Submitted by Jim Dixon
February 9, 2003
Don Lewis called the meeting to order. There were 14 members present.
- Business cards – I showed the group the proposed addition of the Cassiopeia constellation to the website logo. Everyone liked this change and the new vertical business cards using this were approved. The new logo is visible on the CAAS site. I will see about producing some new business cards before the next meeting.
- As it is now February, Don reminded the group that dues were due as of January. For all practical purposes, dues are this group’s only source of money to pay the bills so it is vital that all members pay their dues in a timely manner. These dues will pay the bills for an entire year. If you haven’t yet sent in your dues and are unsure of how much to send or where, please take a look at the “join” page. The dues structure can be found there and the mailing address of the treasurer can be on the membership application.
- John Reed talked about the progress on the East Observatory renovation. He is currently working on a cost estimate for raising the floor and waterproofing the building better. During the recent brush clearing some water damage was found on the back of the building.
- Don Lewis informed us of the new House Bill 1282 from the Arkansas General Assembly. This bill, if approved, will require the shielding of of certain outdoor lighting in order to reduce light pollution in Arkansas. Sandy Morris proposed a motion that CAAS compose a letter to the author, Representative Ledbetter, to show him how appreciative we are. Currently, this is just a bill, sitting on capitol hill, but maybe someday it will be a law.
- Sandy Morris talked about the upcoming Astronomy Day Star Party at Pinnacle Mountain. She has recently been in contact with a teacher at the Mablevale school who is teaching an astronomy class.
- Treasurer’s report: Pat Morris reported that we have received $*** in dues since the January meeting and have had an electric bill of about $**. A once a year land payment of about $*** will be due soon and that will take a lot out of our bank account unless members pay their dues for 2003.
- Don Lewis talked a little bit about the K12 grant application that he has been investigating. This is a NASA grant to organizations that help spread the word about space to the public. If we could get it, this would be a grant for as much as $5000 to buy or build equipment and facilities to house the equipment to be used for research that we would perform and report back to NASA and, of course, educate the public.
- John Reed delivered his presentation on “How to Find It”. He started with the use of planispheres to show what’s up. From there he moved to the Peterson Field Guides, then to magazines such as Sky & Telescope and Astronomy for their monthly sky charts. From there he moved up to official sky atlases such as the Skelnate Plaso Atlas of the Heavens and the current de facto standard Sky Atlas 2000 and Uranumetria 2000. After this he moved on to the ultimate, computer based star charts such as those listed on our “Links” page. Finally, he showed us the techniques used to star hop our way to the “Whirpool Galaxy” M51 using star charts generated from one of those computer planetarium programs.
- After the presentation, an impromptu discussion of eyepieces, mirrors, and their care and feeding ensued.
As it was very cold, cloudy, and there was snow and ice on the ground, the meeting let out.