BayAstro - Week of 04/15/2024 and Beyond

08 Apr 2024 7:00 AM | Scott Miller (Administrator)
Tuesday, 04/16/24  3:30 PM

Hewlett Teaching Center
370 Jane Stanford Way, Room 201
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Measuring the Effect of Gravity on Antimatter

Recent experiments have measured the effect of gravity on antimatter with the first “direct”, i.e., freefall-style or Galilean Leaning Tower of Pisa-style measurements. In agreement with theory and indirect experiments, these experiments, performed by CERN’s ALPHA collaboration, show that antimatter, specifically antihydrogen atoms, fall downward with an acceleration within about 25% of g=9.8ms2. Strongly ruled out is the possibility of antimatter falling upwards.  Thus, the results are compatible with the weak equivalence principle. This talk will review why this topic remained a perhaps open question, document some of the current other experiments attempting to make a direct measurement, discuss some of the history of early, failed, attempts to do a direct measurement, and conclude with a description of how the measurement was actually made using a magnetic balance. 

Speaker: Joel Fajans


Cost:  Free


Tuesday, 04/16/24
07:30 PM - 09:30 PM

Astronomy on Tap

Astronomy on Tap Tucson #97: Giant Rockets, Giant Telescopes, and Giant Exoplanets, oh my! - Livestream

The dawn of giant rockets delivering giant telescopes

Speaker: Daewook Kim

Searching for Snapshots of Giant Exoplanet Migration

Speaker: Arvind Gupta

On tap this month, we have NSF NOIRLab postdoc Dr. Arvind Gupta talking about giant exoplanet migration and University of Arizona optical sciences professor Dr. Daewook Kim telling us about the future of giant space telescopes. And Steward postdocs Jackie Champagne and Danny Krolikowski will be telling us all about the latest and greatest astronomical news!

Click here to attend:


Cost:  Free


Wednesday, 04/17/24
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

The James Webb Space Telescope: A Window into the Universe’s Past - Livestream

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the largest and most complex telescope ever put into service in space.  The Webb telescope is an infrared telescope designed to look back in time to when the first stars and galaxies formed.  It was developed by a collaboration between NASA, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). It cost ~$10 B to build and test and took over two decades to go from concept to working hardware.

I will describe what Webb does and why it is groundbreaking for modern astronomy.  In particular, I will explain why it is an infrared telescope.  Finally, I will show some beautiful “false color” images captured by JWST.  These range from images of objects within our own solar system, to star forming regions and nebulae within our own Milky Way Galaxy, to far distant galaxies that existed within a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. The latter have never been observed until now.

Speaker: Dr. Peter Love

See weblink to register and receive connection information-information as yet not posted.


Cost:  Free


Wednesday, 04/17/24
07:00 PM - 08:30 PM
In-person and Livestream

Smithwick Theater
Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

The Allure of the Multiverse: Beyond the Limits of Direct Observation - Livestream

Given that the extent of the observable universe has yet to be mapped out, some might wonder why some physicists have introduced the concept of a multiverse into their models.  This talk will examine why some eminent physicists, such as the late Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, have been attracted to the idea of the multiverse, and others, such as Princeton cosmologist Paul Steinhardt, have raised significant concerns. We’ll also show that the cultural (think Marvel movies) and scientific ideas of multiverses differ significantly.

Speaker: Paul Halpern is Professor of Physics at Saint Joseph’s University and the author of eighteen popular science books.

Watch the talk here:


Cost:  Free


Thursday, 04/18/24  3:30 PM

Physics North
UC Berkeley
Room 1
Berkeley, CA 94720

UC Berkeley Astronomy Colloquium

Title: TBD

Speaker: David Radice, Penn State


Cost:  Free


Friday, 04/19/24
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

Earth and Marine Sciences Building
UC Santa Cruz
Room A340
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
Using isotopes to assess processes and provenance from the early Solar System to the atomic age

Speaker: Emily Worsham, UC Santa Cruz

Website: Click to Visit

Cost:  Free


Friday, 04/19/24  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.

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, 04/19/2024 9PM-11PM for night observing and Saturday 04/20/2024
10AM-12 Noon for solar observing

Foothill Observatory
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

COVID vaccination and masks no longer required on the Foothill College campus.




Friday,  04/19/2024 and Saturday 4/20/2024
07:30 PM - 10:00 PM

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.



April 20 at 7:30 PM

East Bay Astronomical Society
Chabot Space & Science Center 
Classroom 4 (the Room formerly known as Copernicus). 
Please enter through the side gate along the back road of the facility.  
There will be a doorbell to ring for entry if you arrive after the lecture begins. 
10000 Skyline Blvd
Oakland, CA 94619
“Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE):
Enabling the Next Generation of Large Space Observatories

Dr. Edward Balaban 
FLUTE Principal Investigator

At this time it has not been determined if
Speaker will be in person, or remote via ZOOM.
More info as it becomes available 


The future of space-based UV/optical/IR astronomy requires ever larger telescopes. The highest priority astrophysics targets, including Earth-like exoplanets, first generation stars, and early galaxies, are all extremely faint, which presents an ongoing challenge for current missions and is the opportunity space for next generation telescopes: larger telescopes are the primary (if not only) way to address this issue. With mission costs depending strongly on aperture diameter, scaling current space telescope technologies to aperture sizes exceeding 10 meters does not appear economically viable. Without a breakthrough in scalable technologies for larger telescopes, future advances in astrophysics will slow down or even stall.

The Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE) project is a joint effort between NASA and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology to overcome the current scaling limitations for space optics via a novel approach based on fluidic shaping in microgravity. This technique has already been successfully demonstrated in a laboratory neutral buoyancy environment, in parabolic microgravity flights, and aboard the International Space Station (ISS). It is theoretically scale-invariant and has produced optical components with superb, sub-nanometer (RMS) surface quality. This talk will present the results to date and outline the work in progress, including FLUTE mission concepts currently under development.


Edward Balaban is a scientist at NASA Ames Research Center and the NASA Principal Investigator for the Fluidic Telescope (FLUTE) project. His professional interests include robotics, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and development of innovative space missions. During his years at Ames, he has been involved in a variety of R&D and mission projects, including the X-34 experimental reusable space plane, autonomous robotic planetary drill (Drilling Automation for Mars Exploration project), and the K-11 planetary rover prototype. He was one of the creators of the Personal Satellite Assistant (PSA), a robot designed for operating on the International Space Station and a predecessor to the current Astrobee robot. In addition to FLUTE, he is leading strategic mission planning for Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) and is a member of VIPER’s Science, Mission Planning, and Mission Operations teams (VIPER is a mission to land a mobile robot in a South Pole region of the Moon in late 2024 to characterize deposits of water ice and other hydrogen-containing volatiles). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from The George Washington University, a master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University.

Zoom Link for Lecture

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Apr 20, 2024 07:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: EAS General Meeting April 2024

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Passcode: 578501

Dinner Before the Lecture 

Please join us for dinner before the Lecture
At this time, we do not know if the speaker will be joining us.

5:30 @ Hunan Yuan
4100 Redwood Road
Oakland, CA
(Located across from CVS)


Tuesday, 04/23/24  6:00 PM

Night Sky Network


All About That Space: Science Updates with Dr. Nicolle Zellner - Livestream

It’s an exciting time to be a space scientist! From observations of deep space via Hubble and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), to asteroid sample return from OSIRIS-REx, to planned investigations by Dragonfly (Titan) and Europa Clipper (Europa), space science offers something for everyone, now and in the future.

Speaker: Nicole Zellner, Albion College, MI

Click here to watch the lecture:


Cost:  Free