BayAstro - Week of 12/04/2023

04 Dec 2023 7:30 AM | Scott Miller (Administrator)
Monday, 12/04/23  7:30 PM

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA 94118

The Remarkable Death of A Massive Star

The explosion of a massive star can produce ripples through spacetime and drive the creation of the elements needed for life. Their deaths can also give birth to a neutron star or black hole, providing clues into the evolution of galaxies. However, the chaotic nature of massive stars presents a challenge to interpreting their observed properties. Recent technological advancements allow us to now produce state-of-the-art computational simulations of the transient fate of a massive star. These simulations can unlock secrets about the violent nuclear fusion occurring deep within these stars, a region inaccessible to direct observation. In this talk, Dr. Fields will present recent results of hydrodynamic simulations of massive stars in the final moments proceeding and during their catastrophic fates.

Speaker: Carl Fields, Los Alamos National Laboratories


Cost:  $15 General, $12 Members & Seniors


Monday, 12/04/23
03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

Attend in person or online (see weblink)

Stanford Linear Accelerator (SLAC) Colloquium Series
2575 Sand Hill Rd, Building 5
Kavli Auditorium
Menlo Park, CA 94025

The dance of the muon 

More than eighty years after the muon was discovered it is still a source of mystery. I ndeed, experiments are underway that use muons as a window to search for new particles or forces.  The muon's anomalous magnetic moment is a particular focus of these efforts because of a longstanding tension between experiment and theoretical expectations.  This quantity is now known with an exquisite precision of 190 parts per billion, thanks to the g-2 experiment at Fermilab, which is on track to reach its precision goal of 120 part per billion in the next couple of years.  The theoretical calculations of the muon’s magnetic moment must account for the virtual effects of all particles and forces within the Standard Model, where effects coming from virtual hadrons, governed by the strong interactions, are by far the largest sources of theory uncertainty.  Recent estimates of hadronic corrections have created puzzles on the theory side, which are currently being investigated.  I will discuss the ongoing interplay between theory and experiment that is essential to unlocking the discovery potential of this effort.

Speaker: Aida El-Khadra, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign



Cost:  Free


Monday, 12/04/23
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

Exploring the AI Revolution

Where did AI come from? Who created it, why, and where can it lead?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly developing into a world-changer, affecting every industry and being used by hundreds of millions of people - even when they're unaware they're interacting with an artificial intelligence. And we're only at the early stages of AI's growth.

Join us for an in-depth talk with Dr. Fei-Fei Li, whom Wired called "one of a tiny group of scientists―a group perhaps small enough to fit around a kitchen table―who are responsible for AI’s recent remarkable advances.” Dr. Li came to America as an immigrant, enduring a shift from Chinese middle class to American poverty. But a tough upbringing did not stop her from becoming a leading mind in the next big technological development.

Fei-Fei’s adolescent knack for physics endured and positioned her to make a crucial contribution to the breakthrough we now call AI, placing her at the center of a global transformation. Over the last decades, her work has brought her face-to-face with the extraordinary possibilities―and the extraordinary dangers―of the technology she loves. Known as the creator of ImageNet, a key catalyst of modern artificial intelligence, Dr. Li has spent more than two decades at the forefront of the field.

Her work has brought her face-to-face with the extraordinary possibilities―and the extraordinary dangers―of the technology she loves.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about a breakthrough science and one of the breakthrough scientists who is making it happen.

Speaker: Fei-Fei Li, Stanford University

Attend in person or online.  Register at weblink


Cost:  $25 General, $15 Members in person, $10/Free web


Tuesday, 12/05/23
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

See weblink for link to the presentation

UC Berkeley

Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence - Livestream

Professor Stuart Russell (UC Berkeley): “I will briefly survey recent and expected developments in AI and their implications. Some are enormously positive, while others, such as the development of autonomous weapons and the replacement of humans in economic roles, may be negative. Beyond these, one must expect that AI capabilities will eventually exceed those of humans across a range of real-world-decision making scenarios. Should this be a cause for concern, as Alan Turing, Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and others have suggested? And, if so, what can we do about it? While some in the mainstream AI community dismiss the issue, I will argue that the problem is real and that the technical aspects of it are solvable if we replace current definitions of AI with a version based on provable benefit to humans. This, in turn, raises a host of questions with which the social sciences and humanities have wrestled for centuries.”

