recorded by AANC Secretary Alan Gould

Minutes for 12 Feb 2006 AANC Board Meeting

1. Call to order 10:09 am Teleconference phone number is 1 866 744-9692

Passcode is sent out to board members via e-mail.

After signing on during roll call please press *6 to mute your mic so there won't be background noise. Press *6 again to make a comment.

2. Roll call - Alan will start this roll call as he initiates the phone call.

Mike Portuesi, Ken Frank, Carter Roberts, Dan Zuras, Walt Heiges, Dave Harris, John Dillon, Mike Koop, Liede Marie Haitsma., Marion Weiler, Don Stone, Alan Gould

3. Approve minutes http://aanc-astronomy.org/AANCminutes/AANCminutes.html

Mike Ken approval of minutes.

4. Treasurer's report to be posted. See -G-

Some time spent tracking down missing check for $700. Check was found.

6 checks missing to be tracked down later.

5. Old business

    • Insurance issues - Mike K.
    • Mike P. posted how to host a star party & Richard Ozer sent out to the group a manual on running the Mt Diablo Star party. SJAA has looked into getting land donated and are looking into how to get it insured.
    • Alan posted Mike P's document on how to run a public star party. It's been utilized already. See -D-
    • http://aanc-astronomy.org/ArticlesForAANC/host-a-starparty.html
    • Mike P. is going through the Mt Diablo document that Richard O. sent,
    • and using it to prepare revisions to the "host-a-star-party" document.
    • Need new section: "In Case of Emergency." Needs safety features,
    • like using step stools and not milk crates for children to stand on when looking through telescope.
    • Several other suggestions for revisions. Mike P will work on the revisions.
    • Membership Renewal - Walt, Richard
    • Richard not present.
    • AANC Stickers/logo - Walt
    • Walt will ask Debbie to create logo for sticker for people to look at.
    • How big should the stickers be? Consensus: not bigger than 2"x3"
    • 1"x2.5" would be close to mailing label size.
    • Grants
    • Carter moved, Liede Marie seconded that AANC grant
    • $500 to SMCAS/College of San Mateo for Planetarium Project
    • $200 to Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS) for Striking Sparks Program,
    • $200 Telescope Makers Workshop
    • $200 forShingleton Star Party
    • [Total Grants proposed $1100]
    • Motion passed.
    • Conference Vendor Thank-yous - Walt
    • Bay Area ATMing Pool- Ken spoke w/ Dave Borroso last Friday.
    • If we can get $2k order we save 15%.
    • Need to find out from people how many mirrors, etc they need.

6. New business

7. Club reports Please send to: adgould{at}comcast.net Please also send updates of your website to Alan. See -F-

8. Other agenda items and announcements - there were a few announcements that secretary did not capture, but could bew reported later in updates to club reports, if the people who made the announcements send them to Alan Gould

9. Adjourn 11:30 am

We thank Alan Gould and NASA Kepler Mission for providing the telecon.


Keith Payea wrote: Hi Ken:

The Sonoma County Astronomical Society is looking for a few more sponsors for this year's Striking Sparks awards. I think that John Whitehouse (our new president) will bring this up at the next AANC board meeting, but I figured I would get the ball rolling by writing to you. Last year we had an excess of local sponsors, so AANC didn't sponsor one, but maybe they would consider it for this year.



John Whitehouse <jmw{at}sonic.net>

On behalf of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS), I would like to

petition the AANC Board to consider a grant to sponsor a candidate for our

Striking Sparks program.

Any response may be made to me and/or Dickson Yeager, our Striking Sparks

program coordinator. (Mr. Yeager's email address is: deep6@sonic.net)

Our business mailing address is P.O. Box 183, Santa Rosa, CA 95402.

I submit this proposal for the board's consideration today, 1/24/06.

The date for the awards ceremony for this year is March 18.

I believe that AANC has sponsored Striking Sparks before, but to refresh:

Striking Sparks is a program that SCAS has offered every year for some time.

(Over 20 years as I recall at this writing.)

Striking Sparks originally awarded handmade Newtonian reflectors on Dobson

mounts to students selected on merit by essays submitted to SCAS. This year

we have purchased 10 Orion 6" Dobson mounted reflectors to be awarded.

This year we have submitted applications to 134 primary schools in Sonoma

County, containing instructions for students to submit to us for judging on

the students' interest in astronomy, and how they would use a telescope to

further their interest and education, and how they might share their

enthusiasm for astronomy with others with their new telescope.

We believe this fosters a continued appreciation for the interest and

education in astronomy and the sciences for future generations.

Winners will be awarded their new telescopes at a banquet in their honor,

and sponsors are of course encouraged to attend. The banquet is held at our

meeting location at Proctor Terrace School here in Santa Rosa.

We have need for 2 uncommitted sponsors thus far. The amount to sponsor each

telescope is $200.

I would like Mr. Yeager, the coordinator to present a report to me on how

the funds would be spent, which I would forward to the AANC Board after the

banquet in March.

Thank you very much on our behalf for your consideration, I look forward to

answering any questions regarding our program.


John Whitehouse

Sonoma County Astronomical Society


707-539-5549 (telephone)


Date: Sat, 11 Feb 2006 07:18:06 -0800

From: Marion Weiler

Subject: RE: SMCAS request


Here is the basics of what CSM and I have discussed so far as a concept.

The CSM president was briefed on the plan & is ok. The SMCAS board of

directors also supports this idea. Next step is to get a better

understanding of AANC plans and expectations.

The CSM vision would be to open the new facility to the general public

and the bay area astronomy community in particular, both as a way to

showcase the new facility but also to give back to the community as this

was publicly financed by a bond measure - the local citizens were

willing to pay for it.

CSM would host the AANC conference in the new science building, in

conjunction with the (recent) opening of this new facility and likely as

part of a national astronomy day event. The event would be

free/non-profit and open to the general public. Any profit making

endevour would move this whole thing into a different universe due to

the public funding issue noted above.

The event would center around the new science building. CSM would

provide the following facilities and related support services (basic

janitorial/security/utilities) in the new science building at no charge:

-the new planetarium (planned seating 100+), with state of the art

projector and multi-media capability.

