Date   

Fw:

Dale Carey <stargaz@...>
 

 

To all MERAL club presidents,

The Astronomical League is looking for ways at making its regions more effective and more responsive to the individual clubs' needs. Below is a recent letter from Regional Structure Study Chair Jerry Sherlin describing the situation. Your comments, ideas and suggestions are welcome.

John Jardine Goss
MERAL Chair




Ladies & Gentlemen:                                                                2/14/2003


   Let me briefly introduce myself to those who don't know me.....my name is Jerry Sherlin and I am a past president the Astronomical League (as well as a past vice-president and executive secretary).  Currently I am the MARS region's representative.

   At last year's ALCon in Salt Lake City, League President Bob Gent asked  John Goss, Pat Carr, and me to take on the task of investigating the League's regional structure.  From the current Reflector I've gathered your names as regional reps. or chairpersons plus I know several of you are no longer regional officer.....but as no matter whether you are a current or past officer we solicit your comments and ideas.

   I agreed to chair this committee because I, like the League President, see a need for examining the League's regional infrastructure.  To begin with, you should know that this regional structure has remained unchanged, except for the addition of new regions, since the League was formed in 1947.  I believe the regional system was needed (at that time) because travel and "getting together" was quite different (in 1947) than it is now.  By having regions within the League, with regional meetings, it was easier for League members to come together.  There were also, at that time, far fewer "star parties" than there are now so, again, the regional convention acted as a meeting place for members within a more compact 5 or 6 state contiguous region.

   The question now arises, is this system outdated, in need of overhaul, left alone.....or just what?   In some capacity I've been working for the League for over 40 years, both as a regional and national officer, and I've seen, oh how I've seen, the fortunes of regions change.  Some regions have consistently, year after year, been strong and active while others have floundered or, at best, swung between periods of activity and dormancy.  The key of course is competent and dedicated leadership but I have seen, and even participated in "shang haiing" people into regional office.  When Dr. Bob Stencel and I resuscitated the MARS region (about 7 years ago) the two men listed as regional officers had disappeared so long ago that nobody remembered them; I doubt seriously that this is an isolated example.  With a system that relies completely on volunteer labor, regions sometime just cannot find leadership or regional leadership becomes enmeshed in political squabbles.  Another problem that has come up, from time to time, is the rigidity of the regional boundary system.  Some clubs have felt tied to a particular region while the League's system of drawing political boundaries has placed them into another region.  One final point is the matter of money.....some regional treasuries are reasonably well off while others are bankrupt and have great difficulty in building and sustaining a regional treasury.  It's these kinds of problems  that beg the question of whether it is time to change this system.  The world has changed a lot, and certainly the Astronomical League has grown and changed a lot since 1947.  

   Because of this, I am asking for your opinions, ideas, and suggestions.  You are all involved, or have been involved, with regional politics and programs and you've encounter these, and other, problems.  What is the solution?   I think it is possible for us to build a consensus from the collective wisdom and experience of all of you.  Our committee solicits your input so we can prepare a report to President Bob Gent by the time of the ALCON 2003 in Nashville.   Your support will be appreciated.

Most sincerely,
Jerry M. Sherlin
MARS Regional Representative  


Re: Tonight's Planetarium Show

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/18/03 3:46:32 PM Eastern Standard Time,
MFRYE@VBCPS.K12.VA.US writes:

<< We realize tonight is the Discovery Night at North Landing Elementary and
some of you plan to attend. We are expecting a full house at the Virginia
Beach Planetarium tonight. Since it appears that it will be a clear night, we
wanted to invite one or two BBAA members to set up a telescope or two outside
after the program (about 8pm).
>>

Since most of the "usual suspects" will be at North Landing tonight, this
would be a great time for someone that would like to get more involved to
help out at the Virginia Beach Planetarium. All you have to do is set up a
scope outside the exit and show folks Saturn or Jupiter as they leave the
show. Its easy and its fun. I know Chuck will really appreciate it. Try to
let Chuck know that you plan to be there so he can tell his audience about
it. The planetarium's phone number is 431-4067. Be sure to call before 7
p.m. when the presentation starts.

