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.



Because of the forecast snowstorm.

Mar 14 - Observing Night. We will observe only if the skies are clear. Bring your own telescope or binoculars, or come and observe through our instruments. New Moon is March 17th. Do Not park on the lawn, 

Mar 21- Gravitational Lensing - by Dr. Anja von der Linden.  Tonight’s presentation will discuss the meaning of gravitational lensing
and the ways in which this has fostered different research initiatives. Dr.von der Linden’s research focuses on many aspects of galaxy clusters, exoplanets, dark matter and cosmology. In particular, she uses weak gravitational lensing to calibrate mass estimates of clusters, a central ingredient for cluster cosmology. She is also interested in the properties of cluster galaxies, in particular the most luminous Cluster Galaxies and their evolution.  Dr. von der Linden received her Ph.D. in Astronomy at the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Germany. Prior to her current position on the faculty of Stony Brook University, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, she was a Sophie and Tycho Brahe Fellow with a joint appointment at the DARK Cosmology Centre in Copenhagen and the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) at Stanford University. She continues to work within the LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration, the South Pole Telescope Survey, the Euclid space mission and the WFIRST (Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope) project. 

Mar 28 - Getting Started in Astrophotography - by Karl Silverberg.  We all love looking at the beautiful astrophotography images that are sent around and that we see online. But you might not realize what goes into making those pictures. I hope to give people an appreciation for the steps and thinking that goes into creating a deep sky object picture.  If you are interested in doing astrophotography, hopefully this talk will provide you with the an understating of the basic concepts. I have been doing astrophotography for less than a year, but I intend to share what I have learned. The subjects will include understanding camera options, understanding telescope options, understating signal-to-noise-ratio and the noise sources, choosing targets, as well as the basics of polar alignment, guiding, focusing, and capturing a shot. I will also discuss the basics of post processing. All astrophotography pictures require post processing to extract the interesting data.

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.