Astronomical Society

of Long Island


NOTICE:  All content on this site is Copyright ©2016 by Ken Spencer, The Astronomical Society of Long Island, and the respective photographers.  All Rights Reserved.  Reproduction is forbidden without express written permission.


NOTE: June 5 - NEWBIE NIGHT -  7–8 PM – The Astronomical Society of Long Island (ASLI) welcomes everyone to Newbie night at the Vanderbilt Planetarium.   If you have questions about getting started in astronomy, we are here to help.   We will have ASLI members available to work with individuals and small groups to discuss telescopes, binoculars, observing and related topics.  If you have a telescope and need some help, bring it.   At 8 PM, if the sky is clear we will go outside to observe the sky.  You can set-up your telescope or look through one of ours.  If the weather is poor there will be a presentation from 8-9 pm focused on those new to astronomy.   We hope to see you there.

June 5 - Observing Session 8-11 PM - Bring your telescope and binoculars, if you like, or observe through our instruments.

June 5 - Alternate Program if sky is not clear – 8-9 pm - Observing the Gas Giants - Jupiter and Saturn - by Ed Anderson. This program will be an introduction for beginning observers.  Ed will discuss observing these planets with beginner equipment, and will provide tips on how to get the most out of your observing session including tools and techniques that will help you see more.  There will be time after the presentation to meet the ASLI members and chat about astronomy.  All are welcome.

Jun 12 - Radio Astronomy, Past Present and Future - by Steve Bellavia. This talk begins with the history of radio astronomy, and what it has accomplished. It then discusses the recent image of the super-massive black hole in galaxy M87, obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope. It then moves on to discuss the future of radio astronomy, particularly, 21cm radio astronomy and the 21cm radio telescope project at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The talk also presents methods for amateurs to build and use homemade radio telescopes.

June 19 - Reliability and Risk in Space From Apollo to the ISS and Beyond - By Dr. Joseph Fragola. This talk will discuss the history of risk, early attempts to address it, the development of qualitative risk approaches and quantitative technology and its application on Apollo and reasons for its demise there, its application to the Space Shuttle after Challenger and Columbia, and the current NASA approach for future space programs.

The knowledge of, and the assessment of risk is not new, Despite this long history and the availability of the technology to perform quantitative reliability and risk assessment at the outset of the Apollo era, NASA eschewed the use of any quantitative techniques in Apollo development relying completely on qualitative approaches and testing.

In the Shuttle era this dependence exclusively on qualitative approaches continued until the Challenger accident when for the first time, quantitative analysis was introduced on a trial basis and eventually led to the completion of the first comprehensive quantitative risk assessment on the Space Shuttle in 1995.  Dr. Joseph R. Fragola is President and CEO of the Asti Group, LLC. He has had a combined 40 plus years of experience both in the aerospace, offshore oil, nuclear power and nuclear science industries. He has established an international reputation in the area of hardware, software and human reliability and risk analysis.

Jun 26 - Observing, weather permitting.  Second Observing session of the month.  We MUST have clear skies in order to observe, so if the skies are not clear, we will not be observing.  If there is no observing, we will still have a meeting and an alternate program will be presented.



NGC 4216 in the Virgo Cluster by Dave Barnett

Our intrepid astrophotographer Dave Barnett apparently needs no sleep at all, judging by his latest handiwork.  In the center of the frame is the galaxy NGC 4216 in the Virgo Cluster.  It is 40 million light-years distant, and is an edge-on spiral galaxy.  It is nearly 100,000 light-years across, about the size of our own Milky Way galaxy.  It is flanked by fellow Virgo cluster member NGC 4222.  If you are thinking of trying astrophotography, you should know this is not a simple trick.  He used an 8” f/4 Newtonian, and this final image is a stack of 4 minute long sub exposures with a total time of 92 minutes.