Central Arkansas Astronomical Society Minutes from the February 2012 Meeting

Ray Jeter presented a fascinating program on the many modifications he has made on a 115 mm (4.5”) Newtonian reflector.  He added a Telrad finder, and replaced the focuser with a Crayford focuser.  He replaced the secondary mirror and support.  He made a compact, transportable tripod with shelf space on top for a map.  He mounted a computerized GOTO altazimuth mount on that tripod.  And, he explained how he flexed the spherical primary mirror to remove coma and greatly improve the image in the central part of the field of view.

Bill Engberg thanked Wade Van Arsdale for painting the picnic table and making improvements in the memorial garden.

Bill asks that someone please bring a coin tray to hold payments for drinks from the refrigerator.

The CAAS business cards were handed out.

Mr. Siddhartha Vaka, the youngest person in attendance, drew numbers for door prizes.  Those winning Hubble books donated by Engberg were Chris Lasley, and Ray Jeter.

Two people brought new telescopes and were assisted in setting them up.

Upcoming Programs

 

March Stephen Meeks Stellar Evolution
April Rocky Togni Space Race USSR: 1957-75
May Darrell Heath JPL/NASA
August Jim Fisher International Dark Sky Association
November William Engberg Mayan Calendar
December Dinner

 There were four first-time guests at the meeting.

Members and Guests Who Attended The Meeting

Bill Engberg

Carolaina Ferren

Don Ferren

Danny Flippo

Carl Freyaldenhoven

Roger Gudith

Darrell Heath

Andy Henry

Greg Hurley

Jane Hurley

Joseph Hurley

Ray Jeter

Chris Lasley

Bruce McMath

Andy Reed

John Reed

Coy Scott

Edward Swaim

Rocky Togni

Siddhartha Vaka

V. Srinivasa Reddy Vaka

Ronald Van Arsdale

Wade Van Arsdale

Eric Walker

 

The next monthly CAAS meeting will be at 7 pm on Saturday, March 10.  Weather permitting, there will be observing after the meeting.

Respectfully Submitted,

Coy Scott

CAAS Secretary

Minutes from the January 2012 Meeting

John Reed presented astrophotos he made using an off the shelf digital SLR camera.  He used a 200 mm lens.  Each photo covers a 6 degree by 4 degree area of the sky.  He took 30 to 60 one minute exposures for each image.  Then, he used a computer program to stack the images.  Finally, he used Adobe Photoshop to finish processing each image.  He was able to capture impressive pictures of the moon, star clusters, bright and dark nebulae, and galaxies!

 

The roof leak was fixed by Wade Van Arsdale and Danny Flippo on Saturday.  The heater in the bathroom had ceased to function.  Wade purchased and brought a replacement heater.  Wade will be reimbursed for his expenses.

 

Membership dues are due in January each year.  Quite a few membership dues were turned in Saturday night.

 

William Bryden presented some awesome T-Shirt design options.  There was quite a bit of discussion of the designs.  We hope to vote to select a design during the next meeting.

 

Darrell Heath was nominated for Membership Coordinator by William (Bill) Engberg.  The nomination was seconded by Roger Gudith.  Darrell was unanimously voted in as the Membership Coordinator.

 

Wade and Darrell volunteered to be the “Info@ Response Team” and answer questions we receive at the  info@caasastro.org email address.

 

Jim Fisher presented NASA Space Shuttle coins to VP Eric Walker and Carl Freyaldenhoven for their help last year.

 

The LANTERNS Feb 2,3,4 event at Wildwood will be headed by Darrell/UALR. He is checking to see if they want a telescope (or ten!) set up each night. If so, we have a few volunteers on  different nights (Carl Freyaldenhoven  on Thursday, John Reed on Friday,  and Darrell Heath on Saturday night).  We hope more will sign up for a night as well. 5000 guests are expected.  Show off your scope, make friends, and invite people to CAAS. Once Darrell confirms we are OK to come, he’ll get FREE passes for all attendees from CAAS and get you more info. Contact Darrell.

 

CAAS Business cards are being ordered by Jim Fisher for all members to give out to guests at star parties…better than writing in the dark.

 

Ms. Katie McKinney, the youngest person in attendance, drew numbers for door prizes.  Those winning Hubble books donated by Engberg were Roger Gudith, and Jane Hurley.  Those winning NASA Space Shuttle coins were Greg Hurley, Danny Flippo, and Katie McKinney.

