Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford
Online Business Meeting Minutes
Date: May 18, 2022
This meeting was recorded with the permission of the speaker. It is available now on Vimeo here: https://vimeo.com/712597866
The May ASGH Business meeting was brought to order at 7:31 PM EST by President Markiewicz. There were 25 attendees present online over Zoom which included invited speakers and members of their families. There were no new members present – other than our two Senior Award Recipients who were granted one year membership at the Student Level to the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford. Sam Staubly and Ishan Prasad are those Award Recipients / New Members.
Scott Tracy, Senior Member and Judge for the ASGH Charles Hammond Memorial Connecticut Science Fair Awards and fellow judge, Bill DiNeo, described the history of the awards and they became to be Memorialized as the Charles Hammond Memorial Award. Charlie was a mentor, founder and friend to us all at the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford.
Scott introduced the two Senior Award Recipients before they spoke. First speaker was Sam Staubly of Newtown High School. Sam is graduating and heading to the Rochester School of Engineering in the Fall. His project was an extensive programming and practical integration example of how to determine if a telescope or other tracking system was properly polar aligned. This is critical for astrophotography to prevent stars from trailing across the image after just a few seconds for a high magnification system. His programming began by tracking the position of a single star over 3 different time periods and commenced with tracking all stars in the image field and comparing that to the image on the camera after integrating adjustments to the mount upon each iteration change.
The final speaker was Ishan Prasad of Staples High School in Westport. Ishan is heading to Dartmouth University in New Hampshire upon graduation. He is pursuing a program in Astro Physics. His presentation was on Finding Gravitational Lensing in Quasars using Quad Polar Shaplets. His mentors were both part of MIT. His mentor at High School, Dr. Dick Morgan was part of the MIT studying these events. These types of events are like optical laboratories. They can help determine the size, shape, age and expansion rate of the universe. Ishan used 10,000 images of the Dark Energy Survey and 2000 images of the OM Catalog, (Oguri/Marshall Survey from a 2010 paper on the subject).
Both students presentations were extremely well received. Mind blowing were just some of the comments that were made at the understanding, capability, programming ability and math knowledged used for their programs.
The Secretary’s report of the April 2022 Minutes was approved as posted.
Chairperson, John Sillasen stated nominations were open for officer candidates as of the April meeting. He called for any further nominations before closing nominations from the floor. The slate of officers are all the current elected officers in their positions held.
Election of Officers:
President Markievicz noted that having no runoff positions and there being only one candidate per office, he asked Secretary Sillasen to cast a single ballot for the slate of officers as stated. Ballot Cast as requested. President Markiewicz thanked the officers for their efforts, congratulated them on their elections and noted the officers elected take their positions immediately following the election.
President: Christopher Markiewicz
Vice President: Marty Ollenschleger
Secretary: John Sillasen
Treasurer: Cyndi Barron
Webmaster: John Allen
Treasurer C. Baron was in attendance and stated the balances in the accounts are: Checking – $604.88. Savings: $25,025.26. The report was accepted by the membership as provided.
No outages or issues were reported or found noted Webmaster, John Allen & Web Developer, Marty Ollenschleger. Marty stated the password issue impacting the minutes from being under password protection has been corrected. A few other updates were to be made over the summer. The group password would be changed after Dues were up for renewal in September. Most likely with a grace period of through December before being changed in January. He stated that they now had the security in place to allow for individual passwords. Sillasen noted that as the Groups.IO owner, that only a handful of members even established a password, preferring to receive notes via email. He suggested it would become a maintenance nightmare for the Webmaster/Developer if they did institute such a change. Further discussion over the Fall should it be a welcome idea by the membership.
May 2: Windsor Public Library (Lecture – Space Rocks) Completed – C. Markiewicz.
May 23: Waterbury Senior Center (Lecture Event). C. Markiewicz to cover.
June 27: Hall Memorial Library / Ellington – Recipient of Telescope Donation. Looking for sky gazing and instructional aid on telescope operation.
Date TBD – Cub Scout Pack 33 Middlefield/Durham looking for star gazing/talk. M. Ollenschleger to be contact for them on specifics like location and events requested.
August 1-3: Chester Library – Need ASGH Contact
August 2/3: Town of Ellington Trails Committee (Stargazing Event). C. Markiewicz, J. Sillasen
August 17: Cora Belden Library in Rocky Hill (Stargazing Event) C. Markiewicz, J. Sillasen, D. Allen
August 20: Space Expo/New England Air Museum (public outreach & education) C. Markiewicz, A. Johnson, Jr., C. Barron & D. Allen to cover.
Seasonal dates TBD: Nathan Hale Homestead (Stargazing Event) Behind schedule. (Stargazing Event).
Observing opportunities until next meeting:
Check out https://in-the-sky.org/ for a list of observable objects/events in your area.
Aug 7: Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) reaches its brightest. On 7 August it will become visible around 21:16 EDT, 32° above the southern horizon. It will set at 01:19.
On August 15, it will be near M10 at around Mag 7.6. In its pass in the Solar System, it will be near by M10, M12 & M14.
See https://in-the-sky.org/data/comets.php .
Aug 12, 22:00 EDT: The Perseid Meteor Shower reaches its peak the night of Aug 12/13. It is predicted to produce up to 140-150 meteors/hour at its peak. The Moon will be only 2 days past full phase, presenting significant interference throughout the night.
Good of the Organization:
An older but clean appearing Meade Newtonian telescope on an AC powered Equatorial Mount is being made available to us as a donation from Shirley Omicioli. Her family member who owned the scope passed away and no one in the family is interested nor knows how to operate it. G. Shanos suggested some of the clubs he’s been in have auctioned donated scopes off to members. Secretary Sillasen stated we were going to do one better than that – and offered a free telescope to the member that says they wanted it! Silence. Not sure they believed us! I asked students were left if they were interested finally I recalled Beverly did not have a telescope but has a knowledgeable sister in Rochester who knows how to use them. Markiewicz and Sillasen will verify function and collimation before making delivery/pickup opportunities with Bethany Sieber. (We have the telescope (Chris has possession) and it is not in great shape. It needs a new or repairs made to spider and the secondary mirror may need replacing if cleaning doesn’t help. The 6×30 finder is okay but the mounting holes were broken and tape now covers the broken area. It can be repaired and we are assessing the amount of work needed vs. replacing the telescope with one in better shape. Chris is checking the function of the mount. Pictures do not show everything we’re sorry to say. More to come online in the newsgroup.). Sillasen report post meeting.
Please consider volunteering for a meeting presentation <==<==
Astronomy Shows – please watch your email – LOTS of information sent through the ASGH newsgroup on Groups.io.
Sillasen stated the Cherry Springs Star Party begins June 2nd and runs through the 5th. Registration is now closed as they have reached capacity.
Stellafane registration is open and available. Stellafane takes place July 28-31, 2022 with an early registration and entry available for July 27 for an additional fee of $18. This is the beat the crowd pricing and often results in the best night of observing. Certainly a night with less people around on the hill. Registration prices have gone up for the first time in 14 years. People are encouraged to register early and not at the gate. Premium fees are attached to those who chose to register at the gate and camp. Please register early at https://stellafane.org/convention/2022/reg/2022-reg.html
Other events that are not yet confirmed are Astro Assembly at the SkyScrapers of Rhode Island home. If it runs, it would be the 1st Saturday of October.
Astro Fest by Kopernik Astronomical Society. No New Information yet
There is also a planned event at the college in New Hampshire – will locate info and publish.
Meeting Adjourned at 9:55 PM ET