recorded by AANC Secretary Alan Gould

contacts@aanc-astronomy.org (larger list, includes AANC club editors)

editors@aanc-astronomy.org (AANC member club editors only)

AANC meeting Jan 11, 2004

Minutes by Morris Jones.

Pre-meeting notes:

Thank you ASP for letting us use the teleconference! Happy Birthday Ken Frank!

And thank you to Ryan from Chabot for use of the meeting room.

1. Call to order: 10:09 a.m. by VP Tom Harris.

2. Role Call and Introductions:

Don Stone, EAS

Walt Heiges, SVAS

Carter Roberts, EAS

Tom Harris, MDAS

Leide Marie, MDAS

Ken Frank, SFAA

Jane Houston Jones, AANC

Morris Jones, AANC

Craig Scull, SJAA

Jim Scala, MDAS

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Moved and seconded (Don, Mojo) to approve the minutes of the previous

meeting. Carried unanimously.

4. Treasurer's Report

We have 12 members signed up for the current year. Last year we took in $522.33. We spent $867.38. Net loss of $345.05. Moved and seconded (Mojo, Carter) to accept the treasurer's report. Carried


Paid AANC members so far: EAS, TMW, EITU, MTIA, PAS, Randall Museum,

Stockton AS, Scope City, SCAS, SJAA, Tri-Valley, VMOA.

Account balances

$4,499.07 Franklin Money Fund

$696.90 Washington Mutual checking account

5. Elections for 2004 officers

Don Stone agrees to run again as treasurer, Alan Gould as

secretary. Walt Heiges nominated for President, Kenneth Frank for Vice


Moved and seconded (Mojo, Don) to close nominations and declare the

nominated candidates elected unanimously.

Thanks to Jane for her five years as president, and she plans to

continue participating as immediate past president.

6. Solicit AANC award participants - to be awarded at Astrocon2004

Award nominations: So far from previous minutes, the following have

been nominated: Ellis Myers (MDAS), Jim Scala MDAS) nominated for amateur; Debra

Fisher for professional; Big Bang Band for something; Scope City for


Moved and seconded (Mojo, Tom) to table award presentations to the

next meeting.

7. Meeting dates for 2004:

March 14 (to avoid EAS dinner and AstroCon

meeting), May 2, August 1, October 3, December 5. Meetings to continue

at LHS at 10 a.m.

Moved and seconded (Don, Walt) to set these dates for 2004 meeting

dates. Carried unanimously.

8. AstroCon 2004

Don Stone gave a status report on AstroCon 2004. It's undecided exactly

where the event will be held. Mills College is unfavorable financially.

9. WAA meeting at Ridgecrest.

Carter reports on the upcoming WAA meeting at Ridgecrest. They'll be

accepting nominees for the G. Bruce Blair award. AANC will be represented

by Carter or Don. EAS is nominating Terry Galloway. Mojo will write a

letter for Walt on some AANC letterhead and email it to Walt, authorizing

Don Stone to represent AANC at the WAA meeting.

10. G. Bruce Blair award

Moved and seconded (Ken, Walt) to nominate Jane Houston Jones for the G.

Bruce Blair award. Motion carried (Jane and Mojo abstaining). Jim Scala

will email a bio to Don for submission at the meeting.

Jane notes that anyone who wants Cassini outreach materials can send her

a request by email: jane.h.jones{at}jpl.nasa.gov. She has DVDs of the

Ringworld planetarium show, 30 minutes long, posters, bookmarks, all

sorts of goodies.

11. Club Reports

Club reports at this meeting were informal -- members please

email your full club reports to the secretary for inclusion in the

minutes. I didn't transcribe club reports, and added an extra plea to email those.

AANC club report from San Jose Astronomical Association

The SJAA calendar for 2004 is complete. See

< http://www.svpal.org/~jvn/year2004.htm> for the details. This will be

updated as speakers are scheduled.

In particular, please publish the date for the SJAA/Bay Area Auction

XXIV, April 4, 2004, a Sunday.

SJAA continues to be a busy club. In addition to the usual monthly

lecture meeting, we also have a telescope-making workshop, a beginner's

astronomy class, twice monthly public star parties in a San Jose park,

and numerous schoolyard star parties.

In particular, during calendar year 2003, we conducted 48 successful

events at schools, in addition to 29 that were aborted by weather; most

of these were re-scheduled (and included in the first count).

Year 2004 continues with a busy program, with two successes and 16 on

the schedule, with more requests coming in (this is for the first half

of the calendar year = second half of school year).

We strongly urge all clubs to seek opportunities to run events at

schools. It is the most important thing that astronomy clubs can do.

General-audience public star parties are highly desirable, but it's

generally impossible for a teacher to bring a class to an off-grounds

site; the logistics -- parental permissions, transportation, crowd

management -- are overwhelming. On the other hand, they can readily

have the students back at school for an evening session.

Contacts at school would be foremost, the PTA. We've also gotten

requests from individual teachers, principals, and school parents; the

latter have adequate influence at school to make it happen. See

< http://www.svpal.org/~jvn/> for advice for teachers and astronomers.

-- Jim Van Nuland, Secretary, San Jose Astronomical Association

Meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m.

AANC meeting Mar 14, 2004

Minutes by Alan Gould.

Next meeting is May 2 and may be a Chabot Space & Science Center, pending confirmation from Chabot people. (Alan Gould will not be able to attend that meeting.)

1. Call to order: 10:15 a.m. by VP Tom Harris.

2. Role Call and Introductions:

Mike Koop (SJAA)

Craig Scull (SJAA)

Walt Heiges SVAS, (AANC President)

Ken Frank (AANC VP, SFAA, Sidewalk Astronomers, Scope City)

Liede-Marie Haitsma (MDAS)

Tom Harris (MDAS)

Mike Portuesi (Pres SFAA, Messier Marathon Program Director)

Alan Gould (AANC Secretary, LHS)

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Moved and seconded (Mike P, Ken F) to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. Carried unanimously.

