North Jersey Astronomical Group

The North Jersey Astronomical Group (NJAG) is an astronomy club composed of about forty people interested in all aspects of stargazing, including the sun as well as the stars, the planets, and deep sky objects. The NJAG meets regularly (usually the second Wednesday of each month except August) at Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, NJ. We also hold weekly Public Telescope Nights during the Fall and Spring semesters. These are clear Thursdays, and will be from January 18 to April 26, except fot March 8 (Spring Break) and from September 6 to December 13, 2018 except for November 22 (Thanksgiving). A recorded message on cancellations will be at 973-594-6524 (NJAG).

The next monthly meeting will be Wednesday October 10, 2018 at 8 PM in CELS 110 and will feature Mark Zdziarski (NJAG) speaking about "Eyepiece Choices for Astronomical Observing: Optimize your observing with the proper eyepieces and filters for your telescope." The telescope is only part of the optical train. The quality and performance of your eyepieces play a very big role regarding your experience while observing. A poor performing eyepiece can put a damper on your observing experience. There are eyepieces that excel on planets, and those best for deep sky. Some are best for eyeglass wearers, and more! Filters can enhance your planetary and deep sky experiences as well, especially in light pollution. Come learn what choices are available to optimize your telescope!

Join us in the CELS science building, in room 110 at the far left in the atrium at 8 PM.

As usual, we will have dinner with the speaker at 6:30 in the Red Hawk Diner on campus, not far from the CELS building.

The Wednesday evening monthly meetings are free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Visitors are to park in the Red Hawk Deck, or if you find one of the few metered spots, remember to pay the parking meter machine, even after dark. The following meeting will be November 14, when Kathy Wydner Kawalek (St. Peter's U) will speak on Astrobiology.

Upcoming Events:
October 12 (Friday) at School no. 15 in Clifton (700 Gregory Ave)
October 16 (Tuesday, 8:30-9:30) at BAMS (Buzz Aldrin Middle School, 173 Bellevue Ave, Montclair)
October 23 (Tuesday) at School no. 4 in Clifton (194 West Second Street)
October 27 (Saturday, 8-2 pm) Walnut Street Farmers' Market in Montclair
November 3 (Saturday, 7 pm) at Wallisch Homestead (65 Lincoln Ave, West Milford)

Recent events:
September 15 (Saturday, 4 pm) Club picnic at Jenny Jump in Hope
September 19 (Wednesday, 7:30-9 pm) at Schuyler school in Kearny
October 6 (Saturday, 7:15-11 pm) at Wallisch Homestead in West Milford, rained out
Saturday May 12, 8:30, Star gazing at Wallisch Homestead (65 Lincoln Ave, West Milford), cancelled by clouds
Tuesday April 24, 8:30, Star gazing at Buzz Aldrin Middle School (173 Bellevue Ave, Montclair), cancelled by rain

NEAF, April 21, 2018, RCC, Suffern NY, ProAm Collaboration talks, Room 5140, Mary Lou West
Josh Walawender, W.M. Keck Observatory, PANOPTES Project and Photometry
Sean League, Space Fab: the first app-controlled space telescope
Aparna Bhattacharya, Goddard SFC, Exoplanet Masses by Microlensing
Dennis Conti, AAVSO, TESS Exoplanet Mission and Amateur Astronomer Participation
Mike Reynolds, Florida State University, The Depth and Quality of 2017 Eclipse Observations
David Dunham, IOTA, Getting Started in Occultation Science for Amateurs
Kirsten Howley, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, And Bob Stephens, AAVSO, Near Earth Asteroids
Jim Cole and Stephen Riggs, Lowell Observatory, GODO Public Observatory

January 10 and 16, Getting to Know the Night Sky, 109 Montclair Ave, Montclair
Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 Liberty Science Center, Jersey City

December 29, 2017 Chevys for dinner, then Star Wars: The Last Jedi, AMC at Clifton Commons
Saturday, October 28, Farmers' Market, Walnut Street Montclair
Monday, November 27, star party at Clifton School #4 (194 West Second Street, Clifton)
Thursday, September 28, star party at Schuyler Middle School (644 Forest Ave, Kearny) August 21, 2017 from 1:30-3 PM to watch the partial solar eclipse at the Haworth Public Library, 300 Haworth Ave, NJ 07641. Haworth is near Oradell.

