On May 11, 2019, retired Apollo Guidance and Navigation Engineer Harlan Neuville regailed us with his stories and background working on six Apollo missions including Apollo11 and the ill-fated Apollo 13. Harlan also designed several pieces of Apollo equipment including the sextant that Bill Paxton as astronaut Fred Haise can be seen using in the movie "Apollo 13".

Apollo Engineer Harlan Neuville Video part 1

Apollo Engineer Harlan Neuville Video part 2


While with the University of Arizona-Dept of Planetary Sciences, Roger Tanner worked on the Mars Pathfinder Stereo Camera, the Stereo Camera and Robotic Arm Camera for Mars98, two cameras for Mars01, some parts for the Mars Recon Orbiter Camera, the Mars Phoenix Cameras (3), and finally the three Osiris Rex PolyCams (OCAMS) which is a sample return mission to the asteroid Bennu, and lots of proposals for Mars cameras, Of those Mars 98 crashed, Mars01 was cancelled and the rest were successful. Osiris Rex is currently preparing to make close up detailed images of the 4 sample sites with the PolyCam. Minor planet (13668) Tanner, discovered Apr 28, 1997, is named for Roger.

Roger Tanner Video part 1

Roger Tanner Video part 2

Roger Tanner Video part 3


NASA Engineer Dale A Force discusses the NASA missions for which he helped develop the radio packages. These missions include Cassini, Deep Impact, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and SCaN Testbed. Dale holds both bachelor and graduate degrees in physics from Michigan State University and a graduate degree in thermionics from the University of Utah. Dale has been an electronics engineer with NASA for 38 years.


Viewing and imaging beautiful doubles is fun and easy however they often go unnoticed. You don't need any special equipment but binoculars and telescope to give you hundreds or thousands of wonderful targets. Mr. Nancarrow will discuss double stars, multiple stars, designations, characteristics, how to observe and needed equipment. Blake Nancarrow is the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)-Toronto Centre Volunteer Coordinator, Carr Astronomical Observatory Supervisor, David Dunlap Observatory Operator, and SkyNews contributor. Mr. Nancarrow has studied and measured binary stars, has been published in multiple journals, and recently launched the RASC double star observing certificate programme.


Palomar Observatory and the legendary 200-in Hale telescope are among the most iconic scientific facilities in the world, and the crown jewels in the research traditions of Caltech. Conceived of nearly 100 years ago and designed with slide rules and trig tables, the observatory has been in continuous scientific operation since the mid-1930s and remains productive and relevant today. George Ellery Hale (1868–1938) and a dedicated group of astronomers, engineers, technicians, and builders secured funding, designed the telescopes and site, and created the Observatory in much the same state as it exists today.The design and construction of Palomar and the Hale 200-in telescope was the Apollo program of its day. Steven Flanders has been associated with Palomar Observatory for eleven years, the first four as a volunteer docent and the remainder as a Caltech employee responsible for the Observatory’s public outreach program. Steve holds an MBA from Cornell and an MA in the history of science from Harvard. For most of his career, Steve was employed in various management and technical roles in the information systems departments of several corporations.


The James Webb Space Telescope is the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. It is the largest space telescope ever constructed that will extend humanities’ high definition view of the universe into the infrared spectrum to reveal early epochs of the universe that the Hubble cannot see. The Webb’s science instrument payload includes four sensor systems that provide imagery, coronagraphy, and spectroscopy over the near- and mid-infrared spectrum. The JWST is being developed by NASA, in partnership with the European and Canadian Space Agencies, with science observations proposed by the international astronomical community in a manner similar to the Hubble. The final stages of pre-flight testing are underway in all areas of the program.

Dr. Matthew Greenhouse has served on the James Webb Space Telescope senior staff as Project Scientist for the Webb science instrument payload since 1997. He specializes in infrared imaging spectroscopy, development of related instrumentation and technologies, flight project science, and technical management.


What does the universe look like on the largest scales? Join Lowell Observatory astronomer Dr. Michael West as we journey through crowded cities of galaxies, empty regions where galaxies practice social distancing, and the vast cosmic web that ties them all together. As Deputy Director for Science, Dr. Michael West is responsible for a number of tasks relating to the observatory’s scientific and outreach missions. Prior to joining Lowell, he served as Director of the Maria Mitchell Observatory, Head of Science in Chile for the European Southern Observatory, Head of Science Operations at Gemini South, and a tenured Professor of Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. West’s research interests include star clusters, galaxy formation and evolution, clusters of galaxies, and the large-scale structure of the universe. He has been Principal Investigator for six Hubble Space Telescope projects to date, and has been awarded time on other major telescopes around the world.


