Minutes from the May 2012 Monthly Meeting and Board Meeting

We had a great time last night at CAAS!  The program was “Volcanoes Here and There: A Tourist’s Guide to Volcanism in the Solar System”.  It was presented by Darrell Heath.  The presentation started out with an explanation of how volcanoes work, and slides of various types of volcanoes here on earth.  Darrell showed the latest NASA/JPL images of  extinct volcanoes on Mercury, Venus, and Mars. He showed us pictures that have been taken by space probes of activevolcanoes on Jupiter’s moon Io.  There were pictures of cryovolcanism on moons of Saturn and Neptune.  This included pictures of water geysers erupting from the Tiger Stripe cracks at the south pole of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.  Cryovolcanism also occurs on Neptune’s moon Triton.  The material erupted is believed to be nitrogen.

Andy Reed’s resignation as treasurer was accepted.  Jim Dixon was elected as the new treasurer.  Bruce McMath was elected to a position on the Board.

Rocky Togni announced upcoming programs that he has organized.  He asked for and received volunteers to present a Constellation of the Month at upcoming meetings.  There was discussion of a barbeque and swap meet at the July meeting.

 CAAS Members and Guests In Attendance

  •  Stephen Caldwell
  • Jack Dixon
  • Jim Dixon
  • Sam Dixon
  • Bill Engberg
  • James Fisher
  • Danny Flippo
  • Carl Freyaldenhoven
  • Roger Gudith
  • Darrell Heath
  • Tim Hogue
  • Nathan Scott James
  • Bruce McMath
  • Pat Morris
  • Sandy Morris
  • John Reed
  • Coy Scott
  • Edward Swaim
  • James Swaim
  • Carol Togni
  • Rocky Togni
  • Eric Walker


The next regular meeting will be at 7 pm on Saturday, June 9, 2012.  Jim Fisher will give a presentation on the International Dark Sky Association.  He will also give the Constellation of the Month presentation.


Board of Directors Meeting

There was discussion of a fire safe for storage of club documents at the River Ridge Observatory.  It was confirmed that Bruce McMath will go purchase the safe.

There was discussion of whether it would be okay to use electricity to run an airconditioner for a camper used at an event on the property.  The consensus was that it would be okay.  There was further discussion of how high electrical usage by someone leasing a building would be handled.

A proposed leasing policy was discussed by the Board.  The point was made that the policy can be changed by the Board if any problem with the policy is identified.

Bruce McMath read and explained the proposed standard lease.  He indicated that the IRS tax exempt status application specifically asks about leasing of property.  The new standard lease has been proposed to address any questions the IRS might have about leasing of buildings at the observatory.  He also explained the proposed rental rate worksheet.  There was agreement that the existing leases should be grandfathered in if those leasing a building so choose.

The Board members generally agreed that rent charges for observatory buildings be commiserate with the costs to CAAS for property taxes, utilities, maintenance, and other expenses for the individual building.

Bruce agreed to make the proposed revisions of the lease policy and standard lease.  He will email those documents to the officers and Board members.  In order to expedite preparation of the tax exempt status application, a vote was taken and approved that the Board members will have one week to vote by email on the revised policy and standard lease after Bruce emails the revised documents.  No response by a Board member will be considered as abstaining from the vote.

Jim Dixon noticed that a deposit had by mistake been made into the Berrington Trust rather than into the CAAS account.  Approval was given for him to transfer the deposit amount from the Berrington Trust account into the CAAS account.

Respectfully Submitted,

Coy Scott

CAAS Secretary

Minutes from the April 14, 2012 Monthly Meeting

Tonight, Rocky Togni presented a fascinating program entitled Space Race USSR: 1957-75.  Rocky has collected many of the stamps issued by the USSR and the United States during the space race.  Each stamp commemorates one of the space missions.  The stamps reminded us of suborbital flights, the first orbital flights, and several space programs.  There were stamps for such early satellites as Sputnik, Explorer, and Echo.  There were stamps for Russian moon probes, and probes to Venus, and Mars.  There were stamps for the United StatesPioneer probes to the planets.  There were stamps for the United States Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs.  We had a great time recounting memories we have of rockets, astronauts, satellites, and space probes during that time period.

 There was a discussion of CAAS T-shirts.  Until the pre-order is placed, small-XL sizes are $15.  XXL and XXXL are $17.  After the pre-order is placed, 2012 CAAS T-shirt prices increase to $20 and $22 respectively.

 There will be a star party for the Japanese student group on April 26.  Like last year, it will be located in the west field at Mt. Pinnacle State Park.

 There will be a National Astronomy Day star party at the Mt. Pinnacle State Park Visitor Center on Saturday, April 28.

 There was discussion of the May 20 solar eclipse.

 The June 5 transit of Venus across the face of the sun was discussed.  Rocky said this will be the last Venus transit in our lifetime.  Although there was a Venus transit about 10 years ago, this is actually a rare event.