NEAF, April 8 and 9, 2017, RCC, Suffern NY, ProAm Collaboration talks:
SATURDAY, April 8, 2017, Room 5140, Mary Lou West
10 – 10:50 AM, Ted Blank, IOTA,Getting Started with Asteroid Occultation Timing
11 – 11:50 AM, Nathaniel Frissell, NJIT, HamSCI and the 2017 total Solar Eclipse
1:30 – 2:20 PM, Dennis Conti, AAVSO, Exoplanet Observing by Amateur Astronomers
2:30 – 3:20 PM, Mario Motta, AAVSO, Observing a Disintegrating Asteroid Around a White Dwarf
3:30 – 4:20 PM, Josh Walawender, W.M. Keck Observatory, PANOPTES Project: Finding Exoplanets with DSLR cameras
4:30 – 5:20 PM, Dennis Conti, AAVSO, Exoplanet Detection via Microlensing
SUNDAY, April 9, 2017, Room 5140, Mary Lou West
11 – 11:50 AM, Stephen Ramsden, Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project, and Tom Field, Narrowband Solar Imaging and Solar Spectroscopy
12:30 – 1:20 PM, Michael West, Lowell Observatory, Galaxy Cannibalism
1:30 – 2:20 PM, Ted Blank, IOTA, Getting Started with Asteroid Occultation Timing

Star parties were Saturday, May 20, 2017 8:39 PM at Wallisch Homestead (65 Lincoln Ave, West Milford), Monday April 3, 2017 at Clifton School #4 (194 West Second Street, Clifton), Friday Nov 4, 2016 at Clifton Schoool #15 (700 Gregory Ave, Clifton), Monday Nov 7, 2016 at Little Falls Public Library (8 Warren St, Little Falls), Saturday September 24, 2016 at the Farmers Market, , Saturday Nov 12, 2016 at the Montclair Farmers Market (solar observing, 86 Walnut St, Montclair), and Saturday Dec 3, 2016 at Wallisch Homestead (65 Lincoln Ave, West Milford).

Other Activities included:

We had a field trip to the Newark Museum (69 Central Avenue) on Sunday January 4, 2015 to see the hands-on exhibit "Great Balls of Fire" and the planetarium show at 2 PM. Good fun was had by eleven members.

On Saturday April 5, 2014 we represented astronomy at the Glen Ridge STEM festival. John and Mary Lou had an interactive poster on astronomical disasters and also used a SunSpotter to show families the sun's surface. The "Reading Under the Stars" event at Clifton School #11 on November 19, 2014 was clouded over about half way through. On Tuesday November 12, 2013 we had had a more successful star party with 150 excited students and their families at Clifton School #11 (K-5). Laura, Paul, Marc, Mark, Jan, and Mary Lou showed them the first quarter moon, Uranus, Albireo (non-identical twin stars), Vega, Epsilon Lyrae (identical twins), the Pleiades, the double cluster in Perseus, and the Andromeda galaxy despite wind and freezing temperatures.

We had a beautiful star party at the School of Conservation on Thursday June 30, 2011 for the LSAMP program. Jan, Jim, Mary Lou, Roger, Laura, and Paul used four telescopes (including two 12 inch Dobs) to show people Saturn (of, course!), Albireo, Antares, Alcor and Mizar, the double double in Lyra, M13, M27 (the Dumbbell Nebula), M51, M57 (Ring Nebula), M81, M82, the veil in Cygnus, and told lots of constellation stories. We were also treated to the International Space Station, several faint satellites, and a bright shooting star. Jan took a nice picture of the summer Milky Way.

