Event: SMAS Monthly Meeting - 06/11/2021 #cal-reminder


smokymtnastro@groups.io Calendar <noreply@...>
 

Reminder: SMAS Monthly Meeting

When:
06/11/2021
7:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Where:
Online through Zoom (or other online meeting tools) until normal in-person activities resume.

Organizer: James Cantu

View Event

Description:

About SMAS Meetings

SMAS meets every second Friday January-November unless a special event interferes. In general, December is reserved for a Holiday Gathering where all local clubs are invited to dine and meetup. Meetings are relatively informal, however we usually establish an agenda of presentations and discussion topics.
Meeting are currently virtual via Zoom. 
Meetings consist of short presentations by members or invited guests. Member are encouraged to propose a topic at least 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting. Please send proposals to the current Vice President. All topics are available: from technical reports, introductory topics, astrophotography, history, book/resource reviews, gear/tool reviews, how-to's, community engagement, etc.
We encourage diverse topics over a range of ability levels. We hope that each meeting includes something easier and something more intermediate-advanced per meeting. 
Guests are welcome, but virtual meeting links will not be posted publicly. These may only be shared via groups.io or from a member of the executive committee. 

"Doors" open at 7p; Meeting runs 7:30p-9:00p.

Agenda

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  •  


James Paciello
 

Hi James,
Why is the club still doing zoom? It seems that most of Tennessee is open and maskless. Is the problem Pellisippi State Community College not allowing anyone on campus, not allowing us access to our room for the meetings? Just curious. Sorry I haven't been available I just don't care for zoom. It's not something I was comfortable with. I just love being together with the group. I understand the concern of course during the height of the situation last year but things are radically different now at least to me. When the meetings resume at the college again, hopefully soon, I look forward to being there with the group again. All the best...
Jim Paciello


From: smokymtnastro@groups.io <smokymtnastro@groups.io> on behalf of smokymtnastro@groups.io Calendar <noreply@groups.io>
Sent: Friday, June 4, 2021 7:30 PM
To: smokymtnastro@groups.io <smokymtnastro@groups.io>
Subject: [smokymtnastro] Event: SMAS Monthly Meeting - 06/11/2021 #cal-reminder
 

Reminder: SMAS Monthly Meeting

When:
06/11/2021
7:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Where:
Online through Zoom (or other online meeting tools) until normal in-person activities resume.

Organizer: James Cantu

View Event

Description:

About SMAS Meetings

SMAS meets every second Friday January-November unless a special event interferes. In general, December is reserved for a Holiday Gathering where all local clubs are invited to dine and meetup. Meetings are relatively informal, however we usually establish an agenda of presentations and discussion topics.
Meeting are currently virtual via Zoom. 
Meetings consist of short presentations by members or invited guests. Member are encouraged to propose a topic at least 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting. Please send proposals to the current Vice President. All topics are available: from technical reports, introductory topics, astrophotography, history, book/resource reviews, gear/tool reviews, how-to's, community engagement, etc.
We encourage diverse topics over a range of ability levels. We hope that each meeting includes something easier and something more intermediate-advanced per meeting. 
Guests are welcome, but virtual meeting links will not be posted publicly. These may only be shared via groups.io or from a member of the executive committee. 

"Doors" open at 7p; Meeting runs 7:30p-9:00p.

Agenda

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  •  


James Cantu
 

Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 
Hybrid possibilities:
  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 
Star Parties:
  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 

I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS
 


Bryan R.
 

hello all.  I was only able to attend a single meeting in person last year, back in April I think....right before things went south.  I am sure most dont even remember me.  However, I have been keeping tabs on the group.io board to see when things would start back up in person.  I cant speak for anyone else, but I am surely looking forward to when in-person meetings can resume, as well as star party functions.  I will continue to keep an eye out for when things in person start back up for sure.


Rick “Rex” Carpenter
 

Wow, something simple as in-person get-togethers now feels quite complicated. 

 FWIW, I find great value in attending a local club personal gathering.  I find it difficult to have person-to-person sidebar discussions, share hardware for comparison and inspection, and develop real, sustained human relations using a virtual platform.

I belong to two other astro clubs within the USA where I can participate virtually, however have the advantage there of having already developed long-term deep-rooted personal relationships that I can leverage.

Besides, I enjoy having an excuse for actually getting out of the house and meeting folks, but maybe I'm an exception in that regard these days.  I'd rather be wasting my excess money buying astro stuff than on replacing our worn-out sofa😀

On another note, I live next door to Pellissippi so if anyone needs a club ambassador to walk over and talk with someone there face-to-face let me know, I'd be honored to do so.

