Upcoming events

    • 27 Jan 2018
    • 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM (PST)
    • Handlery Hotel 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA 92108

    How often do you get to attend a lecture presented by the Executive Director of a project that produced three Nobel Prize Winners?  The answer is next year - if you attend the annual SDAA Banquet.

    David Reitze, Professor of physics at the University of Florida, will be our guest speaker.  Professor Reitze is currently at Caltech as the Executive Director of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory.  The 2017 Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to three scientists working on the LIGO project.

    Einstein predicted that massive accelerating objects such as colliding black holes or neutron stars would cause the very fabric of space-time to ripple, sending waves across space.  However, he thought they would be so tiny as to be undetectable.  According to Professor Reitze - "It was a technological tour de force and proved Einstein right, but that's not why it was important," he said.

    "It's important because it opens a whole new window on the universe. We are now going to be able to look at the universe in gravitational-wave emissions, a completely different kind of information carrier."

    Most astronomy up to now – from X-rays through visual light to radio waves – has been in the electromagnetic spectrum.   Gravitational waves are a new kind of source and its great promise is to unlock some of the deepest secrets of the universe.

    "One of the holy grails of this field would be to see the gravitational-wave residue of the Big Bang," Professor Reitze said.

    After Professor Reitze’s presentation, we will hold an auction of astronomy related gear donated by our members.  We will also raffle off the many great items that have been donated by our corporate sponsors - watch www.sdaa.org for an up-to-date list.  Our Master of Ceremonies will be SDAA’s very own Jerry Hilburn.

    During the past year, we remodeled our bathrooms and completed the first phase of our electrical upgrade.  The Cruzen Observatory is still a work in progress, but we hope to have it in operation by the summer of 2018.  The 20’ x 10’ observatory will contain two telescopes, a 14.5” DK Cassegrain and a Takahashi TOA 130, and may be reserved for use by Contributing members who complete a mandatory training program.

    The banquet is our major fundraiser, so please join us and 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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