SDAA Monthly Programs

Come hang out with us every month and learn something new! SDAA programs feature a wide array of speakers who share their expertise on unique and intriguing astronomy-related topics. We hold most of our meetings virtually via Zoom on the third Wednesday of every month. The meetings start at 7PM and last about one hour. We meet in-person for the March and November meetings at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center. Programs start with a few key club announcements and include information tailored to our new club members. Our featured speaker follows as the main event. Try your luck at winning SDAA club stickers with the fun astronomy quiz that closes out every meeting. Attendees are encouraged to engage and ask questions after speaker presentations. If you miss a program, you can catch the recordings on the SDAA YouTube page.

Please register in advance for the Zoom meetings at the following link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

To attend the March and November in-person meetings, head to the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center at One Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119. The main gates into the park remain open for our evening meetings, however the Visitor Center doors are not unlocked until 6:30PM. Please drive through the gates and park in either of the two dirt parking lots adjacent to the Visitor Center Building. Once inside the building, head to the Auditorium. Park Rangers can be reached at 619-668-3281 and for more information visit

The SDAA Board welcomes your comments on our presentations! Please contact if you have suggestions for future program topics.

May 15, 2024 Program Meeting

Topic: A Brief Introduction to Radio Astronomy and Some Powerful, Affordable Radio Telescopes You Can Put in Your Backyard without Irritating Your Family or Neighbors! Speaker: Curt Kinghorn The branch of Astronomy called Radio Astronomy uses radio waves instead of visible light to look at the sky. Interestingly, most of what we know about the universe comes from Radio Astronomy. This presentation gives a brief introduction to Radio…

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April 17, 2024 Program Meeting

Topic: Open Mic Member Night to Share Totality Eclipse Adventures! Send your photos, (solar and otherwise), to by Sunday, April 14th to have them included in the program slides. Looking forward to seeing everyone’s photos and hearing your stories! The meeting will be held via Zoom. See

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March 20, 2024 Program Meeting

Topic: Totality Eclipse Prep with discussions led by SDAA in-house experts The meeting will be held in-person at Mission Trails Regional Park. See

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February 21, 2024 Program Meeting

Topic: Women in Astronomy, Credit Where Credit is Due Speaker: Sharon Flemings The February 21 program meeting speaker (via Zoom) is Sharon Flemings from the TVA “Chapter” in Florida. Her talk is on “Women in Astronomy, Credit Where Credit is Due.” Sharon is a Temecula Valley Astronomers (TVA) member currently living in St Augustine, Florida. She has been a visual astronomer since 2020 and an astroimager since 2023….

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November 15, 2023 Program Meeting

Topic: Gadget Night Bring your astronomy-related or imaging garage-built objects, tools, ideas, new hardware, software to share with SDAA on our traditional Gadget Night – only this year we will have a ZOOM option as well as in-person show and tell. This includes astro-images, views of your home or TDS observatories, videos of telescope equipment, software and neat techniques. This meeting will be in-person at the Mission Trails…

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October 18, 2023 Program Meeting

Speaker: Neil Farber Topic: Lunar Exploration: What We Did, What We Saw, What We Learned Many people are not aware of the extensive investigation, both manned and unmanned, that NASA conducted of our nearest neighbor, the Moon. This talk will explore the unmanned landers and orbiters of the 1950s and 1960s, the six manned landings of the Apollo program, and the orbiters of more recent years. We will…

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September 20, 2023 Program Meeting

Topic:  Fear and Loathing in the Heavens: The 1910 Return of Halley’s Comet Speaker: Richard J. Goodrich In 1705, Edmond Halley liberated humanity from the belief that comets were portents of doom; two centuries later, in 1910, as Halley’s Comet returned to perihelion, newspapers and magazines, religious leaders, misguided theorists, and shameless grifters managed to rekindle that fear. When astronomers announced that the earth would pass through the…

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August 16, 2023 Program Meeting

Topic: AISIG and imaging programs within SDAA Speaker: David Wood and others on AISIG Past SDAA president and manager of SDAA’s TARO Observatory, David Wood, is reinvigorating the imaging group within SDAA. He and others will give an introduction to this field that is becoming more accessible to members given advances in cameras and software.

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July 19, 2023 Program Meeting

Topic: Signs in the Heavens: A Muslim Astronomer’s Perspective on Religion and Science Speaker: Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad The talk is based on Dr. Ahmed’s book of the same name which reviews some of the scientific achievements of the golden era of Islamic civilization and some important achievements in astronomy. Islamic astronomy played a significant role in the revival of European astronomy following the early medieval period. The book…

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