By Jeff Bernardis, Director
Well – another once in a lifetime opportunity to see an astronomical event, and another disappointment. This time, of course, it was the occultation of Regulus – the subject of last month’s meeting – that was clouded out. Hopefully we’ll have better luck at the next one, whatever it may be.
As we near the end of the club year, and the start of the public observing season, there are several modest projects that we are undertaking at the observatory. I’m bringing this up because we can always use an extra set of hands to get some of these things done.
On the observatory building itself, the extreme cold we had this past year caused the slab to rise up a bit. This has happened in the past, but this time, it lifted the roof above the computer room/bathroom to the point where the roof was binding. Even now, after the slab has gone back down, the roof is still tighter that it should be. It is operable, and it won’t get in the way of the public season, but we are starting to talk to contractors to see what our options are.
We are also starting to price gravel so that we can create a parking area out of what has become a mud mess on the south side of the property. This is a project where we will need some hands. In addition to spreading the gravel, we are thinking of replacing and lengthening the drainage pipe we currently have installed. The best time to do this obviously is before we spread any gravel, but we would like to have the gravel on hand so that we can do the job right. This will take coordination and as it gets closer we will let everyone know our schedule.
Finally there are two projects being undertaken with the telescopes themselves. We have been talking about putting the refractor on the Gemini mount and we hope to finally that sometime over the next month. Also, we would like to get a side-by-side evaluation of the newly donated C14 against our current C14. If merited, we will swap the scopes. The current thought is that we will sell the scope that we do not use.