From the Program Chair

By Victor Davis

Welcome to Peyton Hall
The March, 2023 meeting of the AAAP will take place IN PERSON on Tuesday, March 14th at 7:30 PM. As usual, the meeting is open to AAAP members and the public.

Hybrid Meeting
You may choose to attend the meeting in person or participate via Zoom or YouTube as we’ve been doing for the past few years. (See How to Participate below for details). Participants who choose to participate virtually will be able to log in to the meeting as early as 7:00 pm to chat informally with others who log in early. We’ve had some security concerns during a past broadcast, so we’re re-instituting the Zoom waiting room. Please be patient for the host to recognize you and grant you entry into the meeting. Be aware that you must unmute yourself to be heard by other participants.

For the Q&A session, you may ask your question using Zoom’s chat feature or you may unmute yourself and ask your question directly to the speaker. To address background noise issues, we are going to follow the rules in the table below regarding audio. If you are not speaking, please remember to mute yourself. You are encouraged, but not required, to turn your video on.

Getting to Peyton Hall
The parking lots across the street (Ivy Lane) from Peyton Hall are now construction sites, unavailable for parking. We’ve been advised by the administration of the astrophysics department that we should park in the new enclosed parking garage off Fitzrandolph street and walk around the stadium and athletic fields. Here’s a map of the campus and walking routes from the parking garage to Peyton Hall. The map shows the recently completed East Garage. Not shown is an access road Sweet Gum that connects from Faculty Road to an entrance at the lower left corner of the garage. Stadium Road connects from Fitzrandolph Road to another entrance at the opposite corner (and higher level) of the garage. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the parking garage to Peyton Hall.


Featured Speaker:   Joseph DePasquale
Senior Science Visuals Developer
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)

Unfolding the Infrared Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope 
The universe is filled with beauty beyond even our wildest imaginations. Sophisticated observatories such as the James Webb Space Telescope help us peer into that sublime reality, and it is to the great fortune of humanity that these instruments of science produce data that captures the essence of the natural beauty of the cosmos.

However, without a careful eye toward revealing that beauty, the data would remain black and white snapshots for scientific analysis rather than admiration. Astronomical image processors blend the artistic visual principles of composition, color and tonality with the scientific knowledge of how these observatories operate and the objects they study to compose images that capture the imagination and inspire the viewer to learn more about our universe.

This past January, Joe’s colleague Alyssa Pagan gave us a fascinating overview of the tools and processes for turning JWST raw data into the jaw-dropping visuals we see in the media. In this talk, Senior Science Visuals Developer Joseph DePasquale will focus on exciting new results from the James Webb Space Telescope, providing some background on the observatory itself as well as the art and science of the image processing that reveals the inherent beauty of the infrared universe.

Joseph DePasquale
Joe DePasquale is the Senior Science Visuals Developer in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Joe’s work requires a unique blend of science and art to bring data from the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes to life in high quality, colorful views of the cosmos. Prior to joining STScI in 2017, Joe was the Science Imager for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory where he worked for 16 years following his undergraduate training in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Villanova University. Joe has an extensive background in astronomy, fine art, and photography giving him a unique skill set well suited to the task of bringing raw observatory data to life in richly detailed imagery.

AAAP webcast:  This month’s AAAP meeting, beginning with Rex’s opening remarks and ending at the beginning of the business meeting, will be webcast live on YouTube and recorded for subsequent public access on AAAP’s YouTube channel. Be aware that your interactions during this segment, including questions to our guest speaker, may be recorded for posterity.

Join YouTube Live to listen to the speaker John Church using the link below –


YouTubeAAAP-March Meeting – Unfolding the Infrared Universe with the James Webb Space Telescope

This session will be recorded and saved on YouTube. Send me an email at if you have any concerns

“Meet the Speaker” dinner at Winberie’s
Place: Winberie’s Bar and Restaurant, 1 Palmer Square East, Princeton, NJ
Time: 5:45 PM
Please contact me if you plan to attend. or at (908) 581-1780 cell

Using Zoom: While we are social distancing, the AAAP Board has chosen to use Zoom for our meetings, based on our belief that many members have already used Zoom and have found it easy to use. One of its great features is you can choose whether you want to install the software on your computer or use it within your browser.

NOTE: The Zoom site has many training videos. If you’re unsure how Zoom works you might want to view the videos on how to join a meeting or how to check your computer’s audio and video before the meeting.

How to Participate:

  • Please make sure you have Zoom installed on your computer. You do not need a Zoom account or to create one to join the meeting. Nor are you required to use a webcam.
  • Please see below for the link to the meeting, or visit our website.

Join Zoom Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 821 9772 2711   Passcode: 639173

There is no “Unjournal Club” presentation scheduled this month. As you may know, guest speakers receive a baseball cap with the AAAP logo embroidered upon it as a “thank you” for making a presentation to us. We’re expanding the hat giveaway to members who contribute an “Unjournal Club” presentation to encourage participation.

We hope to make these short presentations a regular feature of our monthly meetings. We’d like to know what members are doing or what members are thinking about in the broad range of topics encompassed by astronomy. A brief ten-minute (or so) presentation is a good way to introduce yourself and the topics you care about to other club members. If you are interested in presenting a topic of interest, please contact either or

A look ahead at future guest speakers:

April 11, 2023
Ira Polans, former Program Chair of AAAP Ira will speak briefly on The Anasazi of the Southwest: Chaco Canyon and the Sun Dagger and then introduce the film The Sun Dagger, narrated by Robert Redford. The film tells the story of its exciting discovery in the 1970s by Washington artist Anna Sofaer and its subsequent investigation. It also examines the life and culture of the Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) Indians who built the calendar and thrived in the arid canyon environment a thousand years ago. Since then the sun dagger has marked the seasonal solstices and equinoxes in vivid symbolic images of light and shadow on stone. Join us to learn more about this fascinating discovery!
NOTE: This film is solely for in-person viewing, as copyright restrictions will not permit broadcasting it on the internet. This meeting will not be a hybrid meeting.
May 9, 2023
Alain Maury, Astronomer and discoverer of comets and asteroids. Alain Maury operates a time-sharing observatory near San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. He’s also an active observer and discoverer or co-discoverer of several dozen comets and asteroids, several of which (i.e. 3780 Maury) were named in his honor. He’ll talk about his observatory, its operation, and his numerous astronomical activities.
June 13, 2023
Bill Murray, AAAP’s Outreach Director and staffer at NJ State Museum planetarium Bill will give his traditional planetarium show at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton.
Summer Hiatus
Later this fall
Gary Rendsburg, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers Prof. Rendsburg will talk about “The Jewish Calendar,” with emphasis on its astronomical connections to lunar months, intercalated month to adjust to the solar year, festival days, and new moon observances.

As always, members’ comments and suggestions are gratefully accepted and much appreciated.

This entry was posted in March 2023, Sidereal Times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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