DAS Activities

DAS Public Nights

Public Nights
Tuesday and Thursday at
DU's Historic Chamberlin Observatory
Current start time is 7:30 pm
Costs to the public are:
$4.00 adults, $3.00 children
RESERVATIONS Please Click:
Public Night Reservations

General Meetings

DAS Monthly General Meetings

Find information on the next Monthly Meeting in the “Upcoming Events” list on the Web site.

Monthly General Meetings (also called “Membership Meetings”) are usually held in the Room 105 lecture hall at Olin Hall on the University of Denver campus, starting at 7:30 pm. Meetings begin with a brief update by the DAS President, introduction of new members and guests, observing reports by members, and award presentations.  The program usually features a guest lecture by a local or national expert in astronomy, astrophysics, or space science, who is usually allocated 45-60 minutes to present. Most of the recent meeting presentations are now available on the DAS YouTube Channel.

Except for the Holiday Potluck and Spring Banquet, which are for members and guests only, DAS general meetings are open to the public. They are a great way to learn about recent astronomical research and the DAS.

Lot parking is available at a DU parking lot on Iliff Ave. just north of Olin Hall for $1.50 per hour (cash or credit card at a vending machine).
Street parking is also available in the area, but please check the signage to be sure your space is legal.

All attendees are invited to a reception at DU’s Historic Chamberlin Observatory at 2930 East Warren Avenue Denver, Colorado 80210 following the meeting, where there will be refreshments, conversation and — weather permitting — a chance to view the heavens through the 20-inch Alvan Clark-Säegmuller refractor.

Special DAS Monthly Meetings are described below:

  • The February Meeting is the DAS Annual Business Meeting, at which Officers and Trustees (EBoard) are elected (Public invited)
  • The March Meeting is the DAS Spring Banquet (DAS members and guests only)
  • The October meeting is the Annual DAS Auction.
  • The December meeting is the DAS Holiday Party (DAS members and guests only)
Recent Meeting Speakers
(Presentations available on YouTube noted with linked buttons)

2016

December 2016 – Holiday Party – Speaker: John Bally

November 2016 – Members Show and Tell

September 2016 – Dave Gianakos, Scratch-built Spacecraft Model-Making

August 2016 – John Barentine, IDA, Dark Skies Beyond Astronomy

July 2016 – Steve Lee, DMNS, Mars SSI Update

June – Leo Sack, Lessons from Cincinnati Observatory

May – Kyle Williams’ New Backyard Observatory

April – DAS Member Survey Results; IDA National update; Brooks Observatory Update

At the DAS Spring Banquet in March 2016, noted science writer and space artist Mike Carroll discussed the latest science describing Titan from the Cassini mission and read from his new novel about exploring Saturn’s largest moon.

In February 2016, DAS member Alan Erickson described his DSLR astro-photography equipment and techniques and demonstrated the use of Adobe CS in processing.

Carla Jones provided a historical review of the famous Mt. Wilson observatory in California at the January DAS meeting, including her perspectives and insights from serving as a volunteer at the observatory.

2015

At the DAS Holiday Party in December, Dr. John Spencer provided an updated review of the New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper belt and showed the latest Pluto images and videos. youtube_logo

In August 2015, Dr. Fran Bagenal gave us a look at the early finding of the NASA New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.
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Dr. Emily Levesque’s delightful July 2015 presentation on the “Weirdest Stars in the Universe” provided a fresh perspective on just how strange and fascinating the stellar creatures of our universe are.
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The June 2015 presentation was by Justin McHeffey, a meteorologist for CBS4 in Denver, who explained some of the dynamics of weather that affect our observing conditions in Colorado.
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In May 2015, Daniel Bisque described the evolution of Software Bisque from a small software house to being a major player in  astronomical software and manufacturer of high-end amateur and professional astronomical equipment.
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At the April 3rd meeting, four DAS astro-imagers discussed their motivations, methods, and equipment, and presented examples of their work.
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The 1st meeting in 2015 featured Tristan Wolfe, a PhD student at the University of Denver, who spoke on the potential of polarimetry of stars and systems to reveal useful scientific information.
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2014

In September 2014, Dave Schlichting made an informative and entertaining presentation on the MAVEN Mission to Mars.
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Mike Roos presented in August 2014 on the possibilities of imaging a Fall Messier Plus Marathon.