Here are directions to MSU. For more information visit our club webpage at

For 2018 the NJAG Club Officers are:

President: Mark Zdziarski
Vice President/Program Chair: Kevin Conod
Treasurer: Marc Elfenbein
Membership: Joe Marzullo
Recording Secretary: Jan Krakora
Corresponding Secretary: Terry Baz
Website ( Adrian Oradean and Kevin Conod
Trustee: Mary Lou West
Observations: Joe Marzullo
Education/Outreach: Ken Udani, Jan Krakora, Mary Lou West, Maja Britton

The NJAG offers the following to the general public:

P.O. Box 1472
Clifton, NJ 07015-1472


The NJAG's business meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at 8:00 p.m. at Montclair State University (CELS Science Building, Room 110 or 207) in Montclair, NJ. These meetings are open to the public and prospective members. Each meeting features light refreshments and a one hour lecture/slide presentation by an amateur or professional astronomer, and then a bussiness meeting. There is usually no meeting in August.

2018 Meeting Calendar

January February March
Wednesday, January 10 Wednesday, February 14 Wednesday, March 14
April May June
Wednesday, April 11 Wednesday, May 9 Wednesday, June 13
July August September
Wednesday, July 11 NO MEETING Wednesday, September 12
October November December
Wednesday, October 10 Wednesday, November 14 Wednesday, December 12

Events in 2018:

December 12, Annual Winter Solstice Celebration

November 14, Kathy Wydner Kawalek (St. Peter's U), Astrobiology

October 10, Mark Zdziarski (NJAG), "Eyepiece Choices for Astronomical Observing: Optimize your observing with the proper eyepieces and filters for your telescope."

September 12, Members describe their summer astronomy activities. These include Kevin Conod (Stellafane), Mark Zdziarski and Jan Krakora and Mary Lou West (David Levy’s Adirondack Astronomy Retreat, and Wallops flight Facility), Chris Mauro (getting started with a C8 telescope), Terry Baz (International ecology conference in Greece, pictures with telescope), and Ken Udani (Arecibo Radio Telescope), Joe Sardina (remoter observatory).

July 11, Jim Brown, Beyond the K/T Boundary: Other “interesting” impact events in Earth’s History

June 13, Andrew Baker (Rutgers), Dense gas in distant dusty galaxies

May 9, MSU Student Reports, CELS 110

April 11, Rodica Martin (MSU), Interferometry and LIGO, CELS 110

March 14, Nathaniel Frissell (NJIT, NJAG, W2NAF), What we learned from the All-American Eclipse in the radio, CELS 110

February 14, Albert Carcich (NJAG), IOTA: Timing occultations to measure size and shape, CELS 110

January 13, Saturday, Field trip to Liberty Science Center in Jersey City to see the huge new planetarium

Events in 2017:

December 13, Annual Solstice Celebration, CELS 110

November 8, Terry Baz (NJAG), The Southern Skies, CELS 110

October 11, Missy Holzer (SOFIA Ambassador), Exploring Our Invisible Universe on SOFIA, CELS 110

September 13, Our Experiences at the All-American Eclipse, NJAG club members, CELS 110

July 12, Jim Nordhausen (AAI), Extreme Astronomy: Science from the Bottom of the World, the South Pole, CELS 207

June 14, John Lowe (NJAG, AAI, UACNJ), Chasing Total Solar Eclipses: My Journeys into the Lunar Shadow, CELS 110

May 10, MSU Student Reports, CELS 110
• Gravitational wave “sounds” from supernova explosions and spinning neutron stars – Lita de la Cruz and Kevin Chen
• Orbits in a wormhole spacetime – Manuel Albrizzio
• Seismic Imaging of Kilauea Volcano– Korie Vee

April 12, Kevin Conod, Jumping Jupiter: Juno's Mission to the Giant Planet, CELS 110

March 8, Dr. Nathaniel Frissell (W2NAF, NJAG, NJIT) Solar Eclipse 2017 at Radio Frequencies, ham radio plans for the August 21, 2017 eclipse (, CELS 207

Training sessions for observers, Tuesday Feb 21, Wednesday Feb 22, Wednesday March 1, 8-10 PM in CELS 207

February 8, Al Witzgall (AAI), Preparing for Apollo:The tale of two meteorites, and how they were used for training the astronauts, CELS 207

January 11, the excellent movie "Hidden Figures" at 7 PM at the AMC at Clifton Commons. Dinner at 5:30 at Chevy's nearby.

