Friday 10 January, 2014


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President Stone called the January Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:13 PM.  There were 4 members present plus 5 Board members.   There was not a quorum.  Meeting was information only.

Secretary:  No report.

Treasurer: Kevin Ackert, not present, notified the club via email that he had paid the January insurance premium and that he continues to work with Ed Burke to transfer member dues to an annual basis from the current anniversary-based system.

Membership: New member Jennifer Gough joined the club in December.

Early Meeting Announcements: Open forum on the agenda after New Business

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College: Ron Sampson reported that he has repaired the scope’s focuser.

Salem State: Dennis Gudzevich reported that the observatory would not be open this month, but that he would be adding it back to the calendar as of February.  The observatory will then be open on Monday night when SSU is open until May.  He noted that the newly constructed library building is directly across from the observatory and that its window lights are shining into the dome.  He will speak with the science department about possible remedies.

News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:

Star Party Committee: No Report

Telescope Clinic: Member Jon Griggs brought in a 4-inch Newtonian for collimation by Bryan Stone.

YAP Program: President Bryan Stone explained the nature of this program to new member, Jen Gough, and then recommended that the club change its YAP scope to the newly released 5.25” table-top model (OneSky) for $200 from Astronomers without Borders.  Members perused the S&T February issue review of that scope and debated its suitability.  Ron Sampson suggested that it did not appear to be sufficiently rugged for use by middle-school children. Kevin Hocker had the same concern. Dick Luecke said that he planned to purchase a OneSky as a travel scope, and that he would make it available for inspection as soon as he received it.

Old Business: The club still would like to find other volunteers to do star party presentations.  If anyone is interested please contact Brewster LaMacchia.

New Business: 

Kevin Hocker intends to introduce for discussion proposed changes to the club bylaws at the March business meeting. Proposed changes are as follows-

  1. Annual membership renewal to anniversary subscription renewal.
  2. Allow for the use of the club list server for official club notifications and communications.
  3. More clearly define the Nomination committee role.

Ray Ferland, who is acting as the nomination committee, will send via email to all members a call for nominations.  He will present the resulting slate of nominees at the February meeting.

The Entertainment for the evening was a “show and tell” program organized by Kevin Hocker followed during which:

  • Bryan Stone explained the practical applications of optical filters, in particular, the 80A, ultra high contrast, and oxygen III.  He also shared his thoughts on the latest edition of Turn Left at Orion and its use in the field.
  • Kevin Hocker presented his formula-based Excel template for calculating the many parameters of telescopic eyepieces: field of view, magnification, eye relief, exit pupil, and several others.
  • Dick Luecke demonstrated several of the useful features of the basic SkySafari planetarium program and how he uses it to develop observing lists and locate objects while in the field.

The January Board meeting date will be set by email.

Meeting adjourned 10:35 PM.

Respectively submitted
John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC



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