The Next Program

Date/Time:Fri, Jan 25 2008 07:30:00 PM
Speaker:Don Lincoln, Ph.D.
Affiliation:FNAL
Title:Dark Matter
Abstract:Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln presents the assumptions inherent in the dark matter debate and shows that the existence of dark matter is only one possible explanation.

Meeting Location

Meetings are currently held at:

Willow Recreation Center
3600 Lexington Dr.
Hoffman Estates, IL

It is located on the north side of Algonquin Road 1.5 miles WEST of Roselle Rd. (or 2 miles EAST of Barrington Road) at the Lexington Rd. traffic light.
Click Here for a Map

We will meet downstairs in the small gym.

Meetings are always Fridays at 7:30pm.

Speaker/Topic Requests

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Program Schedule for 2011

Date/TimeSpeakerAffiliationTitleAbstract
Fri, Jan 21 2011 07:30:00 PMWilliam SpizziriNSAThe Observatories on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.In May I visited the 14,000 foot summit of Mauna Kea. I will discuss my visit to the Keck Observatory, tour of the NSA Infrared Observatory and my ability to see the sights without losing consciousness from oxygen depravation. I will show photos and a short video.
Fri, Feb 18 2011 07:30:00 PMGreg Buchwald, Tom and Edith AuchterNSA2010 Easter Island Eclipse2010 Easter Island Eclipse
Fri, Mar 18 2011 07:30:00 PMDarren DrakeNSAThe Big BangWe'll cover various stages and eras of the universe from the plank time at 10^-43 second after the big bang to present. I will include discussions on the elementary particles present during these stages as well as roles of the 4 fundamental forces of nature.
Fri, Apr 15 2011 07:30:00 PMTom and Edith AuchterNSASouthern SkiesNSA club members Tom & Edith Auchter will highlight their tour of Chile, an astronomer's paradise. They will present information on the amateur and professional observatories they visited. Some of the fabulous scenery from the Atacama Desert and Elqui Valley also will be featured.
Fri, May 20 2011 07:30:00 PMLen KazmerNSASpectroscopyNSA club member Len Kazmer will talk about the nature of light and explain the various types of spectra (continuous, emission, absorption) along with examples of what we have learned about our universe by simply analyzing the light from various celestial objects.
Fri, Jun 17 2011 07:30:00 PMRoger S. Kolman, PhDAAVSO, AL, ALPO, Harper CollegeVariable Stars and The AAVSOA discussion of the AAVSO, its programs and the nature of variable stars. We will also consider some of the results of the 100 years of observations garnered by members of the AAVSO.
Fri, Jul 15 2011 07:30:00 PMAndy BulluckSkokie Valley AstronomersJames Webb Space TelescopeA detailed overview of the James Webb Space Telescope, including the mission, the scope's design, and what science NASA hopes to explore with the scope.
Fri, Aug 12 2011 07:30:00 PMJim KovacNSAThe Universe -- Galaxies, Nebulas, and the Dark SideWe'll explore the wonders of our galactic neighborhood with images of galaxies, nebulas, and stars made possible by the Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra Space Telescopes. Within our galaxy, we’ll look at the remnants of stellar death as well as nurseries where new stars are forming. We’ll observe colliding galaxies and journey outward from our galaxy toward the edge of the observable universe. We’ll also take a look at the first images that scientists believe show evidence of Dark Matter through a combination of Hubble and Chandra data and consider the profound implications of the recent discovery of Dark Flows.
Fri, Sep 9 2011 07:30:00 PMWilliam SpizziriNSAA Tour Of Kennedy Space CenterA private detailed tour of the entire space center in April, 1981, two weeks before the first space shuttle launch.
Fri, Oct 14 2011 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAMember's AstrophotosMembers of the NSA will, once again, show off their amazing skill at capturing the beauty of the night sky.
Fri, Nov 11 2011 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAPanel DiscussionTBD
Fri, Dec 9 2011 07:30:00 PMVariousNSASwap MeetCome one, come all. All the gear you didn't buy last year is available once again---for a limited time only!