Best Regards,
Rick Carpenter

On Jun 6, 2021, at 11:41, James Cantu <james.cantu@...> wrote:

Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 
Hybrid possibilities:
  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 
Star Parties:
  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 

I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS
 


James Paciello
 

Hi Jim,
         OMG, you gave me so much more than I expected. All I can say is thank you for the in depth explanation of our current situation regarding in person meetings. I can imagine the pressure the officers are under trying to figure out how to move SMAS forward. In regards to the young lady from Kosovo I heard her on the podcast "The Observers Notebook" with Tim Robertson from ALPO. It was episode 74 dated August 1st 2019. Her name is Pranvera Hyseni. I get it with Apple Podcasts. I don't know if she is the one you're talking about but there can't be many women from Kosovo interested in spreading astronomical interests. So I think it's her.
           I understand the zoom situation and how it may allow others to participate because you don't have the front room situation dominating the meeting. But, having the speaker pause every now and then for questions or having him or her move around the room while speaking could help to invite more response from others in the group. 
          Again, I so appreciate all you have written to better help explain what's going on. I look forward to when we can get together again as a group. It's what I've always loved, that personal contact with fellow amateurs. You are a great VP and the club is so much better for all you do. I always read the minutes of the meetings and enjoy what has been discussed. Thanks again Jim.


From: smokymtnastro@groups.io <smokymtnastro@groups.io> on behalf of James Cantu <james.cantu@...>
Sent: Sunday, June 6, 2021 11:41 AM
To: smokymtnastro@groups.io <smokymtnastro@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [smokymtnastro] Event: SMAS Monthly Meeting - 06/11/2021 #cal-reminder
 
Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 
Hybrid possibilities:
  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 
Star Parties:
  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 

I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS
 


James Cantu
 

Thank you all for your thoughts so far. I will attempt to prepare a basic survey this afternoon/evening to get a feel for interests moving forward. 

I think this whole pandemic business has been interesting in that it has fundamentally changed how some groups are together. I think some hybrid models for meeting are in store and would be good for outreach as well. 

Anyhow, look for a survey this evening, and thank you for contributing. 

Best regards, 
James Cantu
VP SMAS


Ross Hughes
 

Has anyone researched an alternate meeting location such as UT campus. The Knoxville Ornithological Society meets at the Vet School. Dont know if that would be a more central location.


On Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 11:41 AM James Cantu <james.cantu@...> wrote:
Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 
Hybrid possibilities:
  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 
Star Parties:
  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 

I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS
 


Jae Park
 

Hi,

What is the zoom link for the upcoming meeting?  I don’t have the group.io

Jae Park


On Fri, Jun 4, 2021 at 7:30 PM smokymtnastro@groups.io Calendar <noreply@groups.io> wrote:

Reminder: SMAS Monthly Meeting

When:
06/11/2021
7:30pm to 9:00pm
(UTC-04:00) America/New York

Where:
Online through Zoom (or other online meeting tools) until normal in-person activities resume.

Organizer: James Cantu

View Event

Description:

About SMAS Meetings

SMAS meets every second Friday January-November unless a special event interferes. In general, December is reserved for a Holiday Gathering where all local clubs are invited to dine and meetup. Meetings are relatively informal, however we usually establish an agenda of presentations and discussion topics.
Meeting are currently virtual via Zoom. 
Meetings consist of short presentations by members or invited guests. Member are encouraged to propose a topic at least 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting. Please send proposals to the current Vice President. All topics are available: from technical reports, introductory topics, astrophotography, history, book/resource reviews, gear/tool reviews, how-to's, community engagement, etc.
We encourage diverse topics over a range of ability levels. We hope that each meeting includes something easier and something more intermediate-advanced per meeting. 
Guests are welcome, but virtual meeting links will not be posted publicly. These may only be shared via groups.io or from a member of the executive committee. 

"Doors" open at 7p; Meeting runs 7:30p-9:00p.

Agenda

  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  •  


Forrest Erickson
 

Re meeting locations.
 
I just sent out a note about Heritage High School but it requires a lot of discussion to understand the opportunity and the obstacles. I hope we can have discussion on the 11th.
 
(Forrest) Lee Erickson
 
 

On 06/07/2021 8:08 AM Ross Hughes <rhughe22@...> wrote:
 
 
Has anyone researched an alternate meeting location such as UT campus. The Knoxville Ornithological Society meets at the Vet School. Dont know if that would be a more central location.

On Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 11:41 AM James Cantu < james.cantu@...> wrote:
Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 
Hybrid possibilities:
  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 
Star Parties:
  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 

I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS
 

 

 


Patrick, Edward L.
 

Wright-Patterson AFB operated a satellite tracking station located in woods inside John Bryan State Park (JBSP). Images of background stars would appear on CRT screens, but the blips from satellites would move across the screen and change in amplitude according to their spin rate. By using a combination of tracking and photographic methods, they cataloged many satellites according to their characteristics and trajectories. The facility was used during Project Blue Book (1952-1969) and was built in about 1966 and was abandoned around 1977 when I graduated high school. It included a dome large enough for a 12” long-focus reflector and a roll-off roof that previously sported a 14” Celestron. We put a WWII-era steel-tubed 12” f10 in the dome, and a 14” short-focus Cass on an inverted fork on the concrete pier in the roll-off roof room with a plywood octagonal floor and 2x4 guard rails built around the 4’ square pier. There was also a darkroom inside a vault (with a combination I still remember), a utility room, a control room, and an L-shaped corridor with lots of space. I built counter spaces, tables, and bookcases for that place. Cast aluminum letters were found in the utility room with associated holes located in the West Wall of the brick building. We figured out that it had originally read, “CELESTIAL GUIDANCE RESEARCH.” We removed the middle word and stuck the letters back so it just read, “CELESTIAL RESEARCH.” We thought that appropriate.

 

After WPAFB abandoned the building, the State of Ohio somehow arranged through a right-of-first-refusal or similar agreement to turn over operation of that one-acre facility – complete with high, barbed-wire fence, electric eye front gate, motion sensors in the ground and blinding spotlights facing outward into the empty woods – over to the Miami Valley Astronomical Society (MVAS) headquartered out of the Apollo Observatory of the Dayton Museum of Natural History (now the Boonhshoft Museum of Discovery) for something like the sum of $1.00/year.

 

That agreement between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) and the MVAS included public presentations something like once a month during the year, with a number of camper stargazes conducted during the summer weekends at the John Bryan State Park Campground.

https://observatoriesofohio.org/john-bryan-state-park-observatory/

https://www.fairborndailyherald.com/news/28158/afrl-partners-with-john-bryan

 

I haven’t been to the museum since attending the Apollo Rendezvous in the ‘90s, and to JBSP in over three decades, but I am still in contact with folks in the Dayton area where I grew up.

 

My point is, if some knucklehead college pukes from the University of Dayton and Wright State University could turn an abandoned USAF satellite tracking station into a fully-functioning amateur observatory with local history now dating back decades, then I’m sure some kind of arrangement could be made with the Blount County Schools that would be mutually beneficial to them and SMAS. Furthermore, events on the site of Heritage High School could be used to public goodwill and promote endowments for the school system in general, and to the high school in particular. Some fringe benefits might even include SMAS members accidentally tripping, falling, and becoming mentors for STEM and FIRST robotics for Blount County students.

 

Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

 

Best regards,

 

 

Ed

--

 

Icon

Description automatically generatedIcon

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Edward L. Patrick

Senior Research Scientist

Space Science & Engineering Divisiion

Southwest Research Institute

210.522.5398

epatrick@...

swri.org

 

From: smokymtnastro@groups.io <smokymtnastro@groups.io> On Behalf Of Forrest Erickson
Sent: Monday, June 7, 2021 9:54 AM
To: smokymtnastro@groups.io; Ross Hughes <rhughe22@...>
Subject: Re: [smokymtnastro] Event: SMAS Monthly Meeting - 06/11/2021 #cal-reminder

 

[EXTERNAL EMAIL]

Re meeting locations.

 

I just sent out a note about Heritage High School but it requires a lot of discussion to understand the opportunity and the obstacles. I hope we can have discussion on the 11th.

 

(Forrest) Lee Erickson

 

 

On 06/07/2021 8:08 AM Ross Hughes <rhughe22@...> wrote:

 

 

Has anyone researched an alternate meeting location such as UT campus. The Knoxville Ornithological Society meets at the Vet School. Dont know if that would be a more central location.

 

On Sun, Jun 6, 2021, 11:41 AM James Cantu < james.cantu@...> wrote:

Hi Jim, 

Thank you for asking. There is much to unpack here. Realize we have not met since April. The situation has changed and rules, practices, etc. have changed along with it. A short and fundamental consideration is simply that we are only just now in a place where I think we could meet, but late pandemic social shifts aren't going to turn on a dime for several reasons including infrastructure and logistics, re-socialization/comfort, risk considerations by our membership of our membership and coming to an agreement to move forward. Also, as much as I have helped to get the ball rolling, what we do is dependent on what the membership proposes, and what initiatives the president approves and leads on. 