Ted


Re: C/2002 V1 (NEAT)

matsnellings <newfie122@cox.net>
 

There is a link in the upper left to go to English

 

Mat


 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: twforte@... [mailto:twforte@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 11:32 AM
To: backbayastro@...
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] C/2002 V1 (NEAT)

 

In a message dated 2/18/2003 9:42:57 AM Eastern Standard Time, twforte@... writes:
Until it is corrected, the images may be seen at the following mirror site:
>  http://star.mpae.gwdg.de/

Sorry.  I didn't realize this site is in German ... just double click on the (blue) image and it will eventually animate comet Neat's passage.

Ted



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Re: C/2002 V1 (NEAT)

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/18/2003 9:42:57 AM Eastern Standard Time, twforte@aol.com writes:
Until it is�corrected, the images may be seen at the following mirror site:
�http://star.mpae.gwdg.de/
Sorry. I didn't realize this site is in German ... just double click on the (blue) image and it will eventually animate comet Neat's passage.

Ted


Re: C/2002 V1 (NEAT)

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/17/2003 8:42:52 PM Eastern Standard Time, "Richard Moncure <sundog@hrfn.net>" <sundog@hrfn.net> writes:

This site has some SOHO LASCO images of comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT).
It should be visible through 2/20/03

http://soho.estec.esa.nl/data/realtime/realtime-c3.html
From Sky & Telescope:


In the hours since yesterday's AstroAlert was issued, visitors to
the SOHO Web site have been unable to view the latest LASCO C3
images showing Comet NEAT's passage by the Sun.

The site is apparently experiencing a technical problem related to
the snow emergency in the Washington, D.C., area. Until it is
corrected, the images may be seen at the following mirror site:

http://star.mpae.gwdg.de/

Ted


Re: North Landing Elementary Discovery Night

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/17/2003 7:46:48 PM Eastern Standard Time, George Reynolds <pathfinder027@yahoo.com> writes:

Great email, Rick! �See you tomorrow night.
George
"Rick Bish <2bookworms@cox.net>" <2bookworms@cox.net> wrote:Just a reminder to all BBAA-ers that North Landing Elementary School
is having their "Discovery Night" Tuesday night at 7:00 until 8:30.
Yes, Great email, Rick. I'll be there. If the weather clears, I'll set up the 18 if we can find a dry spot. If its cloudy, well, I have an ample supply of moon maps and star charts compliments of Dr Hitt and the Chesapeake Planetarium. See you there.

Ted


Re: Fan Mountain visit

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/17/2003 5:55:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, "Rob <rbeardsworth@cox.net>" <rbeardsworth@cox.net> writes:

Ted,

Please keep me apprised of your and the club's efforts on this
project, and any others involving Dr. Salgado, NSU, GRBs and etc. �I
would like to be as involved as my time allows in this area of
endeavor. �So, let me know of future meetings, trips, discussins,
etc. if you can. �Thanks!

Rob Beardsworth �

I'll do that Rob. Thank you.

Ted


C/2002 V1 (NEAT)

Richard Moncure <sundog@hrfn.net> <sundog@...>
 

This site has some SOHO LASCO images of comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT).
It should be visible through 2/20/03

http://soho.estec.esa.nl/data/realtime/realtime-c3.html


Re: North Landing Elementary Discovery Night

Richard Moncure <sundog@...>
 

I'll be there Rick.
Dick

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 6:10 PM
Subject: [backbayastro] North Landing Elementary Discovery Night