Events in 2016:

December 14, Annual Solstice Celebration and “Colors of the Universe” by Dr. Travis Rector, in CELS 110

November 9, Clif Ashcraft (AAI), Speckle interferometry of close double stars, in CELS 110

October 12, Mark Zdziarski and Mary Lou West (NJAG), Meteorites and the Formation of the Earth, in CELS 110

September 24, Saturday, 8 AM-2 PM, Solar observing outreach at the Walnut St. Farmers' Market in Montclair

September 14, Rob Teeter, Designing a TeeterScope: From Concept to Cosmic Time Machine, in CELS 110

August 27, Saturday, ~4 PM, picnic at our observatory at UACNJ, Jenny Jump State Park, unveiling the C14

July 27, Controlling a computerized telescope, training for for Public Stargazing Nights, CELS 207

July 16, Saturday, 8 PM Star Party at our observatory at UACNJ, Jenny Jump State Park

July 13, Jay Gowers (NJAG), Planetary Probes: Exploring the Solar System and Beyond, in CELS 207

July 9, Saturday, 8 AM-2 PM, Solar observing outreach at the Walnut St. Farmers' Market in Montclair

June 29, Observing the night sky, training for for Public Stargazing Nights, CELS 207

June 25, Star Party at Wallisch Homestead, West Milford NJ

June 8, Tolga Gumusayak, NJAG, The Science Behind Astrophotography in CELS 110

May 11, MSU students presenting their projects in astronomy and physics: • Using software defined radio to test the internet of things, and Experiences at Keck Observatory in Hawaii – Kevin Miller • Designing a windwalker: An undergraduate open-ended physics project– Ceire Monahan • Splash Dynamics– David Baron • Application of non-equilibrium thermodynamics to pattern selection in fluid solid interactions - Blas Ortega

May 7 or May 14, 7 PM Star Party at Wallisch Homestead in West Milford, cancelled by bad weather

April 13, Marc Favata, MSU, The first detection of gravitational waves by LIGO in CELS 120

March 9, Jason Kendall, William Patterson University, History of Astronomy: Ptolemy to Galileo in CELS 110

April 6, 7:30 Star Party at Bradford School in Montclair

February 10, Jana Grcevich, AMNH, Dark Matter in Ghost Galaxies

January 13, "Star Wars, The Force Awakens" at 8:15 at AMC Cinema at Clifton Commons on Route 3 eastbound. Dinner at 6:15 at Chevys nearby.

Events in 2015:

December 9, Carol Hyde, What Was the Star of Bethlehem? and the Annual Solstice Celebration

November 18, Wednesday, Star Party at Clifton Elementary School #11

November 11, Kevin Urban, NJIT Center for Solar Terrestrial Research, Earth Voyage: Sailing the Seas of the Solar Wind

November 5, 7:05 PM, Matt Damon in "The Martian" at AMC at Clifton Commons

October 16, Friday, 6:30-8 PM Star Party at Clifton Elementary School #15 at 700 Gregory Ave.

