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recorded by AANC Secretary Alan Gould

  4 Feb 29 Apr 3 Jun 29 Jul 23 Sep 2 Dec

4 Feb Conference Committee notes

Attending: Doug Brown, Liede-Marie Haitsma, Ed Pieret, Carter Roberts, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Darryl, Mike Koop, Dean Drumhiller, Richard Ozer

Discussion of role for subcommittee chairs. Doug Brown modified the Powerpoint file for organizing AANC conference 2007.

  • Audio / Visual
  • Communications & Publicity
  • Donations
  • Food
  • Memorabilia
  • Observing Session
  • Program
  • Registration
  • Raffle
  • Reproduction
  • Traffic and Signage
  • Treasurer
  • Volunteers
  • Vendors
  • Webmaster

Chair and committee assignments were made and Doug has those are to be distributed to the conference committee.

Here are committee files:

Ed suggested we have next meeting at conference site (CSM)
9:30am Sun Apr 29 2007 in planetarium.

Notes from AANC Board Meeting, 4 February 07

1. Call to order 10:30 am

2. Roll call - Alan
Doug Brown, Liede-Marie Haitsma, Ed Pieret, Carter Roberts, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Mike Koop, Richard Ozer, Walt Heiges, Vivian White

3. Approve minutes

Richard moved, Ed seconded to approve minutes.

4. Treasurer's report - Don

Current Balance WMB,12/31/06 3,435.12
Current Balance. FMF,  12/31/06 4,858.99

Total $8294.11

Richard: we need a letter from AANC to check for $500 from WAA to AANC seed funds -- offer to pay any stop payment fees. Check never got sent back to WAA. Walt will check with Don to see if he has the check.

Walt has been receiving various checks from clubs. Walt has given checks to Don. But they have not been processed. Don says that checks expire after 6 months without deposit.

Walt now has signature authority on AANC accounts. Walt went with Don to the bank and made arrangements for signature authority. Don will order more checks, but have them delivered to Walt and have Walt's address on them.

5. Old business -

Membership Renewal - Walt

AANC Stickers - Walt

Check signature co-sign - Walt, Alan, Ken

AANC-CON 2007 Committee ideas, wrap up from 9:30 meeting.
*NB* Alan will have a power point ~ 12 page listing of Committees. Give us your thoughts for organizing the CON
- Ed, Darryl/Mohsen, Richard, Doug
Doug summarized results from conference committee meeting. See conference committee meeting notes. Also revised powerpoint file of committee/chair roles, excel file of committee assignments, and action items - [to be posted here].

6. New business

Yosemite Dates - Ken - We're waiting for dates from National Park Service. It would be good to get the dates submitted and confirmed by January so clubs can plan their calendars.

Pluto occultation March 18 (UT)
- We had Franck Marchis Ph.D. Assistant Research Astronomer at University of California make a presentation using a powerpoint file. The project is to observe stellar occultations by Pluto. Occultation data can reveal valuable information about the behavior of the atmosphere of Pluto. More about the project is at

7. Club reports and website updates Please send to: Alan Gould

See Club Reports below.

8. Other agenda items and announcements

AANC honors Donald Osterbrock, astronomer and former Director of Lick Observatory, who passed away Thur, 1 Feb at age 82.

AANC expresses concern about Jim Gray who is currently missing during sailing.

Walt: decided to run for president of SVAS. Currently running unopposed.

Vivian: Bay Area Project ASTRO is looking for a few good astronomers to help inspire
the next generation. This volunteer program will pair you with a teacher in
a school close to you for the 2007-08 school year. Together you will be
trained on how to teach fun, hands-on astronomy in the classroom. Share
your passion for astronomy and make a difference in the minds of so many
with such a small investment of time.

To find out more, talk to club members who already participate or go to the

Or feel free to contact Vivian White, Bay Area Project ASTRO Coordinator at
the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.
415.337.1100 ext 101
E-mail Vivian White

Ken: Saturn opposition - go out an look at Saturn. See Saturn Observing Campaign website.

Carter moved, Richard, Mike seconded that AANC donates $200 to Striking Sparks and $200 to TMW.
Motion passed.

