Check the December and January SDAA Newsletters for your invitation or buy tickets at this link:
Make reservations here
The Date:
    Saturday, January 18, 2020
    Note the new location and earlier time!
The Place:
    Natural History Museum - Balboa Park
    1788 El Prado
    San Diego, CA 92101 
The Time:
    Cocktails: 5:30–6:00
    Dinner: 6:00–7:00
    Program Meeting: 7:00–8:30
    Raffle and Auction: 8:30–9:30
The Cost:
    $70.00 per person


The Speaker:
    Dr. Vishnu Reddy, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona.
    Topic: "Planetary Defense: Surveying the skies for killer asteroids"

Door Prizes - Keep checking back, we'll keep adding them as they come in
  • $1,000 OPT Gift Certificate
  • Tim Lewis - Celestron Nexstar 5 with tripod and hand controller in great condition
  • Ross Salinger - iOptron mini tower pro (original version) in excellent condition with tripod and all accessories
  • Stephanie Mood - Orion Star Max Table Top 90, Altazimuth Mak-Cass telescope
  • Club scope - Celestron Super C8 Powerstar – with “Starbright” coating and a Byers gear and drive system.
  • Club scope - Konus Digimax 90, 90mm Mak-Cas on a Synta full goto mount essentially new with numerous accessories
  • Club scope - Celestron 6" SCT, f/10 - New in the box from OPT, silver with the "Evolution" logo, caps, red dot finder, 1.25" back and diagonal, Celestron dovetail bar
  • Rick Coleman - Orion Skyview Pro 8 EQ #9738 Equatorial Reflector w/ carry bag and the numerous accessories
  • Sara Brown - Orion Premium 102mm f/7.0 ED Refractor with Crayford focuser and Astro-Tech 2” field flattener
  • Daryel Stager - 5 Meade 5000 series HD-60’s, - pretty much new or hardly used w/ boxes.
  • Corey Breininger - Losmandy style plates, a side by side mounting plate and rings that fit my WO90 refractor
  • B.L. Loveless - NEXIMAGE 5 for Windows
  • Palomar Observatory Tour for 4
  • Losmandy G-11 legs
  • Canon 5D camera with the IR cut filter removed
  • Celestron Nightscape camera
  • Set of used 2” filters (pitted) OIII, Deep Sky, UHC and H-beta
  • Club - 10” Meade LX-90 ACF with full set of eyepieces - brand new
  • Harry Hixon - 8” Meade ETX-LS telescope with all parts and numerous accessories (used)
  • Kin Searcy - Losmandy G-11 legs (used)
  • A.C. Wood - Canon 5D camera with the IR cut filter removed (used)
  • Gilbert Ikezaki - Celestron Nightscape camera (used)
  • Club - Set of 2” filters (pitted) OIII, Deep Sky, UHC and H-beta (used)
  • "Star Crazy” quilt by Rita Etzel (57” x 66”)
  • "Lush cozy blanket" by Rita Etzel (6’ x 7’)
  • Canon EOS Rebel XSi DSLR with IR filter removed (used)
  • Set of Celestron 1.25” eyepieces
  • Farpoint Red Dot collimation laser
  • 16” x 20” metal print of Horsehead Nebula in Ha by Carl Weber
  • 16” x 20” metal print of the Horsehead Nebula in Ha, SII & OIII by Carl Weber
  • 16” x 20” metal print of the Rosette Nebula in Ha & OIII by Carl Weber
  • 11” x 14” metal print of the Eagle Nebula (Dave Wood taken with TARO)
  • 11” x 14” metal print of the Trifid Nebula (Dave Wood taken with TARO)
  • JSF gift basket including free camping, 2 JSF t-shirt and Palomar tour for 2
  • Menghini Winery gift basket – free wine tasting for 2 & 5 bottles of wine
  • $100 gift certificate to Yanni’s Bistro
  • $50 gift certificate to Gravity Heights Brewing Co.
  • Wavelength Brewing Co. tour and tasting for 4
  • 4 Admission tickets to the Natural History Museum 2
  • 4 Admission tickets to the Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park 

Program Details

    Dr. Vishnu Reddy, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona.
   Topic: "Planetary Defense: Surveying the skies for killer asteroids "

This year’s guest speaker is Dr. Vishnu Reddy, Associate Professor
of planetary sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona. The presentation will be held in the Nat’s theater, which has a state-of-the-art sound and video system.
The topic is titled “Planetary Defense: Surveying the skies for killer asteroids” and should be very interesting and informative.  As always, we’ll cap off the evening with a raffle and auction, with plenty of astronomy related gear available.

Impacts due to near-Earth objects (~90% NEAs and ~10% comets) are one of the natural hazards that can cause the extinction of the human race, but one that can potentially be mitigated if the threat is detected with sufficient lead-time. While the probability of such an event is low, the outcome is so catastrophic that we are well justified in investing a modest effort to minimize this threat. Historically, asteroid impacts have altered the course of evolution on the Earth. The most recent significant event took place 65 million years ago when a 10-km object impacted off the Yucatan Peninsula coast, Mexico, leading to the extinction of dinosaurs and ~75% of all species. This probably provided mammals (including our ancestors) an opportunity to thrive.

Within our lifetime, the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL-9) with Jupiter served as reminder to us that asteroid impacts could be a real threat to life on Earth. The probability of such impacts appears to be significantly higher than initial estimates with the recent discovery of at least five asteroid/comets impacts on Jupiter. More recently the Chelyabinsk meteor over Russia, which injured hundreds of people and damaged thousands of buildings, only reinforced the importance of detecting and characterizing small NEAs that pose a greater threat than most large NEAs discovered so far. Following the SL-9 impact, the U.S. Congress-mandated NEO searches have been very successful with over 121,000 NEOs discovered as of November 2019. But NASA will fall short of meeting the 2020 Congressional mandate of discovering 90% of asteroids larger than 140 meters. NEO Surveillance Mission is a space-based infrared telescope that will help accelerate the discovery of hazardous asteroid and answer the question if Earth will be impacted by an asteroid larger than 140 meters in the next 100 years. The talk will give a historical overview of asteroid impacts and the state of planetary defense today.

Our annual banquet isn’t just a great time, it’s also our primary fundraiser.  Last year our outreach program continued to grow and reached new heights.  We hosted more than 100 events which were attended by well over 12,000 people!  An amazing accomplishment with a dedicated group of volunteers.  From elementary school students to seniors, we’ve promoted interest in astronomy throughout the County.  Our Outreach Director, Dave Decker, is always looking for new volunteers to keep up with the increasing demands for more and more star parties.

With the help of local high school and college students, members Pat Boyce and Scott Dixon have continued using TARO data to contribute to the important research that TESS (and soon ETS) are doing with exo-planets.  This spring our student members, using the Boyce Astro Research Observatory (BARO) at TDS, will begin work with variable stars and speckle interferometry on close binaries. 

We completed the first phase of our electrical system upgrade at TDS and, with the help of member Dennis Ruckle and donations from Southland Electric, Inc., phase two is well underway. We have a lot more to do and your participation and generosity is key to our success!  If for some reason you can’t attend, please consider making a donation to keep SDAA moving forward!

Wishing you clear skies, SDAA Board of Directors