The Celestial Observer – February, 2013


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From the President

Greetings fellow club members, and astronomy enthusiasts, lately we have and several very productive observing sessions at Veasey Memorial park, in spite of full moon or near full moon conditions. During those evenings we concentrated on observing Jupiter, double stars, and open clusters. Joined by fellow observers Kevin Hocker, Ron Sampson, Ed Burke, Jim Barnstable, Richard Amirault and guests, we were able to achieve very detailed observations of surface detail on Jupiter, but what I’m  most proud of is the success we achieved in our observations of double stars.

The Brown Dwarfs of Orion's Trapezium | Photo Credit - Nasa APOD

The Brown Dwarfs of Orion’s Trapezium | Photo Credit – Nasa APOD

I am pleased to report that we reached our goal of observing all of the difficult multiple star systems in the constellation of Orion, including confirmed observation of six stars in the trapezium with magnifications as low as 140x through my 8 inch telescope (GoldenEye) and Kevin Hocker’s 12-inch telescope “big bubba”.

We are very much looking forward to the upcoming months with a contingent of our members attending NEAIC and NEAF where I will have opportunity to brainstorm with presidents from other astronomy clubs as I did last year. I may also be making some surprise purchases that should enhance our future observing sessions 🙂

Soon we will begin another year of our young astronomer program, which is our opportunity to get high quality telescopes and binoculars into the hands, of tomorrow’s future astronomers. Bryan and Kevin are running for reelection – vote for us.  I’m Bryan Stone and I approved this message. Who else would?

I would like to personally invite each and every member of the club as well as non-members in the area with an interest in astronomy to join us in what should be a fabulous year of tremendous fun and satisfaction with our hobby of astronomy. If you have any questions or comments or comments please email me at

Clear skies, Bryan Stone

Last Months Minutes: 

Bryan asked for motion to accept last month’s minutes by acclamation – motion passed.

Meeting called to order at 8:15pm

Official meeting – a quorum was present.

No Guests were present.


Treasurers Report: None

New Business: We discussed the YAP program for 2013, voted on and approved a budget of $2,500.  At the monthly Board of Directors meeting we voted on the motion. We will build scopes with the same options and eyepieces as we did last year. We will buy from Orion.

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College: None

Salem State University: Dennis reports things going well, on Monday the 3rd, the observatory had 15 guests which is a big crowd. The scope is still having problems but progress is being made.

Veasey Memorial Park: Last two times we had full moons we had Observing at Veasey with good results (see Observation Reports).

Star Party Report: No new activity

Scope Clinic: None. A cadre of members did inspect the buffet at the China Blossom prior to the business meeting.  The buffet met with their approval both times each inspected the buffet.


  1. Amesbury PTA – In a very much appreciated gesture of thanks the Amesbury PTA gave NSAAC a donation of $50 for the Star Party we did for them.
  2. Bob Arling (North Andover) wants to sell a used Orion 10 inch dobsonian with several modifications, if anyone is interested:

Old Business:

  • We gave John Hobbs a 2013 handbook, wish him well and a fast recovery.
  • Board Meeting scheduled for 15th at 7:30pm at Veasey
  • Richard Luecke will perform the nominating committee role for the 2013 club elections

Young Astronomer Program

The 9th annual YAP program is underway. This year about seventy schools were contacted via email instead of snail mail and were directed to download materials from our website. About thirty schools that did not have email address received snail mail and a request to download materials from our website. Those receiving the letter were also informed that to receive future notifications about the program they’d have to submit an email address. Dropping the snail mailings saves the club over $250.00 in YAP mailing costs, which almost pays for a telescope. We have schools that have been receiving the mailings each year and have not yet participated in the program. This change will most likely lead to less school participating but I’m sure we’ll still have plenty of applicants. If you have a school that you’d like to have receive an invitation send me their contact information including email.

This years YAP Awards Day will be on Saturday, May 4th at Veasey Park. The essays will be judged at the club business meeting on Friday, April 5th. The postmark deadline for this year’s entries is March 30th.

Kevin Ackert


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 are available on our web site’s “About” page at:

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 Ed Burke. 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.

2 Responses to “The Celestial Observer – February, 2013”

  1. Ric Shanahan says:

    Glad to see the site active again! I miss the heck out of Salem State observing but glad to see it is still in operation. Please say “Hi” to all of my friends in the club.

    Ric Shanahan

  2. Ric Shanahan says:

    Also looking forward to the comets of 2013!

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