CAAS will once again participate in the International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN), which is scheduled for this year on October 8th. For those unfamiliar with InOMN, it is now an annual event in its second year, and is an astronomy outreach program sponsored by NASA and multiple astronomical organizations. The theme for this year’s celebration is “What does the Moon mean to you?” The goal of InOMN is to instill in the public a sense of wonderment and curiosity about our Moon. CAAS will observe InOMN as part of its regular meeting at the River Ridge Observatory beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting’s program will be on lunar observing and will cover tips for lunar observing as well as the Astronomical League’s Lunar Observing Club requirements. After the formal meeting will have a moon party on the observing field – clouds permitting. As always, the public is welcome at the meeting.
There will also be an InOMN event in downtown Little Rock organized by Darrell Heath in his role as a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar Ambassador. At 1:00 p.m. there will be a free showing of Ron Howard’s “In The Shadow of the Moon” in Room 124 of the Central Arkansas Library’s Butler Center For Arkansas Studies Building (adjacent to the CALS Main Branch Building in the River Market); 3:00 p.m. there will be a talk by Dr. Marcus Seigar of UALR, in the same room, at 5:00 p.m. a Solar System Walk through the River Market led by Dr. Tony Hall of UALR; and from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. there will be a moon watch party with telescope viewing in Little Rock’s Riverfront Park. If you would like to volunteer for the downtown moon party, you are welcome to do so instead of attending the CAAS meeting (unless you are a member of the Board or have business before the Board meeting that evening). Please contact Darrell Heath to volunteer at DRHEATH@ualr.edu or firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 501-569-3512 during work hours.
Commentary: The conflict in the scheduling of these events is unfortunate but unavoidable. CAAS has a policy not to change either the location (from the River Ridge Observatory) or date/time (the second Saturday of each month at 7 p.m.) of its meetings (the December Annual Meeting being the lone exception). CAAS also has long standing commitments to co-host star parties at Pinnacle Mountain State Park the week before and Woolly Hollow State Park two weeks following. The October 8th date for InOMN was announced after the scheduling of these CAAS star parties. While we would have liked to have joined the downtown InOMN celebration, it was not practical in light of the October meeting, the fall board meeting, and the proximity to the two previously scheduled October public CAAS events. Nevertheless, we wish Darrell and the other folks participating in the downtown Little Rock venue for InOMN success for their program. – Jim Fisher, CAAS president.