Mary Lou West, KC2NMC
of Mathematical Sciences/ and Physics
Retired, Emerita, summer 2012
College of Science and Mathematics
, Montclair State University
Montclair, NJ 07043 (40.843 N, -74.201 E)
Public Telescope Nights
will be 8-9 PM on clear Thursdays,
from late January to May (exept for Spring Break) and September to December (except for Thanksgiving) in front of Richardson Hall on the MSU campus.
On August 27, 2013 I gave a talk on A Spectrum and what it can tell us to AAI in Cranford and to several other amateur clubs also.
At MSU we use our Meade 12 inch LX200 GPS telescope (photo by Mike Peters).
We also use our older trusty Questar 7 (photo by Bob Dorner) and a variety of smaller scopes.
2009 was the International Year of Astronomy, celebrating the 400 years since Galileo looked at the sky through a telescope.
(And it has changed everything!) One goal was to have 10 million children in the world look through a telescope that year.
Amateur astronomy clubs such as NJAG geared up for lots of star parties.
One of the 11 cornerstone projects is the Galileoscope. It is a small but high quality telescope kit which can used as
an optics experiment also. Their website is galileoscope.org.
You can read the June, 2008 paper
"Progress on Creating the Galileoscope for the International Year of Astronomy 2009"
by Pompea, Fienberg, Arion, Smith, and Isbell.
Public Telescope Nights are supported by the local astronomy club,
the North Jersey Astronomical Group,
and at www.njastro.org .
Other clubs I belong to include
AAI in Cranford where I am chair of the research committee,
and RAC in Suffern, NY where I chair the Pro/Am conference within NEAF every spring.
Demos for Dave's Dazzling Demos Feb 11, 2011 at Rutgers included two
I did, the quality of an oscillator and a simple Faraday cage.
Courses I have taught:
Student Activities and Awards:
- In 2010-2011 Tim Riesz assembled cosmic ray detectors from a kit from Fermilab. He and Elaine McCarthy
(Schuyler School, Kearny) used them to gauge the absorption of cosmic ray muons by ceilings in three buildings.
They discovered a hidden attic! See Absorption Reveals an Attic.
Ann Bannister investigated meteorite properties and Matthew Rossi studied quasar color variations in oubursts.
- Our science/math/teaching project GK-12
Fellows in the Middle
has been funded for 5 years (2007 to 2012) for $2.9 million by the National Science Foundation.
In January, 2008 our supplemental grant allowed 17 of us to visit China for two weeks.
We visited universities, middle schools, research institutes and tourist sites as well.
A popular talk on our advenetures is "Some Public Astronomy in China."
In 2010 we visited Panama and in March 2011 we visited Ecuador. We visited schools, the rainforest, and the ocean also.
- In 2009 Tim Buli, Liz Taylor, and Wesley Wan studied time variations in the luminosity of quasars,
and presented this work as a poster at the MSU Student Research Symposium in April.
- In 2006-2007 Michael Papalos and Nathaniel Frissell investigated radio propagation by ionospheric bounce by
monitoring worldwide radio beacons, and hope to correlate this with solar activity.
"Relationship Between the Radio Bursts from the Sun and Ionospheric Propagation"
was #16:03 at the American Astronomical Society Meeting in Seattle, January 5-10, 2007.
- Taki Zaidi, Cesar Marino, Michael Stolarz Speer, and Jonathan Norton have investigated the magnetic and structural properties of meteorites.
- W2MSU, the Montclair State University Amateur Radio Club, teaches a
technician license class every semester, usually in October and April.
In 2006 the class was 8-10 PM on Oct 25, Nov 1, 8, and 14, and the test was on Nov 15.
There were two simultaneous courses: technician license, and Morse code (CW).
Nine people passed!
The radio club has won a contest!
See our award for the northern NJ region for the multioperator ARRL contest in January 2006.
- The Weston Science Scholars Emma, Patrick, and Arielle investigated
sunspots in July using Sunspotter folded telescopes from
Learning Technologies, Inc.
- At MSU on Thursday, January 12, 2006 Nathaniel Frissell helped run the
northern regional tournament of the
NJ Science Olympiad
astronomy activities (Solar System for middle school
teams, and Astronomy for high school teams).
In 2005 Marion Noyes was the student assistant, and in 2004 Marie McCrary was the student assistant.
- In 2003 Bill Phillian organized our participation in the international
Eratosthenes Project to measure the circumference of the Earth by noon
sun angles. Here is our
final report .
The lowest error was 2 percent.
- In 2000 Lori Kiefer, Angela Kim, and Charles Oliveri assembled and tested
RadioJove type receiver and antenna.
The Japanese group is at Kochi College.
on Radio Jove observations of the sun was
presented at the AAS meeting in Washington in January, 2002.
Solar radio burst events are checked at
Other solar resources can be found at
http://www.bbso.njit.edu Big Bear Solar Observatory in California,
the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, NM, and
- The Goddard Space Flight Center has a model of
of Io-A, Io-B, and Io-C storms observable from the eastern USA.
- Honors Trust/Ropes course
for incoming freshmen in the Honors Program, June 18, 2000
Sigma Xi Student Research Conference
programs, spring 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000.
- On January 21, 2003 the MSU student-built seismograph
enhanced by the electronics of Elias Ahadi (2000) detected
surface waves from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Colima, Mexico.
On October 16, 1999 it detected the 7.0 magnitude earthquake
in California. We check our observations with the
Locator in Edinburgh, Scotland, the
USGS Near Real Time Earthquake List ,
or Lamont-Doherty Earth
Observatory Cooperative Seismographic Network
- In spring 1999 my team of three students did very well in the COMAP math
- Student individual
- In 1994 we won the national prize for best astronomy day activities,
presented by Sky and Telescope magazine and the Astronomical League. The
Astronomy-In-Montclair Day committee
included Mary Lou West, Kevin Conod, Valerie Sweatt, Michael Miller, and Dick Rodin.
Some of my favorite links
Sigma Xi egg drop in May, 1999 was fun!
Carolyn Shoemaker is a famous comet hunter.
I'm flattered that some people think I look like her!
(She is the one on the left in red, and I am wearing our purple NJAG shirt. Behind us is Gordon Bond of AAI.)
Here is a picture of my aunt Peg Gilbert, of Lawrence
University in Appleton, Wisconsin.
This page is http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~west.