Williamson County Astronomy Club

Past Meeting Program Subjects

The Williamson County Astronomy Club offers meeting programs covering subjects of interest to both armchair astronomers and observers alike.  Listed here is a sampling of our past meeting programs.

January 7, 2016

"Members' Show and Tell"
Multiple members will give short talks about their choice of topic. They may show and discuss smaller new projects they have worked on, new equipment, new books, or observing session results in the form of field reports or astro-photography they have done.

February 4, 2016

"Video: History of the Allegheny Observatory"
A video chronicling the history of the Allegheny Observatory and its contributions to science will be shown.

March 3, 2016

"AstroPhotography: Step By Step"
Club members David Ault and John Upton will detail their individual processes for executing an astro-imaging session. They will detail the equipment and software they use and take the audience through an imaging session step by step. Beginners and other intermediate imagers will hopefully gather tips and hints for making an outing more productive with a minimum of frustration.

April 7, 2016

"A Survey of Astrograph Designs"
Club member John Upton will run through a selection of telescope designs best suited for photography and highlight what makes them good. (Low spherical aberration, low chromatic aberration, low coma, flat field, etc.) He will also identify and differentiate a number of commercially available design examples.

May 5, 2016

"Principles Of DSO Image Processing"
Club member David Ault will present a condensed tutorial on using image processing software to build an image of a deep sky object from raw camera data. The basics of what processes need to be done and how they are performed will be covered. Highlighted will be a simplified introduction to more advanced topics to help solve particularly difficult problems often encountered in processing astronomical images.

June 2, 2016

"Sketching the Moon"
Club member Mark Zell will cover the whys and hows of making drawings of the moon along with some examples and historical context. Techniques used for lunar sketching can be transferred to drawing other astronomical objects.

July 7, 2016

"Geological Tour of the Terrestrial Planets"
Peter Wehner, Instructor at Austin Community College (Geology) will present an overview of the types of geology present on the terrestrial planets of out Solar System. He will compare and contrast what is known about the inner planets.

August 4, 2016

"Dealing With Space Junk"
Club member Jim Reimund will discuss the problems associated with "space junk". Low Earth orbit contains everything from screw drivers to satellite parts; all moving at 17,500 mph. Just who is tracking all this debris and how might it be dangerous for us?

September 1, 2016

"Lucky Imaging Techniques"
Club member David Ault will discuss planetary and high resolution deep space object imaging with lucky imaging (short exposure) techniques. He will cover the differences between usual long exposure and lucky imaging techniques as well as the type of hardware used. Advantages of the method will be highlighted.

October 6, 2016

"Seeing The Light"
Dr. Mark Bottorff, Director of Fountainwood Observatory at Southwestern University will present an overview of past and future research efforts at Southwestern. He will touch on how we can understand the workings of the universe by observing light from objects at multiple wavelengths.

November 3, 2016

"Jupiter Missions: Voyager to Juno"
Club president Bruce Campney will present an overview of the missions to Jupiter beginning with Voyager and bringing us forward to the current Juno mission. This history of the exploration of the giant planet Jupiter will be seen through video clips and stills of mission results.

December 1, 2016

"Recent Star Party Trip Reports"
Multiple club members will give presentations on their experiences at the Okie-Tex and Eldorado Star Parties for 2016.  Some members attend to enjoy relaxed observing under very dark skies while others devote themselves to multi-night marathon imaging sessions.