Our speaker for the Friday, June 14 GAAC meeting will be none other than Steve O'Meara, the amateur astronomer who, very unexpectedly, observed "spokes" in Saturn's ring system in 1976. Steve reported observing these phenomena with the 9 inch refractor at Harvard (an interesting account of the reception of O'Meara's observations is available here, in the Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage). His observations were discounted by professionals and others who pointed out that no such thing could exist due to differential rotation of the rings.
In 1980 Voyager 1 visited Saturn, reported spokes in the rings, and got credit for the discovery, perhaps, some speculate, because of an inherent distrust of visual observation as opposed to photographic astronomy. In his talk, Steve will speak about his observations of Saturn and the events that followed. This is sure to be a fascinating and colorful account, and, incidentally, a welcome affirmation of the value of careful visual observational astronomy.
You'll definitely enjoy this evening at GAAC, hearing from a really accomplished and deservedly well known astronomer. We'll hope to see you there.
GAAC meets on the second Friday of every month except August, at 8:00pm at the Lanesville Community Center, 8 Vulcan St in Lanesville. There is no cost, and all are welcome.