• Galaxy Season

    Houge Park

    For a couple of new moons in the spring we get a chance to see up and out of the Milky Way, with a clear view of the universe unobstructed by the light pollution thrown off by our galaxy. That gives us our best opportunity to see other galaxies, and in this talk we'll explore their varieties and how best to view them. This talk is a little more focused than our Intro talks but not more difficult to understand, so its still accessible to people with no prior experience or education in astronomy. It's all happening at Houge Park, in San Jose. Building # 1 is at the north end of the park, near the parking lot, and near the tennis courts, off Twilight Drive. More details and past presentations can be found here: http://www.sjaa.net/beginners-astronomy/ Directions: http://www.sjaa.net/viewing-locations/#Houge_Park Hope to see you there!

  • Board of Directors Meeting

    Houge Park

    SJAA's Board Meeting Have an interest in learning about the inner workings of the club? Come join us as we discuss club operations and programs.

  • Astronomy Talk : Studying Metals in the Circumgalactic Medium by Post-Processing

    Come join us for our monthly Astronomy talk! 7:30pm to 8pm: Social time, come and mingle. We will have snacks and beverages. Talk begins at 8pm. Topic: Studying Metals in the Circumgalactic Medium by Post-Processing Galaxy Simulations Speaker: Bryan Wang (The Harker School), Rishi Dange (The Harker School) Description: In recent decades, cosmological simulations have played an increasing role in the expert understanding of galaxy formation, but while simulations have improved dramatically, many parameters such as the strength of stellar and supernova feedback are not well determined. The circumgalactic medium (CGM), the gas outside of the galaxy disc but within the dark matter halo, could be an effective probe of feedback models due to its high ionization level and low density. However, since the CGM does not form stars and is usually detected in absorption spectra, instead of simulated telescope image comparisons, a more specialized methodology is needed. This work analyzes the CGM of many simulated galaxies using the random sampling of sightlines throughout a spherical volume surrounding them, emulating absorption spectra. We determine each sightline using two points: the starting location is chosen uniformly over the surface of the sphere and the midpoint is uniformly distributed throughout the bulk of a smaller concentric sphere. We project along this line of sight and use ionization calculation software TRIDENT to determine the column densities of ions situated in the line. Since we can make a large number of individual sightlines, many statistical properties can be examined, covering the full spectrum of redshifts, star formation histories, masses, and other macroscopic parameters of the simulated galaxies. These properties can be directly compared to observed absorption data, and can therefore help constrain the parameters of these simulations and either improve confidence in their predictions or determine what physical models need to be adjusted. Mentors: Clayton Strawn (UCSC) and Professor Joel Primack (UCSC)

  • Astronomy 101: Sights of the Cosmos, Intro to Astronomy

    This event provides a different introduction to astronomy than our Intro to the Night Sky talks. During this hour, you'll gain an appreciation for the size and scale of the cosmos and our place within it. You'll see many examples of the beautiful objects visible in the night sky, learn something about how we see them through our telescopes and what we can deduce about them through the light they send us. And then you can make your own prediction of whether we're alone in the universe. This talk is free of charge. Just come by and enjoy the show. After the talk, you can check out telescopes that will be set up as part of our In-Town Star Party. (See *In Town Star Party - 3Q* event on Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/SJ-Astronomy/events/257516630/) The talk will be presented by Wolf Witt. Wolf is not an actual astronomer, nor has he ever played one on TV. However, he's been interested in outer space since he was a kid and still thinks that the universe is an amazing place. He's been with SJAA for six years, and now he'll share with you his enthusiasm and some of what he's learned about the cosmos. Maybe you'll think it's amazing, too. It's all happening at Houge Park in San Jose. Park your car in the lot near the tennis courts (at the north end of the park off Twilight Drive) and then head towards the building adjacent to the lot (Bldg. 1). Directions: http://www.sjaa.net/viewing-locations/#Houge_Park Hope to see you there! Many of SJAA’s events, like this one, are public and free to attend, but if you’re enjoying what SJAA has to offer, consider becoming a paid member for only $20 per year: https://www.sjaa.net/membership/benefits-of-membership-2/ (Photo: M51, The Whirlpool Galaxy as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope.)