-an adjoining lecture hall that is planned to have the planetarium A/V

broadcast into it for overflow seating, seats about 60

-a variety of classrooms in the new science building

-Integrated Science Center

-lobby/reception room

-rooftop observatory


The large theater which was used last time would not be available

without some charge. It's a separate building, not controlled by the

science department. In any event, the vision is to highlight and

utilize the new facility.

There is not a cafeteria or other food service in the building, or

generally open on campus past early afternoon. What/where if any food

service made available would be a detail to be worked out.




CSM proposal Word Doc

AANC Grant Proposal

Proposed by:

San Mateo County Astronomical Society


Member(s) in good standing of AANC

Contact and reporting: Marion Weiler – President



Report back dates:

    • On placement of AANC name/logo on CSM RFTS web page (within 10 days of grant)
    • On placement of AANC name/logo on Planetarium donor wall (tbd)
    • Opening of Planetarium in Spring 2007, at a public Astronomy Day event/AANC conference.

Date of proposal:

12/11/05 verbal proposal to AANC board

2/12/06 written proposal


AANC Donate $500.00 to the College of San Mateo Reach for the Stars Campaign. Campaign funds go to pay for a planetarium projector and supporting A/V equipment in the new CSM Planetarium scheduled to open in spring of 2007.

More information on the Planetarium and the Reach for the Stars Campaign can be found at:


Benefits of this grant:

This grant would help fund a Bay Area community astronomy resource which will further the goals of amatuer and professional astronomy.

    • The faciltiy would serve to educate and create the next generation of amatuer astronomers, feed interested and qualified students into the astronomy programs in higher educational institutions in the Bay Area and around the country.
    • It would be a focal point to educate and interest the general public about astronomy.
    • It would act as a focal point for amatuer and professional astronomers to interact, communicate, and collaborate.
    • It would help support future public funding for astronomy by building public support for astronomical activities.

In addition, this grant would mean that AANC would have its name and logo placed on the donor wall at the entry of the new planetarium, its name/logo and direct web site link placed on the Reach for the Stars home page as a sponsor. It would benefit the standing and visability of AANC.


Before the meeting, if people could review the AANC star party page:


and suggest items that haven't yet been covered, I would be appreciative.

We have a lot of content under the "crowd safety" heading already, but I'd

like that section to be as complete as possible. At past AANC meetings,

people have mentioned the existence of safety manuals for your own

clubs. If you have something like that, I'd love to merge its content with

the online article and get everything online.


Michael Portuesi


Amateur astronomers provide the public with the often life-altering experience of directly experiencing the universe. Our visitors also ask many questions about what they see, or what they don't see! Why doesn't it look like the photos? What power is your telescope? Can you see the flag on the Moon?

The latest ToolKit released to Night Sky Network member clubs includes materials and activities to prepare your visitors for their observing experience and enhance their understanding at the eyepiece.

Is your club a member of the Network? Find out now how to join this free program sponsored by NASA: http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov



Club Reports

Scope City hosted Meade Day on January 21st. Brian Deis, VP of Marketing for Meade was on

hand as was Super Tech Rep Russ Tanton. Brian and Russ brought two top-notch technicians

from Meade, Tony, a mechanical tech, and Louis, an optical tech. We had a long table set up for

inspection, testing, cleaning and adjusting all Meade telescopes for free.

Sam and the guys did over 30 telescopes that day! A drawing was held, sponsored by Parks Optical, Lumicon

International, Scope City and Meade.

The grand prize was a new Meade product, the Deep Sky Imager II. New FPOA Board Member,

Dave Samuels, won the winning raffle ticket. I'm sure we'll see lots of wonderful images generated

from the newly aluminized mirror on Fremont Peak.

Speaking of images, you can find the most current ones from the raffle and other happenings at:


Scope City assisted the classes of Dr. Olga Werby at Alamo Elementary and Presidio Middle

Schools in San Francisco to view the planets with their telescope.

SMCAS will hold Astronomy Day at CSM on May 6th. Scope City will again participate by

volunteering manpower, telescopes and lots of good energy.


Date: Mon, 06 Feb 2006 18:19:13 -0800

From: Richard Ozer <rozer[at]pacbell.net>

Mount Diablo Astronomical Society - Calendar of Public Programs at Mount Diablo

MDAS hosts the public astronomy programs at Mt. Diablo State Park, holds a monthly meeting and lecture series in Concord, and provides community service for educators wishing to hold nighttime astronomy programs for their students.

The MDAS website is www.mdas.net

Our public astronomy program is free to any Mt. Diablo State Park visitor, is held at the lower summit parking lot and includes astronomical viewing through a variety of telescopes including the new Mt. Diablo Observatory's. You must enter the park before sundown in order to attend. Please remember to dress warmly, even in the summer.

The 2006 dates for our public events are:

March 4th

April 1st

May 20th

June 17th

July 29th

Aug 26th

Sep 16th

Oct 21st

MDAS's monthly meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of each month at7:00 pm at the Concord Police Academy located at 5060 Avila Road, exit willow pass road south from Route 4, and make an immediate left on Avila Road. The academy is about Ÿmi up the road on the right. In November and December, the meeting is held on the third Tuesday. Please check our website for detailed program information.


MDAS Board meeting 1-9-06: there is a total of 191 MDAS members.

VIP Phase I training for MDAS docents will begin February 19th on Mt. Diablo

at Rock City. The hours necessary for a pass has gone up from 15 to 30. The

next training date will be April 8th; June 10th; August 19th & October 28th.

Astronomy Workshops have begun at Marni Berendsen's home. The first focused

on showing the public how to find constellations using a star map; how

planets are found around other stars; and how the objects we observe in the

telescope contribute to forming stars and planets. There were ten of us

there and we enjoyed the evening. Our next Workshop will take place on

February 21st dealing with the significance of the constellations of the

Zodiac and the planets of the Solar System. March 21st, the Workshop will

deal with the telescope and how they work.

The Public Program begins on March 4th. It will focus on the Zodiac; where it

is in the sky; and can you see your "sign"? Saturn and Mars should be good

viewing in the telescopes. We are hoping for good weather and clear skies.

