May 6, 2017

From Joe Dalsanto:

I am pleased to announce a new credit course I will be teaching at College of DuPage beginning in the Fall 2017 term, Earth Science 1126: Observational Astronomy!

While most traditional courses (such as our Earth Science 1122 and 1124 courses) focus on what we know of the universe, this course is different. It will provide students with a solid introduction to how we know what we know. It will an ideal course for students who have already completed an introductory astronomy course or for amateur astronomers who have a basic understanding of modern astronomy. Here is a brief summary of the course topics:

1.) Basic concepts of the sky
2.) Motions of Moon & planets
3.) Introduction to Observing
4.) Light
5.) Telescopes
6.) Visual observing with telescopes
7.) Student observing project
8.) Computerized and remote telescopes
9.) Imaging and image processing
10.) Photometry
11.) Spectroscopy
12.) Online observing using databases
13.) Fundamentals of astronomical research
14.) Student research project

This course will meet on Tuesday evenings in the Berg Instructional Center Room 3604 from 6:00 Ė 10:00 pm from August 22 Ė December 12. All required equipment such as telescopes will be provided although students are welcome to use their own telescopes for class activities if they prefer.

The first step in the process of registering for the class is to apply to the college. Here is the link ( ) for your convenience. You will first need to create a profile and then proceed to the admissions application. Once you have received your COD student ID number, you may then proceed to register for the class on CODís website

Please announce this new class to others such as club members and feel free to forward this information to anyone interested. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing you this Fall!


Joe DalSanto
Assistant Professor of Astronomy
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Ave
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017,
the first in nearly 4 decades to pass through the central united states.
Click Here  to check out the "Eclipse 2017" web site for details and links.

Homewood Flossmoor Science Pub
a monthly gathering of academics, engineers and regular guys who like science. They usually gather
every month at the Ravisloe Country Club (18231 S. Park Avenue, Homewood, IL)  to hear public lectures from scientists.  Those interested can sign up at the blog spot,
or check them out on Facebook at!/HomewoodFlossmoorSciencePub/info.
also e-mail

Peter Doran
University of Illinois at Chicago
was a co-founder
Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens
        7500 W. Il Rt. 83, Palos Heights, IL 60463 (11900 south), Phone (708) 361-1873
Although the Chicago Astronomical Society is no longer a co-sponsor of the Lake Katherine events,
it encourages participation by those interested in astronomy outreach.  Each Star Gazing session at
Lake Katherine usually begins with a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation about an appropriate
astronomical subject.   These events will include a Hay Wagon Ride and Marshmallow Roast around
the Nature Preserve following the star gazing.  Expert amateur (and regular amateur) astronomers
are encouraged to participate by bringing telescopes to Lake Katherine.  Contact Joe Mayer at
773-233-4742 or for directions and scheduling.
(Information courtesy Joe Mayer)


Do you want to make the optics for your telescope?
Call Dan Joyce at (773) 580-2480 any day after 10:00 am.
His shop is at 9701 Grand Ave. (under the lawyer's office) in Franklin Park.
Times vary (Right now Wed & Thu 7:30 pm and Sat at 1:30 pm.)
Students have finished up to 23" optics.
Graduated fee for both size and design.


Below is the page that was started some years ago by
former CAS President and public school teacher Walter Glogowski.   Walter is no longer affiliated with
the Chicago Astronomical Society, but his inspiration lives on.  Some of the links may no longer work:

Height of Lunar Mountains
With a little geometry, algebra, and a CCD camera you can estimate the height of lunar features
to within one pixel error! Below, you will find some basic information to get you started and a
few well-tested web sites for reference. 
Refrence web sites: 
TASS, The Amateur Sky Survey 
Height of Lunar Mountains
J. Scott Shaw, Dept of Physics and Astronomy, University of Georgia 
Project # 4 Height of Lunar Mountains,
Determination of Jupiterís Mass
If you are an observer of Jupiter there are several interesting projects you can perform.
One project is to take CCD images of Jupiter and one or more of itís moons to determine
the approximate mass of the planet! Another is to take CCD images of Jupiter concentrating
on its giant red spot to determine itís approximate rotational period. Below, you will find some
basic information to get you started and a few well-tested web sites for reference. 
Reference web sites: 
Finding the Mass of Jupiter, by William Lee
Determination of mass of Jupiter and that of some minor planets from observations of
minor planets moving in 2:1 commensurability with Jupiter
Mass of Jupiter
Center for Backyard Astrophysics
If you are interested in observing variable stars, hereís a twist.
The Center for Backyard Astrophysics was founded by David Skillman in the 1970s.
The single product of the CBA was, and still is, light curves of variable stars, but not just any
variable stars! You can study cataclysmic variables (CVs). There are many ways to become
involved please check their web site. 
Reference web sites: 
Useful References for CVís
Beautiful Astronomical Images
We know that many CAS members are interested in taking and processing astrophotographs.
If you would like to have them proudly displayed on the CAS web site, send a high quality image
(jpg format) to the Webmaster with the following information:
Telescope used:
Focal Length:
Camera used:
Exposures used:
Date of exposure:
Processing techniques:
Object name: 
Want to Discover a Comet?
ESA/NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO)'s realtime coronagraph movies
are online. Anyone can access the data. Half of the top ten SOHO comet hunters are amateurs.
Oates: 28 discoveries; Stezelberger: 14 discoveries; Boschat: 11 discoveries;
Lovejoy: 9 discoveries; and Meyer: 7 discoveries. 
If you want to become a hunter, go to the SOHO webpage. The coronagraph data is posted
every 30 minutes or less. Find out the criteria for comet discovery. Discovery info should be sent
to Goddard Space Flight Center. Confirmed discoveries are listed on "What's New" at: 
Source: "Some Comets Like it Hot", NASA Science News; 7-7-00 release via
stardust-owner (NASA) and baalke (NASA).