October 14, Mark Zdziarski, Jan Krakora, Kevin Conod, Joe Sardina and Mary Lou West, NJAG, Summer Star Parties Remembered

September 27, Sunday 9 PM - midnight, Total Lunar Eclipse, Riker Hill Art Park, 276 Beaufort Ave, Livingston

September 9, Dr. Deborah Freile of New Jersey City University, The Demise of the Dinosaurs: Bolide Impact or Flood Basalts, back at MSU

July 8, Mark Zdziarski (NJAG), The Geological History of the Moon, at Banyan School, 12 Hollywood Ave, Fairfield

June 10, Kevin Conod (Planetarium Manager at the Newark Museum, NJAG), From the Asteroid Belt to the Kuiper Belt. The Dawn spacecraft is exploring the asteroid belt and it reached the dwarf planet Ceres in March. By July the New Horizons missions will reach Pluto. At Banyan School, 12 Hollywood Ave, Fairfield

May 13, Montclair State University students presenting their projects in astronomy and physics.
• Modeling Gravitational Waves for Elliptical Orbits – Blake Moore
• Gravitational Lensing of Light Near Black Holes – Nicholas Drywa
• Nonlinear Gravitational Wave Memory from Merging Binary Black Holes – Goran Dojcinoski
• Fluid-Structure interactions – Doralia Castillo and Ma. Karina Soriano

April 8, Joseph Sardina, Astroimaging with Video Cams: the MallinCam has changed astronomical observing from looking through an eyepiece to looking at a live image on your laptop. Enjoy virtual observing with other amateurs broadcasting live from around the world at Joseph’s Night Skies Network during the meeting.

March 11, Chuck Keeton (Rutgers U), "A Ray of Light in a Sea of Dark Matter"

February 11, Bernie Kelm (Naval Research Lab) by Skype, The Future Capabillity of Robotic Repair Satellites Benefit from Satellite Astronomy Today"

January 14, 40 minute Video, Deep Freeze

Programs in 2014:

December 10, Annual Solstice Celebration, bring food and stories to share.

November 19, Wednesday, Star Party at Clifton School #11, 6:30-8 PM

November 12, Grace Casalino, Skylands Astronomy Club, The Early History of Space Flight

October 8, Barry Malpas, The Discovery Channel Telescope and Other Observatories in Northern Arizona

September 10, Mary Lou West (NJAG), Spectra: Demos and Projects

August, No meeting

July 9, Mark Zdziarski (NJAG), Eyepiece Choices, Banyan School in Fairfield.

June 11, Helder Jacinto (AAI), The Art and Science of Meteorites, Library at Banyan School in Fairfield. we will have dinner at 6:00 with the speaker, this time at a NEW DINER, Park West Diner on Route 46 westwards, only 1.5 miles west of Valley Road (MSU).After dinner we will drive another 4.5 miles further west on Route 46 (past Willowbrook Mall) to exit onto Hollywood Road going north. Follow Hollywood about 2 miles as it bends around toward the west. Finally turn left into the big parking lot at Banyan School and St Thomas More church (12 Hollywood Ave, Fairfield). The school is a low beige brick building just before the church.

May 14, MSU Students present their astronomy and physics projects
• The Farthest Planet Found – Nicholas Drywa
• Detection of Dark Matter – Olivia-Ann Perez
• Listening to the Universe: A Gravitational-Wave Sounds Catalog – Goran Dojcinoski and Blake Moore
• Harmonic Software – Josh Kilian-Meneghin
• Equilibrium Configuration of Fibers in a Flow – Pamela Guerron
• Channel Flow of an Inhomogeneous Fluid – Joseph Fiordilino
• The Physics Club's homemade Hovercraft

April 15, lunar eclipse watch 3-5 AM at Riker Hill Art Park (cancelled due to clouds)

April 9, Alan Midkiff and Emily Mailhot, NWJAA, Asteroids and Their Moons

April 5, Outreach to the Glen Ridge STEM Festival

March 20, 2:06 AM EDT, Occultation of Regulus by asteroid 163 Erigone (cancelled due to clouds)

March 12, Clif Ashcraft, AAI, Planetary Imaging with Webcam and computer

February 18, Presentation and Star Party at the Verona Public Library

February 12, Mark Zdziarski (NJAG) and Victor Truglio, The Ins and Outs of Buying and Selling to Optimize Your Astronomy Setup

January 8, Video "Voyage to the Unknown" about the construction of the Subaru telescope.