4. Treasurer's Report

Don Stone not present. From last meeting:

We have 12 members signed up for the current year. Last year we took in $522.33. We spent $867.38. Net loss of $345.05. Paid AANC members so far:

EAS, TMW, EITU, MTIA, PAS, Randall Museum, Stockton AS, Scope City, SCAS, SJAA, Tri-Valley, VMOA.

Account balances: $4,499.07 Franklin Money Fund

$696.90 Washington Mutual checking account

Alan Gould briefed the Board on certain issues. Regarding AANC website, question came up as to where there is list of paid AANC clubs. There are two places: in the Club section of the Resource Guide page (paid clubs have ** marked by them) and in the minutes. Notices of Board meetings are usually sent out a week in advance and they include agenda as well as request that club reports be e-mailed to Alan Gould.

Misc comments:

Walt: SVAS has great relationship with local newspapers. Liede-Marie: Bay Nature has an excellent calendar that lists MDAS events. Tom: Comet Neat may make a big apparition in May.

Old Business

5. AANC awards - to be awarded at Astrocon2004

Award nominations—so far from previous minutes, the following have been nominated:

Amateur Award: Jim Scala (MDAS)

Professional Award: Debra Fisher (UC Berkeley astronomer--extrasolar planet-finder, public talks)

Commercial Award: Sam Sweiss, manager of San Francisco Scope City.

Special Award: Morris Jones (nominated today by Mike P)

and Big Bang Band

It was moved (Mike P) and seconded (Ken) that we vote on an Award slate. Walt clarified that Special Award decision needs to be made before voting on a slate. Mojo got unanimous vote for vote for Special Award.

Above slate was voted--unanimously approved.

6. AstroCon 2004 July 20-24

Report from Mike K: There was a meeting of the Astrocon Board last night at Berkeley Marina Doubletree conference site. Facility is excellent. Rooms are $110/night. Board had dinner and meeting there. Speaker/schedules were discussed; David Levy, Don Machholltz, Gibor Basri are being lined up. Others possible speakers were discussed. There will be a Panel on Solar System Exploration. There will be field trips to Lick Observatory and Chabot Space & Science Center. There will be closing night banquet on Hornet ($65/person--general public $75). We need extra $1000 from co-hosts, e.g. from local clubs or AANC. Special guests being lined up: astronauts Alan Bean, Scott Carpenter, Buzz Aldrin. Website is ready for registrations http://www.astrocon2004.org/. There will be t-shirts, patches available. There are about 15 vendors already committed to coming to set up in vendor rooms.

New Business

8. Insurance issues for Clubs

Mike Koop: SJAA has lost insurance (as of Jan) as has everyone who has dealt with Fireman's Fund represented by Nuncio. SFAA will losing it. Tip came from Radio Astronomers club (ARRL) on where insurance could come from. Rates could go way up from a couple hundred to over $1000. Insurance through Astronomy League is $1000. Issues concerning Board coverage, sexual harassment, ADA requirements.

Recommendation: General liability may be all that is needed if above issues are handled without insurance. AANC contact each club to find out what each club's coverage is on a "declaration page". ARRL rate is about $400--may be one of the best available. Mike K seeks permission from AANC to represent multiple groups to ge.

Moved, seconded (Mike P, Ken F) and passed: AANC Board authorizes Mike Koop to investigate group insurance options for AANC and its member organizations.

9. National Dark Sky Week

Turn out unnecessary lights and promote local measures, ordinances to enhance Dark skies.

10. Astronomy Day (April 24)

Please give information to Ken F to update AANC Astronomy Day web page.

11. Money—AANC sponsorship for programs:

    • FPOA StarBQ (half of the food money)
    • CalStar
    • Shingletown (granted $200 from AANC in 2003)
    • Striking Sparks (From Nov 2003 AANC minutes, Board approved $200 to SCAS for an AANC-sponsored Striking Sparks Telescope for 2004.)
    • SFAA Loaner program (proposed)
    • Astrocon 2004 Hornet Banquet ($100 -- see below)
    • International Dark Sky Association (proposed)

Moved, seconded (Ken F, Mike P), and passed: AANC will give $100 seed money for Astrocon 2004 Hornet Banquet event and encourage AANC clubs to do likewise.

12. Club Reports

Secretary is not able to transcribe the details of oral reports given.

Please email your full club reports to the secretary for inclusion. In meeting minutes.

Hercules Stargazers:

After winter hibernation, the Hercules Stargazers will rev up the 2004 season with our first Stargaze of the year on Saturday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. at Foxboro Park in Hercules, weather permitting. The new flyers with our year's schedule are ready for distribution. Also, the City of Hercules has our full schedule in its city brochure. Our Spring stargazes after this Saturday will be on April 17 and May 15. We are looking forward to our events this year with some new enthusiasts with larger scopes (up to 20") than usual, and eager precocious youngsters. There will be no stargaze in June, as Dave and Esther will be in Israel to view and photograph the Venus Transit, and to provide public viewing for the locals.

Submitted by Dave Harris.

