Submitted by Jim Dixon
July 12, 2003
Don Lewis called the July 12th meeting to order about 7:20. There were 13 members and guests present. Guests were Shawn Snow and Mellisa Taylor.
- A work party the previous Saturday which water treated the deck and did yard work was mentioned.
- John Reed talked about the MidSouth Region of the Astronomical League (MSRAL) convention that he and David Reynolds attended.
- The Wooly Hollow State Park Star Party is scheduled for July 26, two weeks from the meeting. They have requested that CAAS assist. Terry Johnson has been in contact with their intrepretor, April Snow.
- John Reed gave us a presentation covering aspects of planetary images. The presentation covered the pros and cons of using web cams, digital video cameras, and digital still cameras as well as the post-imaging processing that is done.
- The scheduled SCT collimation presentation was rescheduled for another meeting.
The sky was mostly clear although the full Moon was up and the attendees retired to the observing area to see what they could see.
Finally, guest Mellisa Taylor became member Mellisa Taylor. Welcome to CAAS, Mellisa!
Submitted by Jim Dixon
June 14, 2003
Don Lewis called the June 14th meeting to order about 7:20. There were 16 members and guests present.
- The upcoming star party at Pinnacle Mountain State Park on June 28th was mentioned.
- The Summer Solstice Sunset Spectacular at Toltec Mounds State park on June 21st was mentioned.
- The Astronomical League National Convention in Nashville on July 9-12 was mentioned.
- The Star Party at Wooly Hollow State Park on June 21st was mentioned.
- The National Astronomy Day Star Party turned out to be mostly cloudy but was fairly successful.
- A motion was made and passed to reimbursement members for the purchase of deck sealant and tick/chigger lawn treatment.
- John Reed and Danny Flippo have been practicing their planetary imaging skills in preparation for Mars. It was suggested that an imaging workshop be held.
- Chris Lasley told us about the Advanced Observer’s Workshop he attended at Kitt Peak National Observatory. He used a 20 inch Ritchey-Chretien telescope over a few days to take some spectacular images.
- The scheduled SCT collimation presentation was rescheduled for the next meeting.
The sky was mostly overcast but cleared a little bit and a 10 Dobsonian was set up to observe Jupiter and other available objects.
Submitted by Jim Dixon
March 8, 2003
The March 8th meeting was preceded by the First Annual Spring is Back CAAS Potluck. Members started arriving around 5 with food and telescopes. I believe there were 7 scopes from members set up. The potluck was an indisputable success.
Don Lewis called the meeting to order about 7:30. There were 25 members and guests present. To the two new members, Andy Reed and Cindy Chambers, I am glad you made it and I hope to see you at the next meeting or sooner if the weather permits.
- Don talked about the “Night Sky Protection Act” which, unfortunately, did not make it through the Arkansas Legislature.
- We discussed the upcoming National Astronomy Day Star Party at the Pinnacle Mountain State Park Visitor’s Center. This event will occur on the same day that our May meeting would occur so if there is any CAAS business to be done, it will be done there. As this star party will be part of a national collaboration, it should a larger scale star party than most. In fact, it will be starting in the early afternoon for CAAS members who will be setting their scopes up to observe the Sun until dark.
- Treasurer’s report: Pat Morris reported that we have received $*** in dues since the February meeting and have had to pay $*** in expenses. Of course, once everyone has paid their dues the expenses will still be there.
- Terry Johnson brought up the subject of doing a Messier Marathon this year. A Messier Marathon is a night long project where the participants try to spot as many of 109 Messier objects as they can. March is generally considered to be the best time of year to hold such events due to the random placing of the objects.
- Election of new Vice President to fill out the term of the current Vice President. This was tabled until the next meeting.
- Kathey Farley from Mablevale Magnet Middle School was our guest Saturday night. Kathey and her colleague Jennifer, have collaborated to teach Space Science to Little Rock School District kids. They have worked with the Cooperative Extension Office to be part of a NASA Space Grant to assist them in this effort. She was able to use this grant to purchase a telescope for her class. Kathey and Jennifer recently attended an ISS Educator’s Conference in Houston which included workshops in rocketry, remote sensing, robotics, and biology. Her class will also be involved in the ISS Earthcam project where in April they will get to take images of the Earth from the ISS. Kathey is also working to get her class approved as a NASA Explorer School.
After the official meeting was over, the members and guests split into various groups. Some went to scopes to sneak a peek between the clouds while others gleaned Newtonian collimation tips from John Reed.
While it was mainly cloudy, we were able to catch some decent glimpses of Saturn and Jupiter. In fact, there was a transit of the shadow of Callisto across Jupiter Saturday night and we saw it. I personally have never seen that before.