Programs in 2013:

December 11, Annual Solstice Party, bring food and stories to share

November 13, Marc Favata, MSU, Update on LIGO and Gravitational Waves

Tuesday November 12, Star Party "Reading Under the Stars" at Clifton School #11, 6:30-8 PM

November 3 at dawn, Partial eclipse of the sun, 6:30 - 7:30 AM, at the 9/11 memorial at Eagle Rock Reservation in West Orange (cancelled due to clouds, but there was a tiny break in the clouds and Phil F. got a picture!)

Sunday October 20, "Gravity" a 3D film with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, Clifton Commons, 4 PM

October 9, Jeremy Murphy, Princeton University, Dark Matter and Dark Energy

September 11, Phil Fimiani, NJAG, Radio Astronomy: History and Research Applications for Professionals and Amateurs

August, no meeting

July 10, Helder Jacinto, AAI, Solar Observing and Imaging

June 12, Aaron Zuckerman, AAI, Why the Universe Makes My Brain Hurt

May 8, MSU student research projects in astronomy and physics:
• Seasons by the Length of a Shadow – Goran Dojcinoski
• The Extinction of Stars – Wayne Ernst
• Spectra of Jupiter – Josh Kilian-Meneghin and Elena Naumoff
• The True Colors of the Sun – Pamela Guerron and Oscar Feliciano
• Sunspots – Bemilton Suero and Amanda Rutkiewicz
• Magnetic Properties of a Martian Meteorite – Deepa Shah
• Cylinders and Wakes in Flowing Water – Wayne Ernst
• Star Colors and Temperatures – Stef McDermott

April 10, Andrew Kessler, Martian Summer: Robot Arms and Cowboy Spacemen. Kessler lived out every childhood space fantasy you ever had--before you grew up and got a real job. He describes what it’s like to be a regular guy hanging out in mission control for NASA’s Phoenix Mars lander expedition to the Red Planet, a true-life account of the personalities and pains, exhilarating highs and crushing lows that you face in workaday mission control. Copies of his book will be for sale.

March 13, Brandon Patel, Rutgers, The Evidence for Dark Energy from Type Ia Supernovae

February 13, Travis Keeler, MSU, The Meteorite with Armoured Chondrules

January 9, NASA video "Ringworld: the Story of Cassini" and election of officers

Programs in 2012:

December 12, Annual Solstice Celebration. Bring food, please.

November 14, Laura Venner, The Simple Truth 2012 - Doomsday Deception Revealed

October 10, Dr. Marc Favata (MSU, LIGO), Gravitational Waves: ripples in the gravitational field that propagate through space and time. What are the sources that produce them: colliding black holes, neutron stars, supernovae, and other exotic phenomena?

September 12, Keith Murdock, RAC, The Tunguska Event: A Spaceborne Catastrophe, a Scientific Mystery, and a Cautionary Tale

Tuesday July 17, Star Party at Liberty Science Center, 6:30-9 PM for solar viewing, IMAX film "Space Junk", and then Saturn and Mars.

July 11, Mark Zdziarski suggested a Facebook page. Mary Lou West instructed members on Using the MSU Meade 12 inch LX200 GPS telescope

June 13, Summer Ash, Columbia University, The Far Universe, (cancelled by illness)

Wednesday, June 6, Air and Space Day at Colonial Roads Elementary School in Franklin Lakes, 11:30-3 PM

Tuesday, June 5, Transit of Venus, at Riker Hill Art Park in Livingston, 6-7:30 PM, organized by Kevin Conod and the staff at the Dreyuss Planetarium at the Newark Museum (973-596-6529). Unfortunately, this was pretty much clouded out. We saw Venus in front of the sun for about 20 seconds, twice. That's all.
Directions: Garden State Parkway exit 145 or NJ Turnpike exit 15W, Route 280 west, exit 4 to Eisenhower Parkway south, go through the light, go across the railroad tracks and up the hill. After half a mile turn left onto Beaufort Ave., bear right to continue on Beaufort, turn left at the sign for "Riker Hill Art Park." At the stop sign go straight. Bear right at the fork, park at the top of the hill. Telescopes will be set up in the field on your right at the very top of the hill.

