AstroCon 2004


Invited speakers

Dr. Gibor Basri
Tuesday, July 20, 7:30 p.m.

Dr. Gibor Basri is a world-renowned expert on the subject of brown dwarfs, and a co-investigator on the upcoming Kepler mission to detect transits by terrestrial planets around other stars. He has served on committees to award major NASA and NSF grands and projects, and awarding time on the Keck telescopes.


William Borucki
Virginia Gulick
Jane Houston Jones
Don Parker
Cynthia Phillips
Solar system and planetary science panel
Wednesday, July 21, 10:15 a.m.



Don Machholz
AstroCon 2004 Lunch speaker
Wednesday, July 21, Noon

Don Machholz is an amateur astronomer living in Colfax, CA. From there he continues his visual comet hunting program, hosts public star parties throughout the area, and conducts Messier Marathons, of which he has done thirty and about which he has written two books. His Wednesday lunchtime talk will be a short course on the Messier Marathon and he promises to provide the dessert!


Michael Bakich
AstroCon 2004 Lunch speaker
Thursday, July 21, Noon

Michael Bakich is an associate editor at Astronomy Magazine. In his talk, The Other Side of Amateur Astronomy, Michael will examine the various phases of amateur astronomy as a hobby, leading to the most difficult and wondrous of all: evangelist. What can we, as dedicated amateur astronomers, do to promote our hobby? How can we strongly encourage a love for things celestial and gently discourage the use of wasteful light? He will propose and solicit ideas.


David Levy
AstroCon 2004 Lunch speaker
Friday, July 23, Noon

David Levy has discovered 21 comets, eight with a telescope in his backyard observatory, and 13 which he shared with Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker. One of these comets, Shoemaker-Levy 9, collided with Jupiter in the summer of 1994, resulting in the greatest explosion ever witnessed on another world.


Dr. Louis Friedman
AstroCon 2004 speaker
Friday, July 23, 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Louis D. Friedman is the author of Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel. Dr. Friedman worked on deep space missions at JPL from 1970-1980, including design studies for the Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail. He is the author of more than twenty papers on navigation, mission analysis and design, and mission planning. Dr. Friedman co-founded The Planetary Society in 1980 with Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. He has been part of the technical team working on Mars balloons and Mars rovers, and is the Project Director for Cosmos 1, the first solar sail spacecraft.


Dr. Geoff Marcy
ASP Awards Banquet
Friday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.

Truly a "star-studded" event, the ASP's gala awards banquet for 2004 will be held on Friday, July 23, at the Doubletree Hotel, Berkeley Marina. The banquet will begin with a no-host reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner, presentation of the ASP's 2004 annual awards (to be announced in spring 2004), and a very special talk by well-known planet-hunter Dr. Geoff Marcy, who will share some personal experiences, stories, and anecdotes collected during his team's long and ultimately very successful search for planets orbiting other stars. Between Dr. Marcy and the award winners this promises to be a memorable evening!

ASP membership is not required for you to attend the banquet, and non-members are definitely invited. Thanks to the generosity of the other AstroCon 2004 co-sponsors and hosts, if you will be attending only the ASP banquet and/or the ASP members meeting you are not required to pay any AstroCon registration fees.


Tony Hallas
AstroCon 2004 Lunch speaker
Saturday, July 21, Noon

Tony and Daphne Hallas have been active in astronomy since 1986 and have been doing astrophotography since 1987. Tony owned a large custom/commercial photo lab for many years and sold it to concentrate on astrophotography full time. Their astrophotography spans three major revolutions: purely mechanical methods such as physically stacking negatives, digitizing film and using digital enhancement techniques, and pure digital photography using CCD cameras. They currently image with a 14.5" f/8 classical cassegrain using an SBIG ST-10E CCD camera.


Alan Bean
Closing banquet, USS Hornet
Saturday, July 21, 6:00 p.m.

Alan Bean, Apollo 12 lunar module pilot, became the fourth man in history to set foot on the moon. As commander of Skylab mission II, he lived 59 days in space, 270 miles above planet Earth. Under his leadership, his crew accomplished 150% of their pre-mission goals - a record unsurpassed before or since. During his career, Alan helped establish 11 world records in aeronautics and space.

Alan is also an accomplished painter and author. Bring your copy of Apollo: An Eyewitness Account for him to sign, and view his incredible space art


If you would like to be considered for the list of invited speakers, please contact Ilona Magyary at



Copyright © 2003 AstroCon 2004 Committee
Last updated: June 16, 2004