LOCATION CHANGE for our January meeting – this month only. See below. Evening observing session will still be at Charlie Elliott.

“Experience the Universe at Charlie Elliott”

Directions to Charlie Elliott

Charlie Elliott Astronomy & Observing on January 21 at 1 p.m.

All About Gravitational Waves

(Meeting Location Change Update — January 17) Due to unforeseen circumstances, our meeting location for this month has changed. Please join us on Saturday, January 21, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the Piedmont Park Community Center, 1071 Piedmont Ave. NE, in Atlanta, when we get back into some really serious astronomy.

Piedmont Community Center

Important! The Community Center entrance is at the rear of the building that houses a Willy’s Mexican Restaurant and a ShakeShack restaurant. Turn right from Piedmont Rd. into the parking lot for the ShakeShack, then proceed to the rear of that building for parking and the white entrance door. There is limited onsite parking at the rear of the building and some other public lots fairly close by. There are NO SIGNS on Piedmont Rd. that announce the Piedmont Park Community Building.

This time, we’re honored to present Georgia Tech Ph.D. candidate Hareesh Bhaskar.

Abstract — Recent detections of gravitational waves have revolutionized astrophysics. Using one of the most sophisticated experiments ever conducted, astronomers have yet again confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Celebrating this monumental achievement, the Nobel Prize of 2017 was awarded for the detection. So far, close to 100 gravitational wave events have been discovered. These wave events are being used by astronomers to answer fundamental questions about our universe such as how do black holes and neutron stars form, how do they merge and — perhaps most importantly — how did the universe begin?

As we enter a new era in astronomy, I believe that now is the time to learn about gravitational waves. In my talk, I will explain what gravitational waves are, how they are generated, how we detect them and what we can learn from them.

About Hareesh — I got interested in astronomy very early in school. This was primarily due to books, documentaries, and visits to my local planetarium. After I entered college, I got to do cool projects in astrophysics which further bolstered my interest in the field. Now, as I pursue a Ph.D. in Physics at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I work on problems related to the formation and evolution of planetary systems, stars and black holes.

Meeting Agenda — First, we’ll have opening remarks and general introductions by our club director Steve Siedentop for the benefit of newcomers. Following that will be a presentation of what’s up in the sky this (and part of next) month by Observing Supervisor Dennis Ruzeski. We’re also open to those who wish to share any of their own observing experiences or questions.

Afterwards will be Mr. Bhaskars’s presentation.

Following that (and weather-permitting), we’ll head out to the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield and the Jon Wood Astronomy Field; all are invited to bring their own telescopes or binoculars or at least their interest in astronomy. Sunset on our meeting night will be at 5:56 p.m., so be sure to be on the observing field before then. The sooner, the better.

Location, Location, Location — To find the Jon Wood Astronomy Field:

  • Head to Mansfield on Hwy 11,
  • Turn off Hwy 11 onto Marben Farm Road (just south of Mansfield),
  • Turn right onto Elliott Trail,
  • Go a short distance, then turn right onto the dirt driveway that leads up to the Jon Wood Astronomy Field.

About Us — The Charlie Elliott Astronomy Club is a chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt educational organization chartered by the state of Georgia in October 1963; donations of funds or items to the Charlie Elliott chapter or the AAC itself are tax-deductible. As such, our meetings and observing sessions are free and open to the public, though membership is invited.

Please return here daily for any further updates.

Observing on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field

Please refrain from using white lights on the observing field to preserve night vision. Red lights are readily available at department and sporting goods stores in the Atlanta area. As stated above all are invited, however, to bring their own telescopes or binoculars or at least their interest in astronomy.

A Few Items to Note…

  • Plan to treat this outing like you would a camping trip and be prepared.  Dress appropriately for the weather and the environment, bring snacks and drinks if needed, and plan to take your garbage with you.  There is a regularly serviced Porta-Potty on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.
  • The main gate on Elliott Trail closes to new entry at 7 p.m., but will automatically open for exiting traffic at all times.  Therefore, if you plan to observe on the Jon Wood Astronomy Field, please arrive before 7 p.m. or else make arrangements with a club member for access.

For more information about Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/charlie-elliott-wildlife-center

Downloads from the Last Meeting


Our Monthly Meetings and Public Observing Nights

Our monthly meetings and public observing nights are free and open to the public. Our meeting, observing, and outreach schedule is updated as-needed and can be reached by clicking on the “Our Calendar” tab at the top of this page. Start times vary throughout the year so please check back frequently for details.

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All Charlie Elliott Astronomy events are free and open to the public and you don’t have to be a member to attend our meetings or join us on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.  However, we would encourage you to consider a yearly paid membership for less than the cost of a couple of pizzas.  Your membership dues allow us to continue our science outreach programs in area schools and youth organizations, merit badge programs with area Scout Troops, and allow us to maintain the facilities on Jon Wood Astronomy Field.  To become a member, you can fill out our Membership Form or contact an officer.  March is membership renewal month. If you are renewing your membership, no form is necessary.

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Charlie Elliott Astronomy, serving the Atlanta area and East Middle Georgia, is a chapter of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to promoting the public knowledge of and interest in astronomy.

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