There will be a Supermoon December 3 and 4, 2017. A Supermoon is a new or full moon that comes close to Earth in its elliptical orbit; this is called a Lunar Perigee.

The full moon comes on December 3 and lunar perigee takes place on December 4.

The best time to observe the Supermoon is when the moon is near the horizon during either moonrise or moonset:

Sunday Morning, Dec. 3 –  Moonset — 6:49am
Sunday Evening, Dec. 3 –  Moonrise — 6:19pm
Monday Morning, Dec. 4 – Moonset — 7:59am
Monday Evening, Dec. 4 – Moonrise — 7:02pm

The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you — Neil deGrasse Tyson


Search for Life Beyond Earth

Jill Tarter 02Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 7:00 p.m., Dr. Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute will give a free, illustrated, non-technical talk on: Will the 21st Century be the Time We Discover Life Beyond Earth? in the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College.

Dr. Tarter is a pioneer leading the effort to search for signals from civilizations among the stars. The 21st century will be the century of biology on our planet.  Dr. Tarter believes that this idea will be extended beyond the surface of our world and that we may soon have the first opportunity to study biology that developed on other worlds. The techniques we will need are different, depending on whether we are searching for microbes or mathematicians, but both are within reach.

Dr. Jill Tarter holds the Bernard Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute, serves on the management board for the Allen Telescope Array, is President Emeritus of the Board of the California Academy of Sciences and continues to make groundbreaking contributions to the worlds of science, education, and the arts. Jodie Foster portrayed a fictionalized version of Dr. Tarter in the film Contact.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.

Parking lots 1 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. Visitors must purchase a parking permit for $3 from dispensers in student parking lots. Dispensers accept one-dollar bills and quarters; bring exact change.

Smithwick Theater, Foothill College
12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, 94022
(650) 949-7360

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
7:00 pm
Admission: Free
Parking: $3.00

Campus Map (PDF) — Smithwick Theater, 1000

Bay Area Classic Yo Yo Contest 2017

yo-yoOver 100 of the top yo-yo competitors will compete in the 20th Annual Bay Area Classic Yo Yo Contest on Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The free to view Contest will be held at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose.

Contest Schedule:
9:00 AM – 12:30: Prelims
12:30 – 1:00 PM: Break / On Stage Demo’s
1:00 – 4:00 PM: Finals, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 1A (in this order)
4:00 – 5:00 PM: Awards

Bay Area Classic Yo-Yo Contest 2017
Children’s Discovery Museum
180 Woz Way
San Jose, 95110

Admission to the contest is free

Admission to the museum is $15.00

Museum hours:
Tuesday – Saturday
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Public parking ($5-$7) available in lots on Woz Way, Auzerais Street, and Almaden Boulevard. Additional downtown parking information.

Public Transit information.

Fall Back 2016


It’s time we turn our clocks back an hour as we return to Standard Time, Sunday morning November 6 at 2:00 am.

Does this mean we get to spend an extra hour at our favorite bar? No, bars actually stop serving alcohol at 1:59 am, one minute before the clocks are set back one hour.

This is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Do you like/dislike time change? Check out “Daylight saving time could end in California”a story from February in the Sacramento Bee.

Year Spring Forward Fall Back
2016 November 6
2017 March 12 November 5
2018 March 11 November 4
2019 March 10 November 3
2020 March 8 November 1
2021 March 14 November 7

Northern California Regional Botball Tournament

botballrobotMiddle and high school aged students in the Bay Area pit their home-made autonomous robots (no remote controls allowed) against each other in the Northern California BotBall tournament Saturday, April 16, 2016. Students use science, engineering, technology, math, and writing skills to design, build, program and document robots in a hands-on project.
The robot’s actions are based on information from the sensors, combined with the computer program (C, C++, and Java) written by the students in advance. Botball robots are completely autonomous and rely on this computer programming to start, stop, and maneuver on the game board.
The free to watch tournament begins… more