Morrison Planetarium and the California Academy of Sciences are currently closed to the public. The Academy will open its temporary facility in downtown San Francisco (875 Howard Street) on May 1st, where it will operate until sometime in 2007 while the Golden Gate Park facility is being completely reconstructed, along with a new, modernized planetarium. However, the temporary downtown site does not include a planetarium theater. Nevertheless, the Morrison will continue to provide skywatching and general astronomy information to the public and to the media as well as curriculum-related outreach to schools, using portable planetariums. Morrison continues to underwrite AM-broadcast in the SF radio market of the McDonald Observatory's popular "StarDate" program and provides skywatching information to various newspaper services. The Benjamin Dean Lecture series, featuring talks for the public by astronomers and space scientists, continues at the newly-renovated SF Jewish Community Center. Complete information about the Academy and the Morrison's programs during the renovation period is available online at http://www.calacademy.org [submitted by Bing Quock]

Mt Diablo Astronomical Society

ASP's Marni Berendsen put on a presentation at SFSU for "Nightsky Network Outreach Toolkit". Liede-Marie and myself were invited and we participated in the four-hour event. The result of which, we are going to be presented with a NASA Outreach Toolkit for our own MDAS Outreach Seminars.

On March 23rd, our club event's speaker will be Ken Croswell who will be speaking on his latest book entitled: Magnificent Mars.

March 20th is our Messier Marathon on Mt. Diablo.

March 27th is our first Public Night of the year.

The MDAS Board has approved a new membership fee for students. The fee will be $10.00.

The MDAS Secondary Star Party Site at Briones Regional Park has been extended through the 2004 year with a new contract with the Park District.

An additional note that the MDAS Board would like to provide to the AANC Website with the URL to access our latest (as well as past) newsletter entitled: Diablo Moonwatch. The URL is: http://www.mdas.net/html/newsletter.html

San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA)

The SJAA calendar is at http://www.svpal.org/~jvn/year2004.htm

SJAA/Bay Area Auction XXIV is April 4, 2004, a Sunday.

--Special Events--

March 20 -Sat- Annual Messier Marathon at Henry Coe Park

April 4 -Sun- Annual SJAA Auction, 1pm

Please email auction@sjaa.net with a description and a

photo of the item or a link to your own website for some

pre-swap publicity.

--ATM Classes--

March 27 -Sat- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

April 8 -Thu- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

April 24 -Sat- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

May 6 -Thu- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

May 22 -Sat- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

June 10 -Thu- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

June 26 -Sat- ATM Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

--Astronomy Classes--

April 9 -Fri- Astronomy Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

May 7 -Fri- Astronomy Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

June 11 -Fri- Astronomy Class at Houge Park, 7:30pm

--submitted by Craig Scull

Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society (SVAS)

In the month of January, SVAS hosted a talk by Don Macholtz. He entertained everyone with his wit and anecdotes. He spoke about his recently release book on the Messier objects and how to find them during a marathon. The SVAS Board authorized the purchase of his book to be sold for his signature. His books sold out immediately and a line formed for his signature.

In February, we were honored to have the amazing John Dobson in the house. John actually started the first grinding strokes on a mirror the club will use in a loaner program. His talk is as they all go. Let John go on a topic and you have John Dobson at his best. The audience donated over $700.00 to show their appreciation for the knowledge he imparted. During our Board meeting, the Membership Chairman reported our current member was up to 388. Hurray for our outreach programs and all the new folks that have found Astronomy as a way to occupy their spare time.

San Francisco Amateur Astronomers

San Francisco Amateur Astronomers: Completed our move to the Randall Museum. General Meeting February was John Dillon, Randall Science Curator, on Ancient Greek Astronomy. March speaker (3/17) is Rolfe Erickson, Sonoma State University, on meteor Tektites.

City Star Party January and February have been successful and well-attended, if hazy. Telescope Clinics service about five new telescope users per month, assisting with alignment and use of scopes. SFAA Messier Marathon is at Lake Sonoma 3/20. First Mount Tam public star party is Saturday 3/27. See website for more details: http://www.sfaa-astronomy.org/

San Francisco Sidwalk Astronomers

6 March Universe Premier was viewed by full house at the Randall. Halton Arp and family plus our own John Dobson were present and both spoke. If you missed it you can purchase a copy of "Universe - The Cosmology Quest" by emailing sidewalkastronomer@sbcglobal.net and we'll be happy to help you get a copy of the DVD. Sidewalk Astronomy goes well recently in 3 middle schools Science Night in Marin County. Scope Clinics are held at each SFAA sponsored Star Parties and have been quite active.

Scope City

18 February A raffle for astro prizes was held for all in attendance at the inaugural SFAA meeting of the Randall Museum. Sam, Maria and George passed out gifts to the lucky winners. Goodies were also given to SVAS for their upcoming StarBQ with John Dobson present for a photo op. Scope City gives out membership applications for clubs, if they send them in. [submitted by Ken Frank]

Fremont Peak Observatory Association (FPOA) Star-B-Q is July 17, 2004

Meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

May 2nd AANC Mtg - Lawrence Hall of Science

Members present, Tom Harris (and Leide Marie), Craig Scull, Walt Heiges, Dave Harris

Non-Profit Liability Insurance

Action: Mike Koop to Email an update to list. Price so far is above $1000

for group (assuming 350 active members), price falls when there are fewer

active members.

Award Slate

Awards to be handed out last day of Astrocon.

Even volunteers have to pay registration dues for that one day to attend the

awards ceremony.

Action: Walt to Email Jane about AANC letterhead

Astronomy Day

(Tom) Earth day coincided with Astronomy day, combined these events together with success

Overall discussion around successes that have been had with joining environmental events and fairs (having a table, offering public solar observing)

Email club reports to Alan Gould

Just a reminder

AANC meeting location

Meetings will continue to be at LHS, but once a year will try to have a meeting at Chabot (nice to walk around there)

Action: Walk to talk to Carter about meeting at Chabot and Alan about securing rest of meetings at LHS

AANC sponsorship of IDA (international dark sky association)

Tom Harris making motion to have AANC join the IDA at $50 level, seconded by Dave, Craig, Walt

Action: approved with condition that Walt looks into constitution to see if

we have a quorum. If we do not have a quorum then an Email will be sent out

to the rest of the members on the motion.


