President's perspective for September, 2011

Wow, how quickly a year goes by....we are already heading into September!

And what a summer it has been! For me, there was the Feline Conservsation Federation convention in June (where I got the chain mail short many of you have seen me wearing). Then the Golden State Star Party, the first large scale, multi night star party I have ever attended (and what a great time I  had there!). Three days later, i was off to Seattle for the first annual Na'vi speakers meetup.  (Na'vi  is the language created for the movie 'Avatar'. Did you know that 'tanhì' is Na'vi for 'star'?) One thing I learned there is that Na'vi creator Paul Frommer was well on his way to being an astrophysicist before switching to linguistcs. Two weeks later, I was off to the Colorado Renaissance Fair (where I got that beautiful little astrolabe I have brought to a few club functions). Unfortunately, all this craziness made me miss the Great Basin Astronomy Festival. In August was the Worldcon Science Fiction convention. Besides all the usual sci-fi stuff, there was some excellent panels given on astronomy, physics and other topics near and dear to our hearts. (And I started to learn the Klingon language! 'Hov' is 'star' in Klingon.) That pretty much brings us up to this week.

There was plenty of astronomy activity over the summer. Although the weather has again been touch-and-go with star parties, there have been several public star parties at Sparks Marina. One of these was almost unplanned, and had 100 people show up! There was also a public star party at Martis Creek on Saturday, August 20th. I heard that went quite well. There was a nice members-only gathering out at Trapshoot last Saturday (August 27th). Not many people showed up (there were about 6 of us), but we had gorgeous conditions.

There is a lot of astronomy activity coming. This Friday, September 2nd, we will (hopefully!) have our first public star oarty at McClean observatory down on the Redfield Campus of UNR. I have heard lots of good things about this observatory, and am looking forward to it.

The monthly meeting of the ASN will be at the Fleischman Planetarium on Tuesday evening September 13th, at 7 PM. This is the meeting where nominations for club officers is done, with elections in October. I'll speak more about this later. The meeting topic is 'Debunking 2012 castrophe theories'. It should be quite interesting!

Friday, September 16th is the monthly Sparks marina public star party. Lousy dark sky site, but really popular with the public! This is now a regular, 3rd Friday of each month public event for us.

For those in the Carson City area, the Western Nevada Astronomical Society has their monthly meeting at the Jack C. Davis observatory on Tuesday, September 20th at 7 PM.

On Thursday September 22nd through Sunday September 25th, the Tonopah Astronomical Society is sponsoring a star party down near Tonopah, at Monte Cristo's Castle. This is a spectacular dark sky site, and I am giving some thought to going (but it is the same weekend as our BBQ).

Saturday, September 24th is a BBQ and star Party at Wilson Commons. The fun begins at 4 PM. ASN will be providing drinks (soda and water). Bring something to grill, and a side dish. Aftewards, will be our monthly members-only star party.

The month closes out with a school star party for Alice Taylor Elementary School.

Notable events for October

On October 11th, we will be electing officers at our members' meeting, and beginning planning for the 2011 annular eclipse and Venus transit.

Keep Saturday, October 22nd open on your calendars. that will be the night of our fall overnight star party and Messier marathon. Location TBA.

In closing, I would like to talk for a moment about participation in your club. Every year, our Constitution and bylaws require that we have an election to renew or replace our officers. This year, we lost two officers. Teelynn Gregory, our Secretary had to take a leave from her position. In March, Chris Johnson stepped down as President, making me the acting President. So, we have Secretary and Vice President to fill. We are also electing a President, aTreasurer and a Historian, all offices with incumbents. We also plan to appoint two Program Chairman. One will take care of public and school bookings. the other will handle ASN's internal events. Although a number of incumbents (myself included) plan to run again, it is always good to have 'new blood' in the organization. It is not as hard as you might think to be an officer!

Also feel free to come to the board/program meeting after the general meeting. It is always open to members. You can learn how your club works. And unlike most clubs, members can participate in the board meeting. Member participation is importantr because the club has no standing directors on the board.

That's all for this month. See you at the meeting...or under the stars!

Tim Stoffel

Category: President

President's perspective for June, 2011

Greeting, fellow ASN members!

Sorry I have been rather quiet around here. There are some periods of the year when my job seems to dominate, and April and May have certainly been in that category. But now, we are moving into summer. And just like it is the case for…

Read more: President's perspective for June, 2011

Category: President

President's Perspective for April, 2011

Greetings, fellow stargazers! (Oops, not my line!)

Last month, it so happened that the ASN's president, Chris Johnson, had to step down for reasons having nothing to do with the ASN. So, having never really thought about this when accepting the job of Vice President, I now suddenly find myself being President of the ASN.

Surprise? Definitely? A bad thing? Not at all! (I hope!)

As your new President, I hope to help the ASN continue doing what it does best-- promote astronomy in a variety of public and private settings. But besides keeping up our strong public outreach, I am hoping we can engage in activities designed to help our members develop their skills. And although the ASN has at the moment, a healthy bank account, I would like to see us continue to work at fundraising so we can invest in things we should be investing in (and this is both hardware and events) and at the same time keep our 'pocketbook fat'.…

Read more: President's Perspective for April, 2011

Category: President

2011 is a go!

2011 is off to a great start!

So far we are 100% for our public star parties. Our first star party was the public star party at Rancho San Rafael on 7 January. It was an extremely cold evening, but we still had a small turnout.

On 21 January we had…

Read more: 2011 is a go!

Category: President