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2019 SPEAKERS


He's never given us a picture of himself.
This is our best guess.

Dr. W.P. "Phil" Fleming, The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS)

Dr. Phil Fleming is an Albuquerque physician who presently leads the Albuquerque Astronomical Society's Fabulous 50 Program, a quarterly indoor-outdoor series that combines a lecture with follow-up outdoor observing. The free program is wonderfully effective for introducing participants to the wonders of the night sky.

Fri 13:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Be At Home With The Stars"
This talk is an introduction to the night sky for those new to astronomy. Emphasis is on systematic naked-eye identification of the brightest stars of the autumn season and their associated constellations and asterisms. Methods of enhancing your wide-angle night vision via dark adaptation and binocular assistance will be reviewed. Join us in Magdalena to begin your own personal friendship with the stars above.


Wayne "Dee" Friesen, The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS)

Dee Friesen has a master's degree in physics from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is an adjunct professor of Astronomy, Physics, and Weather and Climate for New Mexico Tech, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Lewis University. He is a past president of The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS). He's an active observer who likes to star-hop.


Wed 1300, Astronomical Lyceum - "Biography Of A Star"
The birth, life and death of the Sun as displayed on the Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) Diagram. A review of all the stellar properties that are displayed on the HR diagram, making it the most important diagram in astronomy.



Dr. Robert Q. Fugate, The Albuquerque Astronomical Society (TAAS)

Dr. Robert Q. Fugate has a 48-year career in electro-optics research, 35 years as a civilian scientist at the Air Force Research Laboratory and now consultant for DoD, academia, and industry. He is internationally recognized as the "Father of Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics," the key technology that has enabled a revolution in extremely large ground-based telescopes to see through the turbulent atmosphere clearly. At AFRL he built a team of researchers and lead the development of practical adaptive optics systems for space situational awareness at the Starfire Optical Range, Kirtland AFB, NM. He has been the DoD's strongest advocate of adaptive optics technology transfer to the astronomy community. Recently he served as the Chairman of the Laser Committee at the Project Breakthrough Starshot, an ambitious multi-decade effort to send small spacecraft to the nearest stars at 20% light speed using laser propulsion from a gigawatt class ground based laser system. He has authored over 100 technical papers, given countless invited talks, and received many awards, including a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. The asteroid (6770) was renamed (6770) Fugate to honor his contributions to the astronomy community. Bob has a passion for photography especially migratory birds, southwestern landscapes, and the night sky (imagine that). He has two international magazine covers, is an invited contributor to Healing Images, and has won the Photographic Society of America's highest award. You can see some of his work at www.rqfphoto.com.

Fri 16:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Astrophotography-Nightscapes To Deep Sky; Dark Skies To City Skies; Essential Skills And Lessons Learned"
Are you a visual observer thinking about astrophotography? Are you a budding astrophotographer with questions? Maybe this talk can provide you with some basic information and provide some hints and suggestions that will advance your skills and improve your image quality. I'll cover a variety of things I have learned in the past several years from observational planning, hardware, software, collecting data, and image processing. I'll show example images and discuss the stories that go with how the images came to be. Hopefully there will be something to learn for everyone.



Ms. Holly Hagy, BSN-RN, Magdalena Public Schools, Magdalena Astronomical Society

Holly is a member of the Magdalena Astronomical Society and has been especially active in the team organizing the annual Enchanted Skies Star Party, now based in Magdalena and in its 26th year.

Sat 13:30, Star Village - "ALMA & VLA, Looking Into The Dark Skies-A Cultural Exchange"
Holly Hagy recently represented Magdalena Public Schools in the Sister Cities and Observatories exchange program, an outreach program of National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO). The collaboration involves NRAO, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and the schools surrounding the Very Large Array radio telescope near Magdalena and ALMA in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. This program seeks to reinforce the school curriculum through STEAM activities and encourage cooperation between students and teachers in both countries. Her illustrated presentation at Star Village will share her unusual experience visiting collaborating organizations in Chile.



Dr. Stella Kafka, Director, American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

Dr. Stella Kafka is the Director of the AAVSO, an international non-profit organization of variable star observers whose mission is to enable anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy. Before her tenure at the AAVSO, Dr Kafka held positions at CTIO, Spitzer Science Center/Caltech, Carnegie Institution of Washington/DTM, and AIP Publishing. Dr Kafka's research interest includes semi-detached binary star systems (cataclysmic variables) which can become supernovae type Ia. More information on Dr. Kafka can be found at www.linkedin.com/in/stellakafka.

Wed 15:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Variable Stars And Their Stories"
Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability, both intrinsic and extrinsic, provides unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, helps determine distances to nearby galaxies and adds to our understanding of explosion physics and chemical enrichment of the Milky Way.

