Meeting Jan. 16 2013

APL ACWhat: APL Astronomy Club monthly meeting
Where: Gibson Library room L-2
When: Wednesday, Jan. 16, noon to 1:00 pm

This month’s topic: “Some Applications of Mathematica to Astronomy” by Dave Vasholz. Also some club business and members’ observing reports.

One thought on “Meeting Jan. 16 2013”

  1. Next meeting is Feb 20, 2013; Ron Farris will bring in some new equipment to show.
    Next club Friends & Family star party will be April 19.

    Steve Conard will be sending an invitation to our club’s first Dark Sky star party at his home observatory in Carroll County. Dark Sky star parties are a chance to lug your favorite optics out to someplace much darker than APL for some quality time with the night sky. In general, the spouse and/or kids won’t enjoy this kind of star party.

    Dave Vasholz gave a very interesting presentation on Applications of Mathematica to Astronomy. Dave says the learning curve isn’t as steep as it appears, and in the many years he’s been using it, the upgrades have maintained the full functionality of existing features. The presentation itself was inside a Mathematica workbook so he could demonstrate the functions as we went along. Mathematica has an AstronomicalData database which seemed pretty thorough to me. Dave walked us through a project he did to construct his own map of the region of the sky that contains the Little Dipper to compare with a S&T map, then constructed a rotating “planisphere” (although some of us thought it was rotating the wrong way ;-), and then he showed us some hints on how to reconstruct an existing high-level function. By the end, I wanted to find some time to play with Mathematica. APL does have Mathematica, but I don’t know how the licensing works – probably need to talk to the Help Desk.

    Clear skies, and see you at the February meeting!

    APL Astronomy Club,

    Helen Hart, President
    x8-7327, 13-N389
    cell: 240-375-4434
    Mail stop 13-N382

    Keep looking up!
    ———– Jack Horkheimer


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