First, I'll reiterate that I am grateful to anyone who has shown up and especially to those who have participated/provided talks. Even those who dropped in for the first time to a club operating under unusual conditions. We have also gained some participation from members who may live a good drive from Pellissippi and in some cases completely out-of-town. 

Second, the club membership this year has not proposed any talks now in two months. For that I'm disappointed, but I'm also weary. I'm weary of meeting via Zoom. I'm weary of trying to get people to contribute and playing host. I hope that meeting in person might re-energize folks. The club and the club's presentation, experiences, etc. should not be the product of the officers, only facilitated by them.

Our reference peers:

I believe-I'm not certain but I believe-- that KO stopped meeting online or otherwise. They just recently promoted a non-public star party at Look Rock but outside of that our peers are starting to engage, but possibly not meeting. I've not been keeping up with ORION although I'm in their groups.io.

Our resources/infrastructure:

I honestly have no idea Pellissippi's status. They appear to be acting similarly to UTK right now, according to a cursory website look yesterday. That said, I'll add some perspective about what UTK is doing. At UTK all employees have returned to campus as of Tuesday, as in five days ago. Some people such as myself have been in the office over the past year. Some have not at all. I would expect a similar experience with Pellissippi and a sociocultural lag with getting back to full normal. 

To get the ball going again, the club needs to agree to move forward, we would need to reconnect with their events office. Also realize that our current officers have not yet engaged with Pellissippi at all in our current form. The person who normally would renew space applications and bill-paying is the Treasurer, but it would be prudent for the President to reconnect the club.
Even when under normal conditions bookings were completed usually a semester in advance, and we never met at Pellissippi during the summers. 

Meeting frequency and modes: 

Some notes of the Zoom experience.
We got more participation and voices speaking. All too often in a classroom lecture configuration, people at the front of the room would talk and some members would be silent and never be invited to share. With Zoom and all of us "facing each other" there was some opportunity to speak a little more. I was grateful that the Zoom experience and the going around the room encouraged the group to share their experiences. We gained some regular participation from those who might find it challenging to drive in. Also we lost touch with some folks who were not comfortable or able to do the online thing. Some who normally do drive in suggested that it was nice to not have to deal with mobility challenges. Some casual conversations around this suggested a possible hybrid model for future meetings. 

Possibilities

In-person possibilities: 

  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and return to up to 11 months per year (December excluded)
  • Book Pellissippi as soon as available and book on a semester model as before (June, July, December excluded)
  • A model I like with one of my academic committees: Jan, Feb, March, April, May, --, July, -- September, October, November, or something like it. Essentially meet regularly during the semesters, and once during the summer. 

Hybrid possibilities:

  • Book any of the above in-person models, while casting (Facebook live or Youtube streaming is a common model among other clubs and would be no additional cost, although we would need to ensure that we have the tech capability or bring a laptop with microphone etc. Non-in person attendees would almost certainly have very little ability to join the conversation (only watch). 
  • Book some in-person meetings and some remote. Some pattern of alternation. 

Star Parties:

  • Reassess comfort level. We haven't asked in a while. I'm comfortable going out and doing similar to KO and declare a star party for us. Again KO may be doing one, but they have declared it non-public and eyepiece sharing is at the discretion of the owner.
  • Develop a new calendar. This was normally created with a new officers meeting annually. 
  • I'll note here that I have reservations about private star party requests. I don't want to feel as though our club is being used as free entertainment or a service provider for private events. Having been on the other side of the industry I know how much value/$ can be exchanged for these events. We may gain some interest or membership, but I would feel more comfortable knowing how we agree to respond to these. 


I've written enough at this point, so I'm going to ask what others think. 

Please keep in mind we have no agenda for June (next Friday). I have a few remote friends who might be willing to do some excellent talks. One in particular is a young woman from Kosovo who started a Amateur Astronomy movement in her country. She's currently in grad school in CA, but might be willing. If I asked her though I'd need to ensure a decent attendance. 
Otherwise, I might try to capture an image of the early morning partial solar eclipse if possible. It's something like an 11 minute window and only at the horizon. 

In the meantime, Jim, thanks for bringing this up. I hope everyone is doing well otherwise.

Best regards, 
James Cantu 
VP SMAS