The Celestial Observer – October, 2011

From the Vice President

Hi! Fall is a nice time of the year for amateur astronomy. It gets dark a little earlier, fewer mosquitos, and this fall, Jupiter becomes the star of the show. In fact, I just returned from a nice evening at Veasey Park, having observed a variety of objects including some challenging double stars. I am happy to report that we were able to split them all.

The Board is working hard behind the scenes to provide club members with great experiences in astronomy, including the YAP Program, star parties, scope clinics, workshops, observing sessions at Merrimack and Salem State Observatories, and informal sessions at Veasey.

Photo Credit: John Boudreau

Please come out and join us, and if you are so inclined, bring a friend! It has been estimated that about 5% of the population is interested in astronomy. It should be a goal of our club to let these people know that we are here and that they are welcome to join us.

Clear skies,

Bryan Stone

Vice President

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NSAAC Welcomes Our New Members:

Nadia Alawa of E. Hempstead, NH

Kelly Becht of Plaistow NH

Erik Nugent of Haverhill, MA

Jim Bastable,

Membership Director

October Meeting Entertainment

Those present will get to vote on which movie to watch: The Intrinsic Brightness of Stars or Diverse Sizes Of Stars.

Treasurer and Young Astronomer Program Report

As I’ve mentioned previously, our average YAP budget put us in a yearly deficit of about $1,500.00. I’m excited that we may have found a way to reduce this deficit by $1,380.00 or ninety percent.

First, there looks to be a strong possibility that we may be able to return to our previous agreement with Veasey Park, no rent, or rent for sweat. This development is currently in progress, I won’t get my hopes up too much just yet, but this would be a savings of $600.00 per year.

Second, I’ve found a telescope for the YAP awards that is essentially the same at the Orion 6DOBs we are currently using, same manufacturer in China, same F ratio, and $130.00 less per scope. Assuming a purchase of six would be a savings of $780.00 per year. The combined savings of these two budget items pretty much wipes out the deficit.

Please take a look at the proposed YAP scope at

Proposed YAP Budget

I’m proposing that the club purchase one of these scopes ASAP for evaluation purposes. To do so, we need approval for the 2012 YAP Budget. Assuming that we go with the proposed scope, our YAP budget could be reduced from last year’s $2,500.00 to $1,750.00. I’m hoping that we can have a discussion and vote at the October business meeting, but a quorum of members is required. Please attend the October meeting so this important piece of business can be taken care of.

Kevin Ackert,


Star Party News

September continues the star party season with three star parties scheduled. The school star party season will be starting in October. Please come out and get the season off to a rousing start.

The single star party for August was at the Wenham Museum. Brewster LaMacchia gave the presentation. The weather was uncooperative and so there was no 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

Calendars & RASC Handbooks

The RASC Calendars and handbooks have gone up in price. Members who have ordered RASC products must contact Dennis Gudzevitch to confirm that the higher price is OK, or to cancel your order and request a refund (if you’ve already paid). The new RASC prices are $16.00 for calendars and $24.00 for the handbooks. If we sell more than fifteen of one item the price drops $2.00 for it. Prices for the Astronomy calendars have not changed. Please contact Dennis to confirm your order. New orders are still being accepted at this time.

Minutes of the NSAAC Business Meeting, September 9th, 2011

President Drown called the September Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:01 PM. There were 2 member present plus 7 Board members. There were two visitors: Joe Rainone and Brian Robicheau. There was not an official quorum; meeting for information only.


No report


Treasurer gave a brief report.


Kevin announced 97 paid members in good standing.

Early Meeting Announcements:

Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College:

One Wednesday there were 52 visitors. The rest of the month was cancelled for weather.

Salem State:

The observatory will open on Monday the 12th. Dennis could use some help at the observatory. Contact Dennis Gudzevich or Bill Drown if you want to help with this observatory.

Star Party Committee:

The upcoming star parties are:

Friday, Sept 23rd, Bradley Palmer Trails and Sails event, observing only

Saturday, Sept 24th, Maudslay State Park, Newburyport, observing only if we cannot get a speaker

Friday, Sept 30th, Veasey Park, hope for a presenter, if not observing

Saturday, Oct 8th, Beverly Public Library

Friday, Oct 14th, Appleton Farms, Plaistow, NH

Saturday Oct 22, Ipswich River, Gary Meehan presentation, scopes needed

Thursday, Oct 27th, Kittredge School, North Andover

Wednesday, Nov 2nd, Sanborn School, Andover, rain date Wed Nov 9th

Thursday, Nov 3rd, Islamic Peace Academy, Lawrence/Methuen

Thursday, Nov 10th, North Reading Scouts

Thursday, February 11th, Andover Scouts

Telescope Clinic:

There was one person who was helped with his telescope.

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. The last person leaving must turn the lights back on; especially the walkway lights.

Dark Park permit has been renewed by John Tulick, but has not been received yet. Kevin will re-contact John and get a copy.

New Business:

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.

Kevin Ackert proposed the club purchase one of the Bushnell 6DOB and see how it works. If it turns out well then we would purchase them for the YAP program. This company also offers free shipping. It will be voted on at the next business meeting when there is a quorum.

There was no entertainment for the evening.

Board Meeting is scheduled for Sept 19th at 7:30 PM at Veasey.

Meeting adjourned at 8:55 PM

Respectfully submitted, John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

———————– For Sale ——————————

Stellarvue 80mm f/7 Aplanat Refractor and accessories. Telescope has 2-stage focuser and retractable dew shield and is in excellent used condition. Also included are airline size carrying case, 2 inch dielectric diagonal, M1 altazimuth mounting , red dot finder, and grab ‘n go tripod.

Asking $600 or best offer for the whole package.

Contact: Bryan Stone, Vice President, vp at




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.

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