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 4, 2018
"A Compact Wireless Weather Station"
Club Member Bob Read will discuss his latest project: a compact wireless weather station packaged into a cube less than 1 inch on each side. Such a device can be used as a home weather system or used to report conditions for a remote observatory.
February 1, 2018
"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.
March 1, 2018
"Raspberry Pi Astrophotography: LinGuider"
Club member Stephen Hill will discuss his continuing project to run guiding and imaging tools on a Raspberry PI low cost, single board computer. He will concentrate his discussion on getting a auto-guider solution running on the RasPi.
April 5, 2018
"Business Meeting Only"
Due to the meeting room being unavailable only the club business and announcement portion of the meeting was held. Dr. Wiley's talk on the AAVSO is pushed to the May meeting.
May 3, 2018
"An Introduction to the AAVSO"
Club member Dr. Ed Wiley will give us an introduction and overview of the activities and opportunities for amateur astronomers participating in the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers). The AAVSO gives everyday amateur astronomers the opportunity to participate in and contribute to scientific research. Dr. Wiley has been active in the AAVSO for a number of years and currently instructs an AAVSO course covering CCD Photometry.
June 7, 2018
"Black Holes ain't as black as they are painted"
Club member will Bruce Campney will present a compendium of excerpts from Stephen Hawkings Reith Lectures presented in 2016.
July 5, 2018
"Preparing For the Mars Opposition"
Club president Bruce Campney will moderate a discussion by multiple club members regarding tips and techniques for observing and photographing Mars during this years relatively close opposition. Mars will be closest to Earth on July 27, 2018 and grow in apparent size to a maximum of 24.7 arc-seconds.
August 2, 2018
"Astrophoto Retrospective: Circa 1990"
Club members Bruce Campney and John Upton will go old-tech for this meeting and give a tour of the universe using only photos taken prior to 1990. Photos from professional observatories of that era will be presented and contrasted with amateur photos taken by club members in the past few years.
September 6, 2018
New eyepieces hit the market every year, which is great for the amateur community, but sometimes the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. Selecting eyepieces depends largely on your telescope's design and specifications, and on what objects you like to observe. Club member Mark Zell will present some things to consider when assembling a collection of eyepieces, and what new eyepiece designs have to offer.
October 4, 2018
"The Big Questions In Astronomy Today"
Club President Bruce Campney will begin by surveying what attendees think are the "Big Questions In Astronomy Today". Part of the ensuing ideas and discussion will be used to set meeting program ideas for 2019.
November 1, 2018
Dr. Mark Bottorff of Southwestern University will present the story of Henrietta Leavett and her work at Harvard University. Like the women of "Hidden Figures", the work of Henrietta Leavett was not publicly recognized for many years. Dr. Bottorff will tell her story and relate her many accomplishments to astronomy.
December 6, 2018
"Eldorado Star Party 2018 Trip Reports"
Multiple club members will describe their experiences from attending this years Eldorado Star Party at the X-Bar Ranch in Eldorado, Texas.