John Church Michael DiMario

John Church & Michael DiMario

Members, AAAP

October 10, 2023

Welcome to a New Academic Year at Peyton Hall

The October 10, 2023 meeting of the AAAP will take place in Peyton Hall on Tuesday, September 12th at 7:30 PM. As usual, the meeting is open to AAAP members and the public. Participants can enter Peyton Hall or log in to the Zoom session as early as 7:00 pm to chat informally before the meeting begins. This evening’s guest speakers are AAAP members John Church and Michael DiMario whose presentation is on the historic Yerkes Observatory and its 40-inch refractor.

Options for Attending the October Meeting

You may choose to attend the meeting in person or participate via Zoom or YouTube as we’ve been doing for the past few years. (See How to Participate below for details). Members are invited to attend the “Meet the Speaker” dinner at Winberie’s Bar and Restaurant before the meeting. Our reservation is for 5:45 pm. Please contact the Program Chair if you plan to attend.

Winberie’s Bar and Restaurant
1 Palmer Square E
Princeton, NJ
(609) 921-0700

John Church

A native of Richmond, John Church graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and then earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.   His thesis work was concerned with the reaction of crystalline carbohydrate derivatives with oxygen under relatively mild conditions.  He spent his career in research and development with American Can Company at their Corporate R&D laboratory in Princeton and then with Colgate-Palmolive at their Corporate Research Center in Piscataway.

John is the author of sixteen scientific, historical, and technical publications, including several on the optics of refracting telescopes as well as one on close conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn.  He holds ten U.S. patents and is the author of a book chapter on the chemistry of bleach. He has written three books and edited several others.  One of his Sky & Telescope articles traced the history of the 6 ¼ inch Hastings-Byrne refractor now installed in our observatory in Washington Crossing State Park, which he and many others helped build in the late 1970’s.

John has served as Assistant Director, Director, and Program Chair of the AAAP.  This September will mark his 53rd year as a club member.  His civic activities include presently serving on the West Windsor Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.  He is married and has three children and six grandchildren.

Michael DiMario

Dr. DiMario is the Founder and CEO of Astrum Systems, a global consulting venture focused on employing systems engineering methodologies in early research and development. He is also actively engaged in creating a blog highlighting large and university-based observatories including solar and RF telescopes.

Dr. DiMario has five granted patents, numerous corporate trade secrets, a published book on systems engineering, a book chapter on systems engineering, and more than forty peer reviewed papers in regard to quantum magnetometry, systems engineering and quality management. He has been interviewed and quoted in Wired Magazine, GPS World, Sifted, and the Financial Times.

He holds a PhD in Systems Engineering, MBA in Management of Technology, MS in Computer Engineering, and significant course work in Space Science. He is President of Astrum Systems, a technology management consulting firm and co-chairs the INCOSE Early Systems Engineering and Research Working Group. He holds an amateur radio Extra class license, call sign K2MJD.

The Yerkes Observatory and the 40-inch Refractor

How To Participate:

In Person

The parking lots across the street (Ivy Lane) from Peyton Hall are now construction sites, unavailable for parking. We’ve been advised by the administration of the astrophysics department that we should park in the new enclosed parking garage off Fitzrandolph street and walk around the stadium and athletic fields. Here’s a map of the campus and walking routes from the parking garage to Peyton Hall. The map shows the recently completed East Garage. Not shown is an access road Sweet Gum that connects from Faculty Road to an entrance at the lower left corner of the garage. Stadium Road connects from Fitzrandolph Road to another entrance at the opposite corner (and higher level) of the garage. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the parking garage to Peyton Hall.

Parking and Peyton Hall


Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: AAAP-October 2203 Meeting-John Church and Michael DiMario, “The Yerkes Observatory.”
Time: Oct 10, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 5548 3876
Passcode: 994729


AAAP Oct Meeting, John Church and Michael DiMario, The Yerkes Observatory

A look ahead at future guest speakers:
Date Featured Speaker(s) Topic
November 14, 2023 Dr. Gary Rendsburg, Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies and History at Rutgers
Prof. Rendsburg will talk about “The Jewish Calendar,” with emphasis on its astronomical connections to lunar months, intercalated month to adjust to the solar year, festival days, and new moon observan ces. Suggested by Ira Polans.

Also, AAAP member Peter Wraight will show and discuss his 3D printed binoscope designs for which he won two awards for Mechanical Design at last year’s Stellafane convention.
December 12, 2023 Dr. Mario Motta
Dr. Motta is a cardiologist and past president of AAVSO who uses his home-built 32” telescope to image various objects and to study variable stars. He will talk about building his telescope and the obse rvations he makes with it. He would join the meeting via Zoom. Suggested by Michael DiMario.
January 9, 2024 Erika Hoffman, graduate student, University of Maryland
Erika will describe her research using high-resolution x-ray spectroscopy to investigate ionized outflows from active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Suggested by Bill Thomas.
February 13, 2024 TBA
March 12, 2024 TBA
April 9, 2024 Eclipse Observations
Since this meeting will take place the day after the Total Solar Eclipse of 08 April 2024, and many members will be out of town or returning from their trips, I’m suggesting that we host an online roundup of eclipse observations, with members (and perhaps others) Zooming in to share their experiences.
May 14, 2024 Dr. Tea Temim
Dr. Temim will describe her research using JWST imagery to study supernova remnants. Suggested by Gene Allen.
June 11, 2024 Jacob Hamer, the planetarium's Assistant Curator
AAAP’s traditional annual pilgrimage to the NJ State Museum planetarium in Trenton, where members will experience a presentation and a preview of the planetarium’s latest sky show.

As always, members’ comments and suggestions are gratefully accepted and much appreciated.