I will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. I will discuss their common light curve identifiers, and present work by AAVSO observers that has led to cutting-edge scientific discoveries throughout the years. Finally, I will discuss how you can participate in variable star observations from your back yard, contributing to the AAVSO International Database and to cutting-edge science.

Wed 18:00, Star Village - Informal discussion, "The American Association Of Variable Star Observers And Current Adventures In The World Of Citizen Science"
Dr. Kafka will lead a discussion about the AAVSO and current adventures in the world of citizen science. Dr. Kafka has come from the 108th annual meeting of the AAVSO, this year in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we are very fortunate to have her joining us at the Enchanted Skies Star Party.


You may not want to let this guy near your telescopes!

Dan Llewellyn, Dearlick Astronomy Village, Sharon, Georgia

Dan Llewellyn has been a planetary and deep sky imager for over 19 years and authored "Redeeming Color Planetary Cameras" in the April, 2014, issue of Sky & Telescope magazine. His images have been featured in Sky & Telescope; Photonics Spectra; The Atlanta Journal Constitution (Picture of the Year 2010); and journals of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO), Astronomical League (AL), British Astronomical Association, and Fernbank Science Center. Dan has lectured at the Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference, Georgia Tech, the ALPO and AL annual conferences, Peach State Star Gaze, Mid-South Star Gaze, Chiefland Star Party, Atlanta Astronomy Club, Enchanted Skies Star Party, and DragonCon. Dan is also the founder and former owner of Telescope Atlanta. Dan received the Lenny Abbey Service Award, (the highest award from the Atlanta Astronomy Club) for his contributions in getting people started in Planetary and Deep Sky imaging. Dan currently serves at the Director of the Imaging Symposium at the Peach State Star Gaze.


Thu 17:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Project Apollo Slideshow"
Sat 12:00, Star Village - "Project Apollo Slideshow"
Join Dan Llewellyn for a journey through newly released Apollo Lunar Mission photos. Dan has selected the best from Apollo 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13 that previously few people have seen, and he has re-processed them for color correction and detail. Additional mission images will also be included. From NASA's documentation, "More than 8,400 super high-resolution images from the Apollo missions have been released onto Flickr, a huge upload which allows the general public to see the historic photographs at an unprecedented quality. The images were captured by the astronauts using an array of high-end Hasselblad cameras -- a 'medium format' camera which used film three to four times as large as a standard 35mm frame, hence the wonderful amount of detail. The upload is the result of a heroic effort by Kipp Teague of the Project Apollo Archive...."


Fri 14:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Beginning Planetary Imaging"
Astronomical imaging is all the rage, but how does one get started without breaking the bank? Also, how can one image around city lights, or with a limited amount of time due to job or family? Hello, planetary imaging! You can image the planets virtually anywhere, as long as you can see them in the sky from your location. Dan, in his second presentation at this year's ESSP, will take you through everything required to be a proficient and successful planetary imager. This talk will be focused on the beginner, but it will contain a complete walk-through from start-to-finish including cameras, scopes, software, and best practices. It will also be informative and interesting for non-imaging astro enthusiasts.


I suspect there are stories about the piece of glass and the telescope...

Randall A. Rosenfeld, M.A., M.S.L., Archivist, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and Director, Dorner Telescope Museum, Toronto, Ontario

R.A. Rosenfeld is the Archivist of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), and of The Canadian Astronomical Society/La Société Canadienne d'Astronomie (CASCA). He is also Director of the RASC's Dorner Telescope Museum. He has received the RASC's Simon Newcomb Award (2012), the RASC's President's Award (2012), and the RASC Service Award (2017), he twice won second prize in the Griffith Observatory's writing contest (2008, 2013), and the IAU named Asteroid 283990 Randallrosenfeld in his honor.


Wed 14:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Truth At The Eyepiece-Integrity In Astrosketching, Judging The Past, And Hoping For The Future"
Modern amateur astronomy offers a broad array of avenues to active engagement with the night sky. Imaging is a popular path, either via astrophotography, or astrosketching, or indeed through the cultivation of both media (E.E. Barnard photographed and drew the sky, as has Damien Peach). For the majority of time which has elapsed since telescopes were first turned to the skies, astrosketching was either the chief or the sole means of recording the telescopic appearance of objects. Even in this age of the dominance of scientific and recreational astrophotography, astrosketching has enjoyed something of a revival. A prime goal of many (but not all) observational artists now is to develop the discipline of drawing only what can be critically seen in the eyepiece, and no more. Is our sense of what makes an accurate astronomical sketch the same as Galileo's? Or of the great nineteenth-century observational artists? How and why can "accurate" observational art differ so much with the passage of time? What are some of the factors in trying to understand and use the observational art of the past? Are there implications for our present practice of the art, and its future?