Space Artist extraordinaire, Mike Carroll gave us a glimpse of his upcoming book on exploration of the outer planets, Living Among the Giants in July 2014.youtube_logo

Dr. Frank Eparvier, May 2014: Our Dynamic Sun: Space Weather and Our Vulnerability to It youtube_logo

Dr. John Spencer, April 2014: New Horizons mission to the Pluto Systemyoutube_logo

Josh Walawender described the PANOPTES citizen astronomer exoplanet program in February 2014. See the presentation on youtube_logo

Mike Moore’s January 2014 talk on the History of Astronomy in Early America introduced us to many early astronomical pioneers we had never heard of before.

2013

The September 2013 meeting featured Dr. Chris Peterson of the CloudBait Observatory who told us all we wanted to know and even more about meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites.

Yuri Petrunin of TEC in Golden brought in some of this antique telescopes at the August 2013 meeting and described how he restored them.

In July 2013, J. McKim Malville described the latest archeoastronomical findings in the southwestern U.S., including those at Chaco Canyon.

Dr. Doug Duncan, Director of the Fiske Planetarium presented Images and videos of Auroras from his trips to Yellow Knife and described the upcoming renovation of the Fiske Planetarium.

Tom Field showed us how to do stellar spectroscopy with CCDs and DSLRs at the May 2013 meeting. Tom’s presentation was a Webinar format from a remote location.

Dr. Fran Bagenal gave us a preview of the Juno Mission’s upcoming visit to Jupiter at the April 2013 Meeting

In February, William Tschumy of SouthernStars gave us an Inside Look at the SkySafari APP, which we learned was amazingly versatile and feature-packed.

At the January 2013 meeting, Dr. Toshiya Ueta, DU Associate Professor, presented a program on the latest research on the interaction of Circumstellar Shells with the Interstellar Medium.

2012

DAS Members showed their latest astronomy projects at the November 2012 meeting.

In September 2012, Dr. James Dove, a physics professor at MSUD, discussed his research on the cavities in the solar corona and the correlations between their morphology and corona mass ejections.

Daniel Greenidge, a student volunteer for the National Park Service, described the 2012 BioBlitz sky brightness survey planned for August 12-17th along the Colorado Front Range and in Rocky Mountain National Park. DAS members signed up to lead the Boulder, North Denver and South Denver Transects.
See the BioBlitz 2012 Results (Map – PDF)

At the July 2012 meeting, Dr. Robert Stencel briefed us on the status of the Meyer-Womble observatory repair and described the latest findings on the disk surrounding the mysterious and significant eclipsing variable star epsilon Auriga.

Dr. Roger Clark gave us the latest information from the Cassini probe orbiting the Saturnian system in June 2012, focusing on the VIMS spectrometer’s data on the constituents of Saturn’s moons.

At the 2012 April Meeting, Dr. Jason Glenn of CU-Boulder discussed recent Herschel Space Observatory results.

At the 2012 March Banquet, former Astronaut Bruce McCandless II discussed his experiences on Space Shuttle missions and the current state of orbiting observatory technology

In January 2012, illustrator and author Mike Carroll discussed his latest book, “Alien Seas” with a packed house at Olin Hall.

2011

In September 2011, Dr. Doug Biesecker demonstrated the intricacies of predicting space weather from solar activity. One of his You-Tube videos may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vx4fnRNSRQ

In August 2011, Ben Wentworth introduced us to “Tactile Astronomy,” a method of enabling blind people to learn about and enjoy the wonders of astronomy.

At the July, 2011 meeting, Jamie Riggs of the Deep Space Exploration Society introduced us to Radio Astronomy and her society’s efforts to provide useful radio wavelength data to the astronomical research community.

Observatory owner Robert Koff reviewed the ways and methods for amateur astronomers to make contributions to science at the June 2011 meeting.

In May 2011, Dr. Clark Chapman provided a riveting overview of the first science results from the Mercury Messenger orbiter.

Craig Betzina informed us about the issues and challenges associated with designing, building, and operating a permanent small observatory at the April 2011Meeting

At the March DAS Banquet, DU Undergraduate student Naomi Pequette demonstrated her research and presentation skills with a fascinating lecture on the stellar characteristics of Fossil Galaxy Groups.

The January 2011 Meeting featured Dr. Steve Lee, DMNS, who presented and interpreted dozens of recent images from the surface of Mars.