Dr. Beatty discusses the devices and methods he uses in his research to identify exoplanets and, in particular, Earth-like, habitable planets. His talk includes how we learn about their atmospheres and weather and what that tells us about the possibility of life on those planets, evidence of life and even technology. Dr. Beatty joined Steward Observatory 2018. His research focuses on observational studies of exoplanets, from first detection through to characterization of their atmospheres and climates. He is an expert in using near-infrared telescopes on the ground and space to make super precise measurements of the light from exoplanets and their atmospheres. On the ground, Dr. Beatty primarily uses the Large Binocular Telescope, and the Hobby-Eberly Telescope, and in space he uses the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes (and JWST in the future). The goal of his research is to use these measurements to better understand the cloud properties, composition, and formation histories of giant exoplanets, and to work towards the eventual characterization of the atmospheres and climates of smaller planets than might host life.


We experienced audio problems during this Zoom presentation. The problems that you're hearing are not on your end. Ed Anderson is a member of the Astronomical Society of Long Island and the Custer Institute and Observatory. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at both organizations addressing the membership and the public. He has been featured in the newspaper Newsday and has published over 15 articles on several astronomy-focused websites. Ed is very active on the Cloudy Nights forums, under the screen name AEAJR, where he focuses his time on helping new people. He has a degree in business with a minor in physics. He recently retired from a 38-year outside sales career in data center technology, most recently for Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Ed has been interested in science and astronomy most of his life. Ed entered into the astronomy hobby in a serious manner in 2015 and has been enjoying visual observing since. His current observing tools include binoculars and 5 telescopes ranging from an 80 mm refractor to a 12" Dobsonian. Due to the Bortle 8 light pollution at his home and the general light pollution on Long Island, Ed has researched the many ways of finding things in the sky. He has identified 7 methods and used 5 of them. His presentation will share what he has learned and will be suitable for beginners as well as experienced astronomy hobbyists.

Astronomical Society of Long Island https://asliclub.org/


Introducing Dragonfly: our next New Frontiers Mission! Making multiple flights, the Dragonfly dual-quadcopter will explore a variety of locations on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan is an analog to the very early Earth, and can provide clues to how life may have arisen on our planet. In under an hour, Dragonfly will cover tens of miles or kilometers, farther than any planetary rover has traveled. With one hop per full Titan day (16 Earth days), the rotorcraft will travel from its initial landing site to cover areas several hundred kilometers away during the planned two-year mission. Despite its unique ability to fly, Dragonfly would spend most of its time on Titan's surface making science measurements. NASA Goddard’s Melissa Trainer will serve as one of two deputy principal investigators on the mission. Dr. Melissa Trainer is a Deputy Principal Investigator (PI) for the Dragonfly mission to Saturn's moon Titan, part of the NASA Planetary Science New Frontiers Program. Dr. Trainer is also the lead for the Dragonfly Mass Spectrometer (DraMS), an instrument supporting the Dragonfly investigation of Titan's surface composition and characterization of potential prebiotic chemistry. Dr. Trainer is also a Co-Investigator and the Deputy Lead for the Venus Mass Spectrometer on the DAVINCI+ mission to Venus. Dr. Trainer has been a Research Space Scientist in the Planetary Environments Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center since 2009. Her research interests include the composition of planetary atmospheres and the production of organic molecules and aerosols via atmospheric synthesis. Dr. Trainer has spent more than a decade characterizing the properties of Titan and early Earth aerosol analogs. Her publications on this topic include chemical, optical, and isotopic characterizations of these analogs produced via electric discharge and photochemical irradiation, with recent emphasis on the elemental composition, nitrogen activation, and the influence of trace species such as benzene. http://science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/...


If you love to practice your astronomy skills, you will also need to practice your weather predicting skills. Blake Nancarrow shows us how with various weather apps and weather related websites. Learn how to forecast weather for astronomy, not for civilians. Blake Nancarrow is the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC)-Toronto Centre Volunteer Coordinator, Carr Astronomical Observatory Supervisor, David Dunlap Observatory Operator, and SkyNews contributor. Mr. Nancarrow has studied and measured binary stars, has been published in multiple journals, and recently launched the RASC double star observing certificate programme.


Ever wondered how far using binoculars can take you in astronomical observations? Well, Darren Hennig is prepared to show you just how far you can take it. He covers the basics as well as the benefits and the models that he finds are worth checking into. The talk will include types of binoculars, mounts, observing objects, brands, prices and accessories.

Darren is a member of the Winnipeg Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He holds a Master of Science in Physical/Analytical Chemistry-University of Victoria. Darren has been observing for over 48 years. He currently owns 10 binoculars and 5 telescopes.


