From the President
The past month was highlighted by our annual pilgrimage to NEAF, the award presentation of our Young Astronomer’s Program, and a couple of great observing sessions featuring Saturn, with great views during moments of excellent seeing conditions. Now that temperatures are pleasant and mosquitoes are not yet plentiful, we should have more opportunities to get together under the stars. NSAAC is YOUR club. Be active. Join us for a Veasey session. Come to a star party. Contribute an article, observing report or an equipment review in this newsletter. Visit us on Facebook. Come to a monthly meeting. You’ll be glad you did. Email me with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:May Business Meeting Minutes
Salem State University
The Collins Observatory, is now closed for the summer. We will reopen on Monday, September 9, 2013, weather permitting.
McCarthy Memorial Telescope
I am proposing that the club build a 27.5” reflecting telescope to be known as the McCarthy Memorial Telescope (MMT). The telescope will be a club asset that will be used for public observing at Veasey Memorial Park, or, public observing at any club venue.
The base funding for the MMT project will be in the form of a donation from Mary Lou McCarthy, widow of Christopher McCarthy. Chris was a founding member of the club and was a board member for many years. Astronomy related equipment that belonged to Chris will be sold by the club and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the club by Mary Lou. Her donation will be set aside, designated as the MMT fund. The 27.5” primary mirror for the scope will also be donated to the club by Mary Lou.
The donated mirror and funds will not be enough to build such a telescope if we were to purchase labor and/or materials. I intend to pursue pro bono labor and dedicated donations to meet the projects costs. The MMT earmarked funds will be held in reserve and not spent on other endeavors, as is our Land Fund.
This topic was discussed in detail at the May meeting and meet with no objections. It will be discussed at future meetings for as long as necessary. Please plan to attend a meeting and join in on the topic.
Oh well, we really do need the rain. We will try again next month on the weekend of Friday the 7th through Sunday the 9th.
In late March our club won a product donation grant from Marketo. The award was announced at the 2013 Marketo Summit in San Francisco and grants our club free use of Marketo’s industry leading Marketing Automation platform for the next year! We will be using this very generous award to transform our clubs communications and promote our events and projects. On behalf of the club I would like to thank Marketo for their generous award and assistance.
Star Party News
April wrapped up with two star parties. The Goldthwait Reservation in Marblehead finally had clear skys on their 3rd try. Eric Reines and other Marblehead residents assisted at this small first time gathering.
A great turnout of 60+ kids and parents, including two Y.A.P. winners took place on April 30th at the Holten Richmond Middle School, Danvers. Saturn and Jupiter were both visible.
The Sullivan Middle School event was clouded out and rescheduled until fall.
The next events are the Little Neck Star Party on July 15th, and the Danvers Library on July 18th. Please see the event calendar for details.
Star Party Coordinator
The number of schools participating in the program was down from last year. This was most likely due to our going from a snail mail package containing all the printed materials, to an email telling teachers to visit our website and download the materials. The snail mail package was very expensive mostly due to the color printing. In 2014 I intend to go back to snail mail, but only a one page letter telling teachers to visit the website to download the materials. This will reduce the mailing costs and should produce better results than email alone.
We awarded six pairs of 10 x 50 binoculars as second tier awards. These awards went to: two fourth grade boys at the Bancroft Elementary School in Andover; a fourth grade boy in the Manchester Memorial Elementary School; one fourth grade girl and one fifth grade girl in the Rockport Middle School. >Read More.