Author: Jim Mueller

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. - Carl Sagan

Notes for MASS Zoom Meeting Oct. 9, 2020

We zoomed again and this time I had some new technology, a new webcam that enabled me to host the meeting from my desktop rather than my overwhelmed laptop. Dean, Harry( by phone), Hank, and surprise participant, Keith, joined me in the discussion. We kept the meeting to 2 1/4 hours but covered a vast…
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MASS Meeting Notes from the Zoom Meeting on August 28, 2020

We zoomed again. Keith helped as co-host and Beth, Chad, Dave and Harry participated. We also had a special participant, Jim Plaxco, President of the Chicago Society for Space Studies, who added his knowledge on the topics we were discussing. First topic was concern about the Space Camp organization going bankrupt. Beth is a two…
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MASS Meeting Notes from Zoom meeting on July 31, 2020

The pandemic continues but our comfort with Zoom seems to be improving. Co-hosting by Keith improved performance and we were able to play video clips without any problems. I mentioned that July 21st was our 9th anniversary of holding meetings and tonight was our 66th get-together. It was a smaller group of meeting stalwarts with…
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MASS Watch Party for 2nd Launch Attempt of DM2 on May 30, 2020

We did it! The US launched 2 astronauts from Florida on a SpaceX Dragon2 capsule! Weather was iffy but it seemed like the clouds opened up and provided an opportunity at the 2:22 PM launch time. Dean, Keith, Hank, Phil and I were all “zoomed” in to share the event. The 1 minute discrepancy among…
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MASS Watch Party for DM2 launch attempt on May 27, 2020

Keith, Hank, Harry and I checked into the Zoom meeting to share our experiences for the launch. Unfortunately, the countdown reached T-17 minutes and it was scrubbed for weather criteria. Electrical potential and cumulus clouds plus another factor were all out of bounds for a successful launch. Ironically, 25 minutes later all the weather criteria…
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Bonus Topics Not Discussed during the Zoom MASS Meeting on May 1, 2020

Because of the limitations of Zoom we weren’t able to discuss a few miscellaneous topics, I thought I’d share my notes on them before they become too stale. NASA has been having yearly contests of short amateur films made from their archival footage. Here are some recent winners in Cinespace 2019. Particular moving is this…
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MASS Meeting Notes for Zoom meeting on May 1, 2020

With us all locked down for the coronavirus pandemic, we tried Zoom for a digital meeting. We had good participation with, Keith, Phil, Harry (ending work at Ohare), Hank, Dave (mostly only audio), Beth & Chad, Dean (with a slight delay from technical problems) and myself. I was a little disappointed that when I shared…
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MASS Meeting Notes for February 21, 2020

We had a good turn out after an 18 week hiatus. Dean, Beth, Chad, Harry, Dave, Keith and his friend, Hank and I. The background for my presentation had this interesting photo showing men on horseback riding up to check on the Soyuz capsule with one of the Russian helicopters in the shot. I thought…
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MASS Meeting Notes for October 18, 2019

Silvio, Dave, Harry and I were in attendance for our 63rd meeting.It was ironic that after 8 years we are still waiting for the first manned launch of the Commercial Crew program. A person could have gone through high-school and college in that time. But I assured the group that the first manned flights are…
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MASS notes from ApolloPalooza Party, July 19, 2019

This was our 62nd get-together and our 8th anniversary. It was our second meeting as an “eating” event, following our PlutoPalooza 4 years ago. Dean and his wife, Laura, Phil and his wife, Lin, Keith, Dave, Silvio, my wife Carol and I were in attendance. We enjoyed Portillo’s beef sandwiches, chopped and fruit salads, a…
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MASS Meeting Notes for June 14, 2019

Dean, Phil, Keith, Phil and I were in attendance for our 61st meeting. I started the event with a series of questions. The first question was who knew what this picture was? Only a couple of people knew that it was the recent picture of the black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy…
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MASS Meeting Notes for March 29, 2019

