October 9, 2012 AAAP Meeting Minutes

by Michael Wright, Secretary

After a brief delay for member to find the new meeting location, the meeting was called to order by Director Ludy D’Angelo. He welcomed everyone to the meeting and reminded members that 2012-2013 membership dues are now due.

Kate Otto, Program Chair, introduced the speaker, Dr. Rashid Sunyaev, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik. Dr. Sunyaev explained how he and Prof. Yakov B. Zel’dovich of the Moscow Institute of Applied Mathematics theorized that electrons associated with gas in galaxy clusters scatter the cosmic microwave background radiation, which led to a theory for the evolution of density fluctuations in the early universe.

Before leaving to drive Dr. Sunyaev home, Kate proposed a combined fishing and astronomy trip to Maine.

After a brief break, Ludy reconvened the business portion of the meeting.

  1. Board Meeting: The October 3, 2012 meeting was cancelled due to a lack of a quorum.
  2. 50th Anniversary Dinner: Ludy announced that the 50th anniversary dinner that was planned for November has been postponed until the spring. The dinner will probably be held in a local restaurant because Prospect House is too expensive.
  3. Secretary’s Report/Sidereal Times: The editors were planning a special booklet to be distributed at the anniversary dinner in November. Since the dinner is postponed to the spring, the deadline for submitting articles has been extended. The deadline for the November regular issue of Sidereal Times will be twelve days before the next meeting. Ludy said that we should include anniversary related articles in the November issue anyway. He asked members to submit photos and reminiscences to the editors for the November issue.
  4. Treasurer’s Report: No report
  5. Program Report: No Report
  6. Planetarium Show/Observatory Night: Bill Murray reported that the public planetarium show/observatory night planned by the museum for Oct. 19 has been postponed to November because of a lack of participation.
  7. Outreach Report: David Letcher announced that outreach star parties are planned for Oct. 16 at Linwood Middle School in North Brunswick and Oct. 23 in South Brunswick. Anyone interested in helping should contact David.
  8. Observatory Report: John Church reported that Bear Claw Exteriors power washed and painted the exterior of the observatory. Rex Parker reported that Team 6 had many visitors on their last observatory night despite poor sky conditions. Michael Wright reported that Team 4 was also very busy with visitors. Ludy reported that Brick Yard Road is still not open for AAAP’s use. He remains in contact with the park superintendent about the issue. Teams are no longer required to post someone at the parking lot because visitors appear to have learned the way to the observatory. Repairs to the power supply for the new G-11 mount were discussed. John Giles and Jeff Bernardis agreed to work on the power supply.
  9. Observatory Donation: Ludy reported that the next step is to prepare a sketch to submit to Jenny Jump for approval.
  10. Board Meeting: announced that the next one will be January 15.
  11. Princeton Adult School: John Giles announced that he received a request from Princeton Adult School for someone to teach an adult astronomy class including sessions at the observatory. Ludy said that this would be too big of a commitment for the club; however, we could put a notice in Sidereal Times to see if any individual members would be interested. Mary suggested that they contact Princeton Astrophysics Department.
  12. Facebook: Michael encouraged members to “friend” the AAAP on Facebook. The club page has announcements and event listings that he will update.
  13. 50th Anniversary Booklet: Surabhi explained that she and Kate have looked through the archive and found pictures, which she is digitizing. More are needed for Sidereal Times and the anniversary booklet. If members have any that they would like to share, please submit them to Surabhi.
  14. Loaner Scopes: Mary asked what scopes the club has for loan. Ludy replied that currently the club has an 8-inch Orion dob and a PST at the observatory, which the members can borrow. He suggested that this be publicized in Sidereal Times.

Ludy adjourned the meeting.

Before the meeting Mary Hayes passed out name tags that she prepared for the members to wear. Thank you Mary.

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