17 Feb WAA board meeting - Carter can't go.

9. Adjourn Next meeting date: 29 April 29


MDAS Report for the AANC Meeting-January 4, 2007 (Liede M. Haitsma <>)
At the January 23rd Club meeting two awards were passed out: Richard Ozer received a beautiful photo of Jupiter as a “Thank You” for his three year Presidency (2004-2006) with MDAS. And the Joe Disch Award was given to Jack Borde for recognition to his efforts in getting the Observatory and Warming Room onto Mt. Diablo. Both awards were well deserved!
The Warming Room is up at the Lower Summit Parking Lot on Mt. Diablo and now begins the efforts in getting it ready for the public in March. We are looking forward to opening its doors as an Outreach room to schools, scouts and the general public. At our last meeting on 1-24-07 we discussed the items that will be placed inside the room to make it interesting for everyone, as well as Astronomical movies to be shown; we know this will be a place of interest and well looked forward too.
January started out great with three schools! Jim Head was in charge of getting the teachers from the schools to get their students (and parents) excited about participating in the Astronomy/Science programs. Many of our club members participate with their scopes, and everyone had a wonderful time. It’s great to see so many people becoming interested in viewing through scopes and binoculars; the overall total students/parents/teachers that participated in January were close to 500.  As more teachers/scout leaders hear about our Outreach Programs, by word of mouth, more schools and scouting groups sign up for our programs. Well done Jim!
The membership has grown to 27. From the questions asked, through reading on the group’s site, there is a strong interest in learning and experimenting with CCD.

Hercules Stargazers Club Report
No club activities since last meeting, though Comet McNaught was observed by several regulars independently. Dave set up tripod-mounted binoculars January 11-13 on Moeser Lane in El Cerrito. The comet was visible naked eye, and on the 13th seven people stopped by to view through the binoculars. One viewer remarked that it was his "first comet!". Dave's attempts to view the comet during daylight over the next few days were unsuccessful.
Hercules Stargaze dates for the next few months are April 14, May 12 (and 19th?), June 16.
--- Submitted by Dave Harris <>

SFAA Activities Report
SFAA wrung in the new year with election results of:
Ken Frank President
Jorge Morales VP
Stephanie Ulrey Secretary & Treasurer
Other changes: We now have our online version of "Above the Fog"
Thanks go to our tireless associate editor Annette Gabrielli and webmaster Joe Amato.
Linda Mahan is doing a great job of putting together the speaker schedule for the year.
Speaking of which on March 21, 2007 at our General Meeting TAKE A TOUR WITH R. JAY GABANY
Our next meeting is February 14 for a Valentines Day Special where we will honor individual members with awards, treats and camaraderie.
We recently purchased via the Edwina Cherrington Memorial Fund a PST for pubic astronomy. Sam from Scope City assisted us on acquisition of a hard case as well as a very nice mount and tripod. Thank you as always Sam!
Pubic Astronomy - SFAA/SFSA held a mirror grinding demo and solar viewing for the Asian Art Museum with several hundred in attendance. On the transit day, November 8, the Randall Museum staff, ASP staff, and SFAA volunteers provided solar scopes, educational activities and a talk by Michael Portuesi and Ken Frank to help explain the dynamics of the transit to over 200 SF school children and their teachers.
The SFAA City Star Party for Saturday January 13 was a great success. Those attending were fortunate and patient enough to see Comet McNaught. Bill Cherrington set up his patch of carpet to sit on by the SS San Francisco memorial just as the Sun set with a group of 50 or so onlookers. We passed around binoculars and looked thru club and members telescopes for some memorable views.
SFAA is continuing its long-time close association with the SF Sidewalk Astronomers - presenting our Telescope Clinic to help new telescope owners understand how to use their telescope. Future clinics start one hour before the SFAA City Star Party and are open to the general public. For more details, see
Our monthly SUP (Special Use Permit) observing sessions are chilly, but clear on Mt. Tam each New Moon Saturday. The calendar of events for the year are on our website
(with the exception of Yosemite weekend). For what's new and current events,
see the SFAA Home Page:
Kenneth Frank <>

Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007
From: Kenneth Frank <>
To: Larry McCune <>, Alan Gould <>
CC: John Whitehouse <>
Subject: Re: 2007 Striking Sparks Program
Hi Larry,
Please enter a formal request for $200 for 2007 Striking Sparks Program
and submit to Alan Gould AANC Secretary <> before Friday Jan 26th,
so I can put it on the agenda.
<<Entry Packet 07.doc>>
Ken and Sam,
The 2007 SCAS Striking Sparks program was modified this year where the
applicants needed to attend a Young Astronomers meeting or a program at
the Robert Ferguson Observatory and write an essay. This is an attempt
to select students that have a stronger interest in participating with
the Young Astronomers und use their telescopes. We have purchased 6
telescopes from Orion with the account that Sam assisted in arranging.
I have held one of the sponsorship opportunities open for AANC because
you have routinely sponsored a telescope for this program. The
sponsorship cost remains $200.

29 April Conference Committee notes

Attending: Doug Brown, Liede-Marie Haitsma, Ed Pieret, Carter Roberts, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Darryl Sanford, Mike Koop, Dean Drumhiller, Mike Portuesi, Walt Heiges, Mohsen Janatpour, John Dillon, Mike Ryan, Dave Harris, Michael Kran

Discussion of

  • What facility will be needed, AV requirements, and how many people we might need to accommodate.
  • Stargazing/observing session logistics
  • Program (Ken) so far Christopher Go, Imke de Pater, Dr. Pamela Gay, Jane Houston Jones, Phil Plait, two more TBA; ASP activities, ALPO AAVSO demos.
  • Food - could get "snack bar" or catered/boxed food for registrants
  • Conference domain name and host
  • Won't have Science Day in connection

Doug Brown modified the Powerpoint file for organizing AANC conference 2007.

Audio/Visual; Donations; Food; Memorabilia; Observing Session; Program (Ken F); Registration; Raffle; Reproduction; Traffic and Signage; Treasurer/Finance (Richard O); Volunteers; Vendors (Mike K-SETI, Lockheed, Stanford Solar Ctr); Web page (Daryl); Communications & Publicity and Webpage (Mike P, Darryl S, Richard O, Alan G)

Here are committee files:

AANC Board Meeting was subsumed by the Conference Committee work that was required.


Jun 3

AANC Board Meeting, 3 June 2007.


Conference Committee Meeting—Doug Brown's Notes: AANCconNotes20070603.pdf

Attending [official attendance list in Doug Brown's Notes]: Doug Brown, Ed Pieret, Carter Roberts, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Darryl Sanford, Mike Koop, Dean Drumhiller, Mike Portuesi, Walt Heiges, Mohsen Janatpour, Mike Ryan, Dave Harris, Michael Kran, John Dobson, Vivian White, Liede-Marie Haitsma

AANC-Con Organizing Committee
6/3/07 9:30 AM, CSM Planetarium
Conference Call 866-744-9692, Passcode 634-6737
Time Topic
5 min Agenda Review
5 min Action Items
45 min Sub-committee plans and status reports
5 min Next Steps

Details of Action Items discussed: Update roles, Develop initial action plans (teams), AV setup, Theater availability, Food facilities and rules, Raffle permission, Find webmaster (revised: Michael P can handle this), Provide web content (registration, program, speakers, raffle).

There was discussion of each subcommittee progress and remaining work to do. Michael P suggesting "uncombining" website and communications/publicity.
New Communications and publicity group: Vivian (chair) Michael Kran, Moehson, Darryl, Ken, Alan, [Michael P via website]

Doug asked if we can have an August Conference Committee meeting. It will be Aug 26.

Conference Committee adjourned 10:52am

AANC Board meeting:

Mike moved, Liede-Marie seconded to approve AANC grant for Inter-Collegiate Astro-Imaging Competition - Las Positas College Astronomy Club (Livermore, CA). Motion passed.

Carter nominated (moved) Richard Ozer as interim treasurer. Several seconds. Motion passed unanimously.

Adjourned 11am.

Conference website -

From Michael Portuesi: Below is list of the content I require from the team leads in order to fill out the website. ...I'll accept this information in just about any format, but plain text is preferred. If you spend hours in MS Word doing fancy formatting, I'll just end up stripping it all out so I can format it the way the website requires. So please don't worry about presentation. Content is mainly what I require.