Society Nights have not gone so well as the temperature on Mt. Diablo drops

down to a very cold/windy night. The first night was January 21st with two

people; January 28 was 0 people; and February 4th was 0 people. The next

Society Night will be February 25th; and March 25th.

Club Speakers: The January 24th speaker was Dr. John E. Westfall (MDAS

member) who spoke about the timing of the eclipses of Jupiter's moons and

how they contribute to mapping the world.

February 28th: Naishi Min will speak about the culture of Chinese Astronomy.

March 28th: Weidong Li will speak about high red shift supernovae.

Craig Mattson/Mt. Diablo Park Superintendent reported that the road leading

to the summit will begin repairs, due to the heavy rains in December, in

late Spring or early Summer. There will be periodic closures of North Gate

and Summit Road during the week but the Park will be open at all times

during the project; and also, the park roads will be open on weekends during


On January 21st, MDAS member, Marshal Merriam was in Volcano, CA to unveil

the historic marker honoring California's first observatory that was brought

about by George Madeira, a pioneer gold miner and Astronomer. Marshal and

another MDAS member, 2 from SVAS (Sacramento), 10 from Stockton, 6 from AAAC

(Amateur Astronomers of Amador County), and 2 professional astronomers from

Lick Observatory; there were 47 Madeira family members from Oregon, Nevada,

Southern California, Sonoma County and elsewhere. Total attendance were 130.

The event was a great success; Marshal Merriam gave a one hour talk and the

Madeira family later came up to him and were very appreciative to learn what

their ancestor had done as they, themselves, were unaware of all of these

things. They were happy to learn of it.

Liede-Marie Haitsma



Link to Treasurer's Report - PDF or Excel

Next Board Meeting May 7, 2006, 10am by telecon.Instructions and more info coming soon from

aanc-board {at} aanc-astronomy.org

Sign yourself up if Ken hasn't already subscribed you at: http://mail.aanc-astronomy.org/mailman/listinfo/aanc-board

Please send website updates to Alan Gould <adgould {at} comcast.net>


AANC Board Meeting Minutes, 7 May 2006.

1. Call to order 10:05 am

2. Roll call - Alan Gould, Mike Koop, Carter Roberts, Mike Portuesi, Ken Frank, Dan Zuras, Walt Heiges, Dave Harris, John Dillon, Liede Marie Haitsma., Marion Weiler, Don Stone

3. Approve minutes http://aanc-astronomy.org/AANCminutes/AANCminutes.html

John D moved, Carter seconded to approve minutes. Motion passed.

4. Treasurer's report















No bank statement for April. Don't we have cap of $300/year expenditure? We need to send out renewal letter.

5. Old business

    • Insurance issues - The 2 Mikes
    • Mike Koop: not much to report.
    • Mike P. got final version of safetly guidelines for star parties is up on the AANC website (upper right of home page). Clubs can make copies as need for their use.
    • Membership Renewal - Walt
    • Renewal should be every calendar year. Walt will contact clubs to renew.
    • Michael Cran is trying to start up Los Posadas club. Potential new AANC member.
    • AANC Stickers - Walt
    • Walt will get on it. Aside:Walt is getting more active in SCAS again.
    • SMAS CSM Building update- Marion
    • Building construction is moving along nicely. Foundation is laid for planetarium building. Plantarium should operational January 2007. AANC conference spring of 2007 would be possible.
    • SCAS Striking Sparks -
    • Ken Franks: Great turnout March 18. Kids got their telescopes. Making plans for next round of scopes. Al & Rita Stern, Keith Payeia, and lots of folks were there. Dixon Yeager is Striking Sparks coordinator. Kids read their papers on shy they wanted a telescope. Heart rending. There could be article in Sky & Scope someday.
    • Shingleton Star Party - Liede Marie: People are signing up for the event. At least 5 so far.
    • 2005 Conference Vendor Thank-yous - Walt will contact Ken to get this going.
    • Astronomy Day - Ken http://aancastronomy.org/AstroDay.html
    • Ken: well attended in SF and at College of San Mateo. Wish more people turned out. Sparse attendance at talks in SF. Small crowd at Randall. Carter: Not quite as many at Oakland Zoo. Cold and cloudy weather may have had an effect. Chabot had good turnout in evening even though it was cloudy. Walt: Sacramento had good turnout. Mike K: KRON weather reporter called to get info. Marion: getting word out is important. AANC needs to think about publicity more. Carter: Info should get to newspapers with 6-week lead time to get the info into papers the week before the event. Alan: LHS had good Sungazing in afternoon, though morning was cloudy.Evening stargazing was normal - overall though not real well attended.
    • Night Sky Network -
    • Toolkits are available through http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov. Carter: EAS has field tested kits and use them quite a bit. Latest kit being field tested is Shadows & Silhouettes (eclipses, phases, transits, ...) funded by NASA Kepler mission. Marni Berendson of ASP is coordinating development of the kits.
    • Marion Weiler supplied the following contact info for
    • Vivian White, ASP Bay Area Coordinator, Project ASTRO,
    • Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    • 390 Ashton Ave.
    • San Francisco, CA 94112
    • 415.337.1100 ext 101
    • Vivian White <vwhite{at}astrosociety.org>

