BASS Meeting Saturday, July 15th, 7PM at SBO

Saturday, July 15th, 7PM at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. “Tabby’s Star: the curious case of an unusual variable system”. Everything from swarms of comets to alien mega-structures orbiting this star have been proposed. Think “Rendezvous With Rama” like structures; not likely, but the patterns in this stars behavior are so weird that somebody put that out there.

Tabby's Star
Tabby’s Star. Image Credit: Roberto Mura

Discovered by the Kepler space telescope, Tabby’s star is variable unlike any other. It dims periodically, as if something is passing in front of it, but the light curve is oddly complex, like it is being eclipsed by a bunch of things for a while, and then they move out of the line of sight.

During the last BASS meeting in June, the star begin to show signs of starting one of its dimming cycles and a call went for as many observations as possible. BASS members Alison Friedli and Wayne Green used the SBO telescope to successfully get some science quality images and reduce them to data for the light curve. The results where shared with the scientific community’s collection. After a brief description of Tabby’s Star and its brief history in modern astronomy’s focus, we will share how Alison and Wayne collected the data and shared it with the researchers investigating this cosmic mystery.

Following the talk, we will try  to go up to the observing deck and use the new telescopes (weather permitting, as always, and also the astronomy summer school is in session, so we may have to give them priority on the scopes). If we do get to use them, it is prime Saturn time this month.

New SBO deck scopes. Image by Gary Garzone

Parking near SBO (building 422 on the map), use lot sections 419 and 423, these lots are free after 5PM: