This page lists information about upcoming and past events held by the Foothill College Astronomy Department.
2023, October 21 - Observe the Moon Night
On Saturday, October 21, the Foothill Observatory will be open from 6:45 pm to 10 pm as the Foothill Astronomy Department and the Peninsula Astronomical Society join in with NASA's Observe the Moon Night.
Come out to view the 1st quarter moon and other astronomical objects, through both the telescope in the Foothill Observatory and smaller portable telescopes setup nearby.
This event is free and open to the public, with free parking.
2023, November 15 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Dr. Laura Schaefer
On November 15, at 7pm, in person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, Dr. Laura Schaefer from Stanford University's Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences will give a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "Water Above, Water Below, Water Within: The Many-faceted Role of Water in Planetary Habitability"
Water is everywhere. It’s two elements are the first and fifth most abundant elements in the universe. It is made in abundance in many environments and finds its way into planets of all shapes and sizes, where it modifies the properties of everything it touches. Water is crucial to life, both as a habitat and as a solvent. But it also has many other roles in the evolution of habitable and uninhabitable environments on a planetary scale. In this talk, Dr. Schaefer will discuss the ways in which Earth acquired its water, how water modifies the evolution and habitability of the Earth, and how the habitability of rocky exoplanets may differ.
Laura Schaefer is an Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Stanford University. She is a planetary scientist who focuses on how volatiles and rocks react with each other to form the atmospheres of rocky planets, both inside and outside the Solar System. She is fascinated by lava worlds and the volcanic moon Io, as well as the distant past of Earth and neighbors Venus and Mars.
- The Foothill College Science, Tech, Engineering & Math Division
- The SETI Institute
- The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
2023,October 11 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Dr. Robert Jedicke
On October 11, at 7pm, in person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, Dr. Robert Jedicke from the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy will give a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "The Peril and Profit of Near-Earth Objects"
2023, June 21 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Dr. Eugene Chiang
On June 21, at 7pm, in person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, Dr. Eugene Chiang, Astronomy Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, gave a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - the Birth and Death of Worlds"
2023, May 10 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Andrew Fraknoi
On May 10, at 7pm, in person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, astronomer Andrew Fraknoi, gave a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "The Eclipse Double-Header: Two U.S. Eclipses of the Sun in 2023-2024"
2023, March 8 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Dr. Alex Filippenko
On March 8, at 7pm, in-person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, Dr. Alex Filippenko, researcher at UC Berkeley, gave a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "First Results from the James Webb Space Telescope"
2023, Feb. 8 - Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series talk by Dr. Steve Croft
On February 8, at 7pm, in person at Foothill College Smithwick Theater, Dr. Steve Croft, researcher at UC Berkeley and member of the Breakthrough Listen Project, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "Our Boldest Effort to Answer our Oldest Question: The Breakthrough Listen Search for Intelligent Life Beyond Earth"
This event was live at Smithwick Theater, and is now posted at Youtube.
2023, Jan. 31 - Comet C/2022 E3 viewing
We have received many inquiries from the public about viewing comet C/2022 E3 (which has received the nickname "the Green Comet" in some media coverage). It is currently visible through telescopes and binoculars, though its rise and set time is rapidly changing as it zips past the Earth.
The comet's closest approach to Earth occurred at 9:55 a.m. PST on February 1. Therefore, we had a special viewing event at the Foothill Observatory on Tuesday, January 31st.
The comet will also be above the horizon during the Friday night viewings at Foothill Observatory from January 27 through February 24. However, it is fading fast and may not be visible through our telescope past February 3.
These events are free and open to the public, and we ask that people entering the observatory wear masks (with masks available in case you forget yours).