Thursday May 24, 8:30 Star Party at Schuyler School in Kearny. Cancelled by the weather.

May 9, MSU student research projects in astronomy and physics:
Black holes, supermassive and stellar - Goran Dojcinoski
Rims of chondrules in meteorites -Travis Keeler
Penetrating cosmic rays, and Exoplanet temperatures - Will Hernandez
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids – Brian Ruderman
Spiral stairway to heaven, and Lagrange Points - Wayne Ernst
Hohmann transfer orbits, gravity assists, and Biomechanics of cilia and wings - Pamela Guerron

April 11, Curiosity, the Next Generation Mars Rover, Kevin Conod, NJAG and Dreyfuss Planetarium at the Newark Museum. Come learn about Curiosity, NASA's new Mars rover, that will land on the red planet this summer. It will explore the planet's climate, geology and the possibility of life. During the 23 months after landing, Curiosity will analyze dozens of samples drilled from rocks or scooped from the ground as it explores with greater range than any previous Mars rover. Curiosity will carry the most advanced payload of scientific gear ever used on Mars’ surface, a payload more than 10 times as massive as those of earlier Mars rovers. Its assignment: Investigate whether conditions have been favorable for microbial life and for preserving clues in the rocks about possible past life.

Friday, March 16, Spring Stargazing at Riker Hill Art Park in Livingston, 8-10 PM, Cancelled by clouds.
Directions: Garden State Parkway exit 145 or NJ Turnpike exit 15W, Route 280 west, exit 4 to Eisenhower Parkway south, go through the light, go across the railroad tracks and up the hill. After half a mile turn left onto Beaufort Ave., bear right to continue on Beaufort, turn left at the sign for "Riker Hill Art Park." At the stop sign go straight. Bear right at the fork, park at the top of the hill. Telescopes will be set up in the field on your right at the very top of the hill.

March 14, Tom Field (Rspec), Introduction to Spectroscopy

February 8, Supernova Physics, Mary Lou West

January 11, Universe or Multiverse? part of the NOVA video "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Greene

Programs in 2011:

December 14, Annual Winter Solstice Party, bring snacks and drinks!

Sunday December 4, Trip to the Dreyfuss Planetarium at the Newark Museum, hosted by Kevin Conod

November 9, Bonnie Witzgall (AAI), Keeping Count of the Solar System with Sub-Totals

Friday October 21, Star Party at Riker Hill Art Park in Livingston, Cancelled by weather

October 12, Kevin Conod (NJAG and UACNJ) " All About Asteroids and the DAWN Spacecraft"

September 14, Rob Teeter (Teeter's Telescopes and NJAG) "Telescope Making, crazy customers, and strange requests" in nine years in the telescope business.He was recently featured in Astronomy Technology Today, on the cover and in a two-page article.

Saturday August 27, 9 AM, IMAX film "Hubble in 3D" free at the AMC Clifton Commons 16.

Saturday, August 20, road trip to Highpoint Scientific Co. (telescope showroom), Dimmick Inn, and High Point State Park, where some climbed the 220 foot tower.

July 13: Joe Marzullo and Gene Falkner (NJAG), Astrophotography.

Friday, July 8, Star Party at Riker Hill Art Park, 9-11 PM with the Newark Museum Dreyfuss Planetarium staff (Cancelled by thunderstorms).

Thursday, June 30, Star Party at SOC 9-11 PM for northern NJ LSAMP program. Super!

Thursday, June 9, Star Party at Schuyler School in Kearny (Cancelled by thunderstorms).

June 8: Dr. Bob Vanderbei, Princeton, "Sizing Up the Universe," his new book with Richard Gott. He will also bring along a few copies to sell for $20.

May 11: MSU Student Research Projects in Astronomy and Physics:
1. Measauring Meteorite Properties - Ann Bannister
2. Measurement of the Lifetime of Charged Muons in Cosmic Rays - Tim Riesz
3. Quasar Color Variations in Outbursts - Matthew Rossi and Garrett Nieddu
4. Anti-cyclonic Vortices in Keplerian Flows in Star-forming Disks– Alex Cali
5. Temperature Effects on Metals and Thermistors – Wayne Ernst
6. Thermocouples to Measure Sap Flow – Korrine Dobosh
7. DNA Flow in Electrophoresis Gels – Travis Keeler

April 13: Krishnadas Kootale, NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and Secretary of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ, "Eyes in Space". Space based observatories have played a key role in the advancement of astronomy in the last few decades. He will take a look at how they are able to contribute uniquely to our understanding of the objects and dynamics in the solar system and beyond by taking a look at a few major telescopes in space and their accomplishments.

March 9: Bob Lindner, Rutgers University, Star-forming Galaxies

February 12: Film BLAST (Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) by Paul Devlin. Enjoy the scientific suspense!

January 12: Cancelled by SNOW

Programs in 2010:

December 8, Annual Solstice Celebration

November 10, Bill Kroth, Sterling Hill Mining Museum, Meteorites: What can they tell us about the beginning of the solar system?

October 13, Mary Lou West, MSU & NJAG, Quasars: Beacons from the Past

September 8, Tim Lynch (MKA), A Travelogue: Voyages of Discovery and of "Discovery" (Seeing a shuttle Launch and attending SETIcon)

July 14, Dr. Saurabh Jha, Rutgers, Surveying the Universe with Supernovae
The last decade has seen a revolution in our understanding of the history and contents of our Universe. He will describe how we use a class of exploding stars, called type Ia supernovae, to measure the expansion history of the Universe. Observations of bright, nearby supernovae (often discovered by amateur astronomers), combined with measurements of faint, distant supernovae have led us to the astounding conclusion that the Universe is expanding faster and faster, driven by "dark energy" about which much remains to be learned.

Dr. Jha is an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University. His research focuses on studying exploding white dwarf stars called Type Ia supernovae, and using them as cosmological tools with which to survey the Universe. A New Jersey native, Prof. Jha received his Ph.D. in astronomy in 2002 from Harvard University, and subsequently was a Miller Research Fellow at UC Berkeley, as well as a Panofsky Fellow in the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. In 2007 Prof. Jha was a co-recipient of the Gruber Cosmology Prize, as part of the High-z Supernova Search Team, for the joint discovery of the accelerating Universe. His current research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and NASA.

June 9, Phil Fimiani, NJAG, In Search of the Large Telescope: Has the biggest been built?
Some historical perspectives, old and new technologies, the future.
A look at the large telescopes of the world and the technologies within them. Do they still hold promise in future research as Hubble awes and humbles, with all it sees? Can an earthbound telescope still play a significant role in astronomical research? It seems earthbound optical tools still have a significant role to play in our search for clues of the cosmos.

May 12, MSU Student Research Projects in Astronomy and Physics:
1. Laboratory Models of Folding in Geology – Deepa Shah
2. The Trojan Asteroids – Alex Cali
3. Galaxy Collisions – Dawn Haider and Craig Lapierre
5. Variations in Quasar Colors Over Time– Garrett Nieddu
6. The Hubble Diagram– Oscar Patterson
7. The Blinker, A Model of the Eye – Paul McLaughlin

April 14, Kevin Conod, Newark Museum Dreyfuss Planetarium and NJAG, Planetariums: Theaters of Time and Space

March 10, Lonny Buinis, Raritan Valley College, Singing Moon Rocks and Dancing Astronaut - the making of "The Moonrock Rock"!

February 10, cancelled by a blizzard

January 13, Corey Oses, NJAG, The Cold Sky Above Cornell

Previous years' programs were also interesting.

Directions to Montclair State.

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This page is and is maintained by Mary Lou West.