Just a reminder to all BBAA-ers that North Landing Elementary School
is having their "Discovery Night" Tuesday night at 7:00 until 8:30.
Now, if this event is anything like last week's Science Expo, it's
going to be great, not only for the kids who show up, but also for
the parents and teachers as well!
Actually, I think some of the older folks were as excited at seeing
Saturn, the weather bands on Jupiter, and the craters on the moon, as
much as the kids were!
Just remember:you don't have to be an astronomy expert to help out!
If that was the case, I wouldn't be able to go!
Dick Moncure, Ted Forte, George Reynolds, and I had four scopes set
up last week. We seemed to have a non-stop line (of kids and adults)
by each scope until time to go. It was really a fun evening!
Tomorrow's event is supposed to be even bigger! I know we can use
more scopes for this event (six would be nice!)and some folks to
remain inside to talk and pass out materials, as well.
It seemed as though all of us who went last week had a great time. I
know we all left in great moods. The smiles on the kids faces as they
looked up from my eyepiece, things they said like: "Awesome!"
and "Cool!" made the trip out to Chesapeake more than worth it. It
was a thrill to know that some of these kids were discovering these
celestial objects for the first time in their lives.
I thought to myself, Who knows...maybe there's a Ken Broun in the
crowd? Mr. Broun got his start in astronomy by viewing Saturn for the
first time through a friend's telescope...did you know that?
The address is: North Landing Elementary School, 2929 North Landing
Road in Virginia Beach (behind the VoTech School). 427-6600 Our Point
of contact is Ms. Tracy Coffin. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Come on out, if you can make it!
Rick Bish 




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Re: North Landing Elementary Discovery Night

George Reynolds
 

Great email, Rick!  See you tomorrow night.

George

 "Rick Bish <2bookworms@...>" <2bookworms@...> wrote:

Just a reminder to all BBAA-ers that North Landing Elementary School
is having their "Discovery Night" Tuesday night at 7:00 until 8:30.
Now, if this event is anything like last week's Science Expo, it's
going to be great, not only for the kids who show up, but also for
the parents and teachers as well!
Actually, I think some of the older folks were as excited at seeing
Saturn, the weather bands on Jupiter, and the craters on the moon, as
much as the kids were!
Just remember:you don't have to be an astronomy expert to help out!
If that was the case, I wouldn't be able to go!
Dick Moncure, Ted Forte, George Reynolds, and I had four scopes set
up last week. We seemed to have a non-stop line (of kids and adults)
by each scope until time to go. It was really a fun evening!
Tomorrow's event is supposed to be even bigger! I know we can use
more scopes for this event (six would be nice!)and some folks to
remain inside to talk and pass out materials, as well.
It seemed as though all of us who went last week had a great time. I
know we all left in great moods. The smiles on the kids faces as they
looked up from my eyepiece, things they said like: "Awesome!"
and "Cool!" made the trip out to Chesapeake more than worth it. It
was a thrill to know that some of these kids were discovering these
celestial objects for the first time in their lives.
I thought to myself, Who knows...maybe there's a Ken Broun in the
crowd? Mr. Broun got his start in astronomy by viewing Saturn for the
first time through a friend's telescope...did you know that?
The address is: North Landing Elementary School, 2929 North Landing
Road in Virginia Beach (behind the VoTech School). 427-6600 Our Point
of contact is Ms. Tracy Coffin. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Come on out, if you can make it!
Rick Bish 




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George Reynolds, Deputy Commander, Tidewater South Section Royal Rangers

Visit my Web page:  http://www.geocities.com/pathfinder027/spacex.html 

"Solar System Ambassador" for South Hampton Roads, Virginia

 Member, Back Bay Amateur Astronomers (BBAA)  http://groups.hamptonroads.com/BBAA/



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North Landing Elementary Discovery Night

