The Celestial Observer – March, 2014

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March 2014

From the President

Our February business meeting was highlighted by a lengthy discussion about our upcoming Young Astronomer’s Program and our plans to recognize the knowledge and enthusiasm of youngsters who will represent the future of our hobby. Not only did we have a chance to review the new 5 inch f/5 Dobsonian telescope from Astronomers Without Boarders, but we also went over strategies to offer a grand prize computerized telescope and still remain within our proposed budget.

NSAAC VP Kevin Hocker's son is currently on a motorcycle tour of Asia. He sent some photos from a stop in Thailand at the Thai National Observatory.

NSAAC VP Kevin Hocker’s son is currently on a motorcycle tour of Asia. He sent some photos from a stop in Thailand at the Thai National Observatory.

I was also happy to see at the meeting one of our newest members, an old friend and observing buddy of mine from about 20 years ago, David “Deep Sky” Aucion, whose knowledge of star hopping will soon be revealed to all at our upcoming star parties and observing sessions. Welcome aboard, David! I would ask all of you to please mark your calendars and attend our March 7th business meeting. We need a quorum in order to approve the slate of incoming club officers, and to allow the outgoing officers (i.e., me) to have a much-needed rest.

Several of us will be going to NEAF, the Northeast Astronomy Forum, in April during the weekend of April 12 and 13.It’s a great event with a solar star party, lectures, a chance to see the latest and greatest scopes and equipment, and to catch up with old friends like Ryan and Heather Goodson who wowed us a few months ago with their 27 inch Dob at Veasey Park, Uncle Al and Cousin David Nagler, Rob Teeter, Roland Christian, and many others..

Clear skies,
Bryan Stone

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News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:

2014 Membership Dues

The club is proposing to change the way dues are handled. Please read this to understand when your membership dues are due.

In the past, member’s dues were due on March 1 regardless of the date they joined the club. If the proposed changes are approved, members’ who’ve recently joined and all future new members  dues will be due on the anniversary of when they joined the club.

Currently, there are 60 members who’s dues are due March 1, 2014
There are 22 members who’s dues were due March 1, LAST YEAR and remain unpaid.
There are 8 members who’d dues will come due AFTER March 1, and on their anniversary date.

The 8 members who’s dues are NOT DUE on March 1 will receive a private email prior to then informing them of the date their dues are due. If you do not receive this email you can assume your dues are due on March 1.

Please note the following concerning dues payments:

  • Membership dues for 2014 are $20.00
  • Payments can be made via PayPal. After clicking this link scroll down and click the PayPal link at the bottom of the page.
  • If you send your payment via US Mail, the address is NSAAC, c/o Veasey Memorial Park, 201 Washington St., Groveland, MA 01834-2007
  • If you pay with cash at the meeting, attach a note to your check with your name on it, or, write your name on the bill.
  • Questions about your dues can be sent to

Kevin Ackert,

Dick Leucke brought a scope to the February meeting for evaluation.

February Business Meeting Minutes President Stone called the February Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 8:25 PM.  There were five members present plus six Board members.   There was not a quorum.  Meeting was information only. YAP Program: Deadline for the YAP submissions is March 31st. Yap judging day is the May 2nd business meeting. The YAP program for scope awards is May 17th. Dick Luecke demonstrated the Dobsonian from Astronomy without Borders. The club and Board will continue to evaluate this scope. >Read more.





M46 and NGC 2438 – Open Cluster and Planetary Nebula in Puppis
by Glenn Chaple

There’s a saying that goes, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” In the case of the planetary nebula NGC 2438, “you can’t see the nebula for the stars.” NGC 2438 lies within the northern portion of the open cluster Messier 46 and is often overshadowed by the surrounding stars. M46 and NGC 2438 are located in a rather star-poor region in the northwest corner of Puppis. To find them, trace an imaginary line from beta () Canis Majoris through Sirius and extend it about 14 degrees eastward. >Read more.




Kids Corner: Nasa’s Space Place A Two-Toned Wonder from the Saturnian Outskirts By Dr. Ethan Siegel

Although Saturn has been known as long as humans have been watching the night sky, it’s only since the invention of the telescope that we’ve learned about the rings and moons of this giant, gaseous world. You might know that the largest of Saturn’s moons is Titan, the second largest moon in the entire Solar System, discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655. It was just 16 years later, in 1671, that Giovanni Cassini (for whom the famed division in Saturn’s rings—and the NASA mission now in orbit there—is named) discovered the second of Saturn’s moons: Iapetus. >Read more. 

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