On track, some interesting issues with people getting access to The Hornet via a ferry to avoid high access costs

SFAA Loaner Scope program funding

(donation of a scope and such, and how to handle overall policywise or not)

Mike P not present but will carry this over to next agenda when he can attend

Email lists

Walt to talk to Mojo about structure of Email distribution lists related to AANC (e.g. looking for board-members-only list to use for internal discussion and/or voting)

Virtual meeting idea

Some discussion about having meetings virtually on phone, email etc, without anyone being physically present

Action: Walt to look into constitution to see about what's possible, as well as price of teleconferencing

Treasury Report

$4499.07 Franklin Money Fund

$696.90 Wasington Mutual Checking

Action: Walt to talk to Don Stone to find out about purpose of money funds and how used in the past


Meeting dedicated to former AAVSO president Janet Akyüz Mattei

Tom makes motion to adjourn meeting

Meeting Adjourned at noon

Next AANC meeting August 1st, there will be no meeting in July due to proximity to the holiday

October 3rd is next meeting after that

AANC meeting Aug 1, 2004

Minutes by Alan Gould.

Next meeting is Oct 3 and may be a Chabot Space & Science Center, pending confirmation from Chabot people. (Alan Gould will not be able to attend that meeting.)

1. Call to order: 10:15 a.m. by Pres Walt Heiges. Role Call and Introductions:

Walt Heiges (AANC President, SVAS)

Ken Frank (AANC VP, SFAA, Sidewalk Astronomers, Scope City, Fremont Peak)

Alan Gould (AANC Secretary, LHS)

Don Stone (AANC Treasurer, EAS)

Marion Weiler (Pres SMAS)

Mike Koop (SJAA)

Liede-Marie Haitsma (MDAS)

Jim Scala (MDAS)

Tom Harris (MDAS)

Mike Portuesi (Pres SFAA, Messier Marathon Program Director)

Carter Roberts (EAS)

David Harris (Hercules SG)

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

Minutes of previous meeting (May 2) did not get posted to the web. Apologies from the Secretary.

3. Treasurer's Report

Don Stone gave report on AstroCon. Net income (Income minus expenses) was $6842. This money will be divided among the organizations (AL 40%, AANC & EAS 20%,...)

4. AANC Membership

We have 18-19 members paid up for the current year. Clubs must be notified that membership dues

Account balances: $4,499.07 Franklin Money Fund (Mar 2004)

$696.90 Washington Mutual checking account (Mar 2004)

5. Old Business

5a. AstroCon 2004 July 20-24

AstroCon 2004 is over and pictures to published on website soon http://www.astrocon2004.org/. Excess T-shirts are available for $10 each.

Ken Franks moved Carter seconded that AANC pay for AANC Awardees AstroCon Banquet Dinner on the Hornet. Motion passed.

5b. Astronomy Day

Ken found out Astronomy Day dates from Astronomical League. New dates are posted on AANC Astronomy Day page

5c. IDA membership

Tome Harris moved Marion sconded that AANC pays International Dark Sky Association (IDA) $100 for IDA membership. Motion passed.

5d. AANC Group Insurance Fact Finding

Mike Koop: SJAA got insurance from Seabury & Smith $1060. They lost the check. After 2nd check, they cancelled, saying SJAA is not AL member. SFAA paid $320 for insurance from same company (insured for $200/20 events). Company lost the application and SFAA had to resend, but policy has not been cancelled. SJAA is now negotiatiing with NIAC for $1600 (includes $200 reg fee). Could AANC approach Seabury & Smith? Can WAA approach Seabury & Smith. Should clubs rejoin AL? AL is changing bylaws to something other than 100% membership required. We might negotiate change in AL bylaws to have set fee per club (e.g. $250) and additional small fee per member. Could AANC become a member of AL?

Mike Portuesi moved Carter seconded that Mike Koop represent AANC in discussions with AL regarding membership requirement. Motion passed.

AANC clubs need to be informed of issues with regard to benefits of having club insurance and consequences of not having insurance. Accidents at star parties can get costly in terms of liability.

Jim Scala: Mt Diablo state park covers insurance for MDAS star parties.

5e. AANC Sponsorships (Ken)

FPOA StarBQ was well attended (about 120) according Mike Koop who attended.

Walt: Sacramento Star-B-Q was clouded out, but 250-300 people showed up and had

nice BarBQ and nice door prizes from Scope City. FPOA StarBQ also had prizes from Scope City.

Shingletown event went well according to Ken Franks. Community involvement is great.

Well attended--runway was full. A lot of big Dobs. There were a couple talks and good vendor turnout.

SJAA CAL Star is scheduled for Oct 14-16 at Lake San Antonio. Expect about 200 people if it's like previous years.

Walt represented AANC in interview with Sacramento Bee article on Blue Moon.

5f. SFAA Loaner Scope/planisphere program funding

Ken: SFAA is requesting $150 for getting planispheres and red lights (Chandler). Mike Koop recommends skymaps.com. There are also Sky Challengers and Uncle Al's Sky Wheels from LHS. Products bought with AANC money should be labelled as having been supported by AANC.

Marion: perhaps to stretch the funds, AANC could ask that clubs provide matching funds

Marion moved Tom Harris seconded that AANC provide SFAA up to $150 for getting planispheres and red lights provided SFAA match the amount. Motion passed.

5g. Email lists

Mojo Email list for board-members-only (Walt)

5h. Check constitution and price of teleconferencing (Walt)

5i. AANC Award for Debra Fischer.