Past Programs

Program Schedule for 2008

Date/TimeSpeakerAffiliationTitleAbstract
Fri, Jan 25 2008 07:30:00 PMDon Lincoln, Ph.D.FNALDark MatterFermilab physicist Don Lincoln presents the assumptions inherent in the dark matter debate and shows that the existence of dark matter is only one possible explanation.
Fri, Feb 22 2008 07:30:00 PMMark BundickSelfGrowing Up Wallops: A Boy, His Father, and Their RocketsWallops Island, NASA's long time home to unmanned sounding rocket launches, was once the busiest rocket range on Planet Earth boasting hundreds of flights per year. Mark Bundick, a long time space enthusiast and current president of the National Association of Rocketry, will present his behind-the-scenes view of the history and legacy of this little known installation.
Fri, Mar 21 2008 07:30:00 PMJim KovacJPLMars Misions and MysteriesWe'll follow the incredible journey of the Mars Exploration Rovers, compare Earth with this neighboring world, view its massive geological features, and discuss some recent discoveries and intriguing mysteries of the Red Planet.
Fri, Apr 18 2008 07:30:00 PMAntonino Miceli, Ph.D.ANL/APSNew Views on the Formation of Our GalaxyRecent data suggests that galaxy formation may be accounted for by the mergers of "dwarf" galaxies instead of the current model of monolithic collapse of a large ball of gas resulting in the formation of stars. This talk will discuss current research on the formation of our own Milky way galaxy as well as the discovery of new dwarf galaxies which are currently being incorporated into our galaxy. Please see this paper for further information.
Fri, May 16 2008 07:30:00 PMBruce Reuben, Mitch TrillingNSAKitt Peak Road TripClub members Mitch Trilling and Bruce Reuben present a visual travelogue of their two day stay with the Advanced Observing Program at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona. They had exclusive use of one of the observatories for two full nights of visual observing and imaging. They lived, ate, and talked with a small group of research astronomers from all over the world. Their own private observatory, 7000 feet above the desert floor, was quite an experience.
Fri, Jun 20 2008 07:30:00 PMHuan Lin, Donna KubikFNALNature’s TelescopePredicted in the early 1900s, examples of gravitational lensing weren’t discovered until the latter half of the century as there must be a good alignment of the lens, the lensed object, and us. Gravitational lensing not only magnifies the size of the lensed object but also amplifies its brightness. In this way, galaxies and galaxy clusters are “natural telescopes”, providing a view of objects we could not see without the magnification they provide. We will present an introduction to gravitational lensing and investigate its three regimes: microlensing, strong lensing, and weak lensing, including examples of each found in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and other surveys.
Fri, Jul 18 2008 07:30:00 PMRao Kotamarthi, Ph.D.ANL/EVSClimate Models and Climate Change ScienceThe IPCC AR 4 report has concluded with very high confidence that human activity is the leading cause for global warming. This conclusion and the confidence in these conclusions are drawn from a large number of climate model simulations. Here we will describe the basic structure, physics, and chemistry of the climate models used in this assessment and the procedures used for making confidence estimates. The primary inputs to these models and their predictions will be presented. The expectations for the next assessments in terms of model capabilities and input "scenarios" will be discussed.
Fri, Aug 15 2008 07:30:00 PMSatish DesaiFNALThe Birth of the UniverseThe study of the creation of the universe is one of humanity's oldest endeavors. Today, the beautiful and mysterious images from modern telescopes reveal fascinating vistas, spanning a huge range of time, viewing the universe almost to the moment of creation. Modern science has tools at its disposal unimagined by earlier seekers of the truth. In addition to merely observing the cosmos, the conditions of the early universe can be created in so-called "atom smashers." In this talk, Satish Desai, a physicist at Fermilab, will explain how the tiny and fleeting world of subatomic particles has shaped the vast and eternal universe in which we live.
Fri, Sep 12 2008 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAMember's AstrophotosMembers of the NSA will show off their skill at capturing the beauty of the night sky.
Fri, Oct 17 2008 07:30:00 PMJames KovacJPLMysteries of Mars and Neptune – Missions and DiscoveriesThe exploration begins with the fourth terrestrial planet from the Sun currently being explored by a fleet of orbital and ground-based robotic missions. We consider intriguing questions that scientists still ponder as they seek to understand the Red Planet, Mars. From there we travel outward with the Voyager mission to investigate the outermost Ice Giant, Neptune, with its dynamic atmosphere and unusual moon, Triton. If time permits, we will preview the long-anticipated exploration of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft as it continues toward its 2015 flyby of the distant Kuiper Belt frontier.
Fri, Nov 14 2008 07:30:00 PMDavid Langer, Peter Birren (Newtonian); Jerry McFarland, Charles Klingel (Refractor); and Bob Karas (SCT)NSAPanel Discussion on TelescopesNewtonians, Refractors, Catadioptrics... so many types of telescopes, which do I choose? That depends on what you like to observe, your experience, and, alas, your ability to spend cash on your hobby. Fear not! We at the NSA are here to help you with a panel discussion populated with members who own one or more of each type of telescope. They will tell you how their telescope works, why they chose their type of telescope, and its pros and cons. Meant to be a great introduction for newcomers to the hobby as well as experienced observers, come on by and ask whatever questions you have on your mind.
Fri, Dec 12 2008 07:30:00 PMVariousNSASwap MeetCome one, come all. We've scoured our basements for things we were going to sell on eBay anyway.

