CAAS meets on the second Saturday of the month at the River Ridge Observatory at 7 PM. Weather permitting, observing will usually be done afterward. Potlucks are not uncommon.
The Moon will be less than 24 hours old on April 17. Find a good western horison and look for it after sunset. The Moon will set only 40 minutes after the Sun so it won’t be easy. Binoculars will be a definite plus in finding this very thin crescent.
Twenty members and guests braved a cold, rainy night to attend the first CAAS meeting of 2007. The clubhouse was warm and welcoming, though, filled with the aroma of vegetable soup and other delicious goodies.
Don Lewis opened the meeting at 6:56 p.m. with a presentation entitled âBeginnerâs Guide to Imaging the Heavensâ?, in which he provided an overview of astronomical imaging – from webcam-assisted solar system work to capturing long-exposure images of deep sky objects. Don discussed hardware options along with a generous helping of tips-n-tricks and a hearty dose of encouragement for the aspiring imager.
For those who may wish to review the material or pursue the topic further, Don will be making this presentation available in its entirety once the website is fully operational.
President Rocky Togni began the business meeting at 7:50, welcoming all to CAAS.
TREASURERâS REPORT – Pat Morris gave the financial report and reminded everyone that membership dues are now due. This will provide a much-needed boost for our most-humble bank balance.
WEBSITE – The club expressed heartfelt gratitude for Jimâs and Chrisâs willingness to take on the project of rebuilding of the website after it was disabled recently by an unscrupulous hacker.
Jim said that we are now using a server in the U.S. (as opposed to Asia), and have switched the content management system from the open-sourced Geeklog to WordPress, which is more secure. This is, of course, a learning curve, and it will take time to get everything back in order. Jim said that the photo galleries will be restored as soon as it is possible to do so.
Chris Lasley pays for the CAAS web server space annually, and this generous gift is appreciated very much. The question was asked if the recent server and software changes will generate added costs, and it was determined that (hopefully) they will not.
NEWSLETTER – Rocky mentioned that the first issue of the newly re-instated CAAS Observer turned out beautifully, and thanked Jim for his work on it. A separate email list is being put together for those who may not be on the CAAS email list but who would like to receive the newsletter. There are already several names added. If anyone would like to be added, or knows of someone who would, just email Rocky and let him know.
Submissions are now being accepted for the February issue of the Observer â all articles and items of interest are welcome!
WORK PARTY – Rocky reminded everyone that the work party is now slated for next Saturday, Jan 20th, at noon. Hopefully the weather will be cooperative, and the needed projects can be completed.
BOY SCOUTS – We have been contacted by Jon Norcross requesting a presentation next Saturday evening at BSA Troop 770âs campout at Pinnacle. Rocky, Bill Sanders, and the Edwards plan to attend â any others who would like to are welcome.
Rocky has researched the Boy Scoutsâ merit badge requirements, and we hope to have several opportunities throughout the year to help scouts earn their astronomy badge. Rocky suggested this website for further research: http://www.meritbadge.com
Sandy asked if the scout outings are reportable to the Night Sky Network, and Jim stated that yes, they are, however, in order to count toward the five qualifying outreach events, we must use the NSN materials.
FRENCH CAMP – Sandy mentioned that the French Camp / Mid-South Stargaze is coming up April 11-14th this year.
PAYPAL – Stacy noted that she is still planning to research what is required in setting up a non-profit status Paypal account. We hope to have a link on the website soon for ease in paying annual dues and making generous spontaneous donations. J
IDA – Jim noted that the International Dark Sky Association (http://www.darksky.org/ ) has a reduced membership fee of $50 for âsmallâ? clubs, and suggested that CAAS may well fit into this category.
The eveningâs lock & key adventures were discussed, and the meeting was adjourned. Pat went on a determined hunt and soon found an extra key, thus providing a temporary remedy to our situation.
This eveningâs guests included Doug Nelson of LR (now a new member) and Kay and John Thomas from Mountain View. The Thomases brought two telescopes, and club members enjoyed helping them collimate and learn how to use the equipment following the meeting.
Respectfully submitted by CAAS Secretary Stacy Edwards.