San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) sponsors speakers on a wide range of astronomy topics on the third Wednesday of every month at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center. The Program meeting begins at 7:00 PM. Each attendee receives one free door prize ticket. After announcements and a small amount of business, the audience is treated to the featured presentation. At the close of the meeting the door prizes are presented.  The event is open to the public. The Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center is at One Fr. Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego CA 92119.  Call the park at 619-668-3281 for more information or visit

Please contact Mike Chasin if you have an questions, comments, or ideas for the Program Meetings.

May 17, 2017

Speakers: Steve Murray

Topic: Novel Neighbors – searching for life on planetary moons    

SDAA Speaker

Two factors have generated new excitement among scientists searching for extraterrestrial life – better knowledge of where life can exist on Earth, and new insights into the properties of several planetary moons (like Europa, Titan, and Enceladus). The possibility of finding extraterrestrial life here in the solar system has motivated several new projects like the Europa Clipper and JUICE (Jupiter Icy moons Explorer) to gather definitive data to resolve the issue. Whatever the result, the understanding of “life as we know it” will be changed significantly among astrobiologists.

Steve Murray has been a space enthusiast since the Apollo era. Following a career in naval aviation, he completed an engineering PhD and went on to a research career in government.  He has been a visiting professor at the University of San Diego and is currently a freelance science writer and blogger. Most recently, he became a NASA Solar System Ambassador.

Upcoming SDAA Program Meetings
January No general meeting - annual banquet on February 11, 2017
February 15 R. Lee Hamm: The Cleveland National Forest and how the National Forest can better meet SDAA’s needs as a user
March 15 Tim Thompson, LA Astronomical Society, JPL, Mt Wilson docent: Mt Wilson Observatory
April 19 Joint meeting with the International Dark Sky Association
May 17 Steve Murray: Novel Neighbors – searching for life on planetary moons
June 21 Dr.Stella Kafka: the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope
July 19 Alex Tardy, NOAA/National Weather Service: How to use NWS Forecasts
August 16 Eclipse Photo Tips
September 20 TBD
October 18 TBD
November 15 Gadget night