See weblink for link to the presentation


Cost:  Free


Tuesday, 12/05/23
04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

This event is in-person and will also be livestreamed.

Sutardja Dai Hall
UC Berkeley
Banatao Auditorium
Berkeley, CA 94720

Scientific Critical Thinking: A Missing Ingredient in Science Education

There is a body of techniques and practices, a language and culture, that is usually implicitly taught by apprenticeship and osmosis to graduate students and postdocs in the sciences. This is the underpinning of an approach to building a credible sense of the “real world” that is shared by scientists, but not much used (or understood) by the rest of society. Equipping future generations with this scientific-style critical thinking could be one of our most reasonable defenses against confused thinking and misinformation, both major challenges to our democratic societies’ ability to make deliberative decisions. Can we make these implicit concepts explicit, and teach them to scientists and non-scientists alike? Could this help our society address difficult issues such as are raised by the global environment and economics? And how could citizen scientists use these tools to help build sources of credibility on the web and in the news? This talk is intended to start a discussion.

Speaker: Saul Perlmutter, Nobel Laureate in Physics, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab



Cost:  Free


Wednesday, 12/06/23
05:00 PM - 06:30 PM


Astronomy on Tap

Astronomy on Tap San Antonio: Two Talks - Livestream

A Flight Over the Mysterious Hydrocarbon Lakes on Saturn’s Moon Titan

Speaker: Xinting Yu, University of Texas at San Antonio

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Phase Changing and Stretching Phenomenon

Speaker: Adolfo Santa Fe Dueñas, University of Texas at San Antonio

Watch on Youtube or Facebook.  See weblink



Cost:  Free


Friday, 12/08/23  7PM

Telescope Makers Workshop
Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Boulevard
Oakland, CA 94619-245

The Chabot Telescope Maker's workshop reopens! Chabot's TMW is one of only a handful of regularly scheduled telescope making workshops in the U.S., and probably the world; it meets every Friday evening throughout the year, except Memorial Day weekend. It has been in operation since December of 1930, founded by Franklin B. Wright, and is currently run by Eastbay Astronomical Society member Rich Ozer, with help from other EAS members, Dave Barosso, Barry Leska, and others. The price of admission is FREE. All you have to do is show up, buy a mirror blank and a "tool" (typically around $100 - $200 depending on the size of the mirror) and start "pushin' glass!" We supply you with instruction, the various grits you'll need to first grind, and then polish and figure your mirror, and all the testing equipment needed. With a small bit of luck, you could wind up with a telescope that costs 1/3 or 1/4 the cost of a store-bought telescope, that is yet optically superior! It does take time - depending on how much time you put in on it, and other factors, it could take a few months.. But, it's a fun project, great for kids, and at the end you get a great telescope!

Enter from the main loading dock behind the main building.

Please be prepared with proof of vaccination and a mask. These are
Chabot Rules, which we always must adhere to.

If you have a project, bring it with you so we can assess next steps.
You can also bring any other equipment or literature you may have
questions about.

For more information call or email Richard Ozer at richozer1@... or phone (510) 406-1914.


Friday, 12/08/2023 9PM-11PM for night observing and Saturday  12/09/2023
10AM-12 Noon for solar observing

Foothill Observatory is open again!
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Foothill Observatory now Open EVERY clear Friday night and Saturday morning

The Foothill College Astronomy Department and Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS) have reopened public viewing programs at Foothill College Observatory on:

·       Every clear Friday night from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. for star gazing

·       Every clear Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon for solar viewing

Since we are still dealing with COVID, we are adopting the following guidelines to enable safe operation of the Observatory for both our public visitors and our PAS operators.  We ask that visitors please agree to complying with these guidelines before visiting the Observatory, and to direct any questions to info@....

1.    Full vaccination against COVID-19 is required to visit the Foothill College campus — This is a College requirement detailed on the Foothill College COVID-19 Behavioral Expectations page. So bring your vaccination certificate if possible.

2.    Mask usage is required anytime visiting the Foothill College campus — This includes the Observatory, per the same college policy linked above in item 1. 

3.    The number of visitors allowed inside the Observatory is reduced — To avoid overcrowding within the limited space, please wait outside the observatory until a PAS telescope operator lets you and your group inside. Once your group is done viewing through the telescope, you will exit the Observatory so that a new group may enter. 