Thu 16:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "Music Of The Spheres: Astronomers As Musicians, And Musicians As Astronomers"
The relationship between astronomy and music seems to exert a perennial fascination. Part of that fascination is attributable to the promise of a viable bridge between a science and an art, and a presumed relationship which reaches back to the very beginnings of "western" science in some reckonings. Despite that fascination, most of us can cite few examples of the relationship beyond Gustav Holst's suite The Planets (op. 32, 1914-1916), and we're disappointed when we learn that his inspiration was wholly astrological. Are there other examples of music which embody or are influenced by astronomy in some way? What's the nature of the relationship between music and astronomy, how did it start, and how did it change over time? Was there an era when all astronomers were musicians, and all musicians were astronomers? And what's odd about considering William Herschel as an astronomical musician, or a musical astronomer?

This presentation features live performances on period instruments of some of the musical repertoire illustrating the relationship between music and astronomy, much of it rarely heard today, starting with what might be the earliest surviving piece in the western tradition representing the relationship.


Dr. René A. Walterbos, Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Dr. Walterbos was born in Groenlo, a small 700-yr old town in the eastern part of the Netherlands. He writes, "My first experiences observing meteor showers, stars, and galaxies date back to my teenage years. It didn't take me long to conclude that studying astronomy would be great adventure, one far removed from commerce and politics (so I naively thought). After obtaining the PhD in 1986 at Leiden University, where I also obtained my undergraduate degrees, I left the flat country for the large country, with postdocs in Princeton and Berkeley, before settling in New Mexico. Here, the skies are dark at night and large in the day time. The views extend as far as half-way across the Netherlands. At New Mexico State University, I was one of the first group of Space Telescope Institute Hubble Fellows before I joined the faculty. After too long a stint as Department Head, I am once again pleased to have more time for research." Since July 1, 2019, Dr. Walterbos has been Emeritus Professor at NMSU, while continuing activity in research. René studies the interstellar medium and its interaction with massive stars in disk galaxies using a variety of techniques, including optical and radio imaging and spectroscopy. His research has focused on the low-density diffusely distributed gas that is found in the disks and halos of galaxies. Other areas include the study of the chemical composition of the interstellar gas, the distribution of gas in the outer disks of spiral galaxies, the kinematics of gas in the halo and disks of galaxies, and the properties of massive stars.

Thu 15:00, Astronomical Lyceum - "How Large Are Galaxies?"
Many of us will remember our first view of the Andromeda Galaxy through an eyepiece of a telescope. An elongated blob, spiral arms generally not visible in small telescopes. Longer exposures show more detail, a large disk, prominent dust lanes crossing the central stellar bulge. Where does the galaxy end, does it even end? We are close to the 100-yr anniversary of the discovery that most nebulae in the sky are "island universes", galaxies distinct from our own Milky Way. Observations and theory have progressed together over the last decades to provide deep insight into how galaxies form and evolve. Our early measurements of galaxy sizes were upended many times. First came the discovery of their globular star cluster systems, extending 5 to 10 times further out than the easily visible stellar disks, in a roughly spherical halo. In the 1970's and 80's, it became clear that gas disks in typical galaxies extend on average about twice as far out as their stellar disks. In some galaxies, the gas disk can be ten times larger than the stellar disk. The rotation of this gas showed evidence for giant dark matter halos surrounding galaxies out to the point where the Milky Way's dark matter halo likely overlaps with that of the Andromeda galaxy. Observations at many wavelengths show evidence for continued growth of galaxies through the accretion of gas from the intergalactic medium and mergers with other galaxies. Our initial view of a dark sky surrounding the stellar disk is upended, the halo regions contain dark matter, gas at all sorts of temperatures and densities, and violent outflows of gas coming from the galaxies themselves. I will discuss recent results on these various components of galaxies, how we observe them, and how small telescopes operated by amateur astronomers can continue to play a role in mapping out our nearest neighbors.


(Imagine your picture here!)

Sat 15:00, Informal Presentations At Star Village

ESSP participants are welcome to contribute informal presentations limited to 15 images and/or 15 minutes. Please contact John W. Briggs, at john.w.briggs@gmail.com, or 970-343-0618, to participate in the first-come, first-served, first time we've done this program.

Among the speakers will be Mr. Yann Lehmans from Switzerland, returning to ESSP in 2019 for his second year.

A standard computer projector will be available. Your presentation on a memory stick will be especially easy to transfer.

2019-10-09