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To see Public Night listings, click “pnight” under the Tabs button

Aug
24
Fri
2018
General Meeting – August 2018 @ DU's Olin Hall, Room 105
Aug 24 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Anthony Villano, PhD. Our August 2018 General Meeting speaker.

Anthony Villano, PhD, University of Colorado, Denver

An Astronomical Mystery:
Can Particle Physics Solve an 85-Year-Old Dark Matter Puzzle?

The case of dark matter was closed 30 years ago. Astronomers had convincingly shown there were gravitational anomalies in galaxy clusters and spiral galaxies. And particle physicists had answered with a miraculous solution so beautiful that cosmology was forever changed. There is just one problem, nobody has detected dark matter on earth yet; but we probably should’ve been able to. These three decades of confusion saw amazing advances in detector technology but one thing remains clear: life is probably not as simple as we thought 30 years ago. I will take us through the maze of the last 85 years of dark matter research to arrive at a current diagnosis of the “particle hypothesis” for dark matter.

Professor Anthony Villano obtained his PhD at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the field of particle physics. His initial post-doctoral work was in nuclear physics, where he took a key role in a project to produce supporting measurements for the neutrino-less double-beta decay efforts. Since 2010, he has applied his knowledge of particle and nuclear physics to the dark matter direct detection effort; first as a post-doctoral associate at the University of Minnesota and now as an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver.

More about DAS General Meetings

Sep
21
Fri
2018
General Meeting – September 2018 @ DU's Olin Hall, Room 105
Sep 21 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Dr. Toshiya Ueta, University of Denver

Dr. Toshiya Ueta, University of Denver

Research to Detect the Total Mass Ejected from Planetary Nebulae

Planetary nebulae are evolved stars of low to intermediate initial mass (0.8-8 solar masses, i.e., like our Sun) that experience the last throes of mass loss near the end of their lives. Supposedly these stars are to become extremely dense white dwarfs whose average mass is 0.6 solar masses. If so, it would be “naively” expected that 0.2 to 7.4 solar mass worth of matter would be ejected by the central star into space.

However, we have never observationally accounted for the total amount of mass that has been ejected. Dr. Ueta and his collaborators recently attempted this by collecting data from X-ray to radio frequencies, analyzing them for each component (ionized, atomic, and molecular gases and dust grains), and using the results of the analyses as inputs and constraints for dusty photo-ionization modeling. He will discuss how that simple question turned out to be an epic.

Toshiya Ueta graduated with Ph.D. Astronomy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. After spending time as an assistant astronomer at the Royal Observatory of Belgium and as a U.S. National Research Council research associate and a NASA post-doctoral fellow at the SOFIA Science Office at the NASA Ames Research Center, Ueta joined the University of Denver in 2006 as an assistant professor and became an associate professor in 2012. His research interests include circumstellar phenomena such as mass loss and circumstellar wind and their effects on the chemical enrichment of the interstellar medium.

See more information about DAS General Meetings (parking, reception, etc.) HERE

Oct
6
Sat
2018
Okie-Tex Star Party @ Camp Billy Joe
Oct 6 – Oct 14 all-day

The Okie-Tex Star Party is attended by many DAS members each year.

Oct
13
Sat
2018
DAS Open House – October 2018 @ DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Observing Highlights for October, 2018:

Saturn, Mars, Crescent Moon, Uranus, Neptune, autumn planetary nebulae, star clusters and double stars.

 

 


INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPATING DAS VOLUNTEERS:

OBSERVATORY PARK VEHICLE ACCESS FOR
CHAMBERLIN OBSERVATORY OPEN HOUSES

NO WHEELS ON LAWN, EVEN PARTLY
Under ANY Circumstances.
ONLY 2 CARS AT A TIME ON DRIVEWAY OR TURN-AROUND

SET UP:
– 1 OR 2 CARS ENTER DRIVEWAY
– UNLOAD EQUIPMENT ON LAWN (DO NOT SET UP!)
– BOTH CARS TURN AROUND ON CIRCLE NEAR SOUTH DOOR
– LEAVE ON DRIVEWAY GOING FORWARD (DON’T BACK UP)
– RETURN TO PARK ON FOOT TO SET UP

TEAR DOWN:
– PACK UP EQUIPMENT (BEFORE ENTERING WITH VEHICLE!)
– 1 OR 2 CARS ENTER ON DRIVEWAY; LOAD EQUIPMENT
– BOTH CARS TURN AROUND ON CIRCLE NEAR SOUTH DOOR
– LEAVE DRIVEWAY GOING FORWARD (DON’T BACK UP)

THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION!

