This page lists information about upcoming and past events held by the Foothill College Astronomy Department.
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, will give a free, illustrated, non-technical lecture titled "Earth to Earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust - the Birth and Death of Worlds"
This event will be live at Smithwick Theater. Parking is free during spring quarter 2023.
For centuries we have known that Earth is only one of multiple worlds orbiting the Sun. Near the turn of the 21st century we discovered that our solar system is but one of countless others. Where did these planets come from? What are their fates, and ours? Dr. Chiang will describe the life cycle of planets, how they are born and die and are born again. The story follows microscopic grains of dust, from the dark and icy clouds of the Milky Way, to the fiery winds from planets burning in the glare of their stars.
Eugene Chiang is a Professor of Astronomy and of Earth and Planetary Science at UC
Berkeley. He is a theoretical astrophysicist with interests in all things planetary,
from planet formation to orbital dynamics to planetary atmospheres. He has served
as Chair of the Berkeley Department of Astronomy, is an elected Fellow of the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is the recipient of the Berkeley Distinguished Teaching
Award, the highest award for teaching on the UC campus.
- The Foothill College Science, Tech, Engineering & Math Division
- The SETI Institute
- The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- The University of California Observatories (including Lick Observatory)
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).