Conference Registration
list of benefits for registering
ordering links
availability at conference

For each event, please provide:
Start time
End time
Location on campus
Title of event
Short description - who is this suitable for
Organization sponsoring event
Any fee/ticketing required to gain admittance

For each speaker, please provide:
Speaker photo (preferably a head shot)
Name (PLEASE check spelling carefully)
Institution or company they represent, if any
Title of talk
Blurb describing talk
Bio blurb

Ticket cost
Time of drawing
List of prizes
Local sponsors

Pin/T-shirt info
Pictures of merchandise
Pricing - and what comes with a conference registration?
Ordering links

For each vendor, please provide:
Logo image
Name of vendor
Address/link to website
Any notes ("donated XXX telescope to raffle", for instance)

Provide names to be listed here, and any special thanks certain people might require


Designs for AANC con 2007 T-shirts and pins.

...I've come up with a couple of T-shirt ideas and several pin ideas (based on the shirt designs).... I wanted to vary the logo a bit from the College of San Mateo so as to try and avoid any confusion from our conference and their fund raising program. I'm assuming we'll be doing the Cafe Press thing in terms of t-shirt production. White or light colored shirts would work best. The pins will be "printed" just like the one I did for AstroCon in Berkeley. That allows for the color gradient in the hands and a smaller text size. In the PDF, you'll see a gold box around the image--that's to represent the gold edge of the pin. --Debbie


AANC Grant Proposal - 29 Apr 2007

Title: Inter-Collegiate Astro-Imaging Competiton 

Name of requesting organization: Las Positas College Astronomy Club
(Livermore, CA)

Name and contact info of person preparing the proposal:

Michael Kran
106 Barbaree Way,
Tiburon, CA 94920

Home phone: 415-888-3293

Date of proposal: April 29, 2007

Grant Request, Brief description of how the grant funds would be used:

            We are seeking $175 in prize money to encourage entrants in an inter-collegiate astrophotography competition.

The Las Positas College Astronomy Club has decided to promote an inter-collegiate astrophotography competition.  The participation of Dr. Richard Nolthenius of Cabrillo College, Eric Harpell of Las Positas College, and Alice Pevyhouse of the College of Marin has been solicited and each has responded with enthusiasm.  Ultimately, the success of the competition depends on the participation of the college students, not just their professors.  Therefore, we have decided that a monetary award for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place to help generate interest in the competition.  Once that initial interest is generated, students will discover the satisfaction that success brings in the challenging field of astrophotography. 

We currently have a Las Positas College only Astro-Imaging Competition for the current Spring 2007.  The submission deadline is May 16th at noon.  The winner will be announced ten days later on Saturday, May 26th.  We are NOT asking for any grant for this current one-campus competition. This grant request refers only to our future, three-college competition for fall 2007. 

We are seeking a grant for $175 to allow us to award $100 for the 1st Place, $50 for the 2nd Place, and $25 for the 3rd Place. The image submission deadline is early December and the award will be given in mid-December.

Explanation of how the grant benefits amateur astronomy:

With this second competition we have stretched beyond the walls of our own college, and are reaching out to build community among astronomy students in the Bay Area colleges, and stimulate interest in the fledging programs at two of these colleges. We will also be stretching the limited resources of the club.

With the expansion in the number of schools participating, the LPC Astronomy Club had decided to expand of the number of awards from just one (1st Place only) to three (1st, 2nd and 3rd Place), we seek your financial support to expand our activities to other community colleges in Northern California and increase awareness of the hobby and science of astrophotography among college-aged amateurs.

Ultimately, in the years to come, we hope that a positive student reaction will encourage more California community colleges to teach astrophotography, a subject that elegantly combines aesthetics in the photographic arts with physics, electronics, mathematical algorithms, optics, post-capture image processing, and an understanding of weather and its impact on seeing.  It is a rich field to stimulate scientific inquiry and aesthetic creativity and is almost unique in unifying two different student populations (arts, and sciences) into a single endevor. We believe encouraging bringing together these future artists and scientists can only enrich all.