Oct
27
Sat
2018
DAS Auction – 2018 @ DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Oct 27 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm

Inspecting an offering at the 2017 DAS Auction

Annual DAS Fundraising Auction

The DAS Auction is an annual fund-raising event that replaces the General Meeting each October. DAS members sell astronomical and related equipment and media. Some items are sold outright. Others are reserved for an auction at which competing bids are made. A minimum of 10% and maximum of 100% is donated to DAS funds.

What to Sell:

eyepieces, telescopes, binoculars, finders, filters, star charts, Crayfords, astronomy books (please, NO computer books), astronomical cameras, guide-scopes, mounts, adapters, illuminated reticles, redlight flashlights, etc. etc. etc…

Auction Schedule:

11:00 am – Set Up

1:00 pm – start of bidding

3:00 pm – close of the auction.

 

 

__________________________________________

Nov
30
Fri
2018
General Meeting – November 2018 @ DU's Olin Hall, Room 105
Nov 30 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

DAS MEMBER “SHOW ‘N TELL”

At the 2010 “Show ‘n Tell”, DAS member David Shouldice showed us his home built 12-inch portable Dobsonian

The November General Meeting is always reserved for DAS members who want to show and tell us about projects they’ve been working on or astronomical activities they’ve engaged in for the past year.

Here’s a peek at what’s in store:

  • “Modeling the path of the interstellar asteroid OOMUAMUA,”
  • “A visually compelling true-scale model of the Solar System”
  • “A future gravitational wave astronomy and LISA mission”
  • “Very small telescopes”
  • “Anderson powerpole connector interfaces for DC power distribution to astro gear”
  • An Astronomy Minute on “Quantum Gravity”
  • and more!

 As usual there will be a reception with coffee and pastries at DU’s historic Chamberling Observatory after the meeting.

More information on General Meetings  HERE

 

Dec
16
Sun
2018
DAS Holiday Banquet @ Embassy Suites Denver Tech Center
Dec 16 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Reservations have closed.

Schedule:

Check in at 6 pm (no reservations at door)
Cocktail Hour (cash bar) from 6-7 pm, dinner at 7 pm,
Technical presentation at 8 pm

Dinner Menu:

Salad:
Embassy House
Mixed Greens, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Bacon

Entrees:
Meat Choice – Lemon Thyme Chicken
Wild Mushroom Risotto and Seasonal Vegetable

Vegetarian Choice – Butternut Squash Ravioli
Sweet Peas, Hazelnut Brown Butter & Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese

Dessert:
Flour-less Chocolate Tort


Program:

Not What We Expected: Oddities in the Outer Solar System

Ann Marie Madigan Ph.D.

Description

The orbits of minor planets beyond Neptune are behaving strangely. They tilt and cluster together in bizarre ways that don’t conform with our story of the Solar System’s formation and evolution. In this talk, we will present the latest theoretical ideas to explain what’s going on: is there a new planet in the dark, outer regions of the Solar System, or could the collective gravity between minor planets be more important than we thought?

Jacob Fleisig

Presenters:
Dr. Ann Marie Madigan is a theoretical astrophysicist who studies the strange orbits of icy bodies in the outer Solar System. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she moved to the Netherlands to pursue her PhD on the motion of stars and gas around supermassive black holes. She continued her research as a NASA Einstein Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, before joining the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder as an assistant professor in 2016.

Jacob Fleisig is an astrophysics undergraduate currently finishing his senior year at the University of Colorado Boulder. For the last two years, he has been studying Solar System dynamics, particularly “self-gravity”, with Dr. Madigan. He plans to attend graduate school, attain his PhD and continue research in the field of Astrophysics.

Dec
25
Tue
2018
Christmas Day – No Public Night
Dec 25 @ 12:00 am – 12:00 pm
Dec
28
Fri
2018
EBoard Meeting @ DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Dec 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

See EBoard Minutes HERE

Jan
4
Fri
2019
Dark Sky Weekend – January 2019 @ EGK Dark Site
Jan 4 @ 4:00 pm – Jan 6 @ 4:00 am

See information on Dark Sky Weekends HERE

Jan
5
Sat
2019
Dark Sky Weekend @ EGK Dark Site
Jan 5 all-day

The Dark Sky Weekend begins on Friday evening and goes to early morning on Sunday. Saturday night is the most popular time.

See travel, access, orientation, use, and safety considerations on the EGK Web Page

PLEASE NOTE: Site orientations for DAS Members ONLY will be provided on the Dark Sky Weekend Saturday, approximately one hour before sundown.

Non-members who are not guests of members must contact the organizer for access, but only for Dark Sky Weekends. In general, large groups cannot be accommodated due to liability concerns.

 

Jan
12
Sat
2019
DAS Open House – January 2019 @ DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Jan 12 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

See information on DAS Open Houses HERE

Observing Highlights: Mars, Neptune and Uranus