Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford
Online Business Meeting Minutes
January 18, 2023
This meeting was recorded with the permission of the speaker. It is available now on Vimeo here: https://www.vimeo.com/791074376
The January 2023 ASGH Business meeting was brought to order at 7:33 PM EST by President Markiewicz. Happy New Year! There were 20 attendees present online over Zoom & 1 new member present, Justin from Newington who is new to Astronomy..
West Hawaii Astronomy Club, (WHAC), member, previous ASGH Speaker (Lucy Mission to Trojan Asteroids), IEEE Engineer and owner of Summit Kinetics a remote observatory control setup and maintenance company on Hawaii Island, Christopher, (Chris) Erickson, was our featured speaker again tonight. His presentation, Chasing Shadows, a NASA, SWIRI, IOTA Mission to the Australian Outback to measure an occultation of Pluto, was both highly detailed and entertaining. The talk was well received by all.
The Secretary’s report of the December 2022 meeting minutes was approved as posted by the membership in attendance.
A reminder from the Secretary was noted for everyone’s email practice. If you add two emails that ASGH uses with Groups.IO to your Address Book or List or to an Approved Sender list, there is less chance that your ISP (your home internet service provider) will unsubscribe you automatically from our mailing list or mark or messages as SPAM. The two addresses we use are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Digestnoreply@groups.io is another one used if you subscribe using the Daily Digest option.
Another Newsgroup option that will lead to less unscribes/re-subscribe behavior and communications comes when someone unsubscribes from our communication when you don’t wish to follow the topic being discussed. I know, we get it, not everyone is into deep space cosmology or discussions of compound optics and telescope making. Groups.IO makes a wonderful tool to ‘skip’ conversations of little to no interest. It’s called Mute This Topic. At the bottom of every Groups.IO email is a set of command tools including, Reply to the Group or just Reply to Sender – the author of the reply, View/Reply from Online via the web browser using your credentials on Groups.IO and germane to this topic – Mute this topic. You can also Start a new Topic from these options at the bottom of the firstname.lastname@example.org email. Of course, it’s easier just to start a brand new email with the To: as email@example.com.
Hope this helps!
Public Observing at the Van Vleck Observatory, Wesleyan University:
No January pubic observing took place as the team leader recuperates from a total right hip replacement. J. Sillasen stated he had sent a note to the observatory to discuss February dates and potential Soft/Hard Limits in the software that may prevent a slew to comet C/2022 E3 ZTF for one of those dates. Alas, the recipient was at the AAS Annual Meeting and subsequently became ill.
(New Information Post ASGH Meeting – Our February Date is February 11, 2023 from 8-10 PM EST. All calendar reminders will go out as planned). John S.
Treasurer’s report provided by Treasurer, Cyndi Barron shows we now have $1,388.85 in our Checking Account and $29,124.66 in our Savings Account.
Webmaster, John Allen, reported that there were no problems to report with the website.
Nothing is currently scheduled for the rest of the Winter. Two events are already on the calendar for the Summer. Ellington Forrest and Trails has requested dates for Thursday, June 22nd and August 10th.
Cosmic Cultures II is looking for a class & a Star Gazing Opportunity in June. J. Sillasen reminded the group that June has the shortest nights of the year, therefore astronomical dark happens very late and may negatively impact the CCII clienteles ability to plan.
Last Month, Outreach Coordinator and ASGH President, Chris Markiewicz tabled a motion to purchase 4 Orion StarBlast table top Newtownian reflectors on a modified table top Dobsonian mount while inquiries into how the program fared and was being used at the library already attended to last year. The Ellington Library reports that of the 12 educational kits provided or developed by the library last year, the telescope is the most requested and used of all. J. Sillasen added to the discussion that it would be in the ASGH’s best interest to have a member associated with a telescope for the library donation. Everyone agrees and with these scopes being spread quite widely across the state, it will take some time. Volunteers were sought with backups for the 4 telescopes. The volunteers names are listed with their respective libraries below.
Motion Passed – 4 Orion Starblast 4.5″ Table Top Telescopes are to be purchased and modified for public library use using the established recommendations at the Astronomical League and our discretion for 4 libraries in Connecticut:
Hartford Public Library, Marty Ollenschleger.
Douglas Library in Hebron, C. Markiewicz – tentative. Really need a resource closer than Chris.
New Britain Public Library, John Allen.
Memorial Library in Glastonbury. C. Markiewicz – again tentative. Really would prefer someone other than Chris supporting 3 public libraries with this program.
Cost not to exceed $2200. C. Markiewicz to purchase with the assistance of the Treasurer, C. Barron. Bill DeNio offered to do the mechanical reparations and setup.
Cosmic Cultures II, (CCII), has provided the President a new contract between the Connecticut Science 4 Kids/ Cosmic Cultures II & the ASGH for fiscal year 2023. ASGH is the Fiscal Agent for this program. Per the CCII agent, Steve Pelosi, no substantive changes have been made between last year and this year. The contract information and papers were placed on the ASGH Groups.io Files area in advance of the meeting with the membership notified by our formal communication vehicle, Groups.IO of its availability.
President Chris Markiewicz asked for a motion and second to have him sign the papers as ASGH’s agent. The motion carried and was passed with no dissenting votes or abstentions.
Vimeo: With our Vimeo subscription set to autorenew in September, currently paid for personally by President, C. Markiewicz and not ASGH, the Secretary and President asked Bill DeNio to research YouTube as a vehicle to house our speaker presentations (no meetings will be posted as voted upon in a prior meeting). Nearly all the questions were answered but a few remained. Privacy settings and amount of history that could be loaded at once. (All of these were answered post meeting but not presented to the membership at large as of yet. I see a motion forthcoming to move to YouTube as a permanent vehicle for storage. J. Sillasen, Secretary).
Member Observing Reports:
J. Sillasen announced the next Lunar X Lunar V apparition is a special one. It occurs January 28th at 7:56 PM and will be less than 2 degrees from Uranus!
For the Good of the Organization:
Dave Allen’s Dew Heater construction class has been cancelled due to lack of apparent interest. No one had signed up for it this year.
Central Connecticut State University, (CCSU), has declined to offer the ASGH any space for onsite meetings now or in the future. We had been invited to use of the Planetarium for many many years after leaving the W. Hartford Science Center. No reason was provided.
Presentations are needed for February and March meetings. We have nothing scheduled at this time.
Meeting Adjourned at 10:05 PM EST