Cabrillo Astronomy in the News

Prehistory... before the digital days, Cabrillo Astronomy already had some notable achievements. Discovery of the largest "star spots" (sunspots on other stars) ever discovered, participation in the MULTICOS program for monitoring chromospherically active stars, and writing the software platform RPHOT used worldwide for the reduction of photoelectric photometry of variable stars. This is in addition to the research career of Rick Nolthenius at UCSC, U. Arizona, Stanford University, and UCLA in areas of galaxy formation and structure, black holes, large scale structure in the universe, and Dark Matter.

Oct. 28, 2005 - My Astro 28M class to the Mojave Desert centered around the lunar graze of Upsilon Geminorum. Our observations combined with others showed this interferometric standard star is a likely previously unknown binary star. See the Oct 28, 2005 edition of "The Universe Today" for the story.

June 15, 2006 - One of my photos; of Mars passing through the Beehive Star Cluster, was published online at

Nov 26, 2006 - Preliminary results of the analysis of the Upsilon Geminorum graze and discovery of binary nature of the star, referenced here.

January, 2007 - A couple of my photo's of Comet McNaught (a.k.a The Great Comet of '07!) were published at

March, 2007 - An article in the New York Times on a desert photography workshop in which I was one of the instructors.

July , 2008 - A popular website has made a photographic study of the great Scutum Star Cloud in the Milky Way and is using one of my images.

Sept, 2008 - Publication from the IOTA Annual Conference on work I teamed up on, calibrating video cameras for astronomical work

Winter '08/'09 - Consulting work for NASA Mission Specialist and CSU professor Christopher Kitting on interpretation of his data on the ATV Re-Entry mission. Link to follow.

March, 2009 - My Astro 8A class was selected to be one of the few chosen to participate in Project IASC - examining images from large professional telescopes to discover new asteroids and comets.

January, 2010 - Photography and narrative from our Astro 9 trips to Panoche Valley - a dark sky mecca for astrophotography - is being used by in efforts to preserve this area from massive development by corporate energy interests.

June, 2010 - Rick Nolthenius has been selected as part of the Hayabusa MIssion Science Team - will be flown to Australia for the spacecraft re-entry, and will be in charge of astronomical aspects of team planning and also obtaining high resolution spectrophotometry of re-entry from deep in the Outback. "Good Times" interview, and post-mission pictures.

Aug 2017 - Interview by KION TV news meteorologist on the Aug 21 total solar eclipse

Aug 2017 - Interview on Cap-and-Trade bill, Rick Nolthenius commentary on C/T vs Carbon Tax, in the "Good Times" newpaper