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.

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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April 20, 2022 Program Meeting

Speaker: Kalind Carpenter Topic: Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS) Kalind is a Robotics Engineer in the robotic Vehicles and Manipulators group (347B) at JPL. The lab he works in focuses on rapid technology development and end effectors specifically tailored to gripping and mobility. Current work includes Principal Investigator of the Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS), an adaptable mobility capability aimed to traverse through the plume vent crevasses on Enceladus…

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Future Program Meeting

Speaker: Allan Rahill Topic: Weather Forecasts. Postponed from March 2022. Future date TBD. The program meeting speaker is Allan Rahill, a meteorologist who will discuss the weather forecasts behind many of the forecast tools we amateurs use. In 2000, Allan Rahill, a meteorologist at the Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC) and amateur astronomer, created a forecast processing step that took data from CMC’s Global Element Multi-scale (GEM) forecast model…

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March 16, 2022 Program Meeting

Speaker: Mike Bertin Topic: Galileo’s Finger: The Birth and Death of Galileo History of the famous “Father of Modern Science” with obscure details most amateurs are not familiar with. Mike Bertin is a senior docent at Palomar Observatory and has spoken on Galileo, Palomar Observatory, and George Hale in numerous venues. He holds a BS in Physics from M.I.T and a PhD in nuclear physics from Rutgers. You…

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January 19, 2022 Program Meeting

Speaker: Zoltan Levay Topic: Creating the Pillars: Visualizing Hubble’s Colorful Universe Zoltan G. (Zolt) Levay was Imaging Group Lead in the Office of Public Outreach at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD. Since 1993 he was primarily responsible for producing publicly accessible images from Hubble Space Telescope data to illustrate Hubble’s science discoveries. He is a member of the Hubble Heritage Team, a grant-funded program within STScI…

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November 17, 2021 Program Meeting

Topic: SDAA Elections and 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 via ZOOM. This includes astro-images, views of your home or TDS observatories, videos of telescope equipment, software and neat techniques. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, program meetings are currently being held via Zoom. You can register in…

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