 Bruce McMath gave us an update on the CAAS effort to get accepted again by the IRS as a tax exempt organization.  Bruce called the IRS to ask for advice.   He spent a long time on hold, and had to call again because of a bad connection.  After another long wait on hold, he finally was able to speak to someone at the IRS.  However, their comment was not very helpful.

 Bruce McMath is now our Dark-Sky Night Observing Coordinator.   Potential dark-sky outing dates for CAAS members will be posted on the CAAS web site.  He will monitor the weather and communicate with those who are interested.  If the weather is favorable, and at least two people indicate they will be at the CAAS observatory, Bruce will send an announcement to the CAAS email list.

 Bruce brought us up-to-date on discussion about getting internet access for the observatory via TCWorks’ Mayflower transmitter.  This connection would provide .75 million bits per second upload speed and 3 million bits per second download speed.  Bruce and the others who are leasing buildings have offered to pay the $60/month for a wireless internet connection if CAAS will pay 1/5 of the cost of installing the equipment necessary for the connection.  The four who are renting buildings would pay the other 4/5 of the equipment and installation cost.  A person from the internet service provider company is going to come to the property soon to evaluate what equipment would be needed.  It was estimated that the least installation cost would be $200. However, an additional $200 may be required for a 50 foot tower for the antenna.

 We found out that Darrell Heath made another TV appearance for CAAS since the last meeting.  He is scheduled for another TV appearance later this month.  Darrell commented that on his next appearance, besides mentioning CAAS, he will probably also comment on what people can see in the sky at that time.

CAAS Members and Guests In Attendance

 ·      William Bryden

  • ·      Stephen Caldwell
  • ·      Jack Dixon
  • ·      Jim Dixon
  • ·      Darrell Heath
  • ·      Tim Hogue
  • ·      Bruce McMath
  • ·      Pat Morris
  • ·      Sandy Morris
  • ·      John Reed
  • ·      Coy Scott
  • ·      Bob Stepp
  • ·      Edward Swaim
  • ·      Jamo Swaim
  • ·      John Swaim
  • ·      Carol Togni
  • ·      Rocky Togni
  • ·      Eric Walker


The next regular meeting will be at 7 pm on Saturday, May 12, 2012.  Darrell Heath will present a program on JPL/NASA.  Weather permitting, there will be observing after the program.


Coy Scott

CAAS Secretary

Minutes from the March 2012 Monthly and Board Meetings

The program tonight was The Life of StarsIt was presented by Stephen Meeks.  This is a complex topic.  Mr. Meeks explained how the color of stars indicates their temperature.  He explained that the Sun, our star, is classified as a yellow star.  He explained the percentage of stars that have different masses.  He explained how the mass of a star controls the life cycle of that star.  A high percentage of the stars we see with the naked eye are unusually massive, super bright stars.  But, the most common type of star is low mass, very dim, red dwarf stars.  Very massive stars are very bright and use up their fuel in a relatively short time because of the high rate of fusion in their core.  Low mass stars are dim and their fuel lasts an extremely long time.

A collection was taken up to pay Juans Lawns to trim bushes.

T-shirt orders were taken.  They were $15 that night.  But, the t-shirts are now $20 each.

An announcement was made of the upcoming March 24 star party at Woolly Hollow State Park.

A discussion was held of what presentations we might have for the 4 months which don’t yet have a presentation scheduled.

A drawing was held for Hubble book door prizes.  The winners were David Reynolds, and Danny Flippo.

A discussion was held of the May 20th solar eclipse, and the June 6th transit of Venus across the face of the sun.

 CAAS Members and Guests In Attendance

  •  Jack Dixon
  • Jim Dixon
  • Bill Engberg
  • Danny Flippo
  • Carl Freyaldenhoven
  • Roger Gudith
  • Darrell Heath
  • Chris Lasley
  • Judy Lindholm
  • Stephen Meeks
  • Pat Morris
  • Sandy Morris
  • Greg Oehm
  • John Reed
  • David Reynolds
  • Bill Sanders
  • Coy Scott
  • Rocky Togni
  • Eric Walker
  • Daniel Weatherly


The next regular meeting will be at 7 pm on Saturday, April 14, 2012.  The program at that meeting will be Space Race USSR: 1957-75, and will be presented by Rocky Togni.


Board of Directors Meeting

 A decision was made to collect funds for the CAAS t-shirts.  But, don’t order them until we get a treasurer’s report from Andy.

The board was informed that the CAAS Amazon account is locked due to the tax problem.

A decision was made to apply for 501c3 status.  If turned down for that, we will apply 501c7 (social organization).

It was decided that the board would ask Bruce McMath to birddog this tax issue.

A decision was made to scan club documents and store them on the web site in files requiring a password to read.

A decision was made to buy a fire safe to keep documents in at the property.

A decision was made that rent would be charged for new buildings that are built, and for old buildings which are refurbished.

The board of directors meeting was adjourned at 6:59 pm.