Meetings — Speakers

The Cape Cod Astronomical Society holds a monthly meeting, with a guest speaker, in the school library (the library is in the front right-side of the school as you face it from Station Avenue) which is located at:

Dennis-Yarmouth High School
210 Station Ave, South Yarmouth, MA 02664

The meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month beginning at 7:30pm.  After the guest speaker has concluded their engagement, society members will usually have a discussion of society interests.

Gus Romano or his delegate “host” a dutch-treat dinner gathering for members and friends of the Society each meeting night. The speaker for each meeting is always invited. Please join the group to dine and talk about all things interesting, including astronomy!  Check the calendar for time and location information.

UPCOMING SPEAKERS

July – Jim Lynch, CCAS. “The Drake Equation, with emphasis on the 7th term.”

The Drake Equation, to quote Wikipedia, “is a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.” Written in 1961 by Frank Drake, the director of the Arecibo Observatory, as a way to stimulate scientific dialogue at the first SETI conference, the equation has seven deceptively simple terms that are multiplied to get the number of such civilizations, N. The seventh term, L, is “the length of time over which such civilizations release detectable signals.” As we have not yet received an extraterrestial signal, we have only one civilization to study at present – ours! There are aspects of our civilization that should be universal, and others that may be specific to us, and that is what makes the problem interesting. A small warning – some of the possible N outcomes are a bit scary, so you might need to use Vulcan dispassion in considering some of the talk!

August – Dr. Tony Stark, HSCfA. “Star Formation in the Milky Way and Beyond”

September – Sarah Sisson, CCAS. “Stellar Structure.”

October – George Silva, Bernie Young, and Paul Fucile. Topics TBD.

November – Dr. Larry Marschall, Gettysburg College. “Tiny bit of shakin’ going on: Gravitational waves and the universe.”

On September 14, 2015, two unusual observatories, one in Louisiana and another in Washington State, recorded the near-simultaneous arrival of gravitational waves. This was the first time these subtle distortions of space had been detected, though their existence was predicted by Albert Einstein a century earlier.  The discovery, perhaps the most remarkable and challenging astronomical measurement of the century, opened up a new way for astronomers to study the universe. We’ll give some background on the nature of these odd ripples in the cosmos, and explain how, by observing changes on the earth’s surface that are smaller than the nucleus of an atom, astronomers are now able to study some of the most powerful events in the universe– the collisions of black holes millions of light years away.

December – Dr. Frank Primini, HSCfA. Title TBD.

* If you would like to give a talk, either as the main speaker of the evening, or as an ancillary speaker, please notify Jim Lynch at jlynch@whoi.edu.