Program Schedule for 2009

Date/TimeSpeakerAffiliationTitleAbstract
Fri, Jan 9 2009 07:30:00 PMLen KazmerNSAUnderstanding the Spectra of StarsIn this talk, we'll explore the fundamentals of the stellar classification system and detail the events surrounding the discovery of spectral lines and the subsequent knowledge of the universe that has been obtained since then.
Fri, Feb 6 2009 07:30:00 PMGreg BuchwaldSelfThe Solar Eclipse of 1 August, 2008: Difficult Yet Spectacular!The seventh total eclipse the presenter has personally witnessed proved to be an interesting adventure: dealing with Chinese red tape, the Olympics and its associated travel restrictions, and other challenging impediments. Greg Buchwald will present a photo essay and videos of the trip, along with a first hand accounting of the entire experience. The presentation will finish with a brief discussion of the long duration eclipse of July, 2009 where the lunar shadow will skim the earth for up to 6 minutes and 39 seconds, as well as the unique opportunity to view another long eclipse over Easter Island and the South Pacific in July, 2010.
Fri, Mar 13 2009 07:30:00 PMAntonino Miceli, Ph.D.ANL/APSCharge Coupled DevicesTBA
Fri, Apr 10 2009 07:30:00 PMBruce Stephenson, Ph.D.Adler PlanetariumWhat was the Copernican Revolution, and who did it?The Copernican Revolution, in common usage, refers to the realization that Earth was merely one planet among others orbiting the Sun. This enormously simplified our understanding of planetary motion, and opened the way for our present view of astronomy as a (particularly interesting and informative) subfield of physics. The phrase has come to be used in a broader sense as well, for any intellectual change that moves us (as observers) to a more general point of view.
Fri, May 8 2009 07:30:00 PMRichard Doctor, Ph.D.ANL/ESDThe History and Science of the “Greenhouse” – Astronomical connectionsTBA
Fri, Jun 5 2009 07:30:00 PMDonna KubikFNALThe Dark Energy Survey and its "souped-up" CCDsThe discovery that the universe is accelerating, not slowing down from the mass it contains, is the surprise that sets the initial research program of 21st Century cosmology. The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is a next generation sky survey aimed directly at understanding this mystery. To conduct this survey, DES is building a new 500 Megapixel camera (DECam) and wide field corrector for the 4-meter Blanco telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile. The DES telescope and camera are in many ways just "souped-up" versions of amateur telescopes and cameras used today. Similarites and differences between amateur and professional telescopes will be explored, using the DES as an example.
Fri, Jul 10 2009 07:30:00 PMJames KovacJPLExoplanets: Worlds Beyond Our Solar SystemJoin Jim Kovac, Solar System Ambassador, for an exploration of the recent discoveries of extra-solar planets -- planets orbiting distant stars within our neighborhood of the Milky Way Galaxy. We'll first look at our own Solar System to get perspective and then discuss the detection methods used by the Planet Hunters to make these incredible discoveries. We'll examine the images of these distant worlds and cover the remarkable results to date. We'll conclude with a discussion of the possibility of other Earths.
Fri, Aug 7 2009 07:30:00 PMChristopher White, Ph.D.IIT/BCPSNeutrinos: What are they and why should we care?Neutrinos are the most abundant massive particle in the universe---far exceeding the number of protons and electrons. They play a critical role in supernova explosions and may hold the key to the baryon asymmetry. Neutrinos are also a major focus of particle physics and nuclear physics research world wide. I will discuss the history of the neutrino and explain why so many physicists are spending so much time and money studying them.
Fri, Sep 4 2009 07:30:00 PMDavid LangerNSAQuantum Physics for the LaymanQuantum Physics is often characterized as "infuriating", "confusing", "unfathomable", and "confounding." But is this reputation deserved? Come and find out the answer to these and all your quantum questions. No physics or math background required; we'll start from scratch and show in a clear, understandable way what Quantum Physics really says---from probability waves, to the uncertainty principle, to virtual particles, to entanglement, to quantum computing, to quantum teleportation, to Schroedinger's cat, to Schroedinger's A-bomb, to a realistic answer to whether or not "God plays dice with the Universe."
Fri, Oct 2 2009 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAMember's AstrophotosMembers of the NSA will show off their skill at capturing the beauty of the night sky.
Fri, Nov 6 2009 07:30:00 PMPeter Birren, Greg Buchwald, Darren Drake, Jerry ChernNSAPanel DiscussionObservation of astronomical objects. Differences between Lunar, Solar, Planetary, and Deep Sky.
Fri, Dec 4 2009 07:30:00 PMVariousNSASwap MeetCome one, come all. We've scoured our basements for things we were going to sell on eBay anyway.

