nPAE – Precision Astro Engineering Astrophotography Competition

Greetings, fellow astrophiles – the following made its way into our email inbox recently. For interested parties, details are below:

Northern Hemisphere Objects

For our next competition we are asking you to show us your favourite Northern Hemisphere object. Send us your best astrophotography images for a chance to win £300 (~$400)

1st Prize: £300 or $400 cash
2nd Prize: Theia90 Diagonal
3rd Prize: £50 nPAE discount voucher

The competition is free to enter and open to all budding astro photographers and group entries are also welcome. The closing date for submission is 31st March 2019 with the winner announced May 1st. So get set up, snapping, stacking and processing! Photos can be of any Northern Hemisphere astro object. Participants can enter a maximum of 2 photos and the images must be new, taken specifically for the competition.

Submit your entries by copying and pasting the following information into an email and send it to competition@npae.net

  • Your name
  • Title of your Astro photo
  • Equipment used
  • Imaging Target
  • Digital processing methods employed (if any)
  • I confirm that the submitted image was taken specifically for the purpose of this competition.
  • Delete as appropriate: I consent to nPAE sending me information about future nPAE products and services / I do not consent to nPAE sending me information about future nPAE products and services

The winner will be announced on the 1st May 2019. Full details, terms and conditions can be found here.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Exploring The Most Extreme Corners Of The Universe”

Saturday – February 16, 2019, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org

Speaker: Stefan W. Ballmer, PhD, Associate Professor of Physics, Syracuse University

Talk Overview: Come along on a journey to explore the most extreme corners of the universe. We will encounter places where every-day geometry stops working and the time stands still. We will witness black holes and neutron stars on collision courses, smashing into each other at half the speed of light, producing some of the biggest known explosions in the universe. And I will take you behind the curtains of a brand-new, one-of-a-kind astronomical observatory: The Advanced Laser Gravitational-Wave Interferometer, a machine capable of measuring the vibrations in the fabric of space and time. 

BiographyStefan Ballmer, associate professor of physics at Syracuse University, is an authority on gravitational-wave detector technology. He has logged thousands of hours at the LIGO Hanford Observatory in Richland, Washington putting together the Advanced LIGO interferometer. He was a member of Advanced LIGO’s design team and is now designing the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors. Rounding out his contributions to LIGO’s Nobel Prize-winning work have been an NSF CAREER Award at Syracuse, Visiting Associate Professor positions at the University of Tokyo, a Robert A. Millikan Fellowship at Caltech; and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, underwriting research at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Ballmer earned a Ph.D. from MIT in the group Rai Weiss and a Master’s degree from ETH Zurich in Switzerland. In his spare time, he is also a pilot and flight instructor in the local Syracuse Flying Club, exploring the 3rd dimension here on earth.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.


Second Annual CNY Innovation Challenge 2019

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY email list. Students, mentors, and judges are all welcome to take a look.

The CNY Innovation Challenge aims to spark ideas to develop groundbreaking products or services and to foster entrepreneurship. We know that students have really good ideas that could turn into great inventions and this challenge has been designed to help guide those ideas from concept to completion. The process includes a crucial step – documenting intellectual property to protect concepts that could be used in a patent application. Teams will learn strategies to advance their idea and take a product/service to market. In addition to designing and developing an idea, you will need to have a solid go-to-market plan and a marketing pitch to “sell” your concept. See full rules.


The Challenge is open to students in grades 6-12. There will be winners in two brackets: high school (grades 10-12) and middle school (grades 6-9). Teams need to have a minimum of two students and a maximum of four. Top team prize for the high school category is $1,000 and top team prize for middle school level is $500. Additional prizes will be determined based on the number of entries overall.

Announcement flyer provided below.

For more information about the event and contributing, see cnystem.com/innovation/