Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford
Online Business Meeting Minutes
February 16, 2022
This meeting was recorded. It is available now on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/679049973
The February ASGH Business meeting was brought to order promptly at 7:30 PM EST by President Markiewicz. There were 18 attendees present, all online over Zoom which included invited members of regional clubs. There were no new members present and one guest.
Following calling the meeting to order, our guest speaker, Jason Archer, Planetarium Coordinator the Glastonbury-East Hartford Elementary Magnet School. Jason provided “The Grand Tour” of our inner and outer solar system, the local galaxy and galaxy group within a larger structure of galaxies in the universe as we understand it. This was as viewed with their digital planetarium program. He outlined just some of the capabilities of the toolsets available. Their programs are currently 100% virtual. But when it is open to schools again, the public may attend programs for a modest fee of something akin to $5 per head to the best of his available knowledge. His program was well received having ended at 8:46 PM.
Further information about their program is online at:
The Secretary’s report of the January 2022 Minutes were approved as published online to the Members Ony section of the ASGH Website.
Night Sky Network Awards:
NSN Coordinator, J. Sillasen awarded 3 ASGH members Night Sky Network Volunteer Activities Pins for 2021 on behalf of the NASA Night Sky Network for their “incredible dedication to outreach during 2021.” Member recipients of these awards are: Christopher Markiewicz, David Allen and Al Johnson, Jr. ASGH moved from Associate status to Active once more with the publishing and reporting of 5 outreach events in 2021.
(Note Bene: We also received an educational kit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landing in 1969 with the Apollo Toolkit. The kit includes several Lunar resources including 3D printed lunar topography, a lunar eclipse Yard Stick, draw what you see in the Moon activities and a Mission to the Moon game for 2 to 8 players age 8 and above.
A digital resource page for the toolkit is at:
Dave Allen will be giving an online class on how to operate your modern post 2006 Celestron mount or NexStar like SCT remotely. This class is a result of a poll that ended after tonight’s meeting. The class will take place on March 31, 2022 from 7:30 to 9 PM. Any other interested parties may contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. J. Sillasen to setup and host the event over Zoom.
Treasurer C. Baron was unable to attend due to providing extra coverage thanks to Covid-19 illnesses and vacations. She submitted the following report via the Secretary at the end of the meeting. The balance in the Checking Account is: $1024.88. The balance in the Savings Account is: $25024.66.
No outages or issues were reported or found, reports, Webmaster, John Allen.
SpaceExpo 2022 will be on August 20, 2022. No application for tables have been received yet.
Ellington Trails is looking to have ASGH back for another star gazing program. This time they would prefer to have a weekday evening rather than a weekend. Date and details TBD.
Hale Homestead – site visit by C. Markiewicz and J. Sillasen is still pending. Weather being the primary detractor for scheduling.
Hartford Public High School Planetarium & Observatory
Introduced at the last meeting, Markiewicz contacted Luke Williams, Refurbishment Project Coordinator, offering ASGH outreach support. When a response is received, it will be shared with the members. Currently, there is no public accessibility to the facility.
Member observing reports – none, too cold or inclement the past month!
~Observing opportunities until next meeting: Check out https://in-the-sky.org/ for a list of observable objects/events in your area
~No notable meteor showers will happen before our next meeting
~Venus reaches highest altitude in morning sky on February 23rd. Its peak altitude will be 22 with a magnitude of -4.6 at 6:58 AM (sunrise)
~The first photos from the James Webb Space Telescope are in of it doing an alignment star from each mirror segment plus a “selfie” was received! (Chris shared a video from Webb performing these alignments and the selfie).
Cosmic Cultures II – RFP for 2022 has been signed and submitted to the State of Connecticut for approval.
CT Science Fair judging – Two club member volunteer names were sent to Scott Tracy (Coordinator) as additional judges for our outreach to the CT Science Fair awards – John Sillasen & Chris Markiewicz. The judging process will be starting soon. Judging will take place via Zoom. John asked if any other member wanted to assist with the virtual judging in March as he only agreed to sign on so there were three judges total. Laura S and Bill DiNeo agreed to be judges in his place. Their names were sent to S. Tracy by John Sillasen. Scott is very thankful to have all the additional support!
Stars to Stem is a 501c3 based in Niantic, is dedicated to increasing STEM education in South Eastern Connecticut primarily astronomy. Their current goal is the complete renovation of the 50-year-old planetarium at East Lyme High School. Once completed in 2025, this will serve 10,000 people. When contacted by C. Markiewicz, he says that the response from their coordinator is that they are ‘$10K-$20K’ short of completing their goal. While we do not plan to support them financially, they do appear to be well on their way to reach their goal. For more information see: https://www.starstostem.org/home.
Hall Memorial Library in Ellington is looking to put together a Star Gazing Kit that patrons can borrow. C. Markiewicz suggested that they check into the Library Telescope Program from the Astronomical League for a standard recommended telescope. He would like ASGH to partner with the Hall Library in this effort & fund the telescope and provide training. Equipment cost would be ~$400 for the Astronomical League recommended Orion StarBlast 4.5 including accessories and modifications. Tabled for vote next meeting while a formal list of equipment and tools included is gathered by C. Markiewicz. Dave Allen volunteered to provide the library the training and ongoing support as the town is nearby to him. ASGH thanks David for his support. (See conversation on our Groups.IO discussion for the equipment list and recommended scope modifications to make the scope more suitable for loaning to its patrons) (John S. Sec’y).
Good of the Organization:
Please consider volunteering for a meeting presentation (Speakers for the March, April & potentially May meeting are booked! John S.).
NEAF & NEAIC will be onsite in person this year. NEAF will be April 9 & 10 with NEAIC the two days preceding NEAF. http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html
Cherry Springs Star Party, hosted by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, (PA), will be on June 2 – 5, 2022. Registration will open in March. You must be pre-registered to attend.
Stellafane – the Annual Telescope Making Convention by the Springfield Telescope Makers will be July 28 – 31, 2022. https://stellafane.org/
Please watch your email for more – LOTS of information has already been sent with more to come!
Meeting was adjourned at 9:37 PM EST.