Rick Bish <2bookworms@cox.net> <2bookworms@...>
 

Just a reminder to all BBAA-ers that North Landing Elementary School
is having their "Discovery Night" Tuesday night at 7:00 until 8:30.
Now, if this event is anything like last week's Science Expo, it's
going to be great, not only for the kids who show up, but also for
the parents and teachers as well!
Actually, I think some of the older folks were as excited at seeing
Saturn, the weather bands on Jupiter, and the craters on the moon, as
much as the kids were!
Just remember:you don't have to be an astronomy expert to help out!
If that was the case, I wouldn't be able to go!
Dick Moncure, Ted Forte, George Reynolds, and I had four scopes set
up last week. We seemed to have a non-stop line (of kids and adults)
by each scope until time to go. It was really a fun evening!
Tomorrow's event is supposed to be even bigger! I know we can use
more scopes for this event (six would be nice!)and some folks to
remain inside to talk and pass out materials, as well.
It seemed as though all of us who went last week had a great time. I
know we all left in great moods. The smiles on the kids faces as they
looked up from my eyepiece, things they said like: "Awesome!"
and "Cool!" made the trip out to Chesapeake more than worth it. It
was a thrill to know that some of these kids were discovering these
celestial objects for the first time in their lives.
I thought to myself, Who knows...maybe there's a Ken Broun in the
crowd? Mr. Broun got his start in astronomy by viewing Saturn for the
first time through a friend's telescope...did you know that?
The address is: North Landing Elementary School, 2929 North Landing
Road in Virginia Beach (behind the VoTech School). 427-6600 Our Point
of contact is Ms. Tracy Coffin. 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Come on out, if you can make it!
Rick Bish


Re: Fan Mountain visit

Rob <rbeardsworth@cox.net>
 

Ted,

Please keep me apprised of your and the club's efforts on this
project, and any others involving Dr. Salgado, NSU, GRBs and etc. I
would like to be as involved as my time allows in this area of
endeavor. So, let me know of future meetings, trips, discussins,
etc. if you can. Thanks!

Rob Beardsworth


--- In backbayastro@yahoogroups.com, twforte@a... wrote:
I accompanied Dr Salgado and Dr Miller from Norfolk State to the
University
of Virginia yesterday. We spoke to several members of the
astronomy
department about a possible collaboration with them in building a
remote
robotic observatory on Fan Mountain.

We later toured the observatory and discussed possible sites for
the NSU
telescope. Dr Salgado asked me to attend because BBAA will be an
important
partner in the observatory project.

You can read all about it in next month's newsletter or you can go
to the
files section of the backbayastro site and download (or read) the
full
report. I've also uploaded some pictures from Fan Mountain.
(Click on
photos and then open the Fan Mountain album.) I'll try to do a
page soon on
our HR.Com website too.

The short version is that we got a very positive response from UVA
and the
project looks like it could go forward with a funding request in
January ...
then who knows. I hope to arrange an observing session at Fan
Mountain
sometime this year, along with Dr Sagaldo and a few interested BBAA
members,
to help evaluate the site ...

Ted


New on the BBAA Website

twforte@...
 

Don't forget to check out our website.
http://groups.hamptonroads.com/bbaa

There is a new page detailing the upcoming opposition of Mars.

On our "Notices" page you can read the latest on the Deep Sky 2003 conference/convention of the NDSOS, and read about the Planetary Society's "Red Rover Goes to Mars" program.

On "Current Sky Events" read about objects of interest in this week's sky from Sky & Telescope.

"Space Place" has been updated and contains a tribute to the Columbia crew.

And of course you can still read Kent Blackwell's eclipse trip to Africa article, George Reynold's article on the Chiefland Star Party, keep up to date on planned events and more!

Ted


Photos please

twforte@...
 

I'd like to receive some new digital astro-photos from BBAA members for use
on our HR.Com web site. Please include the details of how the photo was
taken and the image processed. The website limits image file size to 100kb,
and suggests that images be kept to under 50kb, so it would help if you can
send the file as a JPEG and reduce it to the required size, but its not
absolutely necessary ... I can resize the file.

And don't forget that there is room for photos here on backbayastro too.
Yahoo makes it really easy ... they reduce the files automatically. Go to
the backbayastro home page and click on photos. Then create an album and
upload your pics. Let us know that you've uploaded them, and let me know if
I can use them on the BBAA website.

Thanks,
Ted


Re: Fan Mountain

twforte@...
 

In a message dated 2/15/03 11:31:31 PM Eastern Standard Time,
joepiotrowski@cox.net writes:

<< Maybe we can find a planet or two as a project.
Let me see..bbaaupiter? >>

I like it!

Seriously, thanks, Joe and Mat. Dr Sagaldo has promised to keep me well
apprised of developments on the project and I will pass information along via
this list, the newsletter and the BBAA website. There isn't much to do yet,
they are 10 months away from the funding proposal to NSF and at least 18
months away from any concrete approvals I would guess. We should just remain
guardedly optimistic for now.

