Minutes of the March 17th Board Meeting of the AAAP

by James Poinsett, Secretary

  • The meeting was called to order at 6:45 pm.  The entire board except for Kate Otto was in attendance as well as several members of the club.
  • The first item of business was replacing Kate Otto as Program Chair.  Her new position and move to NY City has made it impossible for her to finish her term. John Miller, Ira Polans and Prassad Ganti will form a Program Committee to finish Kate’s term. The board approved and thanked them taking over the responsibilities.
  • Michael Wright agreed to act as the Nominating Committee and to present a slate of candidates to the membership at the next meeting to be voted on in June.
  • The Night Sky Network was discussed. The main issue is the commitment involved, financial and otherwise. More research is needed. Another possibility brought up was the Astronomical League.
  • The next topic brought up was the website is due for a make-over. There was no disagreement. Mike Wright and Surabhi will work on it and aim to have a beta version ready for September. One suggestion made was for updated member pictures.
  • The camera for the video project, the Mallincam, has arrived. Brian has done some preliminary testing and the camera works. Some initial testing on the donated telescopes will be done at Rex’s house, then more thorough work at the observatory.
  • There was some discussion on the equipment being used at the observatory, which scopes to use? Should the HB refractor be replaced? Currently things stand this way:
    • The Losmandy mount has been removed
    • There is a pier that came with the donated C14.  It will be checked to see if it can replace the mount holding the HB refractor.
    • The board was polled whether each person wanted to replace the HB refractor or keep it. The board was evenly split so it was decided to keep it for this observing season but to mount it on the second paramount side by side with the ten inch Astrograph from the Dixey donation.
    • The donated C14 will be tested side by side with the current C14 to decide if there is significant difference for the newer one to replace the current one.
    • The observatory will not open for public nights until May to allow installation of the video display system and upgrading of the mounts.
  • It was requested to move the club banking from 3rd Federal to PNC, the bank is closer and more convenient. The board approved the move.
  • There will be a members night at the observatory on May 16th.
  • There will be a club trip to Cherry Springs state park July 17-19 or June 19-21, this will be discussed at the next general meeting.
  • Trips to the Naval Observatory and the Bell Labs Horn antennae were tabled for now due to lack of time.
  • In new business Larry talked about pre-planning for an eclipse trip for the August 2017 total eclipse.
  • The possibility of installing a concrete observing pad at the observatory site in lieu of building a second observatory. This would give a more stable place for member scopes with the possibility of providing electricity to observers.
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