Program Schedule for 2010

Date/TimeSpeakerAffiliationTitleAbstract
Fri, Jan 29 2010 07:30:00 PMJeff TerryIIT/PhysicsPower is EverythingEnergy use is related to quality of life. A tremendous amount of energy will be required to bring the remaining 80% of the world's population up to industrialized nations' standards. Fossil fuels won't last a century, even with strict conservation policies in place. A ramp-up of renewable energy sources seems unlikely even in the current political climate. This talk will focus on how nuclear power can be expanded to meet the demand for energy. It will also cover some of the difficulties involved in increasing the energy supply from nuclear and renewable sources. I will also touch on how amateur scientists can help to solve some of these issues.
Fri, Feb 26 2010 07:30:00 PMGreg BuchwaldSelf[WT] 2009 Solar Eclipse in Hangzhou ChinaThis talk will be a first-hand account of the 2009 July total solar eclipse in Hangzhou, China as witnessed by NSA's own solar eclipse chaser, Greg Buchwald. In addition, he will present his findings for the site inspection for the Easter Island eclipse to occur this coming July.
Fri, Mar 26 2010 07:30:00 PMIlias BelharouakANL/CSEHigh-energy density lithium-ion batteries for automotive applicationsThe high cost of cobalt and the low storage capacity of LiCoO2 have been major obstacles in applying Li-ion batteries to transportation. Research groups have been challenged with inventing and developing new advanced positive electrode materials whose main characteristic is to store more electricity per unit mass and volume. Of these materials, those developed at Argonne National Laboratory and recently licensed by several companies were found to deliver a high reversable capacity while being structurally and electrochemically stable upon charge and discharge. These materials are considered to be potential candidates for surmounting the energy density shortfall of current Li-ion technology. The journey for materials design and discovery will be discussed in the light of the most recent developments in Li-ion batteries.
Fri, Apr 30 2010 07:30:00 PMMark ChristensenNSAThe Dawn of the Space Shuttle (Folly)Between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, the US examined technologies for reusable space vehicles for both scientific and military purposes. We finally settled on the Space Shuttle system and bet the house on it. This talk discusses the technologies examined and discarded on the road from Sanger's "Silver Bird" to the current Space Shuttle and how some of these technologies still could be exploited for future space craft. The deadly interaction of constrained financing, mission creep, the effects of technological unknowns, and unrealistic expectations will be examined in detail---hopefully in a way that sheds some light on our current national quandary of what to do with the national manned space program. Lastly, the conclusions of the recent report by the Augustine commission will be summarized and discussed.
