April 12 Membership Meeting

The April 12, 2021 membership meeting of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) will take place via the Zoom online service beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s speaker will be Joe Kolecki, retired NASA Scientist, speaking on “Physics and Experience, it’s all relative!” Kokecki said, “I am mostly going to focus on observable effects. The merging of physics and geometry will be approached from the perspective that scientific facts arise from measurement (metros, Gk.) and that time and space measurements are interconnected in relativity through the speed of light. Thus united, time and space can be dealt with as geometry.” An aerospace engineer, he retired from NASA in 2006. His work included developing orbital flight systems for generating and processing electrical power in space. Kokecki has worked in the United States and abroad on flight systems for Earth orbit and for interplanetary exploration. He also identified and developed mitigation strategies for electrostatic charging of vehicles and astronauts moving about and working of the surface of Mars. His interest in relativity came about early in life when he discovered an article on Einstein and set out to see what his work was all about. Relativity became a life-long passion and he has written books on the mathematics involved with the theory.

Attendees may join the Zoom meeting beginning at 7:20 p.m. the nights of CAA scheduled meetings and meetings begin at 7:30.

The evening will begin with introductions and the featured speaker followed by the monthly membership business meeting, typically concluding at about 9 p.m.. Guest attendees are welcome.

To attend:

You can either “Phone in” or watch and participate via “Zoom Video”.

Phone In:  Just dial:  1-312-626-6799  (Chicago number)

You will be required to enter our meeting number:  954 8268 6049

Zoom Video with video and audio, on your web browser. (No camera required)
https://zoom.us/j/95482686049

Or download the desktop application from: https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting

March 8 Membership Meeting, OSIRIS-REx to Bennu!

This artist's rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona
This artist’s rendering shows OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descending towards asteroid Bennu to collect a sample of the asteroid’s surface. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

The February Membership Meeting of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) will take place Monday, February 8, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. via the Zoom online meeting service.

The evening’s speaker will be Jeff Woytach, retired NASA Scientist whose talk is entitled, “OSIRIS-REx: Mission to Bennu!” OSIRIS-REx is a U.S. mission to return samples from the Near Earth Asteroid Bennu to Earth, and to measure theoretical effects on the asteroid to see how its orbit is perturbed. Bennu is an Earth-crossing asteroid that has the potential to impact our planet. The presentation will talk about the accomplishments of the mission, as well as other sample return missions that have been accomplished or are on the books for the future.

Woytach, originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in May 1983. He joined the staff of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s John H. Glenn Research Center (GRC) in June 1983.

Woytach has worked on space missions launched on the Space Shuttle and the Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle, and on flight hardware for the International Space Station. He is currently the Systems Engineer for the Fission Surface Power System, which will place a nuclear fission reactor on the lunar surface. Mr. Woytach also provides systems engineering support to the Psyche mission.

Led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Psyche will visit an asteroid believed to be composed entirely of metal. In addition, Jeff is the systems engineer for a small spacecraft being developed to perform ocean research for the National Oceanic Partnership Program. He is also the lead for two university student design competitions sponsored by NASA, involving teams from five U.S. universities In his spare time, Mr. Woytach enjoys space exploration history, collecting space exploration memorabilia, astronomy, and “Star Trek”. He is also the founder of the “Glenn Band,” a concert band comprised of NASA Glenn employees and retirees, their family members and students from the North Olmsted School District. Mr. Woytach and his family are residents of North Ridgeville, Ohio.

Attendees may join the Zoom meeting beginning at 7:20 p.m. the nights of CAA scheduled meetings and meetings begin at 7:30.

The evening will begin with introductions and the featured speaker followed by the monthly membership business meeting, typically concluding at about 9 p.m.. Guest attendees are welcome.

To attend:

You can either “Phone in” or watch and participate via “Zoom Video”.

Phone In:  Just dial:  1-312-626-6799  (Chicago number)

You will be required to enter our meeting number:  954 8268 6049

Zoom Video with video and audio, on your web browser. (No camera required)
https://zoom.us/j/95482686049

Or download the desktop application from: https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting

February 8: Membership meeting & Mars

The February Membership Meeting of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA) will take place Monday, February 8, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. via the Zoom online meeting service. The evening’s speaker will be CAA member Dr. Geoffrey Landis who will present, “What is Happening on Mars?”

Dr. Landis is a research scientist for NASA and acclaimed Science Fiction Writer. His specialty has been the various Mars rover missions and he will be showing us what NASA is doing now and in the near future to explore the Red Planet!

Attendees may join the Zoom meeting beginning at 7:20 p.m. the nights of CAA scheduled meetings and meetings begin at 7:30.

The evening will begin with introductions and the featured speaker followed by the monthly membership business meeting, typically concluding at about 9 PM. Guest attendees are welcome.

To attend:

You can either “Phone in” or watch and participate via “Zoom Video”.

Phone In:  Just dial:  1-312-626-6799  (Chicago number)

You will be required to enter our meeting number:  954 8268 6049

Zoom Video with video and audio, on your web browser. (No camera required)
https://zoom.us/j/95482686049

Rounding out the year

November and December will see two excellent speakers present talks, rounding out this most unusual year for the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association’s (CAA). COVID-19 isolation restrictions on group gatherings, and closed meeting facilities caused the club to take its meetings online via the Zoom cloud service. Normally the club hosts a December dinner in lieu of a meeting but since the dinner cannot be held, there will be a December “virtual” meeting complete with speaker.


Suzie Dills

Coming November 9: Suzie Dills, longtime CAA member and director of the Hoover-Price Planetarium in Canton, Ohio, will give a talk entitled “Women in Astronomy.” Dills will tell us stories of female astronomers’ inspirations, science, and contributions which have been and often are unheralded.


Glenn StarkmanDecember 14: Professor Glenn Starkman, co-chair of physics and astronomy at Case Western Reserve University will present “The Big Bang and Beyond.” Dr. Starkman will take us to the beginnings of space and time, and show us what we know, what we think we know, and what we wish we knew.

Attendees may join the Zoom meeting beginning at 7:20 p.m. the nights of CAA scheduled meetings and meetings begin at 7:30. Details will be published on this website on how to join our meetings.