Designation of a person who will report to the AANC Board on Grant spending and Grant Activities:

I, Michael Kran, will report back to the AANC Board on grant spending and grant activity including, but not limited to:
    -when the grant funds are spent,
    -how they have used,
    -what benefit the grant has been,
    -any obstacles overcome or lessons learned.

Date by which the recipient organization expects to report to the AANC Board on Grant spending and Grant activities:

I will have a report prepared for presentation the third week of January 2008. 

Our Club is already sponsoring an imaging competition.  It is currently limited to students at Las Positas College.   We only have a 1st Prize, which is $100.  I have personally funded this prize to stimulate more interest in imaging on the LPC campus.  It has already bred a friendly competitiveness among the student of Astro 9 – “Astrophotography”.  It is the first time this course has been taught on the LPC campus.  However, I am glad to report that the competition has not interfered with or diminished the openness of students to help other students improve.  Tips, traps and techniques are shared freely on our class website.

Through the generosity of Bill Drelling and the astrophotography group of the East Bay Astronomical Society, Bill has assembled a panel of four members to act as external judges to evaluate the student submissions, select a winner, and provide constructive feedback to the students.  It is, in part, because experienced outsiders are judging the whole school that the students of LPC have been drawn closer together, rather than forced apart through competition.

I will be hoping for the same positive impact resulting from our future, inter-collegial competition.  I cannot anticipate in advance if Bill Drelling and the members of the astrophotography group of the East Bay Astronomical Society would be willing to again generously donate their time to judge the fall images. I have not yet broached the subject with EAS.

Nonetheless, I intend that the fall judging will be performed by a panel of external judges that have no association with any of the participating schools.  I assured Bill that this Spring 2007 competition would generate no more than 30 images to judge.  This fall’s competition will have three times as many schools, and I cannot anticipate the total number of submissions.

We are learning about the single-college competition now, and will apply lessons learned to multi-college competitions in the future.  We anticipate holding astro-imaging competitions beyond fall 2007, and to reach out to additional Northern California community colleges.  Cautious growth will allow us to apply lessons learned at each step as we expand.  Our objective is to stimulate interest in the rapidly advancing field of astrophotography within the California community college system, its faculty, and the student population.

We feel AANC is uniquely positioned as a cross-club, Northern California association.  We welcome suggestions from the AANC Board or its members.


MDAS board meeting (5-7-07) the main topic of discussion was the 50th Anniversary Celebration of MDAS for June 9th on the Lower Summit Parking Lot of Mount Diablo; this is a Public Night and we will be having cakes with the MDAS logo, talks about the history of MDAS/MDOA, and the rangers will also discuss the park and its various programs; we are also giving out door prizes; and the Warming Room will be open and films shown on space programs; everyone involved with the park is invited, and notification has been placed in the local newspapers.

MDOA board meeting (5-23-07) and what was the main topic was the situation with regards to the installation of wires underground to the generator and fuel tank for use on the Warming Room; the need to dig a ditch in the parking lot to install said wires has created a need for an Environmental Impact Study to be done by the State, the rangers will be checking into this and will get the necessary paperwork; the Impact Study could take about 3 to 4 months, and as a result the Warming Room will be using a portable generator for light.
Richard Ozer wants to set up a Yahoo-group email address for MDOA members.
And also, Richard Ozer would like to install Photoshop into the telescope with regards to the Special Interest Group to do imaging in the future; those interested in imaging on the scope will have to be trained on the scope usage.

MDIA board meeting (5-24-07) Ranger Dan Stefanisko reported that there is going to be a virtual website installed (same used by realtors to view homes); they have a program in mind; the amount of the website is in question at the moment but once they have it, it will be placed under the MDIA website. Dan passed around an example of what will be on the site and it looks great! I asked if the Observatory/WR would be shown and he said “yes”. There will be icons to the various areas of interest.

Then Craig Mattson spoke; there will be a webcam installed at the Summit Visitor’s Center; he is using other funds as he is no longer waiting for Save Mt. Diablo/Chevron to come forth; there will be a DSL connection.

Thirty-one members; the Observatory will be used for imaging in the future as soon as SIG members are trained on the scope;
Richard Ozer would like to install Photoshop into the telescope on Mount Diablo for imaging purposes.

