Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club

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1 Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club Make a New Years Resolution: Go to a Major Star arty in 2012 The topic for this month s meeting of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomer s Club is Star arties and will be presented by our Vice resident, hil Foust. roblem: The best locations for astronomical observing are those with dark skies and steady seeing. These sites are usually far enough from the Charlotte area such that a stay of several days is needed to make the trip worthwhile. Solution: Join with other observers and attend a major star party in Most major star parties are scheduled the week before or around the new moon. rime star party season begins early spring and continues through late fall. That makes January---right now--- the time to pick a star party of interest and arrange your schedule to get there. As part of this months presentation you will learn about: Next Meeting: Friday January 20, 2011 Time: 7:00 M lace: Myers ark Baptist Church Address: 1900 Queens Road ---Major star parties of the upcoming season reachable by car with information from members about their experiences at these events, ---Star party dates, websites, amenities, travel times, etc., ---How to coordinate with other CAAC members who plan to attend the same event, ---How to conduct a practice session to check out your gear and kit this spring at our club s observatory camping grounds, ---Local star parties that are easy trips. Make your resolution at this month s meeting. Be there - learn - leave with a plan. It should be a fun session. Join us at the January CAAC meeting.

2 Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club New Year New Meeting lace! Myers ark Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Rd (Next to Queens College) Room: - In the Education Center immediately behind the church sanctuary (see map below) - Meeting room on lower level with staircase, ramp, and handicap access via elevator - Large room with round tables with chairs at the tables plus additional chairs, if needed. - Stage with pull down screen and built-in sound system - Nice restrooms available down the hallway arking: - On street and off street parking see map below Storage - Will have storage to meet our needs Roswell Avenue Education Building Cornwell Center Sanctuary Wellesley Avenue Queens Road Selwyn Avenue 2

3 Below is a map showing the location of Myers ark Baptist Church. For more details or to get detailed directions consult an online map service such as MapQuest or Google Maps. FROM THE RESIDENT As president of the CAAC I receive s on astronomy topics. One recent inquiry came from a writer for an article on the subject of light pollution to be in the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute publication. I gave her some information, ideas, and contacts for the article. The following link is a copy of the final product was a fine year for CAAC. We ve had great support and participation for public outreach events under the leadership of Rob Carl. We celebrated the 25 th anniversary of our Southern Star Astronomy Convention in a truly fine fashion with wonderful speakers and events in a new expanded schedule. Finally, amazing progress has been made on our new facility under construction, led by Ken Steiner, at the GHRO complex., We look forward to another great year in I hope everyone can join with us at our new meeting location on January 20 th at Myers ark Baptist Church. Jim Lamm is leading our Southern Star lanning Team in developing another great time for the upcoming Southern 3

4 Star 2012 which you ll be hearing more about soon. This year will also be the completion of our new building and dedication with a celebration later this year!! Our membership and friends of CAAC have made this project possible. THANK YOU and Happy New Year! See you at the meeting....mark FROM THE OBSERVATORY DIRECTOR CAAC Upcoming Monthly Star arties: Saturday January 21, 2012 Saturday February 18, 2012 Star parties are held at the club s Gayle H. Riggsbee Observatory in Taxahaw, SC, weather permitting. Contact the Observatory Director, Ken Steiner, for directions to the observatory. All members and their guests are welcome. Transit of Venus Looking ahead, for those of you who missed the transit of Venus in 2004 you will have another opportunity this year to witness this astronomical event. On June 5, shortly before sunset as seen from Charlotte, Venus will start to cross a segment of the sun. Assuming suitable conditions, the phenomenon will be visible for a little over an hour in our geographical area. For everything that you ever wanted to know about the transit of Venus, see the following website - where you can also do everything from determining the timing of the event for any location in the world to buying a T-shirt to commemorate the event. CAAC Yahoo Group Consider signing on to the Charlotte Astronomers Yahoo Group site: The Yahoo website is used to share information about local astronomical events, star parties, informal gatherings, and general information related to club activities among members. The group is open to all CAAC members. FROM THE SECRETARY Newsletter questions or announcements? lease contact Skip Copp via at or at (704) about newsletter-related matters. Also, if your address changes, please notify Skip. 4

5 FROM THE TREASURER As of January 11, 2012 Operating Funds Balance $18, Strategic lan Balance $16, Total Cash Balance (Bank & CD) $35, CAAC Annual Dues and Fees $ Family or Individual membership. Dues are pro-rated for new members joining in the middle of the year. Membership renewals are due each year on October 1 st. $ Students up to 18 years of age. $ Observatory Fee. ayment of this fee allows the member unlimited access to and use of the club s observatory facilities and equipment after being checked out by the Observatory Director. $ Observatory ad Fee. This fee is assessed to members that have a private observing pad or observatory on the club s property. Any member wanting to build a private pad or observatory should contact the Observatory Director. NOTE: There are a significant number of delinquent members who have yet to send in their dues for lease send your dues to the treasurer within the next month or else you are now reading your last newsletter! Observers Handbook and Calendars The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Observers Handbook is in and will be available at the January meeting. Cost is $21.95 and 15 copies are available at this price. This is an invaluable resource that includes times and descriptions of upcoming astronomical events in 2012 as well as other observing information. The RASC Observers Calendar is also available for $16.95, 10 copies are available. Contact Jim Gaiser to get your copy of either publication. Sky & Telescope and Astronomy Magazine Subscriptions Discounted magazine subscriptions can be obtained through the club for the following price: Sky & Telescope: $32.95 per year Astronomy: $34.00 per year or $60.00 for two years lease make checks payable to CAAC and give them to Jim Gaiser, Treasurer, at a monthly meeting or mail to: Jim Gaiser 8624 Lenten Rose Court #203 Charlotte, NC

6 Club members are now able to renew their own subscriptions to S&T magazine via mail or phone. Members may mail in the renewal notices with payment or renew via phone using a credit card. Indicate on the renewal notice that you are a member of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club. This is only for renewals! The club treasurer must still process new subscriptions and must annually validate a subscriber s membership in the CAAC. This revised process only applies to S&T magazine. The club rate for S&T subscriptions is still $32.95 per year. Subscriptions to Astronomy Magazine, both new and renewal, must still go through the club treasurer to obtain the discounted club rate. LOOKING AHEAD CAAC Scholarship Auction Drive In an effort to raise money toward a scholarship to be awarded to a deserving UNCC student majoring in hysics or Astronomy, the CAAC will conduct an auction during its March, 2012 meeting. CAAC members are encouraged to donate any of the following articles or services that can be used in the March meeting auction. otential Auction Items: Astronomy or science related books old or new. Astronomy accessories eyepieces, tripods, filters, laser pointers, cameras, collimators, etc. Telescopes any size from 60 mm to 125 mm or larger with tripods if possible. Services e.g., someone may want to donate their service such as a 30-minute binocular training session of the night sky or a 30-minute Astrophotography session. Framed Astro-photos of planets, stars, constellations, clusters, the moon that someone may want to buy. You can bring donated auction items and your recommended minimum bids to up-coming meetings and give them to Bob Cantu or Tom Blevins, your CAAC auctioneers. CLUB CONTACTS resident: Mark Hoecker Vice resident: hil Foust Secretary: Skip Copp Treasurer: Jim Gaiser Observatory Director: Ken Steiner Web Master: Ralph Oleski ublic Outreach Coordinator: Rob Carl 6

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