Sweet Science Series & Junior Cafe Scientifique – Joint Webinar – “Beyond COVID-19: How Do Engineering and Technology Transform the Microbiology Landscape”

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the TACNY email list – and how appropriate that the Technology Alliance of Central New York is adapting to the current pandemic with the latest trends in online presentations.


Saturday, April 25, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

You must register in advance HERE


Presenter: Douglas Yung, PhD

Douglas Yung is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University and the Director for the Bioengineering undergraduate program. He earned his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from UCLA in 2003 and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Caltech in 2008. He worked as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on sensor development, microfluidics, and bacterial spore viability. His work includes the anthrax smoke detector, spacecraft surface sterilization, and determination of life longevity by detecting spores in extreme environments.

Douglas has long been intrigued by the interfacing of microbes with engineering tools on a micro- and nano-scale. He is unraveling methods to rapidly assess the viability of superbugs and harness energy from extremophiles using a combination of electrochemical, optical techniques and MEMS devices. He is an advocate of a hybrid teaching and learning environment replete with project-based hands-on work, experiential activities and peer collaboration, a style departing from traditional top-down expository pedagogies.

About Sweet Science Series

TACNY John Edson Sweet Lectures, a program founded in 1913, is now called the Sweet Science Series and features discussions about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere for adults of all levels of technical understanding. A minimum of six free and open to the public presentations are held each year.

About 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.

About TACNY

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, see www.tacny.org

NASA Night Sky Notes: Hubble at 30 – Three Decades of Cosmic Discovery

Poster’s Note: One of the many under-appreciated aspects of NASA is the extent to which it publishes quality science content for children and Ph.D.’s alike. Your tax dollars help promote science! The following article was provided for reprinting by the Night Sky Network in April, 2020.

By David Prosper

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 30th birthday in orbit around Earth this month! It’s hard to believe how much this telescope has changed the face of astronomy in just three decades. It had a rough start — an 8-foot mirror just slightly out of focus in the most famous case of spherical aberration of all time. But subsequent repairs and upgrades by space shuttle astronauts made Hubble a symbol of the ingenuity of human spaceflight and one of the most important scientific instruments ever created. Beginning as a twinkle in the eye of the late Nancy Grace Roman, the Hubble Space Telescope’s work over the past thirty years changed the way we view the universe, and more is yet to come!

We’ve all seen the amazing images created by Hubble and its team of scientists, but have you seen Hubble yourself? You actually can! Hubble’s orbit – around 330 miles overhead — is close enough to Earth that you can see it at night. The best times are within an hour after sunset or before sunrise, when its solar panels are angled best to reflect the light of the Sun back down to Earth. You can’t see the structure of the telescope, but you can identify it as a bright star-like point, moving silently across the night sky. It’s not as bright as the Space Station, which is much larger and whose orbit is closer to Earth (about 220 miles), but it’s still very noticeable as a single steady dot of light, speeding across the sky. Hubble’s orbit brings it directly overhead for observers located near tropical latitudes; observers further north and south can see it closer to the horizon. You can find sighting opportunities using satellite tracking apps for your smartphone or tablet, and dedicated satellite tracking websites. These resources can also help you identify other satellites that you may see passing overhead during your stargazing sessions.

NASA has a dedicated site for Hubble’s 30th’s anniversary at bit.ly/NASAHubble30. The Night Sky Network’s “Why Do We Put Telescopes in Space?” activity can help you and your audiences discover why we launch telescopes into orbit, high above the interference of Earth’s atmosphere, at bit.ly/TelescopesInSpace. Amateur astronomers may especially enjoy Hubble’s images of the beautiful objects found in both the Caldwell and Messier catalogs, at bit.ly/HubbleCaldwell and bit.ly/HubbleMessier. As we celebrate Hubble’s legacy, we look forward to the future, as there is another telescope ramping up that promises to further revolutionize our understanding of the early universe: the James Webb Space Telescope!

 Discover more about the history and future of Hubble and space telescopes at nasa.gov.

Hubble’s “first light” image. Even with the not-yet-corrected imperfections in its mirror, its images were generally sharper compared to photos taken by ground-based telescopes at the time. Image Credit: NASA

The Night Sky Network program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov to find local clubs, events, and more!

Special Issue! Free Astronomy Magazine – March/April 2020 Issue Available For Reading And Download

The most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (March-April 2020) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com.

Yes, the issue is a series of articles about the importance of amateur astronomers coming together as a community through outreach, just in time for a global pandemic to keep everyone from coming together (for a while, anyway). The issue features an opening article by myself and an international perspective (Spain, Catalonia and Italy) by the editor Michele Ferrara and other contributing language editors on the general topics of the state of amateur astronomy and outreach in our respective locations.

For the opening story, I went with a very CNY-centric perspective on some of the great observing/outreach events, as well as their hosts, we’ve known in the past decade-or-so (while trying to name-drop all the area astronomy clubs in the process). These include shout-outs to some of the better-known lectures/observers, including David Bishop with ASRAS, Larry Slosberg with CNYO, James Callens with Western NY Astronomers, Bob Piekiel and his near-rock-solid monthly schedule at Baltimore Woods, my favorite classicist and dark sky proponent Prof. John McMahon, and the late, great Barlow Bob.

For those wanting a quick look at what the issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.

The web browser-readable version: www.astropublishing.com/2FAM2020/

Jump right to the PDF download (18 MB): March-April 2020