The Celestial Observer – November, 2011

From the President’s Desk

Our October meeting started with a telescope clinic that was requested by two people. One scope was a 4.5″ Dob, the other an 8″, and both were collimated by Bryan, our Vice-President: The 8″ was used later in the night after the meeting with great success for some wonderful views of Jupiter.

Another Dob collimated by Byan


Thank you, Bryan for your time and knowledge of Dobs!

We also had a quorum which allowed us to vote on a YAP budget for 2012. Kevin will now buy a 6″ Bushnell Dob for our evaluation to see if it is as good as Sky & Telescope says. If acceptable, we will order five more for the YAP program.

Thanks to all who came to the October meeting. Hope to see more of you at November’s.

Clear Skies,

Bill Drown, President

Download PDF Version

From the Vice President

This is New England…if you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes. During the past few weeks, it seemed that whenever the skies were clear, we had to contend with a major source of light pollution…Luna! Fortunately, for those who made it out to Veasey for the clear nights, Jupiter put on a nice and ever-improving show for scopes of all sizes, Luna or not. Big Jupe will soon be at opposition, its closest point to the earth, and it will be out all night.

Other worthy targets on moon-filled nights include double stars (Dan Smoody is the resident expert here), the brighter open clusters, and of course, when Luna is up, observe Luna!

I’m at home tonight as I write this because the Appleton Farms Star Party was cancelled due to uncooperative weather. It was a given that it would rain tonight because I took delivery of my new FirstBase Mount, Serial #001 for my 8 inch Dobsonian, “GoldenEye.” This is a baltic birch replacement for the stock particleboard mount, and it is superior in every way; far less weight, stronger, superb motions and balance, and a really classy look. I can’t wait to get this baby to Veasey or a star party on a clear night…I bet I will be able to hand track at 300x.

Clear Skies,

Bryan Stone

Vice President

NSAAC Welcomes Our New Members:

Felipe Silva of Malden, MA

Bryan Stone,

Membership Director

Young Astronomer Program

I’m sorry to have missed the meeting but am very pleased to hear that we had a quorum and were able to get the 2012 YAP budget approved, thank you. I have just ordered the 6Bushnell DOB and expect to have it for the November meeting to assemble and test. I’m excited and hopeful that we’ll find it worthy to be a YAP award telescope. As mentioned last month the purchase of these scopes over the Orion brand equivalent will allow us to reduce the YAP budget substantially.

Kevin Ackert

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

President Drown called the October Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:09 PM. There were 7 members present plus 5 Board members. There was an official quorum. There was one visitor, Vivek Rathinasamy, son of new member Kandy Rathinasamy


The Minutes of the business meetings for April, May, June, August, and September were approved by acclamation.


No report


Kevin announced via email that we have 99 paid members in good standing.

Early Meeting Announcements:

Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College:

One Wednesday Jeff had 2 visitors. The rest of the month was cancelled for weather.

Salem State:

The observatory was open on Monday September 12th with 2 visitors, the 19th with 7 visitors, and the 26th with 3 visitors. 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, Oct 14th, Appleton Farms, Ipswich, MA

  1. Saturday Oct 22, Ipswich River, Gary Meehan presentation, scopes needed
  2. Thursday, Oct 27th, Kittredge School, North Andover
  3. Wednesday, Nov 2nd, Sanborn School, Andover, rain date Wed Nov 9th
  4. Thursday, Nov 3rd, Islamic Peace Academy, Lawrence/Methuen
  1. Monday, Nov 7th, Trahan School, Tewksbury, MA, rain date Tuesday Nov 8th
  1. Thursday, Nov 10th, North Reading Scouts
  2. Thursday, February 11th, 2012, Andover Scouts
  3. Friday, March 23, 2012, North Reading Scouts.

Telescope Clinic:

Bryan Stone helped collimate an 8 inch GSO DOB for member Kandy Rathinasamy.

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:

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. A proposal was made to approve a YAP program budget of $1,750 and to purchase a Bushnell 6DOB. Motion carried unanimously.

Since it was clear entertainment for the evening was observing.

Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday Oct 17th at 7:30 PM at Veasey.

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM

Respectfully submitted, John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

Change In Board of Directors

Membership director Jim Bastable has stepped down from his position on the NSAAC board of directors. The Vice President, Bryan Stone, will fulfill the Membership Director duties until the elections are held in March.

Star Party News

This month continues the star party season with four star parties scheduled this October. Please come out and get the season off to a rousing start.

Two of the star parties scheduled for the end of September and one in October were canceled due to weather. The single star party for Veasey Memorial Park took place on September 30 with Brewster LaMacchia giving his Jupiter/craters presentation to four ladies and two children. NSAAC members Bryan Stone and John Hobbs also attended. 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



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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