The AAAA and the Story County Conservation Board host monthly educational programs for the public from January to November. Meetings are on the 3rd Saturday of each month, except December, at 7:30 PM. Visitors are encouraged to join us. A list of the programs for this year can be found below.
All programs will be held at the Story County Conservation Center at McFarland Park unless noted otherwise in the program for that month.
Presentations are subject to change. Afterwards, weather and and sunset permitting, we will move to the club's Observatory located just East of the Story County Conservation Center for astronomical observing. Telescopes and binoculars will be available for your viewing pleasure.
At each of our meetings we include a short description of a few of the astronomical sights that can be seen during the coming month.
||Reasons for the Seasons
|| Julie Swanson will be
presenting on the reasons for the seasons. The
presentation will present a discussion of why there are seasons, why the constellations change from season to season and phases of the moon. Why don't we see the Milky Way as brightly in winter as we do in the summer? Why don't we have an eclipse every month? Why is it that even though the earth's orbit brings us physically closer to the sun in winter, it isn't warmer, but instead it is freezing?
||Stars in Human Culture
Varadaraja V. Raman who is an
Emeritus Professor, Physics and Humanities, at the
Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
will be speaking to us. He holds a Ph.D.
intheoretical Physics from the University of Paris.
He has published widely on the historical and
philosophical aspects of physics, as well as on
with meticulous care and attention since time
immemorial. Astronomers generally think of them in
terms of their motions and composition, but
also played subtle roles in many aspects of human
culture. This lecture will discuss the variety of
ways in which this has happened.
|| Celebrating Creation
||Sam Wormley will be the presenter. "We have left the age of miracles behind, but not, we trust, our sense of wonder. We are pilgrim scientists, perched on the edge of eternity, curious and attentive. A scientific skeptic encounters the numinous in a seventh-century chapel in the west of Ireland"
||The Secrets of Starlight
Ed Engle will be
What does 'Red Shift' mean? What are all those
lines in the spectrum and what do they tell us about
what is in other stars? Why are there colors? What
do you mean light is a wave and a particle at the
||Late Winter/Early spring
nebulae & galaxies
Jim Bonser will be presenting a tour of some of the
lesser known but beautiful Late Winter/Early Spring
nebulae and galaxies. Orion's Sword? Chess
piece in the sky? Island universes? If you can't
stand the cold, get out of the observatory! But if
you can, there are some fantastic objects to see in
the cold, dark winter/spring skies!
||Robots in Space part III
Our Exploration of Mars from Viking to
Curiosity and Beyond Tomorrow". This year's
installment of the Robots in Space series
is a journey of robotic exploration on our nearest
planetary neighbor. Join us as Evan Zerby lays
out the history and future of our fascinating
exploration of the red planet.
This month we will be having our annual Star-B-Q
potluck/picnic. Picnic will start about 5:30.
Hamburgers and hotdogs/brauts will be provided by
the club – Please bring sides such as baked beans,
chips etc. Solar filtered telescopes will be
available to view the sun, weather permitting.
After the feast, we will move into the conservation
center where we will enjoy presentations by members
about various professional observatories and their
important contributions to our understanding of the
cosmos, beginning at our regular meeting time of
||Search for Other Earths -
Kepler Mission Update
||Dr. Steve Kawaler will be giving a summary of
the exciting new results of the Kepler Spacecraft
currently searching for planets orbiting other
||Rocks that Fall From the
||Chicken Little may have been wrong about the sky
falling, but sometims rocks DO fall from the sky!
What we can learn from these extraterrestrial rocks.
||A discussion about famous astronomers in
||What is the concern with Near-Earth Asteroids
and as astronomers what can we do?
||This is a party time for members.