CAAS members descended on the property last night knowing full well that the clouds and weather forecast meant there would be no observing later. President John Reed was stuck in traffic so I (Jim D) opened the meeting at 7:15. The venue changed four times as we started on the deck then went in due to rain then went back out then came back in due to rain again. There were 14 members and guests in attendance.
Old Business: Since the last meeting there were two star parties, one at Woolly Hollow SP and one at Pinnacle Mountain SP. Both were successes, especially WHSP where there were perhaps 350 attendees.
New Business: We have two more star parties coming up, September 6 at PMSP and November 1 at WHSP again. The November event will mark a change for us, we’ve never done one there beyond the summer.
Rocky Togni brought a spare fluorescent fixture that he had to replace the dead fixture in the bathroom. I ( Jim D) brought chain to hang it with and Pat Morris wired it. The bathroom is once again fully illuminated.
Jim Fisher and Wade Van Arsdale brought us up to date on two separate light pollution topics. One is the CAAS Dark Zone Project that has been discussed in recent months. The letter to the Perry County Quorum Court is nearing completion and he will bring the letter to the next board meeting (in September) to be signed by the board members. The other topic was the creation of the Arkansas Section of the International Dark Sky Association. This will be somewhat like the creation of a new regional club, it will not be a CAAS operation although many members may want to join. Wade and Jim Fisher will be spearheading this project and will contact other astronomy groups to see who else may want to participate. We think of dark skies as an astronomy related need but in reality, many areas of interest see a need for darkness at night. Many nocturnal lifeforms are suffering from insufficient darkness and so people with other interests than astronomy may also want to participate.
Pat Morris gave the treasurer’s report. Things are looking okay.
Presentation: Rocky Togni gave us a well developed talk on variable stars. He covered the early history and types of stars followed by how amateurs can contribute. The presentation was very good, thank you Rocky!
Finally, lets welcome brand new member Ernie Shields. He came to both of the two last star parties mentioned above and made his first meeting last night. Welcome aboard, Ernie!