HAL Meetings in 2023
HAL General Meetings (Open to the Public)
- Meetings are currently held virtually via Zoom. Watch for updates!
- For specific meeting dates, see the HAL Calendar.
- Additional information is announced via the HowardAstro Google Group.
- All HAL Meetings (and star parties) are held in locations which are smoke free by law. Help us protect our ability to use these facilities by not smoking.
General Meetings are held from 7:00PM to approximately 9:00 on the 3rd Thursday
of every month via Zoom (until further notice).
HAL Planning Meetings (Open to All Members)
Planning Meetings to discuss future club direction, events, meeting topics, outreach, etc. are open to all members. Attendance is encouraged.
They are usually held from 7:00 to 8:00PM on the 1st Monday
of every month via Zoom (until further notice).
Sometimes these meetings are rescheduled or cancelled due to holidays or board member unavailability.
Check our home page, posts to the HowardAstro Google Group, or the HAL calendar.
HAL's Updated COVID-19 Policy for Events
- For HAL impromptu and member-only star parties, participants should wait for an invitation before approaching to look through others’ telescopes; respect each other’s desires for social distancing.
- We are following Howard County guidelines such as:
- Face coverings are encouraged inside the Alpha Ridge HALO building.
2023 General Meeting Topics / Speakers
Thursday, January 19th, 2023 beginning at 7:00PM
Topic: NOAA'S Joint Polar Satellite System, JPSS-2, the Sequel
Presenter: Ted Leoutsakos, NASA - JPSS Deployed Systems Team Senior Engineer
| Video Recording on YouTube
| Chat Log
Back by popular demand! Ted presented to HAL about the
first JPSS mission in January 2021. His 2023 presentation
will provide details about JPSS-2, the new mission.
JPSS-2 successfully lifted off from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Nov. 10, 2022.
The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the nation's new generation polar-orbiting operational environmental satellite system.
JPSS is a collaborative program between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its acquisition agent,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). JPSS provides critical environmental satellite data to support NOAA's
ongoing mission to understand and predict changes in the weather, oceans and climate.
Ted Leoutsakos has extensive NASA/DOD and commercial experience with
broad end-to-end satellite systems engineering knowledge in complex
system integration, testing, operations, training, and ground system
development with over a dozen missions under his belt. A life-long
Star Trek fan, Ted recalls his dad taking him to the library at age 5
to check out his first read entitled "The Book of Rockets", and the rest is history…
Thursday, February 16th, 2023
Topic: Defending Planet Earth: The Double Asteroid Redirection Test
Presenter: Dr. Angela Stickle, DART Impact Modeling Working Group Lead, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Quick Zoom Link.
More options on home page.
NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART)
was the first
planetary defense test mission. The DART spacecraft
purposefully ran into a small asteroid,
Dimorphos, on September
26, 2022, in order to test asteroid deflection. DART was a huge
success, changing Dimorphos’s orbital period by around 30
minutes and generating many tons of ejecta. We will discuss
planetary defense, the DART mission, initial results from the
team and how we are using those results to learn more about
Dimorphos, Didymos, and future applications to
Dr. Angela Stickle is a planetary geologist with a background
in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and impact processes
on planetary surfaces. She specializes in hypervelocity impact
processes and dynamic failure of materials. Dr Stickle is
currently a senior research scientist at the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory. She is the Deputy
Principal-Investigator for the Mini-RF radar, a Co-I for the
LRO-LAMP instrument aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter,
the impact modeling working group lead for the Double Asteroid
Redirection Test mission, and a Co-I on the Dragonfly mission.
Her research includes analyzing young impact craters on the
Moon to better understand ejecta emplacement processes, impact
modeling on asteroids and rocky/icy bodies, planetary defense
testing, and working to understand and evaluate available
technology for future lunar surface missions.
Stickle is named in her honor.
Thursday, March 16th, 2023
Topic: Dragonfly: Flights of Exploration on an Exotic Ocean World
Presenter: Dr. Melissa Trainer, NASA GSFC / Planetary Scientist
(Zoom link will be posted in early March 2023.)
is the only moon in our solar system with a dense atmosphere,
which supports an Earth-like hydrological cycle of methane clouds,
rain, lakes, and seas. Complex organic surface materials may
preserve, in a deep freeze, the types of organic chemicals that
would have been present on Earth before life developed. The
Dragonfly mission to Titan
will characterize its habitability and
determine how far prebiotic chemistry has progressed in
environments known to provide the necessary ingredients for life.
The mission comprises a single rotorcraft lander with a
sophisticated scientific payload, designed to take advantage of
Titan's environment and achieve wide-ranging exploration goals by
flying to sites in different geologic settings.
Dr. Melissa Trainer is a planetary scientist at NASA's Goddard
Space Flight Center (GSFC) with expertise in the composition of
planetary atmospheres and the production of organic molecules and
aerosols via in situ synthesis pathways. Dr. Trainer currently
serves as a Deputy Principal Investigator (PI) for the Dragonfly
mission to Saturn's moon Titan, part of the
NASA Planetary Science New Frontiers Program.
She is also the lead for the Dragonfly Mass
Spectrometer (DraMS), which enables the investigation of Titan's
surface composition and characterization of potential prebiotic
2013 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2014 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2015 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2016 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2017 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2018 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2019 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2020 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2021 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
2022 Meetings - Speakers and Topics
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