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Julian Star Fest August 15th

It’s that time of year again when the San Diego Astronomy Association host its biggest star party event, Julian Star Fest. This year the event runs from August 13th-16th and with the great weather being projected for the week ahead, is sure to be a wonderful time for all!

Julian Star Fest

Fantastic Campsite!

There will be a full slate of speakers on Friday and Saturday and of course the famous Public Star Party on Saturday night!

Free Public Star Party Saturday Night, August 15, 2015!

At the corral

At the corral on Saturday night!

Anyone can enjoy the Julian StarFest by participating in the free public star party on Saturday, August 15, 2015.  Arrive in Julian between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and you can enter the StarFest grounds (1150 Julian Orchards Ln, Julian, CA 92036) for free.

Take a star tour of the heavens using the many telescopes set up in the viewing area.  Experts will be on hand to answer questions about what your looking at and about the telescopes.  Parking is available nearby and we suggest you bring a red light flashlight to guide yourself to the observing area.

If you don’t have a red light flashlight, red film will be provided to cover a white light flashlight.  Please, no white lights in the observing area.

Guest Speakers

We are planning another year of outstanding speakers!

FRIDAY 8/14:

John Garrett

Topic: “Life in the Zone” – a look at the search for habitable planets

Bio: John Garrett is a member of the Temecula Valley Astronomers, a contributor to the website Skeptical Science, and employed as an illustrator for Opto 22 in Temecula. His illustrations have appeared in science and trade journals, in a University of Queensland online course, and in film documentaries by National Geographic and movie director James Cameron.  John will present illustrations and animations about exoplanets, the Kepler mission, and the search for life in our region of the solar system. This presentation builds off of a previous presentation on exoplanets shared at Julian Starfest in 2010. This earlier presentation preceded the Kepler mission, and a lot has changed in exoplanet science since then.  John has presented at Starfest for the last 5 years, and previous presentations appear at hiswebsite.     Also, John has been involved in the protection of the night sky. See his TEDx talk.

Kin Searcy

Topic: Palomar Observatory



Jerry Hilburn – New Horizons Mission to Pluto Update

Bio: Jerry Hilburn is an active member in the San Diego Astronomy Association. His interests include tracking asteroids, exoplanet photometry, and teaching practical astronomy techniques to budding amateur scientists. Jerry feels that the most important message we can send to children is that there is great opportunity in the future of space exploration and that they must prepare now for that future by learning, questioning, and exploring the space sciences. In addition to his public speaking role with NASA/JPL he also works to provide free star party events for non profit organizations and schools in Southern California.

Tim Thompson

Topic: A Universe of Stars. A review of the observational properties and physics of stars.

Bio:Tim Thompson received his degrees in physics from California State University at Los Angeles; B.S. in 1978 and M.S. in 1987. He joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory technical staff in January 1981, and retired from JPL in November 2008. He earned two NASA Group Achievement Awards for his participation in the NASA Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project, and his work as a science team member for the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) project, and a NASA Center Award for his role in supporting the Center for Long Wavelength Astrophysics at JPL. He has broad research experience in radio and infrared astronomy and infrared geological remote sensing. Tim is also an amateur astronomer. A long time member and former President of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, he received the society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, and is the recipient of the 2015 G. Bruce Blair Medal from the Western Amateur Astronomers. Tim has been a docent & tour guide at Mt. Wilson Observatory since 1982, has been a regular tournament chess player since 1968, and collects way too many books.

Roger Quimbly

Topic: Unusually Bright Supernovae

Bio: Robert Quimby is the Director of the Mount Laguna Observatory and an Associate Professor of Astronomy at San Diego State University. He earned his bachelors degree in Astrophysics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1998 and then worked as a research assistant for the Supernova Cosmology Project before entering graduate school. Robert earned his masters and PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin in 2004 and 2006, respectively. He went on to work as a postdoctoral scholar first at Caltech and then at the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Japan before joining the faculty at San Diego State University. Robert’s research interests include thermonuclear supernovae, core-collapse supernovae, the use of supernovae as cosmological probes, detection of supernovae in the early universe, gamma-ray bursts, and other rare transient phenomena. He has helped to discover a new class of high luminosity supernovae and is currently working to uncover their physical nature and determine their suitability as probes of the high-redshift universe. For his research contributions, Robert has received the Trumpler Award (Astronomical Society of the Pacific), the Hyer Award (American Physical Society), and, most recently, a share of the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.