Remembering the 22nd annual Conjunction

July 16-18, 2004


click for larger image

We dedicated the 2004 Conjunction to the memory of two lost friends and colleagues: Janet Mattei and Eugene Mallove.  Janet attended several Conjunctions with her husband Mike, and was always happy to speak to us about her astronomical passion, variable star observing.  The director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, one of the largest amateur/professional astronomical cooperatives in the world, her warm, friendly personality really brought her love for variable stars down to Earth.

Eugene Mallove was our keynote speaker back in 1988.  As Jack announced on Saturday afternoon, Eugene was murdered last May in Norwich, CT.  You can read more about Gene and his passion for cold fusion here.

Saturday morning program: "Astronomy Adventures from the Road"

This year, the traditional Saturday morning round-table discussion focused on traveling in pursuit of astronomy.  Jack Megas (below leftt) brought us on a wonderful astronomical vacation to Arizona, where he discussed what to see, where to stay, and other insider tips that only a person who has made the trek several times would know.  Then, Phil Harrington (center) showed slides of several conventions he has attended in recent years, including Astroblast, the Deep South Regional Star Gaze, Astrofest, and the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference.  Finally, Richard Sanderson (right), described the thrills and challenges that he has faced chasing the Moon's shadow during five central solar eclipses.

Saturday afternoon program

The Saturday afternoon program once again had a great line-up of speakers.

Richard Sanderson: "Science and Legends of the Moon"

  • Curator of Physical Science at the Springfield (Mass.) Science Museum


Richard Nugent: "A Look Back at the Historic Transit"

  • Middle school science and math teacher, and longtime member of the Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston


Peter Schultz: Watching NASA's Deep Impact

  • Professor of Planetary Geoscience, Brown University

Saturday Evening Keynote Address


  • Ms. Sobel is an award-winning writer and former New York Times science reporter who has contributed articles to Audubon, Discover, Life, and The New Yorker.  She also has served as contributing editor to Harvard magazine, writing about scientific research and the history of science.  She is the widely acclaimed author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter.  Her book Longitude, which recounts the struggle to discover a way to accurately determine longitude at sea, became an international best-seller and has been translated into more than twenty foreign languages.  Longitude has won several international awards, including the "Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award" from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and "Book of the Year" in England, and in recognition of her efforts, Ms. Sobel was made a fellow of the American Geographical Society.  The book was the basis for the NOVA production "Lost at Sea - The Search for Longitude" as well as a 4-hour mini-series, and more recently, Ms. Sobel was featured in a NOVA documentary about Galileo's Daughter.

2004 Photo gallery

Here's a quick look at some scenes of the 2004 Conjunction.  Click on each thumbnail for a higher resolution version.

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