We had a good turnout for our 60th meeting with Dean, Phil, Harry, Keith, Silvio, Dave and myself. With so many of the old-timers present, we had to pose for a quick photo in front of the TV with my new presentation software Google Slides showing Starman heading out to an orbit beyond Mars in…
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MASS Meeting Notes for November 16, 2018

I started the meeting with a cool picture from the Hubble Space Telescope. The smile is the distorted image of a galaxy behind the two eyes which has had its light bent by the gravity of the foreground galaxies. The photo was taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 which astronauts installed during the last…
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MASS Meeting Notes for July 20, 2018

We had a good turnout with Dean, Keith, Dave, Jim A. and myself in attendance. We started our 7th anniversary meeting with some of our recent experiences. I had finished COD astronomer Joe DalSanto’s two astronomy courses each consisting of 12 well produced videos available on YouTube. The course titles are “Stars and Galaxies” and…
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MASS Meeting Notes for April 13, 2018

We were a small group with only Silvio, Dean and myself in attendance. I started the night by sharing my neutrino knowledge that I acquired from a recent COD talk. Neutrinos were first proposed in the 1930s but not detected until the 1960s. About 65 billion neutrinos pass through each area of your body the…
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MASS Meeting Notes for March 9, 2018

Dean, Silvio, Dave, Beth, Chad and I were in attendance for the first meeting of 2018. Last minute work issues prevented Keith and Phil from attending. This meeting turned into a SpaceX Falcon Heavy and Falcon9 fest. I apologize to Dean for delaying our kickoff of the Carl Sagan Cosmos revisit. I promise to minimize my…
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MASS Meeting Notes for December 1, 2017

Dean, Keith, Silvio, Harry, Phil and I were in attendance for our last meeting of 2017. I kicked the meeting off by describing how Carol and I had watched the ISS flyover the previous night around 5:15 PM while we were walking the Prairie Path. Just as the ISS pasted the zenith, we saw another…
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MASS Meeting Notes for October 20, 2017

Who would of thought that we would have a new record for MASS attendance with 10 people. It was almost a “standing room only” situation. There was Dean, Silvio, Jim A., Dave, Harry, Dennis, Beth, Chad, myself and Dave’s friend Calvin. One thing I noticed is that when we have that big a group our…
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MASS Meeting Notes for September 8, 2017

What a delightful meeting we had! Even though I was a little under the weather with a UI, everyone’s feedback on the eclipse and the attendance of Beth and her husband Chad added some great discussion to the topics. With Dean, Silvio, Phil, Jim A., Keith and I in attendance, it was a great turnout.…
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MASS Meeting Notes for August 4, 2017

It was a long 9 weeks since the last meeting but we pressed ahead and got our get-together in before the eclipse. Dean, Silvio, Harry, Harry’s friend Denny and myself were in attendance. There was no main topic tonight but we all looked forward to Harry briefing us on his multiple-day stay at the Oshkosh…
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MASS Meeting Notes for June 2, 2017

This was our 51st meeting! Again a long 14 weeks between get-togethers. Keith, Silvio, Harry, Dave, Phil, Jim A. and I were in attendance, so it was a great turnout. We were going to shoot for a new Guiness Record for “Number of Topics Discussed” because I had notes for 38 defined topics and 8…
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MASS Meeting Notes for February 24, 2017

This was our 50th meeting! Boy, time sure flies when you’re having a good time! Keith, Silvio, Harry, Dave, Phil, Dean and I were in attendance. Since it had been 15 long weeks since our last meeting, we spent quite a bit of time catching up on what people had been up to. Dean made a…
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Looks like 2017 will be a very good year for rocket launches

I never realized that Trump’s picture would be emblazoned at the top of our website for over 3 months because my meeting notes from November 11th were the last update and we did a short story on what his election might mean for the space industry and NASA. So this short article is to help…
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MASS Meeting Notes for November, 11, 2016

