Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York

Star Party with Dr. Michio Kaku

April 19, 2010

I was contacted by producers of Discovery Channel to put together a star party on a midtown Manhattan rooftop. They were filming an episode of Michou Kaku's "Physics of the Impossible" and wanted an interesting backdrop. I made calls out to the Amateur Astronomers Association and other astronomy clubs and to numerous individuals throughout the community who had telescopes. On April 19, the crew contacted me about a shoot that Dr. Kaku was doing on planets around other stars. Dr. Kaku was going to chat with Dr. R. Paul Butler of Carnegie Institute of Washington. As they discussed the exoplanet 47 Ursae Majoris, a troop of amateurs looked skyward with their telescopes. Both Dr. Kaku and Dr. Butler enjoyed their time with the AAA Club members, and the production staff, too had a great time observing Saturn, low in the Western sky. The people who brought telescopes to the rooftop were Ileana Adamos, Joe Ben-David, Daniel Ben-David, Graeme Birchall, Bill Bradley, Myra and Howard Donowitz, Howard Fink, Julian Gonzales, Gerceida Jones, Maya Kushner, Dr. Don Lubowich of Hofstra Univ., Eileen Thornton Renda, Craig Ross, Craig Sachs, Andre Stevens, Peter Tagatac and Barbara Yoshida.

You may view a clip of the event here: http://science.discovery.com/videos/sci-fi-science-ii-strange-new-world.html The show aired on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.

William Paterson University Department of Physics American Astronomical Society Amateur Astronomers Association of New York Astronomical Society of the Pacific