June Meeting - Main Presentation - Via Zoom

June 05, 2020, 7:00PM: June Meeting - Main Presentation - Via Zoom

“Development of the Astronomical Observatory at Prairie View A&M”

Speaker: Brian Cudnik
Location: Online via Zoom with chat


A person standing posing for the cameraDescription automatically generatedAbstract –  Over the past couple of years, Brian Cudnik has been directly involved in the development of a professional observatory at Prairie View A&M University, and he will share with us his experiences.

At PVAMU over 400 students per semester are introduced to astronomy concepts through its physical sciences curriculum. Over the past several years, the university has been engaged at upgrading its existing Solar observatory and expanding the observatory by adding 2 new domes with 16 inch and 24 inch telescopes. The expanded observatory will enhance the hands-on experience for PVAMU students, and the popularity of Astronomy will help attract students into STEM fields and can help motivate them to move into STEM careers.

In addition, current astronomical research at the University will be enhanced, and this will facilitate the development of a Physics and Astronomy Department at the University. The new observatory will also hold public observing events will increase the public image of PVAMU.


Bio –  Brian Cudnik Brian's interest in astronomy dates back to the 1970’s but really picked up speed in the early 1980’s when he received his first “real” telescope, a 2.4-inch refractor, for Christmas.As a student worker while attending Northern Arizona University Brian assisted Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker with the Palomar Asteroid and Comet Survey and was working with them when Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered in March 1993.

Since 2001, Brian has been the Physics Laboratory Manager at Prairie View A&M University where he has been recently working to open the new Prairie View Observatory Complex and make it available for faculty and student research and instruction. The observatory includes an existing solar telescope and two new domes housing Meade 16-inch and PlaneWave 24-inch telescopes.


Since we're all practicing safe social distancing, we have decided to bring our June speaker to you virtually through the Zoom online meeting platform! You must register for this presentation in order to attend. You may do so by using the link below:


Please watch your email, as you should also receive an email inviting you attend. The email will include any up to date changes (if any) on meeting times etc. You may also register using the link in the email, however it is only necessary to register once.  

We'll have the online chat feature available to us during the talk, and once the presentation is over, we can open up the audio lines for more questions.  I'm excited that this we're able to get together in this fashion, and I hope you can join us then.  We hope to see you online with us on Thursday evening June 4th!

Joe Khalaf


Houston Astronomical Society

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