This was our 49th meeting. Dean, Harry, Dave and his friend Liz, Keith and I were in attendance. As the first order of business, we all suggested that Keith credit himself on the website. It would not exist without his support and technical expertise. There are quite a few interesting programs coming on this November.…
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MASS Meeting Notes for August 26, 2016

This was our 48th meeting. Jim A., Keith, Phil, Silvio, Dean and I were in attendance. We suggested that Keith add a spot on the web site assigning himself credit as the designer of the site. But so far I don’t see a picture or any text related to him. 6/19/16 I went to the CSSS meeting…
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MASS Meeting Notes for June 17, 2016

This was our 47th meeting. Phil, Silvio, Dave, Dean and I were in attendance. Silvio and I related our presence at the Cernan Space Center relaunch on May 24, 2016. There were quite a few dignitaries present, including a couple of mayors and the Triton College President. The last SkyWatch had good news, Dan Troiani…
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MASS Meeting Notes for May 6, 2016

Keith, Phil, Dave, Dean and I were in attendance for our 46th meeting. We started the meeting with a quick review of a couple of Internet astronomy resources. One resource is from an astronomer, Chris Impey, of the University of Arizona. His site TeachAstronomy has a good mix of short text and video clips. Chris…
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MASS Meeting Notes for April 1, 2016

Dave, Jim A., Phil, Silvio and I were in attendance for the 45th meeting. Both Dean and Keith were not able to come due to work commitments. We went with Plan B and hopefully Keith can present his space colonization paper at a future meeting. I did show everyone his article “Space Colonization, What Are…
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MASS Meeting Notes for February 19, 2016

Dave, Silvio, Keith, Dean and I were in attendance for the 44th meeting. It was great to see everyone for the first time in 2016. Since Pluto was discovered the day before on Feb. 18th, 1930 and my discovery was on the same day-of-year but in 1949, we celebrated with a bottle of Rogue “Mango…
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MASS Meeting Notes Dec 11, 2015

Harry, Keith and I were in attendance for the 43rd meeting. Unfortunately it was a new low in attendance. MassCosmos.org web site comments: the site looks fantastic, with sections “about us” and “deans blog” we can drop the “under construction” tag, Keith should add himself to “about us” as designer with his picture News from…
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MASS Meeting Notes Nov 6, 2015

MASS Meeting Nov 6, 2015 Last meeting was 9/25/15, 6 weeks ago, attendees Dean, Phil, Harry, Dave, Sylvio & I (6); Today is our 42nd meeting, in attendance special guest Kevin (our 2nd professional astronomer), Keith, Phil, Sylvio, Ed, Jim A. and Sophia and I (9) Started Meeting with music video “Over the Horizon” produced…
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MASS Meeting Notes Sept 25, 2015

MASS Meeting Sept 25, 2015 Previous meeting was 8/14/15, in attendance Dean, Phil, Harry, Jim A. & I (5); our 41st meeting; Library with Dean “Shine on Harvest Moon” Monday 9/28/15 7-8 PM I’m taking 4 courses online: Calculus of Ohio State Univ., Geology from Univ. of Illinois, 2 astronomy courses – “The Evolving Universe” from CalTech &…
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MASS Plutopalooza & 4th Anniversary Meeting

Last Friday the meeting started a half hour early, so that we could dine with plenty of time for subsequent Pluto discussion. The evening started with crackers and a cheese ball imprinted with a heart of cheese. We could call that our version of Tombaugh Regio. Some partook in a “Pluto” beer. Actual Uranus (full…
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MASSCosmos.org

Hello, my name is James Mueller, co-founder with Dean Mikolajczyk of the “Midwest Astronomy and Space Society” (MASS).  You have reached our website!  This site is currently being updated at this time.  Please come by later in the week as we update the system.  Thanks again, for stopping by! – Jim