April 19, 2023
Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford
Online Business Meeting Minutes
Date: March 15, 2023
The April 19, 2023 meeting of the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford was called to order over Zoom at 7:55 PM due to errors with unknown errors with Zoom. Secretary J. Sillasen created a new Zoom meeting on the fly and notified the membership following President Markiewicz’s note to standby for a new link. No errors presented themselves. The issue may have been related to the change in the clocks. A new link will be generated for May so as to take no chances with the schedule! There were 17 members in attendance.
The scheduled speaker for this meeting was ASGH Member and NASA Solar System Ambassador, Greg Shanos, PharmD. In a move of great respect, Greg sent his presentation to the President and Secretary in advance for comments. Secretary Sillasen made 4 very small and subtle suggestions which he made and turned around to us in a day. Thank you, Greg. We appreciate your respect in us. Prior to the meeting, Greg sent entire presentation to the membership for their own use and to follow along or to have if they were unable to attend. The presentation title is: An Eclipse Double Header – 2023/2024. It was very well done and well received by the membership. Dealers and Manufacturers are gearing up for these two eclipses. Eclipse glasses are a must have for seeing the stages of the eclipse and for locating it as you do a a scope setup. Greg states that Eclipse glasses must meet the ISO Standards ISO 123112-2 or ISO 12312-2:2015. His presentation run for 1 hour 10 minutes. (A Greg personal best!). To that end, the meeting presentation was recorded and uploaded to the ASGH YouTube site here: https://youtu.be/b5m31b7el4E
There was one new member in attendance, Kristin Rogozinski from Portland. She has a Meade telescope, and looks forward to an outing where she may receive some assistance with it.
The Secretary’s report was posted online weekend prior to the March meeting, It was approved as posted by the members in attendance.
Public Observing at the Van Vleck Observatory, Wesleyan University:
The April 1st public night was canceled due to inclement weather. The next public date is May 27th from 9 PM to 11 PM. It is a combined night of Public Observing and Wesleyan’s Reunion/Commencement weekend activities. The Observatory had not planned to do an opening that weekend and has subsequently decided to do a Friday night event for Reunion/Commencement only – not for the Public.
Nominations for Office:
Secretary Sillasen officially opened up Nominations for office with elections being held at the May Meeting. The current board officers will run for their office yet again.
Treasurer, Cyndi Barron states we have a balance of $2,725.49 in the Checking account and $6,345.95 in the Savings account. The dramatic drop in the Savings Balance is due to the purchase of 2 Treasury Bills or T-Bills as they are commonly called. A 26 week T-bill in the amount of $5,000 was purchased and a 13 week $15,000 T-Bill was purchased. Interest rates were not available for reporting at report time. Further expenditures since the March meeting included: $250.00 for Insurance, $73.03 for Membership packet expenses and mailings paid to Dave Allen, VP M. Ollenschleger was reimbursed $363.24 for Go-Daddy 3 Year Web Hosting renewal. (3 Year renewal rates are always significantly less than 1 year or month to month rates.)
Developer, Marty Ollenschleger reported that there were no issues found or reported.
Contact Chris Markievicz to assist staffing these events at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A. April 14, 7:30pm: Talcott Mtn Science Ctr Skygazing, Avon, CT (Stargazing – staffed by C. Markiewicz, J. Allen, G. Shastri & Lucas.)
B. April 15, 9am – 3pm: Space Expo/NEAM (public outreach & education) – There were around 400 attendees at Space Expo. Not all who attended visited the ASGH booth but quite a fair amount did. One such visitor, Donya Douglas-Bradshaw will be a speaker for one of our Fall meetings. She was the PM for the Lucy Mission and also for the upcoming Mars sample retrieval mission that is ongoing. Staffed by C. Markiewicz, C. Baron & B. DeNio.
C. April 21, 7:30pm: Talcott Mtn Science Ctr Skygazing, Avon, CT (Stargazing)
D. June 22: Town of Ellington Trails Committee (Stargazing Event)
E. August 10: Town of Ellington Trails Committee (Stargazing Event)
F. Date(s) TBD: Cosmic Cultures II (Classroom Activity / Stargazing)
Thank you Connecticut weather. Our telescopes are collecting dust – in their protective cases and coverings of course. Check out https://in-the-sky.org/ for a list of observable objects/events in your area.
Bill DeNio did a live demo of Astrometry.net where he uploaded one of his personal images and in a short period of time, the system identified objects such as galaxies and planetary nebula found within his image and labeled them. A very useful tool, Astrometry.net has been around for well over a decade. It is a very useful tool and has become even more useful. https://astrometry.net/ & https://nova.astrometry.net/ are useful sites to use.
Library Loaner Telescopes. All 4 units are complete and ready for delivery by designed ASGH personnel for the 4 libraries to receive them. Each library now has an assigned librarian to receive the telescope and training.
The Libraries Designated for these telescopes are:
- Hartford Public Library
- New Britain Public Library
- Douglas Library (Hebron)
- Welles-Turner Memorial Library (Glastonbury)
Connecticut Science Fair Winners of the ASGH Charles Hammond Memorial Award for Senior and Junior Projects in Astronomy &/or Astro-Physics. Two Senior awards, one a single and the second a group award. Bill DeNio has contacted Scott Tracy to find out if either of these teams has agreed to speak at our May meeting.
Solar Committee to be established. With a long time solar astronomy ban being in place with the ASGH, no equipment purchase can be entertained without looking at why the ban was put in place and if it can be removed without putting a strain on the original intent of the ban. For point of reference, had nothing to do with solar equipment and solar manufacturer’s per se, but on personal and club liability should the unthinkable happen and someone or someone’s child be injured. Documentation 1st shows up in the ASGH minutes in October of 2001 where the committee was still having discussions on the pro’s and cons of Solar Outreach.
Meeting Adjourned 10:25 PM.