2010

In September 2010, Jamie Lomax, DU graduate student, dazzled us with her excellent presentation on Using Spectropolarimetry to Study Mysterious Beta Lyrae
and Other Eclipsing Binary Stars

In August 2010, Dr. James Green (CU-Boulder) presented a richly illustrated program on the “last” Hubble servicing mission in 2009 and his team’s work on the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, including some fascinating preliminary findings.

In July 2010, Herman Bender took us back thousands of years, to explore archeological evidence of the Native Americans’ understanding of astronomy and attempts to connect it to their lives.

DAS EBoard member and enthusiastic solar observer Tim Pimentel provided information on solar observing safety, equipment, and targets at the June 2010 meeting.

Michael Carroll, a prominent space artist, discussed “The Seventh Landing,” his new book on manned lunar exploration, at the May 2010.

Steve Solon entertained and informed us at the April 2010 meeting with “Picture This,” a discussion of his personal journey as an imager and a demonstration of how to turn raw images into finished works using popular image processing software.

CU-Boulder professor John Bally mesmerized attendees at the March 27th Spring Banquet with his retelling of the “big bang” creation story to account for multi-verses and cosmic natural selection via an abundance and variety of black holes — some of which could be created by intelligent civilizations.

DU’s Jennifer Hoffman presented in February 2010, on “The Aspherical Universe,” discussing ways that stars interact with their environments throughout their lifetimes and introducing some of the observational and computational tools astronomers use to probe these interactions.

On January 27th, 2010 Dr. Suzanne Metlay intriqued 75 attendees with the amateur’s role in protecting Earth from near earth objects, identifying space debris and discovering new objects in “Your Eyes on the Sky – NEOs, Satellites & More”  Download Presentation (PDF)

2009

At the November 2009 Shown ‘n Tell, Carla Swartz returned to the DAS for a day, and provided a wonderful presentation on her activities at Griffith Observatory and Mt. Wilson. Norm Rosling and Ivan Geisler amazed the crowd with some low tech binos and refractors.

Aaron Reid detailed the complex process of restoring Chamberlin Observatory to its former splendor at the October 2009 meeting.

Mark Bottorff presented “The Interstellar Medium; or the Junk Between the Stars.” at the July 2009 meeting.

At the June 2009 meeting, Laura Ellen Dafoe, formerly of Lockheed Martin and the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab, described the final findings resulting from data collected by the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) on Saturn’s moon, Titan.

Mr. Keith Gleason, manager of CU’s Sommers-Bauch observatory, enlightened us on the history of astronomy in Colorado at the May 2009 meeting, with a focus on Native American observations.

In April 2009, DAS Member Philip Good explained the complexities managing the Mars Renaissance Orbiter’s image of the Phoenix lander while the MRO was soft landing on the surface of Mars in 2008.

Dr. Roger Clark used his close-ups of fighting Grizzly Bears to illustrate controversies associated with the research described in his presentation “Composition, Geology and Origin of Saturn’s Rings and Satellite Surfaces; Highlights from the Cassini Mission” at the DAS Spring Banquet

Dr. Doug Duncan entertained us at the February 2009 meeting with his stories of memorable trips to eclipses and the Northern Lights, as well as an exciting new teaching technique using feedback and interactive technology to stimulate student-teacher interaction.youtube_logo

At the January 2009 Meeting, DAS student member Naomi Pequette presented on Archeoastronomy.

2008

At the December 2008 Holiday Potluck, astrophotographer Bryan R. White introduced his new book and “Prelude Lake” 3-D multimedia program of aurorae images.

DAS member Bryan Wilburn shared his journey through the wilds of astrophotography in September 2008.

Dr. Suzanne Traub Metlay gave us the rundown on Mercury Messenger in August 2008

Dr. Mark Bottorff presented the evidence for the existence of Dark Matter and discussed some possibilities for what it might consist of at the July, 2008 meeting.

Stephanie Pahl discussed the mysteries of the Analemma at the June, 2008 general meeting.

Chuck Carlson provided some “Heavenly Intrigue,” with a discussion of theories about the death of Tycho Brahe at the April, 2008 meeting

Bryan White presented his latest digital, 3-dimensional astronomical images, including his aurora pictures, at the DAS banquet in March, 2008.

David Grinspoon, DMNS, an internationally known Planetary Scientist who is funded by the ESA to conduct interdisciplinary research, spoke on the Venus Express Mission at the February 2008 meeting, which was simulcast on Second Life.

