Jason Shilling Kendall: Citizen Astronomer

William Paterson University
Amateur Astronomers Association of New York
Hunter College

Public Lectures at the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey

Jenny Jump State Park, Hope, NJ 07840


The First Light of the Universe

October 22, 2016

The universe has been expanding and changing since its birth at the Big Bang. In March of this year, the most distant, and therefore the furthest back in time, galaxy was discovered, which gives us its light from about 400 million years after the beginning of time. This discovery is likely the greatest achievement that can be done with the Hubble Space Telescope. Its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, to be launched in late 2018 will surpass this, hopefully showing us the light of the first stars. As it stands, this discovery demands explanation: What is the expansion of the Universe? How do we know it's occurring? How can we actually make these measurements with confidence? Our ability to know how far back in time we're seeing relies on a Cosmic Distance Ladder, culminating in the calibration of the measuring sticks of space and time itself. Come see how we start from the measuring the distance between Earth and Venus using radar to perceiving the stretching of the fabric of space and time itself over the entire cosmos.


LIGO: the discovery of Gravitational Waves

April 16, 2016


Amazing Data from Pluto

August 22, 2015

On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft made history by flying by Pluto, the outermost planet(!) of the Solar System. 24 years in the making, 9 years to get there, and only ONE shot to get it right. Come out to hear what was discovered! In 1930, Clyde Tombaugh found a tiny moving speck in the inky blackness. He had finally found Percival Lowell's Planet X, but he could not have known the trouble and joy that this pint-sized ball of ice would cause back here on Earth. Always seen as the oddball planet, but loved for it anyway by children worldwide, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Mike Brown essentially brough about its very public downfall to "dwarf planet" status. Only 1500 miles wide, this tiny world is soon to have a visitor, the New Horizons spacecraft, thus beginning the exploration of the most remote sector of the Solar System. Come learn about this wonderful "planet" and how it will tell us about our own origins.

Meetup Brainiacs | Meetup NYC Astro and Physics | Facebook IAP | Facebook WPU Astro Club


Pluto and the Arrival of New Horizons

April 25, 2015

In 1930, Clyde Tombaugh found a tiny moving speck in the inky blackness. He had finally found Percival Lowell's Planet X, but he could not have known the trouble and joy that this pint-sized ball of ice would cause back here on Earth. Always seen as the oddball planet, but loved for it anyway by children worldwide, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Mike Brown essentially brough about its very public downfall to "dwarf planet" status. Only 1500 miles wide, this tiny world is soon to have a visitor, the New Horizons spacecraft, thus beginning the exploration of the most remote sector of the Solar System. Come learn about this wonderful "planet" and how it will tell us about our own origins.

Meetup Brainiacs | Meetup NYC Astro and Physics | Facebook IAP | Facebook WPU Astro Club


1609: The Birth of Science. How Galileo Shook the World.

June 21, 2014

In 1609, Galileo Galilei looked up at the heavens with a new invention: the telescope. What he saw and how he interpreted it began the modern scientific world. Without his work, humor, arrogance and sacrifice, our world would still be shrouded in mystical darkness.

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