The Celestial Observer – February, 2011

From the President

The annual election of NSAAC officers for 2011 to 2012 begins with the nomination process. If you are interested in being nominated to run for a NSAAC officer position, please contact Kevin Hocker. Kevin is the Director of the Nominating Committee and is preparing a list of candidates that will be presented at the February Business meeting. I strongly encourage all active NSAAC members that are interested in being a NSAAC officer to contact Kevin (email address: kevin.hocker at before the February business meeting.

Speaking of the February business meeting, we don’t have a speaker. So, the business meeting will start at 8 PM at Veasey. In this meeting, I would like to get ideas for workshops that members would be interested in having at business meetings. Star hopping methods for finding objects, collimation of a telescope, or how to clean a mirror are some examples of workshops. If you are unable to attend the February business meeting, then email your workshop idea to jefoy at or to any other Board member.

At the January NSAAC Board meeting I provided an initial draft of netiquette rules to the Board for review and comment. These rules are based on the book Netiquette by Virginia Shea, with some modifications made to match the needs of NSAAC. Once a final draft is prepared, the plan is to include this in the new member’s information package, post them on our public website and provide them to all current members. These will be available in the next few months.

If you have questions or comments email me: jefoy at

Download PDF Version James Foy,


NSAAC Welcomes Our New Members:

Rebecca Shea of Rowley, MA

Brandon Hartford of Salem, MA.

Jim Bastable,

Membership Director

Danvers Boy Scout Troop 87 visits the Merrimack Observatory (hosted by Bill Drown and Fred Sammartino)

Minutes of the NSAAC Business Meeting, January 7th, 2011

President Foy called the January Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 9:30 PM. There were 6 members present plus 7 Board members. There was not an official quorum. Meeting was for information only.




Kevin announced 107 members in good standing.

Early Meeting Announcements:

Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Young Astronomers Program:

Kevin will have the YAP mailing packages ready for mailing out at the next board meeting. Board Members will decide on winners. Need to decide how many scopes to award and how to use donated telescopes in the program.

Merrimack College:

No information as observatory closed due to weather and holidays. We need get a few more people for back-ups for the observatory. Contact Jim Foy if interested.

Salem State:

Because of bad weather and the holiday the observatory was closed for the entire month of December. Dennis could use some help at the observatory. Contact Dennis Gudzevich or Jim Foy it you want to help with this observatory

Star Party Committee:

The upcoming star parties are:

Tuesday, February 15th, Tilton Elementary School, Haverhill, MA, rain date Wednesday, February 16th.

Friday, March 25th, 2011, friends of Essex National Heritage, rain date Friday, April 1st.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011, Wenham Public Library

Telescope Clinic:

No activity

News, Correspondence and Upcoming Activities:

No information

Old Business:

We now have keys to the two new lights at VMP and we have special keys for the switch boxes. See Jim Foy if you would like a key for the lights. Jim Foy has taken photos of how to use the keys and will make up a how to package which will be put on the list server. A key for the lights is in the NSAAC mailbox. The last person leaving must turn the lights back on; especially the walkway lights.

New Business:

Veasey has installed 4 new lights and Jim Foy will find out more info on these lights. There was no communication with Veasey and we need to find out how to turn them off.

The president indicated that we need to have a Chairman of the Nominating Committee for the upcoming club officer’s election. He asked for volunteers. Contact Jim Foy if interested in this position.

President Foy will conduct electronic polls on public outreach programs for February or March.

The entertainment for the evening was a very interesting talk on Occultation’s by club member Bruce Berger. We thank Bruce Berger for his enlightening talk.

Board Meeting is set for Tuesday January 18th, 7:30 PM. at VMP.

Meeting adjourned at 9:50 PM.

Respectively submitted, John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

Scout Troop 87 at the Merrimack scope

Star Party News

The star party season is starting up again for the coming year.

For a list of upcoming star parties set the January Celestial Observer.

The Star Party Committee would like to thank all the members who have supported our star party effort and look forward to your continued participation in the coming months.

John Hobbs,

Star Party Coordinator




Getting to Veasey Memorial Park

From Interstate 95 north, take the Route 133 west (54B) exit, and follow it into Georgetown Center. Go straight through the light, now on Route 97N. Go about 1.5 miles and take a left onto Salem Street (Tea Garden Restaurant at this intersection). Stay on Salem Street and turn left onto Washington Street. VMP is down a bit on the right. Directions to all of the NSAAC observing sites in our web site’s “Observing” section:

E-Mail Listserve

If you have email access and are an NSAAC member in good standing, you may want to subscribe to the email notification system that Lew Gramer established for the Club in 1996. This is a “members only” system that places you in contact with other members for late breaking news concerning spontaneous observing activities, outings, tech talk, etc. You can subscribe by emailing your request to the address below. Your message should look like this:

To: majordomo at

Subject: Email list (you can put anything here)

Body: subscribe NSAAC Full-Name <email-address>

To remove yourself from the email list, or to temporarily suspend delivery from the list or access your other options, please use our “Subscriber Settings” Web page:
Contact Information

For more information about the club and its activities, contact Kevin Hocker, Membership Director, email: membership at or Bryan Stone, President, e-mail president at

Our club web site is:

The Celestial Observer is edited by Leor Zolman.

Feedback, and member contributions are welcome. Contact: newsletter at

Suggestions regarding the content of the NSAAC web site are always welcome; please email webmaster at with your ideas or article submissions.




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