6. New business

    • Next meeting date: July 9 face to face meeting at LHS, 10am. Alan will also try to arrange for phone-in as well.
    • Check signature co-signers on AANC bank accounts. Walt & Don are making arrangements for co-signer(s) on AANC accounts. Consensus of the AANC Board is that there must be at least 2 and prefereably 3 co-signers on all AANC accounts. The officers can be made co-signers on all AANC accounts: President, Walt Heiges; Vice President, Ken Franks; Secretary, Alan Gould. Any or all of these would be in addition to the current custodian of the accounts, Treasurer, Don Stone.
    • AANC Calendar of Events (additions?)
    • Ken: next year, we could have AANC conference at CSM next spring. ASP could be involved, if it corresponds with ASP Board Meeting. Conference will have public outreach component.
    • Planetary Society is having meeting at Randall Museum.
    • Transit of Mercury November 8 (Wed)- what should we do about that? Could be bigger than Astronomy Day.
    • RTMC Astronomy Expo Memorial Day weekend Friday 5/26 through the weekend.
    • Oakland Feather River Camp by Yosemite is looking for some astronomy.
    • AANC Award nominees -Send Alan your award nominees by July 1. Awards to be presented at Fremont Peak 20th Anniversary StarBQ, Aug 26.
        • Amateur:
        • Professional:
        • Special:
        • Commercial:
      • [From Pat Donnelly Re: StarBQ and AANC Awards:]
      • Greetings from the far south bay. The FPOA had a board meeting last Saturday. As part of the board meeting we continued planning the 2006 Star-B-Que. The Star-B-Que is still scheduled for August 26. We are also considering having the event catered. As such, it becomes important that we get a fairly accurate count of the number of non-FPOA people that plan to attend. Each family should still plan to bring a side dish to pass around. It has not been determined yet what food, other than the main meat dishes, the caterer will provide . This may impact the side dishes that are desired. I think an appetizer type or a dessert are always a good bet.
      • Also, what are your plans for the the AANC awards? We would like to incorporate them into our planning. We still have time,but some planning is necessary. Please give me your thoughts and comments on these issues.
      • Pat Donnelly, President, FPOA

7. Club reports and website updates. Please send to: adgould[at]comcast.net

Hercules Stargazers --

Our first stargaze of 2006, on April 22, was cancelled due to bad weather. Our calendar for spring and early summer is problematic due to potential travel plans. For this reason we did not schedule an Astronomy Day event, although we had clear skies last evening. Our next stargazes at Foxboro Park are May 20, June 24, and July 22. We have also been looking around for a darker site. (Submitted by Dave Harris)

MDAS - Liede-Marie

Public Nights for MDAS have not gone very well because of weather. March 4th

was cancelled due to snow; April 1st was cancelled due to fog; our next

Public Nights' will be May 20th and June 17.

Society Nights have gone a bit better. February 4th (cancelled); February

25th (13 members showed); March 25th (8 members showed but stayed until 8

pm); April 29th was great as the weather was fairly warm (about 65) and no

wind. About 35 members showed up and we started leaving around 12 mid-night.

Outreach program is going well with schools being added on a weekly basis.

There was an event at Parkmead School on April 13th that was a wonderful

success. There were six scopes, and between 50/60 students/teachers/parents.

The next event was Earth Day on April 22nd with about 150 people showing up

at Mitchell Canyon on Mt. Diablo. Every one was interested in viewing the

school through Steve Jacob's Hydrogran-Alpha telescope. May 6th is the Dow

Environmental Faire in Pittsburg; we had a table there all day; the viewing

of Sun spots was enjoyed by all. Next event will be May 13th at Bort Meadows

in Chabot Park which will be a camporee for the Boy Scouts. Then comes May

21st in San Ramon for Hats Off America; and June 10th at Borges Ranch on Mt.


Mt. Diablo is starting up a program called "Campfire Projects at Live Oak"

on Mt. Diablo. This program deals with projects done with groups during a

camping out night. It was done a couple of years ago and then stopped. Jim

Head, our Outreach Person, has emailed the Rangers requesting that we can

participate in these programs also in addition to the Public Nights that we

already have.

The roads on Mt. Diablo will begin to be worked on starting in June and

could last till the end of the year. The Rangers are hoping that the

Northgate Road will be repair as there is a possibility that if this is not

the case that Northgate might be closed to traffic.

Our next board meeting will be May 8th, and club meeting May 23rd.


Scope City report - from Ken Frank

Maurice Sweiss and Sam Sweiss of Scope City have assisted the classes of: Kevin Hartzog at Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco through service and repair of over 40 of the high school's microscopes. Also, Terra Linda High School in San Rafael with their telescope, optical equipment, and training assistance. Scope City assisted in developing the astronomy department at Contra Costa College in San Pablo. Over the past few months, Scope City, Lumicon International and Parks Optical have generously given to the following clubs and activities:

SCAS Striking Sparks:

Besides conducting the raffle and donating items that raised over $1,300

toward the young astronomers programs, Sam and Maria of Scope City attended

the dinner / birthday celebration for Sam, with special birthday cake, at

Proctor Terrace Elementary School in Santa Rosa and demonstrated to Rocio

Linares and her family, night-sky viewing thru her new sponsored telescope.

Upcoming Astronomy Day:

San Mateo County Astronomical Society and College of San Mateo will conduct

an Astronomy Day event at CSM campus on May 6th. Scope City will administer

a raffle, co-sponsored by Parks Optical and Lumicon International. Proceeds

go to CSM's Reach for the Stars planetarium fund. The Sweiss family was able

to garner raffle donations from Jim Burr of JMI, Software Bisque, Telrad,

Televue, Meade, Celestron, and William Optics. Scope City will volunteer

telescopes for public viewing at these events.


A raffle drawing will be held at the temporary California Academy of

Sciences, with prizes donated by Scope City.

SVAS astro activities were conducted.

SJAA Auction:

The San Jose auction was a big success, collecting SJAA nearly $1,400.

Sam Sweiss and 4 employees attended the event.

As always, in fostering and revitalizing membership in the astronomical

community, Scope City offers discounts for new members of local astronomy

clubs, toward the purchase of a new telescope or pair of binoculars; simply

show proof of membership. Scope City distributes membership applications for

clubs, and actively encourages membership in Northern California clubs.

You can find the most current images from raffles and other happenings at:


8. Other agenda items and announcements

9. Adjourn - 11:15am

AANC Board Meeting Minutes, 9 July 2006.

AANC 9 July 06 agenda

1. Call to order 10:30 am

2. Roll call - Alan

Vivian White (ASP), Walt Heiges (President), Alan Gould (LHS-Secretary), Mike Koop (SJAA), Carter Roberts (EAS), Liede Marie Haitsma (MDAS), Don Stone (Treasurer)

3. Approve minutes http://aanc-astronomy.org/AANCminutes/AANCminutes.html

Mike moved, Carter second to approve minutes. Passed.

4. Treasurer's report (Don)

Washington Mutual $4607.89

Fraklin Money Fund $4730.143

Two more clubs renewed: SJAA and Hercules

5. Old business

Insurance issues - The 2 Mikes

Nothing new has come up. SJAA is on the lookout for new insurance. SJAA is happy with Nonprofit Insurance Alliance of California (NIAC).

