Upcoming Events

Events are open to all members and the general public. Sign up for email event updates by registering with Night Sky Network.

Most of our events happen at the Chabot Space and Science Center. Get directions here.


Next General Meeting

Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Our meeting begins promptly at 7:00 P.M.

Meetings are held in Virtual Space

Our guest speaker for the evening is Dr. Marc D. Rayman, Dawn Mission Chief Engineer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
 
To Boldly Go… Well, You Know: NASA’s Dawn Mission to the Asteroid Belt
 

The ambitious and exciting Dawn mission was one of NASA’s most remarkable ventures into the solar system. The spacecraft completed a dramatic exploration of Vesta in 2011-2012 and conducted a spectacular mission at Ceres from 2015 until late 2018. These were among the last uncharted worlds in the inner solar system prior to Dawn. They are the two largest residents of the main asteroid belt, that vast collection of bodies between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres is so large that it is included in the category of dwarf planets, along with Pluto.

Dawn is the only spacecraft ever to orbit a dwarf planet and is the only one ever to orbit any two extraterrestrial destinations. Such a mission would have been impossible without the use of ion propulsion, a technology that had largely been in the domain of science fiction.

Dr. Marc Rayman, who was the mission director and chief engineer, will give a fascinating and entertaining presentation on the Dawn mission and its use of ion propulsion as well as its two exotic destinations. He also will share the excitement and profundity of controlling a spaceship in deep space.

Dr. Marc Rayman is a top rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a popular speaker and writer. He has been captivated by astronomy and space since he was four years old and decided at the age of nine that he wanted to earn a Ph.D. in physics and work for NASA, although it was a few more years before he did.

He has worked on a wide variety of missions to explore the cosmos, including Dawn (the topic of his presentation on July 24) as well as NASA’s first mission to acquire close-up images of the nucleus of a comet, missions to detect planets around other stars, Voyager’s mission beyond the solar system, a mission to return a sample from Mars, a laser altimeter for Mars, the Spitzer infrared space telescope, the development of systems to use lasers instead of radios to communicate with interplanetary spacecraft, and more. Marc has received many honors and awards, not only for his technical work and leadership but also for his dedication to sharing the thrill of exploration and the rewards of scientific insight with the public. His recent TED talk (recorded at home because of the pandemic), If it Isn’t Impossible, It Isn’t Worth Trying, is at http://tinyurl.com/TEDMarc

This talk will be available live and publicly at:
EAS Members will get a private Zoom invitation by Email

Outreach

[In person events are on hold because of COVID, contact us for possible virtual events, or visit http://www.chabotspace.org for scheduled public virtual telescope viewing events]

EAS sends volunteers to schools, libraries, and anywhere curious aspiring astronomers gather. EAS volunteers bring their own equipment or borrow telescopes. Students, parents, and teachers are always thrilled to look through the telescopes and ask questions. You’ll meet all sorts of interesting people and provide a unique and inspiring experience to kids and parents who may have never looked through a telescope before. Find our next event on the calendar above.

Inquire about and request visits by e-mailing EAS Outreach Coordinator Raymond Howard at outreach@eastbayastro.org. Visit our outreach page to find out about upcoming events.


Members Only Viewing Nights (MOVN)

[In person events are on hold because of COVID, visit http://www.chabotspace.org for virtual telescope viewing events]

Once a month, we schedule a Members Only Viewing Night at the Chabot Telescope Deck for both EAS and Chabot members. This is our opportunity to look through Chabot’s historic instruments and research telescope, as well as bring our own equipment to share in a more quiet venue. The schedule for MOVN appears in the event calendar below.


Barcroft High Altitude Star Party

We’re sorry. Because of COVID-19, EAS has cancelled the 2021 Barcroft High-Altitude Star Party. We’ll try again in 2022.


Event Calendar

Header photo by EAS member Alan Roche.