraig was Director of Information Technology at Lowell Observatory, and in 1995 Asteroid Houlahan (8407) was named in his honor. He has taught at both Coconino Community College and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Astronomy and Physics.
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Presenter Dr. Tyler Richey-Yowell, Lowell Observatory
Title: “The Evolution of (what we know about the potential habitability of planets around) K Stars ”
Efforts to discover and characterize habitable zone planets have primarily focused on Sun-like stars and M dwarfs. Yet the intermediate K stars provide an appealing compromise between these two extremes that has been relatively unexplored. Compared to solar-type stars, K stars are more abundant, maintain longer main-sequence lifetimes, and their planets are more suitable to observations based on the mass and radius ratios of the planet to star. While M stars also excel in these regards, they have been observed to have frequent flares with ultraviolet (UV) energies over 100 times greater than anything observed in the recent history of our Sun.
Background: Dr. Tyler Richey-Yowell is Lowell Observatory’s first Percival Lowell Postdoctoral Fellow. She is interested in habitability and the star-planet connection. During her academic career, she has been able to work with data from optical telescopes ranging in size from 4.2 cm to 10 meters, and radio dishes even larger (VLA). She hopes to work with gamma rays at some point in the future.
Saturday, April 15, 2023
Presenter Tom Polakis
Title: “Astroimages: More Than Just Pretty Pictures”
Astronomical imaging has made great strides in the past decade alone. Often, the emphasis is placed on the sharpness of stars and the trueness of colors. But is that all there is to see? In his presentation, Tom will dig deeper into his images and videos to show such features as the influence of the earth's atmosphere, effects of geometry and perspective, and distances and velocities, typically using no more than high school-level math. Pictures really are worth a thousand words.
Tom Polakis has been an active amateur astronomer for 45 years, during which has seen Saturn circle the sun 1½ times. His main interests involve visual observing of all astronomical phenomena, and imaging of same with equipment ranging from a phone to a backyard observatory. He has a particular interest in describing the universe as an ever-changing entity. His writing and photography have regularly appeared in magazines such as "Astronomy" & "Sky & Telescope," and more recently has been an author or co-author in refereed astronomical publications.
Saturday, May 6, 2023
Presenter Dr. Nick Moskovitz - Lowell Observatory Planetary Astronomer
Title: “Update on the DART Mission”
Dr. Moskovitz is the principal investigator of the Mission Accessible Near-Earth Objects Survey (MANOS), and he and the MANOS team have made specific contributions towards understanding the target NEOs of NASA’s DART mission. Dr. Moskovitz will be discussing the results of the deliberate impact of the DART spacecraft into the smaller component of a binary asteroid as Earth’s first-ever planetary defense test.
Dr. Moskovitz joined Lowell Observatory’s science staff in 2014. He and his collaborators are pursing a number of projects that include understanding the link between asteroids and meteorites, characterizing the properties of meteors, probing the geologic evolution of minor planets over solar system history, developing tools to enable mining of minor planet data, and using telescopic observations to support spacecraft missions.
Saturday, June 3, 2023, 4:00-7:00PM
Title: “CAS Summer Picnic”
We have the ramada (the large one next to the playing field) reserved at FoxGlenn Park.
Bring your own food, or something to share. The club will provide drinks, paper plates, napkins, cups and ice.
We will have a lot of Jim Phillips' books for sale prior to taking to bookman's.
Saturday, July 8, 2023
Presenter Barry Malpas, CAS VP
Title: “Solar Eclipses and Observing the 2023 and 2024 Events”
Presentation: A short history of solar eclipses, and what causes them will be discussed, along with the particulars of the October 14, 2023 Annular, and the April 8, 2024 Total.
Bio.: Barry Malpas has been an avid amateur astronomer for about 68 years. He is a 60-year member of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. in Cranford, NJ and a founder, and past Observatory Director, of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ facility in Hope, NJ. His education is in Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. He worked for the Bell Laboratories in NJ for many years, and more recently co-taught the astronomy course at CCC for eleven years.
Barry has currently observed seven solar eclipses (4 total and 3 annular) since 1963. Besides photographing them he has also performed some simple experiments and side projects that can be accomplished during these events.
Saturday, August 5, 2023
Presenter Dr. Michael West
Title: “Weaving the Cosmic Web”
Galaxies are distributed throughout space in a vast network of interconnected filaments, sheets, and voids known as the cosmic web.
In this presentation, Dr. Michael West (Lowell Observatory) will share our current understanding of what the universe looks like on the largest scales, and how it got to be that way.
Bio: Dr. Michael West is an astronomer at Lowell Observatory. He obtained his PhD in astronomy from Yale University and has held research, teaching, and leadership positions at universities and observatories around the world. He recently spent four months in Finland as a U.S. Fulbright scholar, where he taught a course on communicating science with the public.
Saturday, September 30, 2023
Presenter Jeremy Perez
Title: “Heavenly Interventions”
A visual tour of interlopers small and large that inject themselves between our optics and the deep sky. Sometimes a nuisance, sometimes spectacular — this photographic journey will explore the range of visual opportunities they present the wide field photographer.
Jeremy is an art director who grew up in the light polluted heart of Phoenix, but has been enjoying the magnificent Flagstaff environment with his family since 1994. He is an amateur astronomy observer/writer/illustrator and a landscape/nature photographer who loves capturing the night sky and chasing storms whenever he gets a chance.
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Presenter Little Singer students and their teacher, Thom Tomas
Title: “Navajo Astronomy as Learned at Little Singer Community School”
The first snowfall has happened on the peaks and is a demarcation on the Navajo calendar, indicating it is time to share stories about the night skies.
Asterisms such as the Female Revolving One (Cassiopeia), the Male Revolving One (Ursa Major), and the Central Fire (Polaris) provide the hogan in the night sky. When studying the night sky, we establish our orientation with the hogan and search for the other Navajo asterisms.
The book Sharing the Skies, Navajo Astronomy by Dr. Nancy Maryboy and Dr. David Begay, accompanying resources from the Indigenous Educational Institute, and teachings from home, provide our students with cultural content when interpreting the night skies.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
CAS Member Activity Presentations
Theme: “See Below”
Each year CAS members are active in the pursuit of their avocation of Astronomy. At this meeting 4-6 members will present 10-15 minute overviews of the activities and achievements they were involved in during the preceding year.
Saturday, December 2, 2023
CAS Holiday Party
An email is being sent to club members with further details.
Membership in CAS is open to all interested in learning more about astronomy and telescopic observing. Membership entitles you to attend, and be involved with, the monthly general meetings, as well as special club events, observing sessions, and star parties, at our Dark Sky Observing Site. Annual and monthly events postcards with CAS happenings are mailed to all Members.
Besides “Regular Membership,” CAS has “Household Memberships” for two adults at the same address, “Junior Memberships” for students, and “Sponsoring Memberships” for those wishing to help support the Society.
If you are interested in becoming a member use the brochure application form, or the one on our website ( Join Us) web page
For questions you can email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Anne Wittke, CAS Treasurer, at (928) 606-2064.Top
Board meetings are held on the Thursday preceding the regular Saturday meeting at the Mars Hill Campus of Lowell Observatory, Hendricks Center for Planetary Studies Auditorium. The meetings are open to all CAS members but the mailing list for the meetings only includes the board members.
Board meetings are held online using Zoom.Zoom opens at 6:30pm, meetings at 6:45pm
This is a special meeting to discuss updates to the By Laws document and the budget.