Mt. Tam Astronomy Programs are Free and Open to All! If your dwarf star is fascinated by the night sky, then they will love the awesome astronomy programs at the top of Mount Tamalpias. Once a month, from April through October, enjoy amazing talks by professionals in the field, followed by a Q&A and then a Night Sky Tour.
After the program, audience members are invited to the Rock Spring parking area to view through telescopes provided by members of the San Francisco Amateur Astronomers. Bring comfortable chairs and blankets and arrive early to enjoy a sunset picnic at the Mountain Theatre.
- Register your car and download a PASS to Park at Rock Spring parking lot and CARPOOL if possible
- Dress appropriately, it can be cold in the evenings on the mountain
- Bring a flashlight to help navigate your way from the theater to the telescopes and cars
- Help us inform others about these programs
- IF the weather is questionable the day of the event, call our hotline: 415-455-5370 after 3:30pm. Any cancellations will be posted. Note that cloudy weather and/or high winds may prevent observing through the telescopes, but generally don’t stop the lectures. Talks are cancelled only for rain or fire danger.
This years line up includes:
🌎 April 21, 8pm, A Universe of Universes? with Alex Filippenko, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, Many scientists now think that there might be more than a single universe. Our universe may be just one example in a far larger “multiverse,” but an unusually complex one that is conducive to the existence of life. Come learn about the relevant lines of reasoning and their profound implications.
🌌 May 19, 8pm, Is That Deep Red Glow in the Night Sky Real? Dr. Laura Peticolas, Scientist and Associate Director of Education & Outreach at Sonoma State, The Northern Lights can appear as a deep red glow here in California. In Alaska, it more often appears as a bright green band, glowing across the night sky. Scientists are still researching why these lights look the way they do. Come learn more about the dynamic lights, their connection to the activity on the Sun, and how photographers are helping us better understand the difference ways these lights manifest and the underlying reasons for them.
🌝 June 16, 8pm, MISSION: MARS, Pascal Lee, Planetary Scientist, Mars & SETI Institutes, We are making progress globally — from the Arctic to Antarctica, from basement labs to the International Space Station — to achieve the first human voyage to Mars. Come explore the what, why, how, when, and who of our first journey to the Red Planet.
🌙 July 14, 8pm, Life in the Goldilocks Zone, Natalie Batalha, Research Astronomer, NASA Ames Research Center, Discoveries by NASA’s Kepler Mission suggest there are billions of potentially habitable worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. What has the study of planets within and beyond the Solar System taught us about our own planet Earth? And what’s next in the search for life beyond the Solar System?
📽 July 28, 7:30pm, MOVIE NIGHT Screening of the 1995 science fiction film, APOLLO 13, award winning film dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission. Screening followed by expose of “fake” science in the film by Jeffrey Silverman and Kishore Hari from Science VS Cinema.
🌔 August 18, 8pm, The Modern Origins Story, Eliot Quataert, Professor of Astronomy, UC Berkeley, Our story begins in the remarkably simple early universe, devoid of the complexity around us today. Come learn how the universe has evolved to its current state from simple beginnings: how gravity reigns supreme and builds up the planets, stars, and galaxies required for biological evolution to proceed.
👽 September 23, 7:30pm, Searching for Aliens, Finding Ourselves, Jill Tarter, Research Chair, SETI Institute, Are we alone? Humans have been asking this question throughout history. Since the middle of the 20th century, we have had tools that permit us to explore this question scientifically. As we look up and look out, we are forced to see ourselves from a cosmic perspective. This perspective is fundamental to finding a way to sustain life on Earth for the long future.
🌎 October 28, 7pm, Gravitational Waves and the Glow of Cosmic Gold, Dr. Adrian Liu, Research Associate Professor, UC Berkeley, In October 2017, Earthlings detected gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space time — from the violent merger of two ultra-dense neutron stars. The signals showed that collision debris self-assembled into heavy elements, such as gold and platinum, providing an explanation for the cosmic origin of these special materials.
Today's children are predicted be the future astronauts to land on Mars. Start inspiring them now at one of the most amazing places to stargaze in Marin and with some of the most knowledgeable in the field. More information about this program can be found at friendsofmttam.org/astronomy.html.