Need to create new plaque and deliver award to Debra Fischer (Ken)

6. New Business

Topic for 2005 AANC Conference

Jim Scala handed out proposal for a topic for a 2005 AANC Summer meeting: Hands-On Activities with Your Telescope. Also How to Buy a Telescope. Things like how to do observations of cataclysmic variables, CCD astrophotography, asteroid hunting, double stars, planetary observing, drawing, .... Speakers could be local active amateurs. Organization: a chairperson can be appointed and each club provide volunteer for committee responsible for the program.

There are questions about what the audience would be. Would people who are primarily interested in observing come to a conference? There are arm-chair astronomers who like to come to lectures a lot.


-- Ken: SF Sidewalk Astronomers phoneline will be ending (Jane can support it anymore)

-- dillan {at}tweney.com asked about upcoming meteor shower. He's doing newspaper article. Contact him if you have info.

-- Tm Harris: Aug 11 Mt Diablo is available as a place to observe meteor shower. Contact MDAS through website.

Meeting adjourned 12:32.

Next AANC meeting is October 3rd

Club Reports—

Secretary is not able to transcribe the details of oral reports given.

Please email your full club reports to the secretary for inclusion. In meeting minutes.

Hercules Stargazers

May 15, 2004 -- Stargaze at Foxboro Park in Hercules. Two volunteers with three scopes, two 10" Dobs and one 5" compact Maksutov. About 10 visitors from the neighborhood. The seeing was good for Jupiter and some faint fuzzies.

June 8, 2004 -- Dave and Esther traveled to Israel to view and photograph the Venus Transit. First and Second contacts were seen visually from a location north of Jerusalem using the 5" Maksutov borrowed from Hercules Stargazer Steve Feinberg. Then the scope was taken down, packed in its case, and taken to Tel Aviv University where there was a public viewing event in progress. So we were "in transit during the transit"! After setting up, we borrowed a camera body from an Israeli amateur we had met on a previous trip. We viewed the Third and Fourth Contacts and photographed the transit just before third Contact. There were about 200 visitors and about 20 telescopes set up, some with digital video cameras recording the entire transit.There was also an exhibit and a series of talks that day in an adjacent building. While we were there, two TV crews interviewed those with telescopes, including us. One was from Israel TV, the other from the History Channel. Our interview with Israel TV did not make the evening news, but we saw ourselves for a second in the background. We're keeping an eye out for the History Channel's story on the Transit. It was a full day of astronomy.

July 10, 2004 -- Back in Hercules for the scheduled stargaze at Foxboro Park. Four volunteers with two scopes, one 10" and one 20" provided stellar views for 10-12 visitors. Hilary Small provided "Lunar Cookies" for the attendees.

July 17, 2004 -- Stargaze cancelled due to conflict with FPOA Star-B-Q.

July 20-24, 2004 -- AstroCon 2004. Hercules Stargazer Steve Feinberg attended all four days, while Dave attended from Friday afternoon through Saturday. I heard several great speakers, including David Levy and Tony Hallas. I finally bought a green laser pointer for use at the Stargazes, from one of the convention's vendors.

Remaining Stargazes for 2004 -- August 14, September 4, October 9 and 16, November 6.

Submitted by Dave Harris.

Morrison Planetarium and the California Academy of Sciences are currently closed to the public. Complete information about the Academy and the Morrison's programs during the renovation period is available online at http://www.calacademy.org

Mt Diablo Astronomical Society


From Spring into Summer, MDAS has enjoyed two Public

Nights with good attendance and Private Nights on Mt. Diablo with

pretty modest weather. This year, it wasnât the temperature, but the

wind that gave us the most problems. One of our members' 20-inch

StarMaster took a 180 degree turn all by itself on one occasion. It

came to a smooth stop as if there was an invisible amateur at the

controls. We all saw it and just looked at each other in amazement,

then agreed it was time to go.

At our last regular meeting, we had Alex Filippenko speak

to us about the Universe. Next month, we will have Gordon Squires

speaking about the Spitzer Space Telescope. And in September, we

will have Jeff Adkins speaking on Gamma Ray Telescopes.

From AstroCon2004: Jim Scala wanted to express his

appreciation to everyone in the AANC for his Amateur Astronomer of

the Year Award. He thanks you all very much.

-MDAS Rep Tom Harris.

San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA)

The SJAA calendar is at http://www.svpal.org/~jvn/year2004.htm

SFAA. Sidewalk Astronomy is alive and well. We held a solar viewing at the SF

Main public library, more solar viewing at the Randall, public night at

FPOA. Scope Clinics are held at each SFAA sponsored Star Party as are most AANC

sponsor clubs. We are always seeking more volunteers to help out with new

telescope users for our SFAA New User Clinics. SFSA hotline will be

cancelled. Refer to SFAA hotline 415 289 6636 or 289 NO FOG [Kenneth Frank]

Scope City donated to these groups: AstroCon 2004, Shingletown, Striking

Sparks & RFO, SVAS, SFAA, SJAA. Scope City donated a 4" AstroPhysics focuser to

Chabot. Sam & Maria enjoyed the Hornet Dinner and awards ceremony. [Kenneth Frank]

Peninsula Astronomical Society (PAS) -- Park wins award - "Best Place for Star Gazing"!!!

Congratulations, PAS Members!--- Park Wins Awards ---Readers of

the Palo Alto Weekly newspaper have voted Foothills Park as

the "Best Park in Palo Alto" and the "Best Place for Star Gazing."

