Martz-Kohl Observatory: The Universe in 3-D


The largest 3-D map of the universe ever created is now in the hands of about 600 scientists from 54 institutions around the world.

The public is invited to meet one of the architects of that groundbreaking map, Peter Williams, a Busti, New York native/ Williams will be the special guest speaker on Wednesday evening, April 21, 2021, at 7:30 p.m., for the Martz-Kohl Observatory’s (MKO’s) popular Zoom Webinar Lecture Series.

Peter Williams
Peter Williams

Williams’ specialty is the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to astronomical research as well as to a wide range of other scientific research. His presentation will give an overview of the many types of machine learning algorithms. In particular, it will showcase the use of a neural network to assist the five-year, Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) collaboration in their mission to create this remarkable map of the universe locating billions of galaxies across the cosmos in time and space.

After graduating from SUNY JCC in 2016, Williams went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics from SUNY Geneseo, and a Master’s degree in theoretical physics from The Ohio University. Beginning in fall 2020, he teaches physics and engineering courses at SUNY JCC.

Join In From Home

Local residents and students are invited to attend the Zoom teleconference by going to on their computer, smart-TV or phone and simply clicking on: Upcoming webinar: Machine Learning: Concepts and Use Case in Mapping the Universe. Sign in starts at 7:15 p.m. for the program which begins at 7:30.

A lively and fascinating Q&A follows every lecture. Be sure to stay and enjoy the opportunity to meet and greet speaker and members alike.

Sad Loss Announced

Friends and his fellow members of MKO will fondly recall February’s special guest speaker, Donn R. Starkey, a world-renowned researcher in the field of variable stars. His presentation was informative and entertaining, sparking enthusiasm and speculation about future studies in which MKO might even collaborate.

Donn was a member of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). Though an amateur astronomer, Donn is credited with more than 70 original research papers of his own published in major scientific journals over the years.

Donn, aged 69, passed away Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at his home in rural Auburn, Indiana. We offer our most sincere condolences to Donn and his family from his friends and fellow amateur astronomers at the Martz-Kohl Astronomical Observatory.

Your Observatory

Martz-Kohl Observatory wants Jamestown Gazette readers to know that MKO is your observatory because of your support. It is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation, not government or commercially operated.

Though precautions still prevent our usual 200 to 300 in-person visits every month for free tours and deep-sky observing, we still offer Zoom guests the opportunity to contribute to MKO’s mission of public education. Donations, membership dues, and generous grants alone support the daily operation of MKO and its all-volunteer staff.

Visitors are invited to look for the “Donate” button on MKO’s Home Page. If you appreciate and enjoy our free programs, please consider supporting MKO with a tax-deductible gift at any level you feel is appropriate. MKO will always be your observatory because of your support.