Minutes of the NSAAC Business Meeting October 2, 2015

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Minutes of the NSAAC Business Meeting October 2, 2015

Secretary Hobbs called the October Business Meeting of the NSAAC to order at 7:30 PM. There were nine members present plus two board members. There was a quorum. Meeting was official

Minutes of the September business meetings were approved by acclamation.

No report

There are currently 101 members in good standing.

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

Committee Reports:

Merrimack College:
Fred Sammartino indicated that he opened on two Wednesday evening and had about 20 guests each time.

Salem University:
Dennis Gudzevich indicated that the observatory was open on the 14th with about 19 visitors and on the 21st with 7 guests.

News, Correspondence, and Upcoming Activities:

Star Party Committee:
The Star Party for the Chelmsford Land Trust finally took place on Sept 17th. John Hobbs and Brewster LaMacchia entertained about 25 people on a number of objects. The location in the center of Chelmsford is somewhat light polluted, as well as the park area is in the path of headlights from cars in the area, but despite that we could show the moon, M13, M31, and M57. Some double stars were viewed as well. Best of all there were no bugs. The organizers commented that next time they’ll go back to one of their darker locations. They made a nice donation to the club.

Star Party at Battis Farm for the Trails and Sails Program took place on Sept 19th . Pictures (taken before the event) posted to the website:

A rough head count put the number of attendees around the 100 mark. There was a steam of people from before 8:00 to around 9:30. A couple of us hung around for an hour or so to take in a few extra objects. Unlike previous observing times the grassy field is now tilled and being farmed, so we located a bit further down the path to have a grassy area to set up in.

Sky conditions were pretty good, though the light dome from the south seemed more than usual. The views to the east and north were reasonable dark.

NSAAC members Bryan Stone, Kevin Hocker, David Aucoin, Jon Brucker, and Brewster LaMacchia were joined by (hopefully soon to be club members) Paul Ouellette, Tom Manion, and Rebecca Nelson. Even with the 8 scopes going we had lines of 10+ people at times. But everyone was enjoying it and didn’t mind the short wait.

Though low to the horizon, we started with Saturn and the moon, as most people have never seen them and even a less than perfect image still impresses. We then moved on to pretty much everything else that shows well at Star parties.

Thanks again to everyone that helped!

Telescope Clinic:
There was a scope clinic held for Michael Knightly who brought a Celestron 114 Advanced tele-scope for some help with alignment and a guide scope. Members Hobbs and Leucke assisted in showing how to adjust the latitude of the scope, how to change battery on finder scope, and how to align the finder scope with the main scope. He also could not focus an object and we found he had too large an eyepiece that was used with a Barlow. We recommended that he get an eye-piece around 25 mm and that should help getting to focus. He will keep us updated.

Old Business:
John Hobbs had contacted the Boxford DPW again to see if we can get the light in front of the West Boxford Library turned off or have a switch installed, and was told that the light is a National Grid light and he cannot turn it off. He suggested two other dark sites in town: Boy Scout Park and the soccer fields and parking lots behind town hall which have no lights. John Hobbs will look into these sites and appraise the suitability and if good will submit a request to the town to use them.

John Hobbs will contact the Amesbury Parks and Recreation Dept to see where our request to use Battis Farm is.

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

New Business:
President Burke has indicated that he is too busy to serve as President next year. He also mentioned that Kevin Ackert will not run for the Treasurers position and Vice President Richard Leucke indicated that since he has moved to Rockport he will not be active in the club. Therefore, the club should start looking for members to step up and fill these positions. If any member is interested in the positions of President, Vice-President, Treasurer or Secretary see any current board member. This is a critical, serious moment for the club.

The Entertainment for the evening was a short talk by John Hobbs on what is up in the constellation Cepheus.

The September Board meeting will be at a date to be determined.

Meeting adjourned 8:00 PM.

Respectively submitted
John Hobbs, Secretary NSAAC

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