Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford
Online Business Meeting Minutes
March 16, 2022
This meeting was recorded with the permission of the speaker. It is available now on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/689607569
The March ASGH Business meeting was brought to order at 7:32 PM EST by President Markiewicz. There were 22 attendees present online over Zoom which included invited members of regional clubs. There was a new member present, Jill Shea. Unfortunately, she had to leave early before we could introduce her. Ms. Shea was our guest attendee last month, joining ASGH after attending the February meeting.
Following calling the meeting to order, our guest speaker, Mr. Kevin Schindler, lead historian at the Lowell Observatory was introduced. He provided a highly informative presentation he calls, “Discovery at Lowell: The Past, Present, and Future of Lowell Observatory.” Lowell Observatory or ‘America’s Observatory’ as David Eicher, Editor in Chief of Astronomy Magazine calls it, is located in Flagstaff Arizona. Amongst many, many other things, it is the observatory named for its founder, Percival Lowell and where Clyde Tombaugh worked so tirelessly when he discovered Pluto.
The Secretary’s report of the February 2022 Minutes was approved as published online to the Members Only section of the ASGH Website.
As a reminder, Dave Allen will be providing an online class on how to operate your modern post 2006 Celestron mount or NexStar telescope like their SCT & Maksutov remotely. The class will take place March 31, 2022 from 7:30 to 9 PM. Any other interested parties, other than those already signed up for the class, should contact Dave at email@example.com for details. J. Sillasen to setup and host the event over Zoom.
Treasurer C. Baron was in attendance but not near her data. She asked if Secretary Sillasen could provide the information she submitted in advance of the meeting. He stated the balance in the Checking Account is: $1024.03. The balance in the Savings Account is: $25024.85.
No outages or issues were reported or found, reports Web Developer, VP, Marty Ollenschleger in Webmaster’s John Allen’s absence.
- May 2: Windsor Public Library (Lecture – Space Rocks) Dave Allen will cover.
- May 23: Waterbury Senior Center (Lecture Event). Chris will cover.
- June dates TBD: Cosmic Cultures (Lecture Event). D. Allen.
- August 2/3: Town of Ellington Trails Committee (Stargazing Event). Dave Allen
- August 20: Space Expo/New England Air Museum (public outreach & education). Chris M., A. Johnson, Jr., C. Baron & D. Allen to cover event.
- Seasonal dates TBD: Nathan Hale Homestead (Stargazing Event). C. Markiewicz & J. Sillasen to cover thus far. There were at least 7 other members at the meeting interested in particpating in some or all of these events by a show of hands.
Observing opportunities until next meeting:
Check out https://in-the-sky.org/ for a list of observable objects/events in your area.
No meteor showers of note before our next meeting.
It’s GALAXY SEASON!! Get out with your telescope for the galaxies in Virgo, Leo, Canes Venatici and Coma Berenices are placed perfectly for observing!
Cosmic Cultures II awaits funding disposition from the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut Science Fair: Judging has been completed with two club members participating, Bill DeNio & Judging Lead, Scott Tracy. Two Senior Award recipients have been selected to receive the Charles Hammond Memorial Award from ASGH for the Connecticut Science Fair. Judging took place via Zoom. Scott will be approaching each recipient to invite them to present their projects at our May meeting.
Hall Memorial Library (Ellington) support – the library is looking to put together a Star Gazing Kit that patrons can borrow. Chris Markiewicz made a motion to request the allocation of up to $550 for the purchase of a loaner telescope and accessories in the form of a tabletop Dobsonian telescope for the Hall Memorial Library in Ellington to loan its patrons. Dave Allen had already agreed to be the point person for the library for setup, tuning and education. J. Sillasen second the motion. The motion passed with no dissents or abstentions. Nota Bene – subsequent to the meeting, the Orion StarBlast 4.5 Tabletop Telescope no longer seems to be available. Ship dates from vendors has gone from a future date to TBD. Subsequently, by a board vote, the Orion StarBlast was replaced with the Sky-Watcher Heritage 130 tabletop Dobsonian. It is being purchased from the ASGH preferred vendor, Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions, CCTS, in Long Island, NY. The kit comes with the same mechanical accessories, but is sans Moon map, Moon filter and Planisphere. It includes Free Shipping and costs less. The Astronomical League recommended eyepiece of a Celestron 8-24 mm Zoom Eyepiece is also available at CCTS. The pair of products plus the recommended modifications and supplies from a Home Depot or Lowe’s makes the project come in under budget and in a timely manner.
Good of the Organization:
Please consider volunteering for a meeting presentation for next year, (September to June). Member, Greg Shanos, a NASA Solar System Ambassador, has volunteered to do a presentation for the October meeting on observing and imaging Mars with filters. The presentation in October will be timely for the next Mars Opposition in November.
Astronomy Shows – J. Sillasen
NEAF/NEAIC has been canceled for 2022. The 2023 NEAF dates are April 15-16, 2023.
Cherry Springs Star Party – June 2-5, 2022. Run by the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and held at Cherry Springs State Park, is an IDA Official Dark Sky Site.
Registration is expected to open this week. As of Sunday, May 20th, it has not opened. See https://www.astrohbg.org/ and click the link for Cherry Springs Star Party. Registration is Required to attend the event. Please note the Star Party Etiquette and Rules on the same webpage if this will be your first Cherry Springs Star Party.
Stellafane – is presented by the Springfield Telescope Makers of Springfield, Vermont & takes place July 28-31, 2022. Registration is Required. The registration page is expected to open in May. Please note there will be a price increase to attend, the 1st increase since 2014.
Ray Zwyno states there will be two comets of note for May and beyond.
Comet C/2021 03 is expected to be 5th magnitude in May and Comet C/2017 K2 is expected to be 6th magnitude and visible from May to August.
Stay tuned, be sure to attend our April meeting as our guest speaker will be Roy Kilgard of the Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan University. He will present the history of the Van Vleck Observatory!
Meeting was adjourned at 9:36 PM.