The Outreach events involving schools are coming to a close; Summer is here and schools are closing; it’s been a wonderful school year for school outreach…again, thank you Jim Head for getting everything together; it was fun and we had over 1500 students/teachers/parents participating in the events. During the summer months we’ll have scouting groups coming up Mt. Diablo to view through scopes and binoculars, and the Warming Room will be used to teaching and films. Each year it’s getting bigger and better, and with the help of Marni and Jim, the popularity of MDAS Outreach is growing…two thumbs up for Marni and Jim!
Library displays and tabling are continued by Liede-Marie Haitsma and have caused those interested in Astronomy to check out MDAS whether by going to the meetings and/or going to Public Nights.

[From: Liede M. Haitsma]

Hercules Stargazers Club Report

May 12, 2007 -- Despite great weather, our stargaze was cancelled due to other commitments by the regular observers. Instead, Dave H. and Steve F. looked at a possible alternative dark site in the area off Highway 4.

May 19, 2007 -- Dave H. and Timo K. arrived in time to observe the Venus-Moon conjunction before thin clouds obscured the entire sky. After a brief discussion about our continuing dark site search, Dave checked out another possible site in the Hercules area.

Our next scheduled stargazes are June 16, July 14, and August TBA.

Submitted by Dave Harris

ASP Updates

We're happy to welcome a new Executive Director, Jim Manning from Space Science Telescope Institute (MD). He will be taking over the reigns in July. Mike Bennett is retiring to spend more time sailing and enjoying life. The annual award winners have just been announced and include Andy Fraknoi, who will receive the Richard H. Emmons Award for excellence in college astronomy teaching. The ASP is now offering SEED Grants for scientists who would like to do education outreach.
Applications due June 30th. All the details and more news here:

Hope that helps. I am going to try to make it down to San Mateo tomorrow, but may have to call in. Could you please tell me the number to call for that? You can reply to this address or leave me a voice
mail at 415-279-2932


~Vivian White

SFAA Club Report

The SFAA's membership has been grownig at a good clip, mostly due to I suspect our annual Yosemite and Fremont Peak trips.
Our SLAC tour bumped up the volume too.
Vivian is gearing up for the onslaut of membership as we are changing over to a June one time membership due date as most other AANC clubs arlready do currently, making the treasurer's job easier.

Michael Portuesi has pdf'd our snazzy new membership application adding a new Cassini jpg as well.

Pubic Astronomy - ISAN was a mixed blessing; Mt. Tam had so so conditions, 9th & Irving did well as did Ghirardelli Square with John Dobson and me had an assortment of sidewalk planet gazers from Sonoma to Spain. It did get the word out though. Many fliers were passed out and lots of eyeballs saw the visible planets and Moon.

Normal SFAA telecope clinics start one hour before the SFAA City Star Party and are open to the general public. For more details, see

Our FPOA outing is June 15-16
Yosemite is July 13-14

We have a great lineup of speakers for this year

Ken Frank

Jul 29

1. Called to order by Walt at 9:30 am

2. Roll call - Alan Introduction of new members
Doug Brown, Ed Pieret, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Darryl Sanford, Mike Koop, Dean Drumhiller, Mike Portuesi, Walt Heiges, Mohsen Janatpour, Mike Ryan, Dave Harris, Michael Kran, John Dobson, Vivian White, Liede-Marie Haitsma, Richard Ozer, Steve Nelson.

New member: Chanan Greenberg

3. Approve minutes - Mike moved Chanan seconded to approve minutes. Passed. Liede-Marie later pointed out the Richard Ozer was not listed as attendee, but he was.
Last AANC meeting notes can be found here:

4. Treasurer's report Richard, Walt, Alan
Richard Ozer is acting treasurer. All AANC officers are now signtories to the Washington Mutual AANC account. Walt will try to get us access to Franklin money fund (Rancho Cordova).

5. Old business - None

6. New business

AANC Award nominations


Liede-Marie Haitsma/MDAS - nominates Jim Head/Outreach Representative for the AANC Amateur Award. Member of MDAS since 2003 and is in charge of outreach. Programs for schools.

Ken Frank (SFAA) nominates Michael Portuesi.


Walt (SVAS) nominates Chris Hulbe for Professional Award. Sacramento City College and Sacramento State U.

