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.


Dec 4 - NEWBIE NIGHT - at 7 PM, before our regular meeting. Are you interested in astronomy but don’t know where to start? Thinking about buying a telescope but don’t know what to get? Have you purchased your first telescope and don’t know how to use it? Would you like some help in learning astrophotography?  Come to Newbie night and talk informally with some of our members.

Dec 4 - The Cosmic Neutrino Background - by Neelima Sehgal.  Dr. Sehgal will discuss the sea of invisible neutrinos that is all around us and explain its origin. Then she will discuss how, by detecting this sea of particles we could capture the oldest photograph of the Universe,  a baby picture when the Universe was one second old. Finally, she will talk about the significant challenges that exist in capturing this baby picture, and some experiments on the horizon that may achieve this.  Dr. Neelima Sehgal is an Associate Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department. She received her B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Yale University and her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from Rutgers University. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford and Princeton Universities before joining the faculty at Stony Brook in 2012. Neelima Sehgal is an Associate Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department at Stony Brook University.

Dec 11 - “Learning Rocket Science and Orbital Mechanics via Kerbal Space Program” - by John Speroni.  Getting real rockets into space requires complex calculations. The computer game Kerbal Space Program exposes players to concepts of rocket design and space fight without having to worry about the math. John will explain how rockets reach orbit, how they maneuver in space, and why strapping boosters onto an underperforming rocket isn’t really an answer.  This is Part 1 of 2 lectures.  Part 2 will be in January, focusing on navigating to other planets and special satellite orbits.

Dec 18 - Solstice Party - As a reminder, the Solstice Party takes place at our regular meeting.  Everyone brings some snacks to eat - some will bring healthy snacks, and some will only bring “guilty pleasures.”  I like guilty pleasures best!  Bring beverages as well to share with the group.  It is a really nice evening because we have time to talk with one another - something that is limited at our regular meetings.


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.