Readers appreciate the beauty of the park as well as the opportunities

for canoeing and fishing on Boronda Lake, hiking on 15 miles of trails,

great campfire programs and wonderful picnic facilities. Staff is

pleased that the City's partnership with the Peninsula Astronomical

Society to provide free monthly "star parties" at Vista Hill has been

recognized. Following our campfire programs, park visitors are invited

to conclude their evening at the park with a view of the stars and

galaxies. Members of the Astronomical Society share their sophisticated

equipment with visiting families and help to point out the constellation

of the month. The next Star Party at Foothills Park is scheduled for

Saturday evening, August 21.

---from http://www.city.palo-alto.ca.us/manager/20040806/weeklymemo.html

[Submitted by: William B. Phelps]

AANC meeting Oct 3, 2004

We were one or two reps shy of a quorum, so no official business meeting could be held.

Next meeting is Dec 5, 2004.

Points discussed unofficially:

Old business

Debra Fischer's award, Ken—Basque Cultural Center SFAA Annual Dinner will have Debra as speaker.

Her AANC Professional Award could be presented there.

Insurance issues, Mike

Don sent AANC grant money to SFAA for planiphere's they purchased.

Meeting dates for 2005—Tentatively: Jan 11 (or 23), Mar 27, May 22, Aug 21, Oct 16, and 2006 Jan 15.

Astronomics web link request—consensus was that if a company pays AANC dues, we may list them in AANC Resource Guide. It's not essential that they be in N. California, as long as they serve N. California.

John Dobson at the Randall, Ken is assiting with the class. At http://astro.jotabout.com there are notes for John Dobson's Telescope Making Class

Ken is administrator for the Dobson 2000 e-mail list (dobson2000@whiteoaks.com) for sharing ideas on telescope making.

Fall Astonomy Day at the Randall will be Oct 23, organized by SFAA and SFSA with talks, solar observing, making telescopes, and evening observing—Mike, Ken.

Agenda items not discussed:

Old Business:

AANC Stickers, Walt

Email Lists, Walt

Teleconference, Walt

AANC Annual Meeting/Conference, Walt,Jim

New business

Jpgs of new Board members

www.the-science-lab.com web link and reciprocal link request

Next AANC meeting is Dec 5, 2004

Club Reports—

Secretary is not able to transcribe the details of oral reports given.

Please email your full club reports to the secretary for inclusion. In meeting minutes.

Hercules Stargazers

August 14,2004 -- Stargaze held at Foxboro Park with four regular Stargazers and two new locals. There were three scopes set up, but the sky fogged over about 10 p.m. However, after closing up the building and getting ready to leave, the sky cleared, so at 10:45 p.m. Dave and Sherry held an impromptu stargaze from the sidewalk, which lasted over an hour before the sky again fogged over. Sherry said it was the best viewing session from Foxboro Park ever!

September 4, 2004 -- Stargaze cancelled due to Dave being out of town.

Next Stargazes: October 9, (16th cancelled) November 6.

Break until April 2, 2005

Submitted by Dave Harris

Mt Diablo Astronomical Society—http://www.mdas.net/html/newsletter.html

Over the Labor Day weekend, Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society had their

annual Public Star Party at Glacier Point, Yosemite. We had a few

hundred people on all three nights. It was a tremendous success.

MDAS now has 181 members.

We are also looking forward to the Mt. Diablo Observatory Associations'

building of the telescope building on the mountain this coming October


I am also personally excited to finally get my Meade telescope binoculars

set up. The highest power rating is 50 X 90, or 1 degree field of

view. I am waiting now for my two fine adjustment collimators to arrive

in two weeks. Photo below. The photo does not show my latest

improvements. I take a new one another day.

-MDAS Rep Tom Harris.

San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA)

The SJAA calendar is at http://www.svpal.org/~jvn/year2004.htm


Scope City [Kenneth Frank]

AANC meeting Dec 5, 2004

1. Call to order 10:10 am

2. Roll call

Walt Heiges (AANC President)—Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society SVAS

Don Stone (AANC Treasurer)—Eastbay Astronomical Society (EAS)

David Harris, Esther Fein, Lance Shaw—Hercules Stargazers

Alan Gould (AANC Secretary)—Lawrence Hall of Science LHS

Liede-Marie Haitsma—Mt Diablo Astronomical Society MDAS

Ken Frank (AANC VP, SFAA, Sidewalk Astronomers, Scope City),

Mike Portuesi (President SFAA, Messier Program Director)—San Francisco Amateur Astronomers SFAA

Craig Scull—San Jose Astronomical Association SJAA

Mike Koop—San Jose Astronomical Association SJAA

Keith Payea—Sonoma County Astronomical Society SCAS, Valley of the Moon Observatory Association VMOA

Richard Ozer—MDAS, TMW, Shingleton

3. Minutes of previous meeting

Alan moved, Ken seconded to accept minutes of Aug 1, 2004 meeting with 3 minor corrections. Passed.

Mike P moved, Ken seconded to accept minutes of the Oct 3 meeting. Passed.

4. Treasurer's report and membership drive, Don, Walt

For period ended Nov 30, 2004:

Income: $421.90

Spent $813.64 -> Lost $391.74

Total Current AANC funds: $6,214.41

Conference accounting:

Net Income $11,492.62

AL gets $4597.06

AANC & EAS each gets $1722.89

ALPO, AAVSO, SJAA each get $1149.26

5. Old business

Debra Fischer will receive her award at the SFAA Dinner SSF Basque Cultural Center on Jan 22, 2005


Insurance issues, Mike K.

SJAA had Fireman's fund policy for about 5 years, but is now discontinued. $2 million coverage.

Seabury & Smith (S&S), who do AL insurance, had suitable policy. Quoted $1067/year. Rate based on # members ($1.50/member plus a little bit.) and # events mainly. A number of clubs have insurance from S&S and costs for some are of the order of $300. SJAA and SFAA experienced that S&S often lost critical papers (like checks). Another quote was gotten from NIAC for $1600. It will be $250 less for next year. Good strategy for a small club may be to go through AL. Experience with NIAC is good. They require nonprofit 501c3 status. Richard advises to not get insurance for events at which club is volunteering

Seed Money Funding, Don, Ken

Ken moved and Mike P seconded that AANC give the following in memory of Franklyn Creese, EAS member who recently passed away

$150 FPOA StarBQ

$200 Shingletown (Richard Ozer represented, occurs in June)

$200 Striking Sparks (Keith Payea represents, give 6" Dobs to schools; occurs Mar 19, 2005 see sonomaskies.org)

$200 Chabot Telescope Makers Workshop (Richard Ozer represented; read formal request and description of program)

CalStar (Mike K represented; no money needed at this time)

Motion passed.

There was discussion about purposes of the grants/seed money, connections to public outreach, and what AANC mission is.

AANC Stickers, Walt is looking into having stickers printed up for AANC donated items.

Email Lists, Walt is in charge now.

Teleconference, Walt

$90 fee for 2 hours. For now, we'll forget about this option.

If cheaper option becomes available, we should pursue.

AANC Meeting, Walt, Jim

Ken moved and Keith seconded to have AANC Board meetings on the following dates in 2005:

Jan 23, Mar 20, May 22, Aug 21, Oct 16, Dec 11, and Feb 12, 2006.

Motion passed.

6. New business

Election of AANC officers, Walt

The following are nominations for AANC officers:

President: Walt Heiges

VP: Ken Frank

Secretary: Alan Gould

Treasurer: Don Stone

Mike P moved and Don seconded that nominees be elected by acclamation. Motion passed.

AANC Award nominees

Amateur: Mike Koop (SJAA, nominated by Craig Skull)

[from last year...Ellis Myers (MDAS) was nominated]

Special: [from last year...Big Bang Band]



Walt will send out to clubs, e-mail list, request for award nominees

[Nominations sent after the Board meeting at end of these minutes].

AANC Conference proposed dates Sep 1-3, 2005

Venue possibilities Kirkwood (Ilona), ski resorts (Don Maccholtz—Starry Starry Nights), Camp Mather.

Topics to be discussed.

Possible Speakers: Steve Gottlieb on DSO's IC/NGC project; John Dillon on Ancient Astronomy, Ken

Astronomics web link request

www.the-science-lab.com web link and reciprocal link request

Alan will add link to Astronomy Businesses for vendors outside N California. Probably link to existing list, such as that on SJAA site.

AANC domain name, AANC-ASTRONOMY.ORG will be renewed. [expires on December 24]

A five-year renewal on DOTSTER.COM is $67.95.

7. Club reports

8. Ajourn

Club Reports—

Eastbay Astronomical Society (EAS)

The EAS is going to embark on a trial run of EAS lectures to be in the Mega dome throatier with special speakers with snaxs afterwards in the cafe area rather than in the Physics classroom. To attend the lectures, you have to have your namebadge. This entitles you to hear the lecture for free as an EAS member. The next lecture is December 12, 2004. Its a combo party, lecture, & observing session through the Chabot telescopes. This event starts at 6:00 pm in the CSSC's Soda boardroom with with Dr. Steve Massie speaking on "Global Observations of Pollution from Space"

In other EAS news longtime member Franklyn G. Creese passed away on October 24th, 2004 at 79. Franklyn was a past president and [a Veep of the EAS many, many times. He was a member for 67.5 years (24654 days), having joined the Society on april 27th 1937. Franklyn was a member of the EAS longer than anyone else. He was the husband of Anne S. Creese who passed away on October 21st of last year. both of them had a lifelong interest in the Burns Library. A kind and gentle soul, we shall all miss him.

Hercules Stargazers

    • October 9, 2004 -- Stargaze at Foxboro Park, Hercules: two scopes, a 20" and a 10", with four Regular Stargazers and a few visitors from the neighborhood. Clear sky, many objects seen.
    • October 16, 2004 -- Stargaze cancelled due to Coordinator out of town on family business.
    • November 6, 2004 -- Last scheduled Stargaze at Foxboro Park for 2004. With 5 Regular Stargazers and 5 scopes ranging in size from 90 mm to 20", several objects were viewed by the group and visitors from 7:45 p.m. until 10:15 p.m. cloud cover. Hot tea and homemade "Lunar Cookies" were enjoyed by all. Some plans for possible dark site group observing during the winter were discussed. Received feedback from woman in neighborhood about her daughter inspired by coming to Hercules Stargazers 10 years ago, now a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in Astrophysics.
    • Next Foxboro Park Stargaze: April 2, 2005.
    • Submitted by Dave Harris

Mt Diablo Astronomical Society—http://www.mdas.net/html/newsletter.html

Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS).

The SCAS currently has 145 dues-paying members. At our November 10th General meeting, member Robert Davis presented "What's Going on Out There", a recap of the year in space, including the "X" Prize, the Mars missions, Cassini, and highlights of upcoming events. Our usual public star party was held at Youth Community Park on November 20th. Our Next is scheduled for Saturday, December 18th. The next SCAS general meeting is on Wednesday, December 8th at 7:30 PM. Member Jack Welch, who is also the principal lecturer for the RFO Night Skies Classes, will present a talk regarding how astronomers measure things such as distance, size, position, motion, temperature, age, and more. We will also elect our officers for the next year at this meeting. Results will be included in our next report. We also have School star parties planned at Dunbar Elementary in Petaluma on December 15th, and Windsor Elementary in Windsor on February 17th. [submitted by Keith Payea,SCAS President]


With John Dobson in our midst, you never know what will pass or when there'll be an impromptu "Sidewalk Happening". Here's an example: While the Myer family was in their home figuring their newly acquired mirror with the assistance of John Dobson on a San Francisco City street corner over the Thanksgiving weekend, some individual(s) absconded with the telescope! It was just the tube and rocker, minus the eyepiece and mirror; not very useful to someone unfamiliar with telescopes. In the rocker box were a handful of John's Sidewalk Astronomy flyers...w/ John's phone number. Well, someone called and we now have a happy ending. The moral: don't leave your telescope unattended, unless you have John's number emblazoned on the OTA or a stack of flyers in the rocker. As John wrote in one of Plato's tomes, "If lost & found, please read and return". At least the theives could have read the mirror for them &-) We've had sporadic Sidewalk Astronomy due to the unpredictable sky. The "in" location seems to be 9th and Irving these days. The last John Dobson telescope making class this year with the assistance of Kenneth Frank consisting of: Nancy & Walt, Canek & Raul and Gareth & Morgan making fine 10"ers at the Randall Museum will conclude with mirror coating thanks to Bob Fies http://home.covad.net/~alcoat/ this Thursday, December 9th. We're all very excited to premier our new fleet of telescopes for the public. Upcoming events include: Nicasio School Star Party on Tuesday December 14th. Join us. [submitted by Ken Frank]

Scope City.

Scope City On December 3rd in the CSM planetarium Sam, Eddie, Maria & Kenneth gave a talk to the members of SMCAS on new and exciting products available for this Holiday Season at Scope City. The show and tell covered an array of practical accessories. Many questions were asked focused on Lumicon filters. Both Darryl Stanford and Ken Lum were instrumental with their analysis and historical comments. It was a fun session enjoyed by all. As always in fostering and revitalizing membership in the astronomical community, Scope City offers discounts for new members of local Clubs, towards the purchase of a new telescope or eyepiece. Show proof of membership. Scope City hands out membership applications for clubs, if they send them in. We've got the new beast Meade 16"er up for oggling as well as local astronomer's ccd images decorating the walls. John Dobson will be present from 10 o'clock for the one day only event, TeleVue Days Sunday December 19th. One brand spankin' new type 6 Nagler (focal length of your choice!) will be given away free. Just show up and fill out or submit a business card for the raffle. You need not be present to win. Maria will draw the winner, so be nice to her. [submitted by Ken Frank]

Nominations for AANC Awards:

From: "Keith Payea" <kpayea{at}pacbell.net>

To: <contacts@aanc-astronomy.org>

Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2004 11:37:07 -0800

Amateur: Len Nelson. Len is a tireless volunteer who does all of the SCAS school star parties, and is currently the coordinator for the Striking Sparks program. He is also a docent at the Robert Ferguson Observatory and puts in many hours supporting public astronomy there as well.

Professional: Dr. Ken Freeman of the Australian National University in Canberra. Ken made the rounds of a couple of astronomy clubs in California last October. We at SCAS were lucky enough to be one of them. He was very friendly and gracious, and gave a really interesting talk on Omega Centauri.

Commercial: SCAS has received some nice support from "Out of This World" in Mendocino. They are off the beaten path up on the coast. The folks in the shop are very nice people. They also do business on-line as DiscountTelescopes.com. You can read about them at http://www.discounttelescopes.com/aboutus.asp

Keith Payea

President, Sonoma County Astronomical Society


I can support the commercial award going to the Blacks of "Out of this World" in Mendocino. Great people!

Denni Medlock

Astronomy Programs Coordinator

Chabot Space & Science Center

10000 Skyline Blvd


I am also in support of the Commercial Nomination for Out of This World in Mendocino. Their store is an unexpected treasure in the area.

Dave Harris

Hercules Stargazers


The Mount Diablo Astronomical Society (MDAS) would like to nominate Marshal Merriam for his outstanding research on the life of George Madeira, the founder of California's first astronomical observatory. Marshal is also spearheading an effort to correctly relocate the state historical marker commemorating this observatory. The marker is located in Volcano, California and has an incorrect inscription and is in the wrong location. Marshal is volunteering at the request of the Amador County Archivist. This whole subject is best described in Marshal's own words, so I have attached a recent article he wrote on the topic (.rtf file, open in word or wordpad). Richard Ozer, MDAS President


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 09:21:26 -0800

To: Alan Gould

From: Andrew Fraknoi

Subject: Nomination for AANC Professional Award

... I'd like to nominate someone close to home for the professional award, and that is Suzanne Chippindale, the Coordinator of Educational Programs at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

Suzy has been a key person in the development of Project ASTRO, Family ASTRO (both of which rely on the talents of amateur astronomers here and around the country) and now in the amazing growth of the Night Sky Network. http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/about.cfm

Her family activities for the national Family ASTRO project have been wonderfully down-to-Earth introductions to the night sky, the Moon, and the planets for families and have been very popular with families of all backgrounds. From the constellation cookie recipe to the Night Sky Treasure Hunt, from light and color activities to the Moon high jump, she has been very creative in finding ways to bring astronomical concepts to a widely diverse audience.

Before coming to the ASP, Suzy taught community college and ran the college planetarium in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before that, she was on the staff at the Hayden Planetarium in New York City and the Griffith in Los Angeles.

Here in the Bay Area, she has run dozens of workshops for teachers, families, and has given talks for the public, including a stint as a planetarium lecturer at the Morrison Planetarium. She is one of the best "goodwill ambassadors" for astronomy and astronomy education in the Bay Area.

If you would like, I would be happy to send a copy of her resume and more information to the right person. Please let me know what else you need and what the deadline is.

Andrew Fraknoi, Chair, Astronomy Program - Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Rd., - Los Altos Hills, CA 94022, USA - Telephone: (650) 949-7288 -