The Virgo Cluster is the nearest galaxy cluster to us, making it one of the most useful laboratories we have in understanding how galaxies form and evolve. Within such dense (city-like) galactic environments, galaxies interact frequently, and the debris from these events allows us to trace the history of galaxy clusters. Dr. Patrick Durrell will give a brief tour of the Virgo cluster, which will include results from a new and ongoing deep, wide-field imaging study (the Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey) of the entire cluster. He will also describe searches for stars, dwarf galaxies, and globular clusters that live in the spaces between the larger galaxies in the cluster.

At Youngstown State University, Patrick Durrell is an astronomer and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and is also the Director of the Ward Beecher Planetarium.

Dr. Durrell’s research involves studies of the formation of galaxies through photometric studies of stars and globular clusters both within and outside of galaxies, making use of imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other large ground-based telescopes, including the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

He is also actively involved in science outreach through YSU’s Ward Beecher Planetarium, and through CosmoQuest. He is also interested in incorporating recent astronomical data into the fulldome, immersive environment of planetariums.

Dr. Durrell received his PhD in Physics in 1996 from McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario. He held postdoctoral and teaching positions at the University of Waterloo, Case Western Reserve University, the University of British Columbia, and Penn State University, before coming to YSU in 2004.


Dr. Partin will discuss the benefits of an ultra wide field of view, binocular designs, wide field bino specifications, a selection of ultra wide field binos, binocular comparisions, issues with detailed observations, night vision and dark adaption, the future of binoculars followed by Q & A. The binos are fairly inexpensive tools that are a lot of fun to use.

Dale is a scientist with a B.S and M.S. degree in physics and a PhD in electrical engineering; having worked as an industrial scientist for 29 years. Dale has held many leadershp positions with the Warren Astronomical Society. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor teaching astronomy and physics at Macomb Community College, is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has over 80 papers published in scientific journals. In addition, Dale is an inventor holding 38 U.S. patents.


The early successes of the Space Age were driven by a fierce superpower rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States, which obscured the fact that exploration and risk-taking is built into human DNA. Nearly half a century after we last set foot on the moon, and a decade after the space shuttle program was retired, space activity is finally leaving the doldrums. A vibrant private sector led by SpaceX and Virgin Galactic plans to launch supplies cheaply into Earth orbit and give anyone a joy ride into space. New materials are being developed that could lead to space elevators and transform the economics of space travel. Fighting gravity will always be difficult, but engineers are rethinking rockets and developing new propulsion technologies. Permanent bases on the Moon and Mars are now within reach, and a new space race with China is brewing. Medical advances might even allow us to reach for the stars. The talk will review the history and landmarks of the international space program, give a snapshot of the current dynamic situation, and plot the probable trajectory of the future of space travel. The time has come to envision our future off-Earth.


Dr. Chris Impey.

University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona

He has over 210 refereed publications on observational cosmology, galaxies, and quasar

Research has been supported by $20 million in NASA and NSF grants

Has won eleven teaching awards and has taught two online classes with over 300,000 enrolled and 4 million minutes of video lectures watched

Past Vice President of the American Astronomical Society, and he has won its Education Prize

Formerly an NSF Distinguished Teaching Scholar, Carnegie Council’s Arizona Professor of the Year, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor

Has written 70 popular articles on cosmology, astrobiology and education, two textbooks, a novel called Shadow World, and eight popular science books: The Living Cosmos, How It Ends, Talking About Life, How It Began, Dreams of Other Worlds, Humble Before the Void, Beyond: The Future of Space Travel, and Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes


Dr. Chris Impey


Shane will discuss the benefits and joys of small telescope observing. What defines a 'small telescope', advantages of small telescopes, objects that can be observed, Shane's most memorable small telescope observations, resources, and observing challenges Shane Ludtke has had a life long interest in astronomy. His first view of Saturn through a telescope at age 9 established his love of the night sky. Shane became an active astronomer in 2003 after purchasing an 8” dobsonian. Shane loves to observe all objects in the sky and uses telescopes ranging from 35mm to 300mm aperture. Shane is an active member of the local astronomy club and has held numerous positions including President. Shane and his long time observing friend, Chris Beckett, began the Actual Astronomy podcast in 2020 and continue to release 2 episodes weekly that focus on visual observing. Shane has been a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Regina Centre since 2010 and is a holder of the Messier Objects Certificate. Shane has been employed by SaskTel in a variety of IT roles since 2002.


Actual Astronomy Podcast


Thinking about tackling astrophotography? Doug Bock has years of experience and learning to share with us. He will take us from a simple setup to advanced, with examples of results; using a tracking system, some time lapse examples, and a look at processing software.


Doug Bock: Past President, VP and Editor for the Warren Astronomical Society. Member since the Spring of 1973. Member of ½ dozen other clubs over the years. Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Great Lakes Region of the Astronomical league in the early ‘80’s. Retired from Ford Motor Company at the end of 2018. Owner and operator of the Northern Cross Observatory.

Doug Bock Flickr Page