This Saturday, August 22nd, 7:45pm; Please join SMCAS for our Zoom General Meeting & Star Party, with more to follow!


Hi All.  I'm Mike Ryan, SMCAS President, and I have some great news.

I'm inviting all of you, members and guests, to our first general meeting and lecture since the Covid-19 pandemic began.  It will be a combined event, with an astronomy lecture, followed by a virtual livestream star party.  You can all attend over the Zoom app from your computer, smart phone, or other device.  And, if this works as we expect, we will be doing this again every month through at least the end of 2020.

We have chosen the dates we have because they replace CSM's 'Jazz Under the Stars' star parties, on the Saturday evenings closest to First Quarter, when the Moon is best for viewing.  However, it is not so bright that we can't also view objects best seen in a dark sky.  Rather than try and hold two virtual livestream meetings a month, a lecture and a star party, we are choosing to make it easier on everyone, presenters and viewers, by offering each month's science lecture in concert with the star party.

Our tentative scheduled meetings include two guest speakers, Robert Garfinkle and Lea Hirsch, who have generously agreed to speak to us on September 19th and November 21st, respectively.   The three others, set for this coming Saturday August 22nd, October 17th and December 19th, will feature presentations by Chanan Greenberg, a longtime member and former VP of our Society, who maintains the Greenhawk Observatory at his home in Sunnyvale.  Chanan has prepared several lectures for employees of his company, and he has generously offered to share them with us.

Coming up this Saturday therefore, Chanan will present his talk 'Size of the Universe', intriguingly illustrated, and backed by his fascinating and entertaining narration.  As he will be presenting live, he can take questions and provide explanations via the Zoom Chat feature.

Our meeting is set to begin at 7:45pm with Club announcements, plus questions and answers.  The Zoom meeting window will open at 7:35, giving you a few minutes to log in and verify your video and audio connections.  Chanan's talk will commence at 8pm, and go for about an hour, with some time for Q&A to follow..

Following his talk, Chanan will join other members; our VP Ed Pieret, and Michael Cooke, to provide a roughly half-hour star party,  It will likely feature images, backed by my descriptive narration, of the Moon, Jupiter and  Saturn, plus DSO's (Deep Sky Objects) like galaxies, clusters and nebulae.  Once Chanan has answered your questions about the lecture, he will use his new planetary camera, while Ed and Michael image with their impressive new eVscopes.  Ed used his eVscope to provide the four preceding Zoom star parties which he and I provided Club members and guests on June 13th, 20th, and again on July 11th and 25th.

Following is the current login data for Saturday's meeting and star party:


Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 818 2857 2118
Passcode: SMCAS, or 442522


If your device does not have ZOOM installed, click the http://us02... link above.  It will download ZOOM to your device and connect you to the meeting.

If you do already have ZOOM installed, enter the Meeting ID to enter the meeting.  If a passcode is requested, use SMCAS (in upper case).  If that doesn't get you in, try 442522.

This meeting was set almost a week ago, and some login data has changed.  It may change again.  However, Chanan Greenberg will send around a follow-up login message before Saturday.  If that login link and/or Meeting ID differs from those above, please use the latest versions to join our ZOOM meeting this weekend, after 7:35pm.

I and my colleagues look forward to hosting you on Saturday.  

If you have questions, you can contact me at 'jmrastro@...', or phone me at (650) 678-2762.

Thanks for your time and attention.  Stay healthy.  All the best.

Mike Ryan