Mike Carroll captivated the general meeting audience in January 2008 with his beautiful and astronomically accurate space art and his knowledgeable presentation on “Alien Volcanoes” in the Solar System

2007

Show and Tell (November 2007) Imaging presentations by Bryan Wilburn and Joe Gafford, and a look at Ivan Geisler’s remounted 5-inch telescope.

Robert Bruner, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, entertained us with a fascinating (and only slightly expurgated) presentation on Greek Mythology and the Constellations at the October 2007 meeting

Dr. Richard McCray, University of Colorado (retired) presented “Supernova 1987A Revisited,” showing and discussing the latest images and data from the most recent nearby supernova, at the August 2007 meeting.

In July 2007, Max Moe, University of Colorado, presented a talk called “The Evolution of Planetary Nebulae”

In June 2007, Dr. Mark Bottorff, Southwestern University, spoke on various creative and educational ways of observing the moon in his presentation “A Novice Lunatic’s View of the Moon.”

In May 2007, Dr. Dimitri Klebe of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science described the development and capabilities of an All Sky Infrared Visible Analyzer (ASIVA) he developed for an observatory in Chile.

Dr. John Bally, University of Colorado – Boulder, gave an exciting and richly illustrated presentation on The Birth of Stars and Planets at the April 2007 meeting

Dr. John Stevens, Director of Development, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, presented at the 2007 DAS Banquet in March 2007 on NASA’s Orion Program and the Crew Exploratory Vehicle

Dr Daniel Baker, University of Colorado, Boulder, spoke in February 2007 about space weather and its effects on human technology

Dr. Mark Bottorff , Southwestern University, presented in January, 2007 on Active Galaxies: The most powerful engines in the universe.

2006

DAS member Dr. Roger Clark presented at the September 8th, 2006 General Meeting on his cutting-edge work with the NASA Cassini mission Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) team.

Brian D. Warner, of the PDO, discussed ways that amateur astronomers can collect vital astronomical data on August 11th, 2006.

Bryan White, Nitescapes, Presented beautiful new 3D Slides of Aurora and Other Phenomena at the July 7, 2006 meeting.

Dr. John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute, spoke at the May 2006 DAS meeting on the recent discovery of Water Spouts on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

In April 2006, Dr. Robert Stencel and Aaron Reid discussed issues surrounding the battle for dark night skies.

January 2006
Laura Ellen Dafoe, Lockheed Martin. Discussed engineering aspects of Titan Exploration by the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer on the Huygens Probe.

2005

January 2005
Capt (Ret) Oppenheim led members through the basic procedures of using stars, the local horizon, a sextant, and w watch to determine one’s position at sea.

2004

May 2004
Jeff Vancleave, Ball Aerospace. Topic: The Spitzer Space Telescope

April 2004
John Bally, CU Boulder, Topic: Massive Star Formation

March 2004
Douglas Duncan, Director of Fiske Planetarium, Boulder

January 2004
Dr. David Grinspoon: Principal Scientist-Dept of Space Studies-Southwest Research Institute
Topic: A presentation on his new book: LONELY PLANETS:The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life

2003

November 2003
Annual Show n’ Tell

October 2003
No meeting Colorado Astronomy Day

September 2003
Clark Chapman, SWRI

August 2003
Dr. Robert Stencel, DU
Talk about the International Dark-Sky Association

July 2003
Ron Pearson has been working with Tabbi Kinion, Interpretive Specialist, Jefferson County Open Space, Lookout Mountain Nature Center, Fecker Telescope

June 2003
Patti Kurtz discussed her article on astronomy travel adventures in Sky and Telescope

May 2003
Dr. Doug Duncan, Director of Fiske Planetarium
Title of Program – Pluto, Quaoar, African Eclipse Safar’s with a real lion expert and many other fascinating astronomical adventures.

April 2003
Patrick S. McIntosh
Heliosynoptics – Solar Cartography, Long-Range Solar Predictions

March 2003
Roger Clark
Imaging spectroscopy and how it is being applied throughout the solar system.

February 2003
Robert Zubrin – Mars Society
Title of talk ‘Exploring Mars on Earth’

January 2003
Wayne Kaaz
Senior Observatories – How they are Coping

2002

November 2002
Annual Show N’ Tell

September 2002
Dr. David Nesvorny, Southwest Research Institute, Dept. of Space Studies

August 2002 strong>
Jack Murphy, DMNS and fellow astronomer and member of the DAS, Chris Peterson.
Title of the program ‘Investigation of the August 17, 2001 Fireball’.

July 2002
Travel Light Years on a Light Budget – Members of DAS