Observing with Street Lights

Observing with Street Lights
Dark sky sites not always necessary to see the Milky Way (This image was taken ouside of a B&B in Julian, CA)

Friday, January 26, 2018

Feel the heat from the upcoming Falcon Heavy launch! A schedule of some upcoming conferences for physicist and astronomer wannabes!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are just waiting for the total lunar eclipse on January 31.  In the meantime, several folks asked about upcoming astronomy conferences and meetings.  So, this post lists some upcoming meetings that I have tentatively put on my schedule.  Some meetings like those of the OCA and local college and university colloquia, but others, primarily for professionals in the field, have entrance fees.  More conferences in the news as we go forward, but let's look for what we know now.

One of the next upcoming events is at the Beckman Institute near UCI in Irvine, is the Distinctive Voices free lecture on "Big Data:  Beyond the Hype", on Wednesday, January 31.  We are seeing more and more instances where ongoing experiments and observations, like those in astronomy, are collecting huge amounts of data and how to process that data and store that data is a big issue.

Also be sure to consider the free UCI 2018 Reines lecture on March 6 at 7:30PM, featuring Nobel prize winner, Kip Thorne, who will talk about exploring the universe with gravity waves.  This lecture at the Irvine Barclay Theater is free, but you need to sign up for tickets, if there are still some left at this late date.

Now on to those meeting that have real dollar costs associated with them, but are also very interesting and informative.  We just received an email from OCA Tom Munnecke, describing the upcoming launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy from Kennedy Space Center in the next couple of weeks.  There are special ticket available that enable you to get as close as possible, about 3-4 miles, from the launch and the ad says "you will feel the heat."  Anyway, it sounds fun!  There is a logistics problem in that you probably want to buy the best tickets now, but you have to wait to see when the launch will occur and then get your airplane, rental car, and hotel tickets based on the launch date, which still might change after it is announced.  Could be risky, but being that close to the rumble and heat is quite exciting and inviting.  Check out the ticket details at the website below.  Thanks for the alert, Tom!


SpaceX Falcon Heavy static test on January 24 (Courtesy Hearst Communications, Inc)
SpaceX Falcon Heavy static test on January 24(Courtesy Hearst Communications, Inc)

Other fee based conferences are also of interest to amateur astronomers and of course physicist wannabes too.  If you get really interested or want to know more about the conference details, just search the associated websites.

February 10-11, Locical-LA, Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel
                           Scientific Skepticism lectures with keynote presentation by Lawrence Krauss
                           Not the typical meeting for me, but I like Krauss and will make it this year
February 21-23, Dark Matter Conference, UCLA
                           Professional, technical review of dark matter research and findings
                           I went to this two years ago and found it interesting and mostly understandable
March 5-8, American Physical Society (APS)- March Meeting, Los Angeles Convention Center
                   The March meeting is primarily about condensed matter and atomic physics
                   I haven't done much study of condensed matter but the conference is local so I'll try it

March 16-17, Pacific Coast Gravity Meeting, Caltech, Pasadena
                       Not for general relativity neophytes, as PhD students make presentations
                       This would be my third time and I might just start to understand  it, if I go

April 14-17, American Physical Society (APS)- April Meeting, Columbus, OH
                     The April meeting is primarily about astrophysics and cosmology
                     The April meeting has the right mix of topics for physicist wannabes too

June 4-7, American Astronomical Society (AAS)- Summer Meeting, Denver, CO
                Good mix of general plenary sessions with technical breakout meetings
                Amateur astronomers get in for much reduced conference fee
June 10-13, Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA), Green Bank, WV
                    Held at Green Bank National Observatory and amateurs get to use a big dish
                    I've had this on my calendar for three years and haven't made it yet.  Maybe this time

June 14-16, Society of Astronomical Science (SAS), Ontario, CA
                    Local meeting where dedicated amateurs present their findings and experiences
                    Former OCA Secretary and author, Bob Buchheim, is now SAS president
                    Many presentations will have you saying "Hey, I could do that with my scope"

July 7-13, COSPAR, Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena
                 International conference, every two years, covers space and astrophysics research
                 There are so many interesting sessions here, it is expensive, but it is held locally

November 15-18, AAVSO Winter Meeting, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ
                             See the historic Lowell Observatory and hear from dedicated amateurs
                             Even Resident Astronomer Peggy might go to this one

December 10-14, American Geophysical Union (AGU), Washington, DC
                             Winter meeting brings together Earth and space researchers

Until next time,
Resident Astronomer George

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