Drawing of Observatory
Public Talks
Most Fridays (year round):
AAI members make
informal presentations at Sperry Observatory beginning at 8:30 p.m.  (See "Fridays At Sperry" schedule)

Presentations For Youth Groups:
By prior arrangement, talks suitable for younger audiences can be scheduled at 7:30 p.m. These presentations range in subject from Solar System objects to the constellations.


Groups are urged to contact the scheduler to confirm the availability of space.

On the third Friday of each month from September through May:
AAI holds its monthly
General Membership Meeting at which a featured speaker from outside the organization presents a topic of interest in astronomy or a related field. The meeting is held on the Cranford, New Jersey campus of Union County College in either the Main Lecture Hall or in the Roy Smith Theater. See description below.

A brief business meeting is held at 8:00 p.m., and it is followed by the speaker's presentation. There is no admission charge. All are welcome to attend, and there is plenty of free parking.

After the meeting, all are invited across campus to Sperry Observatory for an informal time of refreshments, conversation, and observing. This is a perfect opportunity to meet the speaker one-on-one and to learn more about AAI from our members. 

Contact AAI Vice President Mary Ducca for more information.


Dr. Marc Favata
Dr. Marc Favata
October 18, 2013

Listening to the Dark Side of the Universe: The Search for Black Holes and Gravitational Waves

Dr. Marc Favata, Assistant Professor of Physics at Montclair State University


8:00 p.m. Roy Smith Theater

Dr. Favata has a B.S. degree in Physics from Caltech and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Astronomy from Cornell. He has held postdoctoral fellowships at UCSB's Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Marc's research focuses on black holes and gravitational waves which are ripples in the curvature of spacetime produced by collisions of black holes or neutron stars. He is a member of LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory), an NSF funded project to directly detect gravitational waves. Marc is especially interested in how gravitational-wave observations will probe the interiors of neutron stars and test our understanding of Einstein’s description of gravity.

Astronomy has traditionally focused on observing the sky using various forms of electromagnetic radiation (optical, infrared, x-rays, radio waves, etc.). However, many astrophysical objects are quite dim electromagnetically, including black holes and neutron stars. What if we could observe these objects using a different form of radiation? Gravitational waves, a prediction of Einstein's theory of relativity, will allow us to do this. After briefly discussing black holes and relativity, Dr. Favata will give an overview of the worldwide effort (funded in large part by U.S. taxpayers) to detect gravitational waves, and to use them to learn about the dark side of the universe.


Click here for the complete 2013-2014 General Membership Meeting schedule of speakers.
Click here for a listing of General Membership Meeting prior lectures.

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Page last updated 09/28/2013