Program Meeting

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

Program meetings may also be held via Zoom, or as hybrid in-person/Zoom meetings. You can register in advance for the next Zoom meeting at the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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

Meetings since July 2020 are being archived on the SDAA YouTube page.

March 15, 2023 Program Meeting

HIRAX: A New Way to Study Hot Jupiters and Other Exoplanets.  Dr. Ashley Baker: Instrument Scientist and Research Associate in Astronomy with the Exoplanet Technology Laboratory at Caltech Optical Observatories. High-resolution Imager for Rapid Assessment of eXo-atmospheres (HIRAX) is a multi band instrument for rapid assessment of the spectrum of exoplanet atmospheres. This is a new high resolution instrument being developed for the Palomar 200-inch telescope that uses multiple…

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February 15, 2023 Program Meeting

Topic: The Wacky World of Exoplanets and How We Discover Them Speaker: Dennis Conti Dennis Conti is a retired telecommunications professional and an amateur astronomer with a strong interest in exoplanet research. In 2015, he founded the AAVSO’s Exoplanet Section and has continued as section leader since. Dennis is also on the board of the AAVSO. Exoplanets (planets outside our solar system) we now know come in all…

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November 16, 2022 Program Meeting

Topic: Astronomical Word Play Speaker: Dr. Richard Lederer Our speaker is the distinguished verbavore Dr. Richard Lederer, who is an American linguist, author, speaker, and teacher. He is best known for his books on the English language and on wordplay such as puns, oxymorons, and anagrams. He has been dubbed “the Wizard of Idiom,” “Attila the Pun,” and “Conan the Grammarian.” He will focus on astronomical terminology and…

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October 24, 2022 Program Meeting

October topic: Amateur Spectroscopy and the AAVSO Speaker: Dr. Steven Shore Dr. Shore is the Chief of the Observational Spectroscopy Section of the AAVSO and a professor at the University of Pisa. Dr Shore will give an introduction to spectroscopy and discuss a science case where amateurs can make a contribute to the science. Professional astronomers using large telescopes have limited resources and are willing to partner with amateurs for…

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September 21, 2022 Program Meeting

The September Topic is entitled “A Bird’s Eye View of the Universe” by Dr. Michael West. This is a fascinating talk about what the universe looks like on the largest scales. Dr. West is Deputy Director for Science at Lowell Observatory. He received a Ph.D. in astronomy from Yale University and held research, teaching, and leadership positions at universities and observatories on four continents before joining Lowell in…

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August 17, 2022 Program Meeting

The August Topic is an update on the science and facilities at San Diego State University (SDSU) Mount Laguna Observatory (MLO). The speaker is Dr. Robert Quimby, the Director of MLO and professor of astronomy at SDSU. He earned his BS degree in astrophysics from UC Berkeley and his masters and PhD in astronomy from the University of Texas, Austin. For his research contributions, he has received the…

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July 20, 2022 Program Meeting

Speaker: Kevin Schindler Topic: Discovery at Lowell: The Past, Present, and Future of Lowell Observatory Lowell Observatory has been called America’s observatory because of its heritage of both scientific research and public outreach. In this program, Kevin Schindler will look at some of the observatory’s highlights from the past, explore current research projects, and give an update on the expansion of its visitor experience. Kevin Schindler is the…

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June 15, 2022 Program Meeting

The June 15 Program Meeting will be an exciting SDAA Trivia Contest. Members should be prepared for arcane questions about history, astronomy, observing and SDAA lore.

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May 18, 2022 Program Meeting

Speaker: Dave Decker Topic: Focus on SDAA Outreach Dave Decker and star party coordinators will discuss venues, plans, and techniques for our outreach program. You can register in advance for the meeting at the following link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. You may be required to log in with a Zoom login and password in order to attend the…

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