by Kiara Posey
The Troy Astronomical Society welcomed students and community members to its first meeting of the semester, which included a presentation from a guest speaker and a telescope observation session on the quad.
The meeting served as an interest meeting for potential members as well as an opportunity to elect a vice president and membership coordinator. A group of nearly 40 people, consisting of students, club members, community members, and children, were in attendance.
“It was a pretty chill atmosphere,” said Shanell Dock, a Troy University alumna. “It was easy for people who don’t have a background in astronomy or prior interests in astronomy to come and learn.”
Dr. Justin Robinson, an assistant professor of astronomy and president of the Troy Astronomical Society, began the meeting with presentation about recent space news, ‘green pea’ stars, and the James Webb Telescope.
“I liked that there was a lot of people and even though it was a club, it was more like an opportunity for education,” said Danielle Wormsby, a freshman biology major from Birmingham, Alabama.
After Robinson’s presentation, the guest speaker, Ilija Medan, a Ph. D candidate from Georgia State University, joined the meeting through a Zoom call. Medan informed guests about galactic archeology, and pointed out the similarities of archaeology to galactic archeology.
“In archeology, we learn the past through fossils,” Medan said. “In galactic archeology, we learn it through the stars.”
Robinson said he hopes to make the club even more family friendly in the future, as the children in attendance were not afraid to ask questions and participate in the lecture.
“Astronomy involves a lot of imagination and kids are really drawn to it,” Robinson said. “When I see kids’ minds exploding from something that we showed them, that’s the best feeling ever.”
A clear sky allowed for attendees to move to the quad and observe the night sky. While attendees were not able to spot the ‘green comet’ due to excess lighting, they were still able to observe astronomical landmarks such as Mars and Saturn.