What we're about

The cosmos is the starting point for so much. Our group started as the Bend Astronomy Meetup under the vision of our founder Jim Wiggins. Jim, who worked for JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), saw the importance of turning on everyday people to the wonders of the universe through astronomy using telescopes on sidewalks, as well as the high tech scopes offered by Sunriver and Pine Mountain. It turns out the vision caught on, with 350 members and counting signing up to gaze at this incredible universe of ours. And so it seems wondering about the vastness isn't so unusual after all. It's something that resides deep inside all of us. We want to know how big it all is, where it started, where it's going. The questions never end.

Jim asked me if I would take over the group several months ago and I considered it an honor. Since then I've been doing my best to schedule what I think might be interesting meetups for our members, and since folks have been showing up I think I might be finding some success at it. I've been working with the Sisters Science Club to inform our members of the great presentations they have been putting on at the Belfry and that has turned out to be popular with our members. We've also been taking advantage of the amazing new scope at the Worthy Brewing Hopservatory, led by one of our very informed members and organizers Grant Tandy. I must say there is nothing so sweet as to look at Andromeda in real time at the Hopservatory. I've also been scheduling social meetups where we can get to know one another and even events as far reaching as our recent LIGO trip to take a look at the heart of what has become the new telescope on the block, gravitational wave detection scopes promising to open up yet another frequency (or type) of astronomical observation. Our third organizer Larry, is what one might say is a connoisseur of telescopes. He knows his stuff and if you want to know about scopes, well quite frankly, there is no-one else to ask but Larry.

Our membership are curious people with a desire to learn more about everything and it warms my heart that I can be surrounded by such minds!

Which leads me all back to my original statement, "The cosmos is the starting point for so much". And this is true. If you are like me, you can't wonder about Andromeda without also wondering about the nature of an electron, or light, or living cells or anything that has to do with all that surrounds us. It's just natural that if you are interested in one of the sciences, you will undoubtedly be interested in others. It goes with the territory.

This being the case and in a sincere effort to get more "everyday people" involved in the very important beautiful thing we call science, and after many many hours of discussing this with many of our members, I have decided to change the name of our group to "Astronomy and Beyond".

What does this mean? Well, not a whole lot actually. The name change honors our early members that are very dedicated to the great art of astronomy while offering a way for new members who are into science but perhaps not necessarily astronomy per se' to meet and find each other.

Our group under this name change will not only focus on the amazing world of astronomy but will also offer up meetings that have to do with anything science that I feel will be of interest to our membeship. In other words, we're not just astronomers, we're lovers of science. Amen!

Upcoming events (1)

Science Open Mic #2

Broken Top Bottle Shop

PLEASE NOTE, WE HAD TO CHANGE THE DATE TO MAR 7TH DUE TO AN ACCIDENTAL SCHEDULING CONFLICT. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR RSVP IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT ON THAT DATE It's that time everyone! Get ready for Science Open Mic #2. Our first open mic was a magnificent success so we're doing it again. This time around I'm going to try and limit the total presentation time to an hour and fifteen so we have more time to socialize beforehand. I think I have 2 commitments as of this writing, so I need 2 or 3 more. If we can limit the talks to 13 minutes then I think we can get 5 people in, which would be ideal. Social at 6:00 and presentations start at 6:40. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TALKING THIS TIME AROUND, CONTACT ME ASAP AS WE WILL PROBABLY FILL UP. Give me the title of your talk, a one sentence description and how long you think your talk might be (1 minute to approx 13 minutes, longer if the times add up just right). A video projector is available and in our first round 4 people took advantage of it. What is this you may ask? Well, you've heard of open mics before where someone gets up for 10 minutes or so to share a song, poem, or story. This is no different, but it's all about SCIENCE. You love science, and you want to share your enthusiasm. Great! Perhaps you've just bought a new 4" refractor telescope and you want to tell everyone about it. Super! Perhaps you have been closely watching the new Mars lander and want to share what you've been learning! We're listening! Maybe you visited an interesting science museum in Ireland. We look forward to living vicariously! Maybe you just discovered a scientist from centuries ago that no one has heard of and you think maybe its time they did. Fantastic. Maybe you wrote a poem about science. Why not? Maybe you are just excited about science and want to talk about why you are excited about it. Wonderful! You get the idea. Anything goes as long as it's science. YOU DON'T NEED TO BE AN EXPERT. In fact I suspect that you will most certainly not be. All you need is an interest in something involving science and an interest in sharing it. The audience is guaranteed to be supportive and will cheer you on. Here are the details. You contact me ASAP and let me know you want to talk. You tell me how much time you need (1 minute to 13 minutes max, possibly a little longer), the title of your talk and a one sentence description. The event will take place only if I have at least 4 presenters. An HDMI video projector will be available if you want one so bring your computer. I can also accommodate iPhone/iPad lightning connections. Or, if you prefer, just use cardboard charts. If you don't need anything, just bring yourself. However you want to do it is fine. A mic will be used. Here are the rules: The talk must be related to science. No politics or topics that can be construed as attacks on people or groups. Use good judgement! Science policy topics such as climate change or science in schools for example are fine. Other than that, it's your talk. Use your imagination! Obviously, the success of this event depends heavily on YOU. Maybe you're not sure if you want to present, but you might. I encourage you to give it a shot. If it helps, I know you will be awesome! You will sleep with a smile on your face! You will gain fans and admiration. You may even end up touring the world armed with your newly found passion opening for Neils Degrasse Tyson. The sky is the limit! See you soon, oh, and yes that is St. Vincent in the photo in case you were wondering. Photo by Haags Uitburo on Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Past events (60)

In Love of Oregon's Oceans

The Belfry

Photos (57)