From the Director

by Ludovico D’Angelo, Director AAAP

Happy return to our next season of the AAAP. This is our 49th year. Next year is the 50th year since the club’s inception, and we should plan something special. So now is the time to plan, send your ideas along to a board member or me. Let’s have a great time celebrating our club’s longevity.

I hope everyone had a great summer. Write an article for the Sidereal Times if you went to an interesting star party, visited a deep sky site, or anything astronomically related. We want to hear from you!

My summer finds me on vacation in Minnesota. This year I brought my 9.25-inch SCT, hoping to use it. And I did use it, but not necessarily for astronomy. It did end up being a great way to see fledgling eagles from about half a mile away. Let me explain. My family and I go to a resort called Madden’s. It is 2 ½ hours north of Minneapolis. So it does get very dark there, but because it’s north, and because of the time of year, the sun does not completely set until around 10 PM. And then there is the state bird to contend with: The Mosquito. Those little varmints are so bad, that even after dosing myself with cans of Deep Woods Off, they still find an empty spot on my skin. I did do one night of observing, and I was able to show many of the guests an object or two through the scope before they had to run away to the protection of the indoors. The Milky Way was wonderful to see in all its glory. It certainly is one highlight of the vacation. I was not able to observe every night so I set up my scope so that people throughout the day could enjoy an eagle’s nest and the young eagles in the nest. It was quite a sight to see. Did you know that an eagle’s nest could weigh more than a ton?

At the last AAAP Board meeting, we discussed our annual StarQuest outing, which is open to everyone. StarQuest will be September 23rd to 25th. As usual, we will have the upper lodge at the Hope Center, catered food, and some great raffle prizes. We also will have club member Robert Vanderbilt give a talk on astrophotography on Saturday. The title of his talk will be “Astrophotography: From the Unusual to the Extreme”. So all in all, it’s shaping up to be another great StarQuest event. We are getting all the rain, wind, and hurricanes out of the weather pattern now so I am hopeful for the best clear skies this year in north Jersey. See you there!

Our next meeting will be September 13th at 8 PM in Peyton Hall. We are happy to invite back Dr. Gillian Knapp from Princeton Astrophysics as our guest speaker for the meeting. Our new program chair, Ken Levy, is doing a great job in inviting guests to speak at our meetings.

I’ll see you all on the 13th!

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