There were 30 members in attendance this week and for the second week we had no guests.  President Bob Baker announced that we were honoring Mike Malloy for a Paul Harris Fellowship.  He was given a certificate and a Paul Harris pin.  Bob also announced that the installation dinner of the new officers for the 2015-16 Rotary year would be held on June 11th at 5:30 p.m. at the Community House.  John Thomas thanked the club for the great showing at this year’s benefit, which netted approximately $7000 for our charitable foundation.  John said the original number of guest they were planning for was 60, that number was upped a couple of times and 85 actually showed up.  It was a tremendous job performed by the benefit committee who planned and produced the event!
The District 6440 Humanitarian Patriot Awards are to be presented on June 12th at 7:00 p.m.  A social hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres will precede the awards ceremony at 6:00 p.m.  The event will honor support for the United States Armed Forces Veterans and their families.  The event will be held at Rosiland Franklin University in North Chicago and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of North Chicago
We celebrated the Rotary anniversaries of Connie Berman( 13th), Tom Evans, (6th) and Greg Skirving (1st) as well as celebrating the 80th birthday of Fred Schwimmer.  Bob Smith contributed the only Happy Buck.
The speaker for the day was astrophysicist, Dr. Alan Zablocki, who graciously filled in for the scheduled speaker, courtesy of Marie Kuipers.  Alan’s return was “Everything about the Universe- Part Deux.”  As a good teacher Alan reviewed some of the points he made in his April presentation.  He reminded us that there are about 300 million galaxies.  The Hubble telescope is now 25 years old and it has an estimated 3–5 years of useful life left.  The next telescope for studying the galaxies is the James Webb Space Telescope.  This telescope will be almost three times larger and because of its size the mirror has to be folded to fit inside of a rocket, which has never been done before.  Also a new larger rocket must be developed.  This new telescope will take pictures in infra-red whereas the Hubble can only use visible light.  Alan also reported that there is significant espionage involved with these high-powered telescopes.
Alan remarked that it is so much easier to build telescopes high on mountaintops above much of the earth’s atmosphere, frequently two or three are built as a team of telescopes.  There still is the problem of the distortion caused by what atmosphere exists.
Dr. Zablocki also spoke about the cameras that are used and showed some photos that are used to document what the telescopes see.   In addition to the more traditional light cameras they now have a 570-mega-pixel dark energy camera.  It is like having a camera composed of 64 iPhones.  Ordinary matter (atoms) makes up only 5% of the universe while dark energy makes up 68% of the universe.  We know that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, it is expanding and the rate of expansion is accelerating.  Another interesting fact is the third component of the universe is dark matter.  Dark matter does not shine or reflect light but it does have gravitational force.  There is five times more dark matter than ordinary matter, but we still know very little about it.
One of the coolest pictures in Alan’s presentation was that of the Smiley Face galaxy, which is really two large galaxies with immense gravity that bends light of nearby galaxies.  This bent light forms the outline of the face and the mouth.