Amateur Astronomy Under The Big Sky
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  • SMAS October guest speaker

    Posted on September 24th, 2020 Lynn Powers No comments

    This Saturday is International Observe the Moon Night – if you can try to get outside and take a look! I got a sneak peek last night and the ISS flew overhead a beautiful site!

    Our October meeting will be a virtual meeting:  Thursday, October 1st via zoom – so you can join from the comfort of home. Starting at 7:00 p.m. mountain time. 

    “You can almost touch the stars”  By guest speaker Tom Field

    Even if you wanted to touch a star, they’re all impossibly distant.  Despite these great distances, astronomers have learned an enormous amount about stars. How?  The most common method to study stars is called spectroscopy, which is the science of analyzing the colorful rainbow spectrum produced by a prism-like device. 
    Until recently, spectroscopy was too expensive and too complicated for all but a handful of amateurs.  Today though, new tools make spectroscopy accessible to almost all of us.  You no longer need a PhD, dark skies, long exposures, enormous aperture … or a big budget! With your current telescope and FITS camera (or a simple webcam or even a DSLR without a telescope), you can now easily study the stars yourself.  Wouldn’t you like to detect the atmosphere on Neptune or the redshift of a quasar right from your own backyard?! 
    This talk, with lots of interesting examples, will show you what it’s all about and help you understand how spectroscopy is used in research. Even if you are an armchair astronomer, understanding this filed will enhance your understanding of things you have read about the night sky.  
    This 45 minute live via zoom presentation will be followed by a Q&A session. 

    Tom Field has been a contributing editor at Sky & Telescope Magazine for the past 7 years. He is the author of the RSpec software which received the S&T ‘Hot Product’ award in 2011.  Tom is a popular speaker who has spoken to hundreds of clubs via the web and in-person at many conferences, including NEAF imaging conference, the Winter Star Party, the Advancing Imaging conference, and others. 

    An email reminder along with the login information for zoom will be sent soon!

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