Massive Telescope Enables Students to Map the Skies Above Los Angeles City College
By Jessica Brecker
The iconic dome of the Griffith Observatory looms high on a hill overlooking Los Angeles City College. Inside is one of the largest public solar telescopes in the world. In its shadow, on a viewing deck perched on top of the Science and Technology Building at LACC, is a similar, though smaller, dome.
LACC has eight telescopes that are impressive in size, and one massive reflective telescope with a 28-inch wide mirror.
“This is the biggest telescope in the district,” said physics professor Dean Arvidson. “I don’t think Cal State LA has one. I mean, it’s big enough that you can do research with it, you can see details.”
The department has a name for its pride and joy.
“We just call it The Webster,” said astronomy professor Paul McCudden.
The Webster was the result of funds from the Walter O’Connell Endowment. Walter O’Connell died in 2006, but LACC remembers the beloved physics professor with a memorial lecture every semester. The last one was in May 2013.
During the Memorial lectures Physics professors from Cal Tech give enlightening discussions reminiscent of O’Connell’s series of lectures, Innovation in Science. O’Connell’s legendary lectures started in 1958, and took place every Friday at noon in N Hall. Topics included Concerning Ashby’s Design for a Brain, which explored the “similar behavior between living organisms and computing machines,” according to the September 1958 issue of Collegian.
The school received $341,000 from the Walter O’Connell Endowment in 2005, to fund scholarships, awards, and distinguished speakers, according to the May 2005 issue of Collegian. The telescope was a welcome bonus.
Because the machine cost thousands of dollars, students were advised to use care.
“Please do not touch it at all,” McCudden said of the precious mirror. “If you touch the mirror I’m throwing you over the edge.”
The meaning of McCudden’s only partially tongue-in-cheek statement does not go unnoticed. Nobody touched the mirror.
McCudden’s class meets every Monday evening for astronomy lab.
As the sky began to darken last Monday, McCudden told his class that The Webster tracks the stars too, a necessity since stars and planets are always moving.
Many students were huddled around the tables nearby, mapping out the stars and measuring the Pleiades. They did this to the red light of small desk lamps.
“It’s red, so when we look up at the stars, it’s not as disturbing as white light would be,” said student Marcy Mejla. “Our city has so many lights that it’s difficult to see how many stars are out.”
This phenomenon is known as “light pollution,” and to escape it, one has to travel out of the city and to the desert. McCudden and Arvidson host star parties for students who want to experience this, and according to both professors, The Webster comes apart and fits into McCudden’s Rav 4. When it arrives at its destination it is simply reassembled and is good to go.
On Monday night the telescope was in its home inside the LACC observatory dome. Students climbed up a special set of stairs and used the supplied rail to lean on as they looked through the eyepiece, careful not to touch the telescope itself.
The Andromeda Nebula was viewed through The Webster. The Nebula is about three million light years away, and appeared as just a bit of fuzziness.
At a recent star party in Bryce Canyon, The Webster revealed more.
“We went with the Astronomy Club in May 2012,” Arvidson said. “There was an annular eclipse. The moon was a little farther from the earth, so it was smaller in the sky. It passed directly in front of the sun, but it was a little smaller than the sun, so you can see a little ring of sunlight, it was the most amazing thing.”
One of Arvidson’s students had an iPod with him and played the Johnny Cash song Ring of Fire as they viewed the spectacle.
But there was plenty to see from the roof of the Science and Technology Building, even unaided by telescopes. A satellite was plainly visible to the naked eye as it cruised through the sky. McCudden used a laser pointer to help show students various constellations. To the north, towards Griffith Observatory, Polaris, or the North Star, was visible. McCudden also pointed out Pegasus, which appeared as a big square to the South East, a star marking each corner. To the west was Cygnus, which McCudden described as “the swan swimming through the Milky Way.”
On Dec. 5, at 5 p.m., Venus will be visible and will be next to the moon. To students looking up from campus, this will appear to be an extremely bright star. Monday, students peering through the smaller telescopes were able to see Venus as a crescent-shaped planet, much like the earth’s moon in miniature.
“In a few days look for comet ISON,” Arvidson said. “Right now it’s passing right behind the sun and it’s passing very close to the sun, the sun may melt it and burn it up, then it just disappears. But if it survives, it will come back around the sun and we will have a good view of it starting next week, on Monday. It could be, people are saying, it might be the comet of the century, a super bright comet.”
On Friday, December 13, at 5 a.m. students are invited to come up to the third floor of the Science and Technology Building to view the comet, providing it doesn’t burn up. Saturn will also be visible at that time.
“I hope part of the goal is to have students say, ‘this is my universe, I am a part of that,’” Arvidson said.
The Astronomy Club will be making telescopes next semester, and the kits have already been ordered. Student will be allowed to keep the telescope they make.
For more information of the astronomy club email club president, Soma Ali at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The club also has a facebook page at:
Massive Telescope Enables Students to Map the Skies Above Los Angeles City College
—Gloria Lee, Collegian Reporter
Professional harpist Aedan MacDonnell played the Celtic harp for the Music Department’s first traditional music concert of the season. Students were invited to the rare occasion of hearing professional harpist on her third visit to the campus.
