Upcoming events

    • 19 Jan 2019
    • 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM (PST)
    • Natural History Museum - Balboa Park 1788 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101
    • 208

    The 2019 SDAA banquet looks to be something really special.  With the help of a generous donor, we’ll be hosting the event on Saturday, January 19th, at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.  The new venue seems to be a perfect fit for SDAA as we move forward with our primary goals of education and citizen science, which line up closely with those of “The Nat.”

    The evening begins at 5:00 with a cocktail hour on the 2nd floor, where you can wander and explore the exhibits while enjoying a selection of Artisan Cheeses, Seasonal Fruit and Freshly Baked Sliced Breads & Gourmet Crackers. 

    Dinner starts at 6:00, and will be a buffet featuring:

    • ·        Oven Roasted Free Range Chicken Breast
    • ·        Spice Rubbed Grilled Tri Tip
    • ·        Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
    • ·        Roasted Squash Trio
    • ·        Salad and Freshly Baked Focaccia
    • ·        Brown Butter Gnocchi and roasted butternut squash (vegetarian)
    • ·        Crème Brulee Tartlet,
    • ·      Mexican Chocolate Mousse Shot
    • ·        New York Cheesecake Mousse Shot

    Our guest speaker is Dr. Stella Kafka, Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and the evening’s topic will be “Citizen Astronomy in the Era of Large Surveys.”   As always, we’ll cap off the evening with a raffle and auction, with plenty of astronomy related gear available.

    Dr. Kafka is an engaging speaker who has an outstanding scientific reputation and research track record. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Athens, in Greece, she moved to Indiana University, where she earned a Master’s and a Ph.D. in Astronomy, with a double minor in Physics and Geophysical Sciences.

    After completing her Ph.D., Stella held a series of prestigious postdoctoral positions and fellowships, first at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile (CTIO, where she received the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Excellence Award), then at Caltech, and finally as a NASA Astrobiology Institute Fellow at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She has extensive experience gathering, reducing, and analyzing photometric and spectroscopic data; has helped commission two different instruments at the WIYN Observatory in Arizona; and written a data-reduction manual along with more than 40 refereed papers. As a member of the “Stellar Populations” working group for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST, the large professional facility that will image the whole sky every few nights starting around 2020), she contributed to the LSST science book.

    Our annual banquet is not just a great time to visit with fellow members, but it’s also our primary fundraiser.  This past year we’ve continued to expand our outreach to students from elementary school to college.  Using TARO we’ve contributed to the important research TESS is doing with exo-planets.  We completed the first phase of our electrical system upgrade and the Cruzen Observatory is nearing completion. We’d like to continue our progress and your participation is critical to our continued success. 

    We’ve had to raise the price to $70, but we think that’s a great value and are looking forward to seeing you there.  If for some reason you can’t attend, please consider making a donation to keep SDAA moving forward!

    Wishing you clear skies,

    SDAA Board of Directors

Door Prizes - Keep checking back, we'll keep adding them as they come in
Complete List at http://sdaa.org/banquet_2017.htm
                                        • Knightware
                                          • Deep Sky Planner Software
                                        • Replogle Globes Inc.
                                          • 12" Celestial Globe
                                        • F&W Publications
                                          • Sky and Telescope Pocket Atlas
                                          • Lets Go Stargazing Flyer
                                        • Seymour Solar
                                          • Solar Eclipse Viewer
                                          • 9x12 thin film sheet
                                        • Vixen Optics-Starguy
                                          • 7x50 Binoculars
                                        • Kalmbach Astronomy Magazine
                                        • One year Astronomy Magazine

2017 SDAA Banquet Speaker

Dr. Nicholas Galitzki, UCSD Post-Doctoral Scholar in Astrophysics:
Magnetic Fields in Stellar Nurseries: Observations from a Balloon-borne Telescope"

Image result for Dr. Nicholas Galitzki

Polarized thermal emission from dust grains can be used to trace magnetic fields in the stellar nurseries of the Milky Way. The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) flew from Antarctica in 2010 and 2012 and produced degree scale polarization maps of the Vela C molecular cloud with arcminute resolution. The results have shed insight into the role magnetic fields play in the earliest stages of star formation in our galaxy.

The success of BLASTPol has motivated a next-generation instrument, BLAST-TNG which will have 16 times the mapping speed of BLASTPol, sub-arcminute resolution, and a longer flight time. BLAST-TNG will be able to examine nearby molecular clouds and the diffuse galactic dust polarization spectrum in unprecedented detail. I will describe the scientific motivation behind the instruments as well as the overall architecture and design requirements of balloon-borne telescopes.

About the Speaker: Dr. Nicholas Galitzki began his astronomy career at the California Institute of Technology where he earned his B.S. in astrophysics in 2008. While at Caltech he was involved in two research projects, one with a lunar seismometer developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories and another working with a weather monitoring station for the proposed Caltech Cornell Atacama Telescope.

After Caltech, Nicholas took a break for a couple years which included a stint as a line cook at an Italian restaurant in Boulder, CO and time as a K through 9 teacher in Seoul, South Korea. After these adventures he continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his doctorate in astrophysics in 2016. While at UPenn, his research concentrated on the development and launch of a balloon borne telescope from Antarctica and the subsequent analysis of the data from the mission that has revealed new details about the star formation process in our Milky Way.

He has now joined the cosmology group at UC, San Diego on a project that aims to build the next generation of telescopes that will examine in unprecedented detail the polarized signal from the cosmic microwave background.

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