Membership Renewal - Walt

From last meeting, only 6 clubs have renewed memberships for this year. We need to send out invoices for membership renewals. Walt will get list from Don and prepare an invoice, either from scratch or get the one Jane used.

AANC Stickers - Walt

Alan will add "AANC labels" to AANC Key Functions page on website for people to review (before next meeting).

Walt will put it into PDF or other crossplatform format.

SMAS CSM This years successful Astronomy Day and AANC-CON 2007- Marion

SCAS Striking Sparks - John W. [not present] (Jane Jones will be speaker this 2nd Wednesday the 12th)

Shingletown Star Party - Liede-Marie and Mike: it was a great success this year. Excellent dust control.

2005 Conference Vendor Thank-yous - Walt [thinks Ken did this]

Night Sky Network/ASP - Vivian: Universe in the Callrrom newsletter will be going up soon. Mike Bennett is retiring. There will be search for new Exec Director. ASP meeting in Baltimore Sep 16-18. 25 new partnerships in Project Astro. Training in Aug with Brian Mendez. Shadows and Silhouettes kit will be finished within a month or so. Searching for Habitable New Worlds and Life in the Universe telecon with Geoff Marcy - July 27 6pm PDT. 877-917-1549. Night Sky Network. Michael Green is call leader.

6. New business

AANC-CON 2007 preliminary plans for next year's conference - Alan, Walt, Marion

We'll try to get Marion at next meeting for planning - it's important to have host at planning meeting.

Check signature co-sign - Walt

AANC Calendar of Events (additions?)

Fall Astronomy Day? - Alan [No reports of any Fall Astronomy Day events]

Mercury Transit at the Randall Museum Wednesday, November 8th - John Dillon

FPOA Star B Q and AANC Awards - Walt, Pat Donnelly

AANC Award nominees:

Amateur: Ken Frank, SFAA (and Scope City) [nominated by Mike K, for tireless work for AANC]

Professional: Scott Sandford, Stardust Mission [nominated by Mike K for public talks and service to amateur clubs]

Special: Jeff Adkins, high school teacher at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, California

Commercial: Sky Image Lab [nominated by Mike K - gives donations to SJAA]

Coronado PST affordable Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope and support of NASA telecast of 2006 solar eclipse - Bill Dean

Don moved, Mike seconded that we approved Amateur, Professional, and Special Awards by acclamation. Passed

Coronado won vote for Commercial Award.

Mike moved, Don seconded that Walt be authorized to make plaques as he did last year.

7. Club reports and website updates

Please send to: Alan Gould <adgould{at}comcast.net>

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006

From: David Harris <getastrodave{at}gmail.com>

Subject: Hercules Stargazers report - Dave Harris

May 20 stargaze was clouded out, and travel cancelled June 24. However, the roaming contingent of the Stargazers conducted a few semi-public events in Delray Beach, Florida and in Overland Park, Kansas, during June. Our next planned stargazes at Foxboro Park are for July 22, August 26 (this may be changed due to the Star-B-Que), and September 16.

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 2006

From: Liede-Marie Haitsma <stfrncis{at}ix.netcom.com>

Subject: Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society notes

OUTREACH/STAR PARTIES-all were very good turnouts:

April 13th-Parkmead School in Walnut Creek;

May 6th-Dow Environmental Faire in Pittsburg;

May 13th-Bort Meadows in Chabot Park;

May 21st-Hats off America in San Ramon;

May 30th-Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in Moraga;

June 2nd-Walnut Acres Elementary in Walnut Creek;

June 10th-Borges Ranch/Heritage Days in Walnut Creek;

June 21st-Camp Taylor Star Gazing in Livermore

Membership status as of 6-12-06 is 161 members

Mt. Diablo State Park Ranger Dan Stefanisko said that the park is beginning

their Campfire Projects again at Live Oak Camp Ground. The first one was

June 10th. Then every Saturday after that.

2006 Shingletown Star Party-there was a great turnout of MDAS members, about

15 to 20 showed up. Everyone had a good time!

AANC "Special" Award category- MDAS has nominated Jeff Adkins-he is a high

school astronomy and physics teacher, and the director of the Earth Space &

Astronomy Center for Education (ESPACE), an astronomy academy at Deer Valley

High School in Antioch, CA. He diligently pursued funding and support to

establish the ESPACE Academy, an innovative program to engage students in

astronomy education, outreach, and the actual research. He was the driving

force in establishing a student-run planetarium on the Deer Valley campus

that is used by students throughout the District and is open to the public

once evening every week. He is also a Universe Educator Ambassador for NASA

through Sonoma State University, and a participant in the Spitzer Science

Center's Teacher Observing Program, which allows teachers to use the Spitzer

Space Telescope. In 2004, he was deservedly chosen as Teacher of the Year

for Antioch Unified School District.

MDAS SOCIETY NIGHT PROGRAM- the weather was finally turning our way so we

could have our own star gazing evenings. April 29th was warm with little or

no wind. About 35 members showed up; May 27th was mild, and about 30 members

were there; June 24th was warm with little or no wind. About nine members

showed up as many were at the Shingletown Star Party.

MDAS PUBLIC NIGHT PROGRAM- March, April and May were cancelled due to

weather. June 17th, we finally had an evening for the public to come up and

do some viewing. The weather was warm with a slight breeze. 27 members with

scopes were there, and about 95-100 people showed up.

MOUNT DIABLO ROAD REPAIR- Mt. Diablo State Park will begin major road

repairs beginning July 10th. Work is expected to take place over the next

six months. This will take place along the 4.5 mile-long Summit Road as well

as North Gate Road. Summit Road will be closed on weekdays from July 10th to

Sept. 8th. South Gate Road will remain open to Junction Ranger Station. All

roads are expected to remain open on weekends, although this could change.

MDAS Board meeting will be held July 10th;

MDAS Club meeting will be held July 25th;

Society Night on Mt. Diablo will be held July 22nd; and

Public Night on Mt. Diablo will be held July 29th

8. Other agenda items and announcements

9. Adjourned 11:24am

AANC Board Meeting Minutes, 10 Sep 2006.

1. Call to order 10:15 am

2. Roll call: Ken Frank (AANC VP, Scope City), Mike Portuesi (Messier Program Director; SFAA), Walt Heiges (President), Alan Gould (LHS-Secretary), Carter Roberts (EAS), Liede Marie Haitsma (MDAS), David Harris (Hercules Stargazers), Rich Ozer, Doug Brown (FPOA)

Welcome to: Doug Brown, VP of FPOA to volunteer for the AANC-CON 2007 Organizer

3. Approve minutes

Ken/Carter moved/seconded to approve 9 Jul minutes. Passed.

4. Treasurer's report - Don not present

5. Old business

Insurance issues — The 2 Mikes

Membership Renewal — Walt will work on that

AANC Stickers - Walt — Draft sticker art, once final version is sent to Alan, should get posted to AANC website

Check signature co-sign - Walt will call Alan after meeting to check on status of documentation needed.

Night Sky Network/ASP - Alan. Shadows and Silhouettes kit has been shipped, designed to be useful in events for the Transit of Mercury. Many demos and activities included about phases of the Moon, eclipses, transits, Kepler mission, and why lunar features are not most easily seen during full moon.

6. New business

FPOA StarBQ and AANC Awards Success - Doug Brown

Awards were present. StarBQ was great, about 200-400 people attended. Representatives from state parks. Assmblyman Salinas was there. Richard: Ken was there and Scott Sanford was there. Tempory awards were given for Jeff Atkinson and Coronado. There were great raffle prizes, thanks to Sam from Scope City. Excellent lecture. Students/interns from Jr. College in Salinas to help; grant administator from NASA flew out to attend. Steve Loos donated $150 (on behalf of Sam/Scope City) to AANC.

SMAS CSM Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the new planetarium and science center — (Frank:) AANC donated $500 to Reach for the Stars program. They opened the new facility Bldg 36 at CSM science center, classrooms, conference center, rolloff roof with observatory and a number of telescopes. 2:15pm Fri Sep 8. There is also new planetarium.

AANC-CON 2007 preliminary plans for next year's conference - Alan, Walt, Ed, Doug,

Message from Ed Pieret:

I’m the new president of the San Mateo County Astronomical Society. Marion has taken the vice president and event coordinator post.

I understand that you would like a report on the progress of the building of the astronomical facilities at CSM. Here is a quick summary and if you want more detail I’ll be glad to provide it.

The new Science Building had its ribbon cutting yesterday.

The observatory is on the roof of the Science Building. There are four piers for large telescopes and places, electricity and internet access for 12 additional telescopes. The facility is completed and we have a c14 mounted on one of the piers. The area encompassing the piers has a sliding roof.

Dean Drumheller has taken a job with the college and is setting up the equipment. Darryl is planning to have a public event for the Mercury Transit.

The planetarium has the dome completed and the interior is being finished. Darryl is expecting the construction to be finished and the projector installed by early November. Allowing for training and familiarization time, we are anticipating an opening around year end.

Everything seems to be on time. Darryl and Dean both have moved into offices in the new building.

Ed Pieret



Carter: what tentative date might there be?

April 21 2007 is Astronomy Day. August was successful in the past—pay be good candidate for date in 2007. Barcroft is usually in August.

Alan, Walt, Ed, Doug, Ken, Richard will be subcommittee to do conference planning.

Ken wants to get Jim Kaler, professor emeritus of Astronomy at U. IL, as keynote speaker. May be coming to Bay Area early March for ASP board meeting, but that should not be determining factor.

Other possible keynote speakers: Mike Bennett, or new ASP executive director.

Richard Crisp might also be speaker.

Kepler telecon line can be used for subcommittee meeting.

Astronomy Events for the rest of the year

    • CalStar Sept 21-23 http://www.sjaa.net/calstar/
    • Rusty Schweickart is speaking at Chabot Sep 24 at 4pm
    • Dr. Charles Wood will be talking about Titan for Dean lecture. Tomorrow night 7:30 pm. $4.
    • Fall Astronomy Day - Alan—It's too late to do planning for this year, but the event has happened in some precious years, in addition to the regular spring National Astronomy Day.
    • Mercury Transit at the Randall Museum Wednesday, November 8th - John Dillon
    • Helpful transit info provided by John Westfall: http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/transit06.html
    • http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/image1/TM2006Nov08-Fig1.GIF
    • There will be all day event at Randall Museum.
    • We should let David Perlman at the Chronicle
    • Dave Rodriguez may be able to send out press release.
    • Need weblinks for live images or "near-live" images of Sun
    • Exploratorium>?
    • Sun now website has images of the Sun updates every minute.

AANC Calendar of Events for 2007

    • Messier Marathon March 17-18 secondary of March 24-25
    • Astronomy Day April 21
    • AANC-CON 2007 To be determined, most likely around Astronomy Day
    • RTMC Friday May 25-Monday May 28th
    • SSP July 11-16
    • Yosemite Glacier Point Summer Weekends
    • Student satellite tracking network request - Mike
    • http://www.sjaa.net/pipermail/sjaa-announce/2006-September/000753.html
    • Aug 24-27 Solar Eclipse conference at Griffith Observatory (LA)

Other events?

AANC board meetings 2007: Feb 4; Apr 1; Jun 3; Jul 29; Sep 23; Dec 2

7. Club reports and website updates Please send to: adgould{at}comcast.net

8. Other agenda items and announcements

If Don is changing address, can we have temporary AANC address for sending checks to, in order to avoid possibility of lost checks? Alan G offered to make his address at LHS a temporary but stable interim address. Should add it to "Join AANC" page.

9. Adjourned 11:20am

Next meeting date: December 3rd

Carter will arrange for face-to-face meeting at Chabot.

Telecon sponsored by NASA Kepler Mission Education and Public Outreach.


MDAS Report

From: Liede-Marie Haitsma, Representative of Mt. Diablo Astronomical Society


JULY 20TH-YMCA Camp Arroyo/Camp Taylor in Livermore: Nice event with about

thirty or so children and adults participating

JULY 28TH-City of Vacaville's Starry Nights Astronomy program: Ten MDAS

members there with their scopes; about 80/85 parents/children

MONTH OF AUGUST-Library display in the Ygnacio Library in Walnut Creek.