A musician and teacher at heart, MacDonnell wakened the students’ musical appetites by playing a small, yet elegant piece.
Aedan MacDonnell plays traditional music on her Celtic harp in the Student Union Multipurpose Room on Sept. 12.
During the performance, she stopped briefly to talk about English and Irish history, the difference between pedal and lever harps and her black and gold, 36-string lever harp made from bubinga (African rosewood).
“Raven’s Flight” is a melodic piece she composed while vacationing.
“One day, I heard people talking, but there was nobody there,” she said. “I heard sounds coming from a tree so I looked up and saw these two gigantic ravens having an intimate conversation, so I wrote this song for them.”
If you missed MacDonnell’s performance, she will be hosting “Samhain: The Story of Halloween and A Celebration of the Celtic New Year” at the Mayflower Club on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Mayflower Club is located at 11110 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91606. Tickets range from $15-$22. For more information, visit www.Celtic-Rhythms.com/Samhain.cfm
By Enver Messano
Priorities for student enrollment at the 112 California Community Colleges will change by the fall of 2014. Access will be given to specific groups, according to information shared by representatives from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office during a telephone conference call for student newspapers on March 27.
Students who are veterans will be given first priority; second priority will be given to foster or former foster youth. EOP&S students and disabled students will also receive priority registration status. All other students will have access to registration after these groups.
“We didn’t have a choice,” said Paige Marlatt Door, director of communications at the state chancellor’s office. “The law gives priority to these groups. These priorities are mandated by the state legislature.”
Door also told reporters that students who complete assessment tests, develop an educational plan and complete college orientation will receive priority over those who do not. Continuing students in good standing will also receive priority registration.
Districts have the ability to combine the four groups to receive first priority. This way, each group will actually have the same chance as each other. There is also an appeals process available to students who feel they were denied priority.
“If a student is in a situation of losing priority due to extenuating circumstances, this is grounds for appeal,” Door said.
The changes are meant to help refocus colleges on student success. The desire with this reform is to make community college available to anyone at any time, but also to allow priority registration for those attending school for job training, advancement or transfer. Priority registration goes into effect during the fall semester of 2014.
Some like it hot, served cold, or pressed. Sandwiches, panini, bocadillos, torta, croque or gyro, you name it, we all eat them and we all have a favorite.
Article and photos by Luca Loffredo
No one knows where the sandwich was invented, however, John Montagu, IV Earl of Sandwich in England gets the credit for the term. He used to eat cured meat in between thin slices of bread during his cards games. This way, he could eat dried meats with his bare hands without getting his playing cards greasy.
There are numerous stories about celebrity sandwiches like the Muffoletta, from the Central Grocery in New Orleans, and the French Dip sandwich from Philippe’s in Los Angeles. Not to be forgotten, the Sloppy Joe sandwich may have been born in New Jersey, but it is better known by the bar restaurant of the same name in Key West, frequented by the illustrious Ernest Hemingway.
Basically, a sandwich or a panino contains delicious ingredients placed between two pieces of bread. The type of bread will decide the character and denomination of a sandwich. Take for example a croissant sandwich, very popular in France: it is a flaky, soft and buttery bread roll, shaped into a crescent, then filled with various ingredients.
The gyro is the Greek flat bread sandwich with single, pita bread round, folded and filled with veggies and thin-sliced roasted meats.
In Italy, there are thousands of variations of sandwiches called panini – panino – if it is only one. In Italy, a sandwich is strictly called tramezzino. It is usually made with thin-sliced white milk bread; called Pan-Carré or pane a cassette meaning a Pullman loaf baked into a baking box with a lid, served cold or toasted with no crust.
The panino is typically an artisan type of bread roll, like sourdough, Ciabatta, or country style firewood baked loaf, sliced in half, then of course filled with goodies.
Each panino is meticulously filled with Italy’s best food delicacies, from the sim-ple ‘Prosciutto e formaggio’ (Italian cured ham and cheese), to the renown Caprese with mozzarella, tomato and basil, or one could venture into the local folklore traditions ‘la colazione’ (lunch or snack on the go) filled with robust but delicious dishes like rapini and sausages, or the popular eggplant Parmigiana.
The open-face sandwich or a flatbread topped with various ingredients can also be considered a sandwich. In Italy, it is simply called Bruschetta. Today, open-face sandwiches are a chic and elegant way to start a meal or entertain guests.
Raising hell and taking names, Los Angeles-based indie band Fire in the Hamptons is on the verge of going mainstream as they receive recognition among executives in music’s inner circles. Will they be able to keep the same fanbase as they push toward the pop spotlight? Check out the full article after the break.
—By Régine Simmonds, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Our 2012 Spring Magazine was nominated for BEST IN-HOUSE OR CORPORATE PUBLICATION
Two of our newspapers from 2012 were nominated for BEST YOUTH MEDIA COLLEGE NEWSPAPER
“May 2, 2012”
Viewable here: http://issuu.com/collegianwired/docs/issue_5
“November 7, 2012”
To see the full list of nominations, go here: