The Celestial Observer – September, 2011

From the President’s Desk

To all who have not heard and are reading this for the first time Jim Foy (our president), with sad regret, has left. This was not of his own free will; it was because of a layoff and relocation to a new job. This puts me, former Vice President Bill Drown in his shoes. I can’t say enough good things about Jim’s work for the club. He spent many hours of his time planning so things would run smoothly and they did. I am hopeful this adjustment will go smoothly and things will remain the same with few changes. I am positive all the Board members will stand behind me and assist when needed. I hope the members will do the same if asked. Come to the September meeting and show your support for a continuation of Jim’s great work.

Clear Skies,

Bill Drown

President

Download PDF Version

From the Vice President

Greetings! I wanted to introduce myself to those members whom I haven’t met. I’m Bryan Stone, and it is my honor to have been elected Vice President of our stellar organization. I have been a visual astronomer since childhood and I ran the planetarium in high school. In college I majored in biology and minored in astronomy before going to medical school.

My observing weapon of choice is Goldeneye, an extensively upgraded XT8 Classic Dobsonian. I like to observe planets, Luna, open clusters, emission nebulae, double stars, globular clusters, planetary nebulae and galaxies (in that order, unless there is a supernova involved). I am at Veasey on most clear weekend nights.

Lately I have been involved in several club activities including the collimation workshop, scope clinics, Young Astronomer’s (YAP) Program, organization of the Rob Teeter event, a talk on eyepieces at the June meeting, and some of the star parties.

I can often be found on the eyepiece, reflector and beginner forums on cloudynights.com, under the handle, BDS316.

This would be a good opportunity me to say “Thank you” to Jim Foy, our Past President. I found in Jim a kindred spirit. Jim encouraged me to take a position on the Board after his departure. He was the heart and soul of our club. He was a great observing buddy. One of my fondest memories of observing with Jim was last year during the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction when the two planets were less than a degree apart. The best views that we had of this once-in-a lifetime event were with my telescope and Jim’s 35mm Panoptic eyepiece. This combination would not have been possible had we both not been NSAAC members. My hope for my friend Jim is that he enjoys his new astronomy club in Philly as much as we enjoyed having him as our President for the last two years.

Astronomy is a wonderful hobby and the most important single accessory that an amateur astronomer can have is membership in an active astronomy club with enthusiastic members who are willing to share their time and experience with others. I believe that we have and will continue to have such a club. I look forward to observing with all of you, talking telescopes and eyepieces, and having fun with astronomy. I can be reached at vp at nsaac.org

Clear skies,

Bryan Stone

Vice President

NSAAC Welcomes Our New Member:

Paul Whitney of Rowley, MA.

Jim Bastable,

Membership Director

Astronomy Calendars
It is once again time to think about ordering Astronomy calendars, RASC calendars and RASC handbooks for 2012. We will only be placing one order for each this year. So it is important that club members notify me as to whether they want a calendar or handbook, and which one. Please do not indicate that you wish to purchase one if you’re not sure that you will pay for it. I do not want to scramble to sell items this year because someone backed out of their order. If you are interested, please send me an email, see me at the next meeting, or contact someone who can reach me and indicate if you want an Astronomy calendar, a RASC calendar, a RASC handbook, and how many of each. The prices should be similar to last year, which I believe were $10 for the Astronomy calendar, $12 for the RASC calendar, and $20 for the RASC handbook. Prices will vary depending upon how many we order. Once we establish prices, we would like as many people to prepay as possible as these are costly to the club.

Thanks,

Dennis Gudzevich

Treasurer’s Report

We currently have 97 members in the club. This is 14 more than a year ago at this time. The club has been operating with deficit spending (are you sick of that yet?) for two years now primarily due to the Young Astronomer Program expenses. We can afford to continue with the deficit budget for a few more years, but we’ll need to get our fiscal house in order or risk having our credit rating downgraded (sorry, I just had to throw that in). Seriously, folks, our yearly budget deficit, based on current membership and YAP expenses, is between $1,000.00 to $1,200.00 per year. All we need to continue this wonderful program is to come up with an extra grand in income. We’d really like to erase the deficit by receiving grant money, but any and all ideas should be on the table. Read my lips, no new dues increase! Although a $10.00 dues raise would generate about $900.00 we really don’t want to do that during these tough economic times. We are open to any and all suggestions at upcoming meetings. Please attend one and share your ideas.

Kevin Ackert,

Treasurer

Minutes of the NSAAC Business Meeting, August 5th, 2011

Treasurer Ackert called the August Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:12 PM. There was 1 member present plus 5 Board members. There was not an official quorum; meeting for information only.

Secretary:

No report

Treasurer:

No report

Membership:

Kevin announced 93 paid members in good standing. 14 members did not renew. A personal email has been sent to the other 1/4 of the membership who have not renewed that the cutoff date for access to club email listserver is June.

Early Meeting Announcements:

Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College:

Salem State:

The observatory is closed for the summer because the school does not offer classes. The observatory will reopen in fall. 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:

Thursday, August 18th, Wenham Museum

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 Ron Sampson if you would like a key for the lights. A key for the lights is in the NSAAC mailbox. The last person leaving must turn the lights back on; especially the walkway lights.

Dark Park permit has been renewed by John Tulick and NSAAC has received the permit. We need to convert the paper copy to a PDF file and distribute it to key holding members and make it available to people that plan to observe at Dark Park in 2011.

New Business:

Because of the Labor Day date, the club business meeting will be moved to September 9th.

The Land Fund CD is up for renewal in November at Ipswich Nat’l Bank. The Treasure will move the CD to a bank closer to his location. Since the departure of Jim Foy, Secretary John Hobbs will be the second signer for the club as he lives closer to Kevin Ackert than the current signer, Theresa Earle.

There was a short discussion about changing the use of the Land Fund money for other uses. This would require a By-law change. This will be discussed at a business meeting when more members are present to comment and discuss this issue.

The club should reward former President Jim Foy for his years of fantastic service. This will be discussed at the next board meeting and proposals will be made at the next business meeting.

The use of loner telescopes came up as a new member inquired about getting a scope to use from the club. The only real scopes to loan are the LX 200 and the long focus Newtonian, neither of which are suitable for a first time user. It was decided that the club at present will not have a scope loaner program until someone comes forward to be the custodian and caretaker of such a program.

Dennis Gudzevich and Kevin Ackert will deal with former member Chris McCarthy’s old telescopes, mirrors, etc., and discuss with Chris’s wife what to do with them.

Expiration dates for CDs that the club has will be reviewed by the Board and determine if the monies should be designated for the YAP program. The president asked for volunteers for a committee to find sponsors for grants to support the YAP program. So far, there have been no volunteers.

There was no entertainment for the evening.

Board Meeting was held after the current business meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 PM

Respectfully submitted, John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

Star Party News

This month continues the star party season with only one star party scheduled. The school star party season will be starting this September. Please come out and get the season off to a rousing start.

The single star party this month was for the Salisbury Beach State Reservation. There was no presentation. Scopes were provided by Bryan Stone, Jim Bastable, John Hobbs, and Melvin Graham. There were approximately 150 attendees and the local was very dark and a great place for observing.

For a list of upcoming star parties, see this month’s Minutes.

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: http://nsaac.org/about-the-club/observing

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 nsaac.org

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:

http://lists.nsaac.org/mailman/listinfo/nsaac#subscribers
Contact Information

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

Our club web site is: http://www.nsaac.org.

The Celestial Observer is edited by Leor Zolman.

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

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

 

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