Fri, May 28 2010 07:30:00 PMDavid LangerNSARelativityIn July 2008 I enrolled in a four-day crash course titled "Relativity, Gravity, and Cosmology". Paul C. Joss, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at MIT, conducted the course on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. My talk will be a brief summary of the main points brought out by Prof. Joss, including the most recent theoretical and experimental advances in cosmology, as well as what we can expect to accomplish and learn in the near future and beyond, as told right from the forefront of the field. Many of Prof. Joss's own slides and material will be used (by permission, of course.)
Fri, Jun 25 2010 07:30:00 PMWilliam SpizzirriNSAA trip to the VLAI recently visited the Very Large Array (VLA), a major facility of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory system located near Socorro, New Mexico. It consists of 27 radio telescopes, each 82 feet in diameter, which, though interferometry, give us an unprecedented view of the universe at radio wavelengths. I will tell the story of the facility and the work they do, the sites we saw, show some photographs and a short video.
Fri, Jul 23 2010 07:30:00 PMBrian TiemanANL/APSExoplanet Observing From Your Own Back YardReports of new exoplanet systems and what we know about them are now common place. Space based missions such as CoRoT (COnvection, ROtation and planetary Transits) and Kepler and many ground based observatories are starting to discover new exoplanets almost daily. Thus far, over 400 exoplanet systems have been confirmed—--many being multi-planet systems. Is it possible for an amateur observer to contribute valuable scientific data on a Jupiter sized object circling a star hundreds of light years distant? We will follow one such observer’s quest to detect these far off worlds and discuss the methodologies used as well as how and why they changed over time. Many lessons were learned along the way—--and many surprises!
Fri, Aug 27 2010 07:30:00 PMJim KovacJPLSolar System -- Inner Worlds/Outer WorldsThe MESSENGER mission has flown by Mercury revealing a side never before seen. The Venus Express orbiter, probing the mysteries of Earth's inner neighbor is adding to the wealth of data returned by the Magellan mission. From the inner planets, we'll travel to the realm of the ice worlds in anticipation of what the New Horizons mission will ultimately reveal about Pluto and beyond.
Fri, Sep 24 2010 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAMember's AstrophotosMembers of the NSA will, once again, show off their amazing skill at capturing the beauty of the night sky.
Fri, Oct 22 2010 07:30:00 PMSam MarantoMUFONUFO Investigation Organizations and Some of Their Case StudiesA talk about organizations such as MUFON, CUFOS, NICAP, and NARCAP and some of the investigations Mr. Maranto has pursued on their behalf.
Fri, Nov 19 2010 07:30:00 PMVariousNSAPanel Discussion---Amateur TelescopesMembers will be showing off their home-made telescopes and relating the dos (and '''donts''') of making your own telescope.
Fri, Dec 17 2010 07:30:00 PMVariousNSASwap MeetCome one, come all. All the gear you didn't buy last year is available once again---for a limited time only!


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ProgramSchedule (last edited Wed, Feb 9 2011 04:13:29 PM by DavidGore)