  • In Town Star Party - 3Q

    Houge Park

    Come view the heavens through a telescope at the SJAA's In Town Star Party. Bring a scope to share the views, and if you do, feel free to come early to set up. Remember, this event is free, everyone is invited, no reservations required. Just show up! http://www.sjaa.net/monthly-star-parties/ http://www.sjaa.net/learnresources/viewing-locations/#Houge_Park

  • Starry Nights Star Party at RCDO April 27th

    4289 Casa Loma Rd

    Important : New registration process - please see below. SJAA is proud to work with the Open Space Authority (OSA) to co-host a public star party at Rancho Canada Del Oro (RCDO). This site is just 30 minutes south of downtown San Jose and features dark skies. It's so dark you can see the band of our Milky Way galaxy in the summer. Do not bring your own telescope (binoculars are welcomed but please no tripods). SJAA official club members will set up their telescopes to help the public get the most knowledge and enjoyment out of the truly dark Starry Night sky. This is a family friendly event, but probably best for children 5 years and older. No touching the telescopes or eyepieces. (Maybe a focus knob, if instructed by the astronomer. OK to ask). No smoking and no pets. ***No flash photography or imaging (OSA is making RCDO available for visual observing only tonight). See http://www.Meetup.com/SJ-astronomy for Astro-Imaging events.*** Dress in warm layers (it gets cold at night). If you bring a dim white flashlight, be sure to bring it with, or get it wrapped in red plastic at the sign-in desk (to help preserve everyone's night vision). Rain, heavy clouds or thick smoke cancels. Please arrive no later than 1 hour prior to ending time as the gates may be closed to allow staff to prepare to wrap up the session. ******************** OSA now mandates that all folks obtain an Eventbrite ticket. Please note this link to Eventbrite is separate from the OSA's link for tickets. The link on OSA's website is currently sold out. Due to limited parking spaces, we are only allotted 25 tickets from the OSA. Once they are gone, we cannot get anymore. Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sjaa-starry-nights-star-party-at-rcdo-april-27th-tickets-60392779429 Only those with a ticket will be allowed entry. Each Eventbrite ticket is for one car. For example, if you have four people in a car, just order one ticket.

  • Astro Imaging Workshop

    Little Uvas Open Space Preserve

    SJAA is proud to sponsor this outdoor workshop were we help those folks who are interested in learning about the mechanics of AstroPhotography and Imaging. Bring your questions, and/or your complete astrophotography rig (battery powered). I Usually give an hour talk about the different kinds of night time photography, then after full dark, demonstrate deep space astrophotography (Nebulae, Galaxies, Globular Clusters, etc.). All events will now be held at Little Uvas Open Space Preserve, instead of Coyote Valley. This is a darker spot, much better for nighttime photography and astroimaging. Note the following please: This is a dirt road and field to park in, no modern conveniences although sometimes there is a porta potty, but not always. There are horses loose in the field, PLEASE be careful opening the gate and be sure to close it behind you so the horses don't end up on the busy road! Don't assume the person(s) behind you will close the gate. Please check that they do or do it yourself. Please arrive BEFORE sunset, which will be at 7:15. The gate should be "dummy locked" so you can open it, enter, and close it behind you. You can park in the flat field to your left just after you drive in. If you have a rig you can set it up in the field close to the road. You can leave anytime, just again be careful with the gate/horses and close the gate behind you. This site has fewer creature comforts, but it's darker than Coyote Valley and even darker than RCDO, if you been there for a Starry Nights Star Party. In the mean time, check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzKIrQdzoy9n-s1VYaFOLJA/videos Cheers, Glenn

  • Fix It

    Houge Park

    Fix It Day, sometimes called the Telescope Tune Up or the Telescope Fix It program is a real simple service the SJAA offers to members of the community for free, though it’s priceless. The Fix It session provides a place for people to come with their telescope or other astronomy gear problems and have them looked at, such as broken scopes whose owners need advice, or need help with collimating a telescope. Please see the registration form at: http://www.sjaa.net/fixit/ Please note that we may not be able to service drop-ins because we may not have the tools or personal on-hand to assist you. That is the main benefit to filling out the form provided in the link above.

  • Solar Observing

    Houge Park

    It’s there for us year round, lighting our days and providing energy for our lives, so maybe it’s time to give it a closer look. Join SJAA for amazing and detailed views of the Sun, and be assured that we’ll be using special telescopes that will keep your eyeballs perfectly safe. We’ll have white-light telescopes with dense solar filters that reveal sunspots. Further, we’ll show you hydrogen-alpha telescopes that isolate a very specific color of red that reveals prominences (often thought of as solar flares) and intricate texture within the Sun’s chromosphere (its atmosphere). We can also share with you a little about how the Sun works and how complex magnetic fields drive the number of sunspots and prominences that we’ll see on a given day. Many of SJAA’s events, like this one, are public and free to attend, but if you’re enjoying what SJAA has to offer, consider becoming a paid member for only $20 per year: https://www.sjaa.net/membership/benefits-of-membership-2/

  • Intro to the Night Sky

    Houge Park

    At our "Intro to the Night Sky" talk, learn about what's happening in the night sky in the coming month and what you can see from your own backyard in San Jose. Afterward take a walk down telescope row at our In-Town Star Party. The class and the star party are free, no reservations, just show up! It's all happening at Houge Park, in San Jose. Building # 1 is at the north end of the park, near the parking lot, and near the tennis courts, off Twilight Drive. More details and past presentations can be found here: http://www.sjaa.net/beginners-astronomy/ Directions: http://www.sjaa.net/viewing-locations/#Houge_Park Hope to see you there!