Saturday August 14 – Regular Monthly Meeting at 7 PM via Zoom

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NOTICE: Due to COVID 19, this will be a virtual meeting held using Zoom.  If you are a member, you will be sent information on how to log into the meeting. If you are not a member, please email so that we can send you the necessary information to let you join the meeting.

Join us Saturday, August 14 at 7 PM via Zoom.  The meeting details will be available to all members and to members of the public who ask a few days beforehand.  

ZOOM Meeting with Dr. Morgan Burks: Exploring the Solar System with Gamma Rays

Abstract: Our group built the gamma-ray spectrometer for NASA’s MESSENGER mission to the planet Mercury. MESSENGER was the first spacecraft to ever orbit Mercury and our spectrometer took the first-ever gamma-ray data of the planet. We are now building spectrometers for three new deep-space planetary missions: NASA’s Psyche mission to the asteroid belt, JAXA’s MMX sample return mission to the moons of Mars, and NASA’s Dragonfly mission to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. This talk will discuss the challenge of building high-resolution spectrometers for these diverse missions as well as the science that can be revealed by gamma-ray data.

Bio: Dr. Morgan Burks specializes in gamma-ray spectroscopy and gamma-ray imaging for both space and terrestrial applications. Dr. Burks grew up in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas and received his PhD from the University of Arkansas, LIttle Rock. Upon graduation he moved to Berkeley and spent his career at Berkeley National Laboratory and now Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he has been for nearly 20 years.

NOTICE: Since we don’t know when it will be safe to return to in person meetings, we’ve decided to revert to a standard recurring schedule that does not try to optimize viewing. So, for the time being we will meet on the second Saturday of each month at 7 PM via Zoom. We will also hold a secondary chat session via Zoom on the fourth Saturday at 7 PM. The former is open to the public, the latter is members only.

The Zoom meeting details will be sent to all members before the meeting and if you would like to attend but aren’t a member, email us at 

Members are still welcome to come to site on any clear night.