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Astronomy Education


Astronomers are always interested in learning more about astronomy. With an entire universe to explore, why would anyone want to stop learning about the cosmos. The purpose of this club is to help members learn and also to teach others. That's also the purpose of this newsletter. In this issue you will see many opportunities to learn and even some special opportunities to teach.

First, of course, are the SJAA General Meetings. These meetings generally occur on the Saturday nearest the full moon. We have had many excellent speakers in the past and Steve Gottlieb's talk on March 26 at 8 p.m. continues this tradition (see page 2 for more info). We also have Astronomy classes. The next two such classes showcase the two most regular columnists of this newsletter. Dave North talks about the moon on March 18 and Akkana Peck discusses the planets on April 1 (no fooling).

Second, there are the lectures that are available in the Bay Area. Our personal favorite is the Silicon Valley Astronomical Lecture Series at Foothill College. We call these the "Fraknoi Talks" because Andrew Fraknoi hosts these lectures and, with little budget to speak of, finds 5-6 interesting speakers each year. The next such lecture is March 2 featuring the "Bad Astronomer" Phil Plait. More details on Dr. Plait's talk is on page 10. Another set of lectures has started at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley - more details on pages 8-9.

Third, there are classes taught at colleges and universities. Once again we must mention Andrew Fraknoi who teaches "Physics for Poets" at Foothill college. The next class starts in April and there is more information on page 7.

Finally, and most importantly, there are the opportunities to teach others. The new Bay Area Project ASTRO coordinator, Christina de Leon, talks about Project ASTRO on page 6. It is a very important activity to consider. We also do some teaching at the star parties: both at Hogue Park and at many schools in the South Bay area. This is what Jim Van Nuland calls "making the brain-photon connection". The Hogue Park star parties are scheduled as shown on the front page of every Ephemeris and the school star parties schedule is shown at

We hope you enjoy this expanded issue of the SJAA Ephemeris.


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