 

Upcoming Programs

 

March Stephen Meeks Stellar Evolution
April Rocky Togni Space Race USSR: 1957-75
May Darrell Heath JPL/NASA
August Jim Fisher International Dark Sky Association
November William Engberg Mayan Calendar
December   Dinner

 

We have programs for the months listed above.  However, we still need volunteers to present programs in October, September, July, June, and February.

 

There were many first time guests at the meeting.

 

Members and Guests Who Attended The Meeting

 

Wade Van Arsdale

William Bryden

Jack Dixon

Jim Dixon

Patricia Dodson

William Engberg

James Fisher

Danny Flippo

Carl Freyaldenhoven

Roger Gudith

Darrell Heath

Greg Hurley

Jane Hurley

Chris Lasley

Don Lewis

Cliff McKinney

Katie McKinney

James Bruce McMath

John Reed

Coy Scott

Eric Walker

 

The next monthly CAAS meeting will be at 7 pm on Saturday, February 11.  Weather permitting, there is normally observing after the meeting adjourns (usually sometime from 8 pm to 8:30 pm).

 


 

Observation Planning Data

 

According to the Sky and Telescope web site almanac, sunset will be at 5:51 pm.  Twilight ends at 7:16 pm.  Twilight begins at 5:35 am on Sunday morning with sunrise at 7:01 am.  The moon is 79% illuminated and rises at 10:24 pm.  Venus sets at 9:09 pm.  Jupiter sets at 11:30 pm.  Mars rises at 7:54 pm.  Saturn rises at 11:00 pm.  The Sky and Telescope web site Interactive Sky Chart shows the constellation of Auriga nearest the zenith at 8 pm.  The great Orion constellation will be beginning to transit at 8 pm.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Coy Scott

CAAS Secretary

Minutes from the December 2011 Meeting

Annual Meeting and Potluck

This year, the CAAS Annual Meeting and Potluck was held at the River Ridge Observatory.  Spirits were high and delicious food was plentiful.  We had killer chili with beef, wonderful turkey chili, and 7 layer bean dip.  There were a variety of chips, crackers, and mediterranean bread.  There were cookies, cake, and delicious key lime pie for desert.  I’m sure I have omitted something there was so much to choose from.  John Reed demonstrated planetarium and photo stitching apps on his smart phone.

Business Meeting

  • The Board moved to add Coy Scott as secretary and Danny Flippo as Board member to the nominations list.
  • All voted and accepted the following lineup of officers for 2012:
  •     Officers: President – Bill Engberg       Vice President – Eric Walker       Secretary – Coy Scott       Treasury – Andy Reed       Immediate Past President – Jim Fisher
  •  Board: Jim Dixon, Carl Freyaldenhoven, John Reed, and Danny Flippo
  • Jim Fisher expressed thanks to the officers from 2011.  As a special thank you, he gave awesome commemorative Space Shuttle coins to John Reed, Coy, Bill Engberg, and Carolaina.  The coins contain metal that was carried into space on a shuttle mission.
  • Jim covered highlights from the year: custom Overhangs above doors, new cement drive way entrance, big telescope pad, garden cleanup, MSRAL sponsor (John, Rocky and Jim presented) new computer equipment in classroom, red lights, facebook page, website updated, grounds cleanup, refrigerator
  • William Bryden is designing shirts for 2012 with Carolaina helping with info from last order.
  • Jim Fisher will buy CAAS business cards and fix the CAAS tax status.
  • CAAS authorized Bill Engberg to cut/trim the “anti-astronomy” trees close to the buildings or in the path of the ecliptic.
  • A drawing was held for HUBBLE books donated by Engberg, 4 won: Bill Sanders; Scott Bryden; John Reed; Carolaina Ferren

Who was at the Meeting?

 

  • John Reed
  • Coy Scott
  • Roger Gudith
  • William, Scott, and Misule Bryden
  • Jim Fisher
  • Bill and Kay Sanders
  • Don and Carolaina Ferren
  • Daniel Weatherly
  • Danny Flippo
  • Darrell Heath
  • Bill Engberg
  • Wade Van Arsdale
  • black puppy dog  (Astro Pup!)

Upcoming Events (see website http://www.caasastro.org/ for updates/directions)

January 14, 2012 at 7pm – CAAS Regular Monthly Meeting


February 11, 2012 at 7pm – CAAS Regular Monthly Meeting

March 10, 2012 at 7pm – CAAS Regular Monthly Meeting
Meeting Notes by Bill Engberg, CAAS Secretary
Editing by Coy Scott, CAAS Secretary Elect