AUGUST 18-19TH-YOSEMITE: About twenty MDAS members with their scopes; over

100 people each night. The public enjoyed viewing the Milky Way through

scopes and without. Jim Head and Richard Ozer spoke to the public about

Astronomy. Every one had a great time!


with scopes; information was handed out; about 45/50 parents/students were


MONTH OF OCTOBER-Library display in the City of Concord

MDAS Membership status: 175

AUGUST 26TH at Fremont Peak Star-B-Que Richard Ozer accepted the AANC

Special Award for Jeff Adkins, who could not be there. The event was a



FROM: Jack Borde/MDOA: (9-1-06)-We went to Tracy to visit the unit and to

inspect for acceptability. Some variances were noted and they are being

corrected, then the unit is to be shipped to Livermore with the final

installation of carpeting and security screens to complete the unit. We have

been advised that this will be done within the next 2 weeks. Between Jim,

Ranger Dan Stefanisko and Myself it seems possible to target around the 15th

of Sept for installment on the Mountain. This weekend will be open to us

getting to the top of the MT as it has been closed due to road work. I have

measured tree limbs over the road that need to be cleared before the unit is

hauled up. I will complete the measurements from junction to top this


FROM: Jack Borde/MDOA: (9-2-06)-"Finished marking trees with over hung limbs

going up the Mt this morning. They had dug complete sections of the road out

and bedded it with diabase rock and presently paved from summit building to

camp juniper.. Many sections of the road have been repaired getting ready

for the finish paving down to junction. In talking to Ranger Dan Stefanisko

he says he can't see us bringing the new building any earlier than the 20th

of Sept and maybe even as late as the 30th. Thanks Jim for the update I

received in the mail today. Dan said he would keep us posted on the



SOCIETY NIGHTS: Sept. 23rd; Oct. 14th; Nov. 18th & 25th; Dec. 16th & 23rd

PUBLIC NIGHTS: Sept. 16th and Oct. 21; On our next public night Sept 16, we

will be presenting two programs. In addition to enjoying the Milky Way with

our scheduled program on "Our Place in our Galaxy", we will be helping

members of Cub Scout Pack 262 from Clayton earn their Astronomy Belt Loop

and Pin awards. To receive these awards they need to complete some simple

requirements covering elementary astronomy. A preliminary outline is below.

These are First through Fifth grade kids. Many of their parents will be

there to help out.

MDAS is getting ready for the Transit of Mercury on November 8th (Marni

Berendsen and Jim Head are in charge): "We probably want to try to make this

as simple as possible for our members. The Transit will run from about 11

a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov 8th, which is a Wednesday. I imagine we wouldn't want

to plan for more than two or three locations. Getting permission for very

many places might be complicated. Also, I don't know how many of our members

would be willing to do all that is necessary to secure permission and do

follow-up. Liede-Marie might be one as well as brother, Rob."

Hercules Stargazers -- report by Dave Harris

Stargaze at Foxboro Park, July 22, '06: We had 5 Stargazers, a few visitors, and 3 scopes ranging from 10" to 20", and binoculars. The temperature was in the 90's while we observed 11 Messier Objects, Jupiter, and a few doubles. The August Stargaze was cancelled due to a conflict with the Star-B-Que. Our next events are September 16, October 21 and 28, and November 18. We have located a new dark site in West Contra Costa County, and may be observing from there in the next few months.

AANC Board Meeting Notes 3 December 2006

NEXT Meeting 4 Feb 2007 at 10:30 am at Chabot Space and Science Center

See also Conference Committee Meeting Notes.

1. Call to order 10:00 am

2. Roll call — present: Doug Brown, Walt Heiges, Mike Portuesi, Ken Frank, Carter Roberts, Ed Pieret, Mike Koop , John Dillon, Liede Marie Haitsma, Alan Gould, Vivian White, Dave and Esther Harris, Richard Ozer

3. Approve minutes http://aanc-astronomy.org/AANCminutes/AANCminutes.html

There was problem with Sep minutes not being available on WWW. Approval of minutes can take place next meeting.

4. Treasurer's report - Don

Frankin fund $3224.58

World Checking ???? [didn't catch the figure, sorry]

5. Old business - Insurance issues The 2 Mikes

SJAA is happy with the insurance company they have. Discussed getting Board of Directors Insurance--one board member resigned because there was no Board of Directors insurance. Decided not to get it. Would have been $700 additional per year. Question arose as to wheterh we need to pursue this topic further. Relevant information has been made available to clubs through minutes of prior meetings. Mike P moved Mike K seconded that we consider this issue closed. Motion passed.

--Plaques for this years awardees - Walt will pay for plaques and get reimbursed.

--Membership Renewal -Walt will pursue this. Richard may be able to help. May need to get instruction from Jane as to how she went about this.

--AANC Stickers - Walt

--Check signature co-sign - Walt, Alan - There is problem with Sonoma bank branch requiring Don to be physically present to add signature authorization to Walt. Main branch is in Berkeley.

6. New business

AANC BoardMeeting is changed to April 29 to avoid meeting conflict with SJAA Auction

February 4th meeting location: Chabot Space & Science Center.

Proposed Conference committee meeting starting 9:30, with AANC Board meeting starting 10:30.

PR - The 2 Mikes

Mercury Transit publicity coverage - Could we have done a better job?

Mike P: Tried to get info to the Chronicle about the transit, but couldn't get through.

There was a website created with Bay Area Mercury transit info.

Carter: Dave Rodriguez is well connected in PR realms.

Ken: Kudos to Mike P for putting info together.

Mike K: There is online calendar service that is quite useful. Like Craig's list but for events.

SJAA uses San Jose Mercury News online edition link.

AANC-CON 2007 Committee ideas, recommendations and plan - Ed, Darryl/Mohsen, Richard, Doug

Mike P.

CSM Observer newsletter (put together by Dean Drumhiller) has info about new planetarium, telescopes, new building, ribbon cutting,....

