CAAS Board Meeting Minutes 15 July 2017

(Minutes approved at the 21 October 2017 Board Meeting.)

Item 1

Proposal to approve a plan to locate a radio telescope dish at RRO. All conditions in the plan must be met before the dish can be moved to RRO. The proposed plan should include the following details.

  1. Fund raising, round 1 — moving the dish, modifying the mount, and constructing a new pier at RRO.
  2. Plan for moving the dish.
  3. Make modifications to the mount.
  4. Move the dish and mount it at RRO.
  5. Create a research plan.
  6. Fund raising, round 2 — (if needed) Purchase receiver and electronics.
  7. Set aside funding for removal of dish should the need arise.
  8. Preliminary location is behind the big observatory building

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Item 2

Placement of memorial stele on RRO grounds.

Move monument to the memorial garden and make improvements to memorial garden to provide consistent visibility for monument. Observatory Committee to come up with plan, perhaps with a bench.

Motion carried by majority vote.

Item 3

(Bruce) CAAS to become a friend of natural skies and responsible lighting on the AR-IDA chapter website and add CAAS logo with link to CAAS site on th AR-IDA web site.

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Item 4

Authorize up to $850 in funds to be moved to the appropriate budget line and spent  to replace heating/cooling unit in the club house should Doug Wilson not be able to fix the existing unit.

Motion carried by unanimous vote.

Exoplanet Observed from the River Ridge Observatory

On the night of October 18/19, 2017 Dr. Jeff Robertson of Arkansas Tech University, and a member of the Central Arkansas Astronomical Society, used the River Ridge Observatory Robotic Research Telescope (RRORRT) to observe a transit of an exoplanet 456 light years away.

WASP-52 is a dwarf star about 83% the mass of the Sun in the constellation of Pegasus. In 2011, a planet was observed passing in front of the star. This planet, designated WASP-52 b, is a so-called “hot Jupiter” due to its size and proximity to its star.  Dr. Robertson pointed the 12” RRORRT at WASP-52 during a predicted transit and was able to take measurements of the light that reached it over the course of the event.

To summarize, using a commercially available off the shelf telescope and camera within reach of many amateur astronomers, a computer and free software, Dr. Robertson has demonstrated just how much a skilled observer can accomplish even in Arkansas.

For more information about the RRORRT, drop us a line.