Friday,  12/08/2023 and Saturday,  12/09/2023
07:30 PM - 10:00 PM--Free telescope viewings are back!

Chabot Space and Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619

Free Telescope Viewings

Join Chabot astronomers on the Observatory Deck for a free telescope viewing! Weather permitting, this is a chance to explore stars, planets and more through Chabot’s historic telescopes. Chabot’s three large historic telescopes offer a unique way to experience the awe and wonder of the Universe. Our observatory deck offers breathtaking views 1,500 feet above the Bay. Three observatory domes house the Center’s 8-inch (Leah, 1883) and 20-inch (Rachel, 1916) refracting telescopes, along with a 36-inch reflecting telescope (Nellie, 2003).

Are the skies clear for viewing tonight? Viewing can be impacted by rain, clouds, humidity and other weather conditions. Conditions can be unique to Chabot because of its unique location in Joaquin Miller Park. Before your visit, check out the Weather Station to see the current conditions at Chabot.



Saturday, 12/09/23
12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Oakland Aviation Museum
8252 Earhart Rd
Oakland, CA 94621

AIAA Banquet and Mars Ingenuity Presentation

Come join AIAA-SF for food and fun at our 2023 Annual Banquet. Help us celebrate with this year’s Section Awards winners. Your ticket includes lunch, admission to the Oakland Aviation Museum and its exhibits, and a presentation from our special guest Shannah Withrow-Maser about the Mars Helicopter.

Ingenuity has shown that flying in the Martian atmosphere is possible, and that helicopters can provide critical insight and support to ground-based assets. Though Ingenuity was designed for five flights, to date, 66 flights have been completed with ~119 min of flight time and ~9 miles flown. What would it take for an Ingenuity-class helicopter to help return the first samples from Mars to Earth? The smallest robotic arm ever flown on Mars, more capable rotors, a driving system, and flight software upgrades to start. The Mars Sample Recovery Helicopters are in development to provide back up to the Perseverance rover as part of the Mars Sample Return mission concept. Come hear about the work required to quickly transition a helicopter design from a technology demonstrator to a flying, driving, sample collecting capable vehicle and the potential future of rotorcraft on Mars!

Speaker: Shannah Withrow-Maser, NASA Ames

Prices increase 12/5.


Cost:  $39 General, $29 Members,$19 Students


Saturday, December 9
Sunset: 4:53 PM

San Mateo Co. Astronomical Society
Crestview Park
1000 Crestview Drive 
San Carlos, CA

Public Star Parties at Crestview Park in San Carlos

SMCAS and the City of San Carlos Parks Department host a public star party at Crestview Park in San Carlos twice a month when there is a new moon.  Members set up telescopes and let the public view and share their knowledge of the night sky all for Free.  All ages are welcome.  If you have kids interested in space or science, bring them here for a real time view of planets, nebula, star clusters, and galaxies.

If you are a Non-member and own a telescope, bring it to share!  Experts are available if you need assistance or have questions about buying a telescope.

Telescope setup begins at sunset and observing starts one hour after sunset.  In the event of inclement weather (rain, clouds, fog, or high winds) the star party will be cancelled.  Because each astronomer makes his or her own decision about bringing their telescope, there is no official cancellation notice. 

Crestview Park is located at 1000 Crestview Drive in San Carlos


Saturday, 12/09/23
06:45 PM - 08:45 PM

Rancho Canada Del Oro Open Space Preserve
4289 Casa Loma Rd
Morgan hill, CA 95037

Starry Nights Star Party

The San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA), working with the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority (OSA), is glad to co-host a public star party at Rancho Canada del Oro (RCDO) Open Space Preserve. This site, just 30 minutes south of downtown San Jose, features dark skies. It's dark enough to see the band of our Milky Way galaxy in the summer.

Do not bring your own telescope (binoculars are welcome, but please no tripods). SJAA club members will set up their telescopes to help star party guests get the most knowledge and enjoyment out of the dark night sky.

In addition to traditional telescopes, the SJAA has incorporated Electronically Assisted Astronomy (EAA) into the Starry Nights Program. We will be using an automated telescope with a camera-like sensor to show live images on an iPad.

See weblink for additional details. Registration required and attendance is limited to 75 people.


Cost:  Free