Ed: planetarium projectors are in. Regular planetarium shows (2nd Fri each month) will be in new planetarium when it's ready. KCSM is jazz station. Could have "jazz under the stars."

7. Club reports and website updates--Please send to: adgouldATcomcast.net

8. Other agenda items and announcements

Vivian: At Randall Musuem there were 4 school classes that observed the transit.

Alan: Shadows and Silhouettes kit was used by hundreds of clubs across the US.

Carter: Alex Barnett has resigned (getting married). Interim Director is Jerry Fidler. Search is on for permanent Director.

John D: Randall Museum is site of SFAA meetings. Small grant will allow evening staff for observing on "dark side" of the building.

See other Club Reports

NEXT Meeting 4 Feb 2007 at 10:30 am at Chabot Space and Science Center

Thanks to NASA Kepler Mission for providing the telecon support for this meeting.

9. Adjourned 11 am


Conference Committee Meeting Notes

Present: Doug Brown, Walt Heiges, Mike Portuesi, Ken Frank, Carter Roberts, Ed Pieret, Mike Koop , John Dillon, Liede Marie Haitsma, Alan Gould [not present: Darryl Stanford, Mohsen Janatpour]

Speakers: Richard Crips on Planetary Nebulae Discovery. Jeff Adkins (ASP award winner)

Vendors: Jim Burr of JMI


Time: Afternoon of 29 Sept (Sat)

Parking: Staff parking can be used


Science Day:

Student Web page: It might be good for students to create conference website

Links of web pages: AANC website could link to CSM conference web site

Next meeting: [At AANC Board meeting it was proposed to have Conference Committee meeting 4 Feb 9:30-10:30am]

MDAS Report for the AANC Meeting-December 3, 2006

From: Liede-Marie Haitsma <stfrncisATix.netcom.com>

OUTREACH PROGRAMS are going strong! We have several events per month going

to either schools or meeting with scouting groups in the area. Jim Head is

in charge and he's done a wonderful job in getting MDAS involved with the

many schools and scouts. The library displays and tabling events have also

attracted attention from teachers and scout leaders as well as from parents

wanting to get more involved with their children's interest in Astronomy.

MOUNT DIABLO OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION has finally gotten the Warming Room up

on Mt. Diablo. It has taken years (over 15) and road repair delays but it's

finally at the Lower Summit Parking Lot on Mt. Diablo, next to the

observatory. It came up in the middle of October. It's 42 feet by 12 feet.

It's wonderful! Once everything is put in, worked on, and gotten ready for

the public it's going to be a great Outreach Room for schools, scouts, and

during Public Programs from March to October. We are hoping that we can get

a local magazine (Diablo) to run a report on it.

TRANSIT OF MERCURY on November 8, 2006 was a great success! MDAS came in

Number 1 in the Night Sky Network with it's article. We were at Diablo

Valley College from 10 to 5; there were about eight of us there. The

Astronomy Dept. emailed all the teachers in the college letting them know

that we would be standing in front of the library with scopes and a

SunSpotter viewing the transit. We had hundreds of people stopping by and

viewing. Everyone enjoyed watching Mercury crossing the Sun. Diablo Valley

College, it's students, and the Astronomy teachers played a large part in

making the day a great success for MDAS being there!

PUBLIC NIGHTS this year were not as successful as in the past years. The

weather cancelled four months of viewing, and the road repair on Mt. Diablo

cancelled two months of viewing. BUT, we did have the last month of October

to end our Public Nights a success. The weather was wonderful, even a bit

mild, fairly clear, and there were 115 people up there. There were several

scout groups and schools present. Everyone had fun. We are looking forward

to starting again next year March.

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP-IMAGING has formed. There are 22 people in the group

with various levels of abilities at imagining. It's a learning process of

viewing the images and talking about how they were made.

Liede-Marie Haitsma



Hercules Stargazers Report

From: David Harris <getastrodaveATgmail.com>

September 16, 2006 -- Stargaze at Foxboro Park, Hercules, 7:30 pm to 10 pm. Three stargazers, a few visitors from the neighborhood. Two 10" Dobs and two binoculars. Original notes lost.

October 21, 2006 -- Stargaze at Foxboro Park, 7:30 pm to 11 pm.

Three stargazers, and about 7 visitors. Same scopes plus a 70 mm Goto. Generally good viewing of objects which included Comet Swan, M13, Ring Nebula, Double Cluster, M15, M2, M33, M27, and M31. Hot chocolate provided by Esther. After the session, Dave, Timo Kurppa and Mark Sharretts drove to check out some dark sites in two areas in West Contra Costa County. One of these looked promising as a possible group observing site, but more investigation is needed.

November 8, 2006 -- The Mercury Transit, at the Oakland Hebrew Day School side yard, 10:35 am to 3:40 pm. Dave, Mark and Timo set up three solar-filtered telescopes, a 10" Dob, a 6" Comet Catcher, and a 70 mm Goto. Over 125 students from kindergarten through 8th grade, as well as teachers and staff, viewed the transit and heard explanations. A few also saw Mercury and the larger sunspot via eyepiece projection. The presenters managed to spot the first and second contacts as we were setting up, but we left before third and fourth contacts. A great time was had by all, and an article with photos of the event was in the next school newsletter.

November 18, 2006 -- Stargaze at Foxboro Park, 7:30 pm to 10:35 pm. Three stargazers and one visitor. Two 10" Dobs, the 70 mm Goto and two binoculars. Despite clouds, we saw the Double Cluster, Andromeda Galaxy, Ring Nebula, the Pleiades, and the Orion Nebula. This was our last stargaze of 2006, and we will start up our new season in April, 2007.


EAS & CSSC update

From: Carter Roberts <cwrobertsATearthlink.net>

The EAS schedule for 2007 is FIRST Saturday each month January-June except the annual dinner will be on Sunday, March 4. We will have a meeting on June 30 then the FOURTH Saturday, July-November. There will not be a December meeting.

The Chabot Space & Science Center has selected Jerry Fiddler, who was the co-founder of Wind River which produced some of the software used on the present Mars Exploration Rovers, as Interim Director to replace Alex Barnett has left to get married. There will be a broad search for a long-term Executive Director.