Ted


Re: Fan Mountain

joseph_piotrowski <joepiotrowski@cox.net>
 

Ted,
Just read the info on the web site about fan mountain. Would like to
be included in the spring/summer outing if I'm not on call. I'm
willing to help out in any way I can but am severely limited by my
schedule.Sounds great.Maybe we can find a planet or two as a project.
Let me see..bbaaupiter?
Joe Piotrowski
--- In backbayastro@yahoogroups.com, twforte@a... wrote:
Thank you Rick!

Consider yourself a member of the "Observatory Committee"!

Anybody else?

Ted

In a message dated 2/15/03 2:22:25 PM Eastern Standard Time,
2bookworms@c... writes:

<< What a great job on the Fan Mountain report, Ted! Great
pictures, too!
I would like to be involved in that project, if there's still
room.
In addition, I would love to go up there in the late spring or
early
summer.
Let me know if I can do some "foot work" for this, as my schedule
can
be fairly flexable.
>>


Re: Fan Mountain

matsnellings <newfie122@cox.net>
 

Ted
Iwould love to help. I work weekend nights so any help needed during
the week I would be glad to do.
Keep me posted.
Mat


Fan Mountain

Rick Bish <2bookworms@cox.net> <2bookworms@...>
 

What a great job on the Fan Mountain report, Ted! Great pictures, too!
I would like to be involved in that project, if there's still room.
In addition, I would love to go up there in the late spring or early
summer.
Let me know if I can do some "foot work" for this, as my schedule can
be fairly flexable.


Re: New / Used Scopes

H.L. Marks
 

Hi Kent:
 
Please keep me on your email list.  Thanks.
 
H.L.
 
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [backbayastro] Re: New / Used Scopes

Although the horizon is limited at Coinjock, NC I hope all can attend this
year's East Coast Star Party which I shall be hosting March 28 & 29. You can
use the time observing as many Messier objects as possible or just simply
enjoy observing. This is the 13th or 14th year I've hosted the party. The
skies in Coinjock aren't as dark as 14 years ago, but that seems to be the
sad story worldwide. I'll send out the information about the star party in a
few days. If you'd like to be on my email list please let me know.

Kent Blackwell
kent@...

----- Original Message -----
From: To:
Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 10:03 AM
Subject: [backbayastro] Re: New / Used Scopes


> After years of not having the luxury of a computer, now I find
> it hard to turn mine off I must admit. However, Messier
> Marathon time is one occasion I make a big exception.
> The sense of accomplishment from finding all those objects
> (my personal record so far is 107) in one night is one
> that doesn't wear off quickly. And it won't be long before
> it's time to give it another shot! I guess the marathon is
> something some love to do and others rebel at the idea. I
> find it a great excuse to spend an exciting night out under
> the stars.
>
> Richard
>
>
> --- In backbayastro@..., "S. Kent Blackwell"
> wrote:
> > I agree with Lelane about finding objects by starhopping. In all my
> years of stargazing my true love has been the "thrill" of finding
> something on my own. It's a rewarding experience one cannot attain by
> simply dialing it in on a computer. Now, I'll admit some people simply
> don't have the time to devote to spending half the night looking for a
> handful of objects but I do suggest every once in a while turning off
> those computers and brushing up on starhopping. I did this a few
> nights ago and will say I had more fun stargazing that evening than
> I've had in a long time. So there!
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
> backbayastro-unsubscribe@...
>
>
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
>
>



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Re: Fan Mountain

twforte@...
 

Thank you Rick!

Consider yourself a member of the "Observatory Committee"!

Anybody else?

Ted

In a message dated 2/15/03 2:22:25 PM Eastern Standard Time,
2bookworms@cox.net writes:

<< What a great job on the Fan Mountain report, Ted! Great pictures, too!
I would like to be involved in that project, if there's still room.
In addition, I would love to go up there in the late spring or early
summer.
Let me know if I can do some "foot work" for this, as my schedule can
be fairly flexable.
>>

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