Mike Portuesi (SFAA) - nomimates Phil Plait of Sonoma State U (now in Colo). Runs daily blog. Bad Astronomy website. Dedicated to debunking bogus astronomy assertions.


Ken Frank (SFAA) nominates Dean Drumhiller, CSM.


Richard Ozer nominates Michelle Stone from Plettstone Telescopes.

Please remember to turn in your nominations for this years outstanding individuals supporting and fostering Amateur Astronomy
for Amateur Professional Commercial Special

Upcoming FPOA StarBQ - /Doug Brown - In 2 weeks will be the Star-B-Q, featuring the Pereseids. Vice Chair of Astronomy Dept at Santa Cruz is featured speaker. FPOA will submit request for 1/2 of expenses to be paid by AANC at next meeting.

AANC Award nominees Walt clubs, e-mail list, request for award nominees

Honorarium proposal for Speakers - Ken - Jane Houston Jones would appreciate an honorarium to cover travel expenses. Ken moves that we allocate $350 honorarium for Jane Jones. Liede-Marie seconds. Motion passed.

Ken was given info from John Westfall re the upcoming August 27-28 Total Lunar Eclipse. Westfall gave presentation at MDAS recently. Michael Portuesi is working on an eclipse article now for the SFSA website.

7. Club reports

8. Adjourned 10:03

AANC "Reach for the Stars" Committee Meeting

Conference Committee Meeting—Doug Brown taking notes

Meeting Notes: Powerpoint | PDF

Richard Bennion gave report on RealSky Show

Adjourned 11am.

Conference website -

Designs for AANC con 2007 T-shirts and pins.



To... Archives of AANC Board Meeting Minutes


From Alan Gould
Saturday Night Stargazing on LHS Plaza for free every 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, weather permitting. For live view, indication of current weather conditions, see LHS View web cam -
Planetarium shows every day this summer: 1 pm Flying High (ages 4-7; an imaginary trip to space); 2:15 pm Target Earth (ages 6-adult; about probabilities and effects of collisions of asteroids or comets with Earth); 3:30 pm Constellations Tonight (ages 6-adult; learn to use your own star map to find the constellations)
LHS open to public 10-5 daily. Admission: $9.50 adults; $7.50 ages 5-18 yrs old; $5.50 children 3-4yrs old.

From: Liede M. Haitsma
Ranger has completed and mailed out the Project Evaluation Form regarding the ditching for the propane tank; this will take about three months (+/-) to process; form was sent last month (May); hoping that the Warming Room will be up-and-running by the end of the year.

There are 32 MDAS members plus 2 out-of-state people; the Observatory is beginning to be used for training on the computer and the telescope by interested MDOA and SIG members for imaging purposes; Richard Ozer is doing the training.

October-MDAS will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a club potluck.
November-MDAS will be having its swapmeet/auction
Outreach-a few scouting events; school outreach will be up-and-running again once school opens in August/September; library displays continue to be put up each month in various Contra Costa libraries; Public Star Parties draw large groups now that the temps are warmer on Mt. Diablo.

Hercules Stargazers Club Report

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 23:50:03
From: David Harris

Stargazes held at Foxboro Park, Hercules:

June 16, 2007 -- Two scopes set up from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.. A clear sky, but bad seeing due to air turbulence. A few visitors from the neighborhood.

July 14, 2007 -- Two 10" Dobs set up from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and a few more visitors from the area. Many objects seen, including M13, Jupiter and moons, The Ring Nebula, M8, M20, M81 and M82.

Next Stargazes -- August 4, September 8, October 13, and November 10.

SFAA Club Report

SFAA Club Report for Sunday July 29, 2007

CSP (City Star Partys) have been mostly a wash. The fickled finger of fog comes in at the inappropriate time. We've even discussed conducting sidewalk astronomy when the weather is suitable vs scheduled times because of our bad luck. On a lighter note,
our New Moon Yosemite was a great hit for 40+ SFAAer's...especially the Saturday eve Pot Luck. Check out the pix and see the show & tell breakfast club. Our seeing was "mushy" on Friday according to Mojo, who gave his fine talk to a filled Glacier Point amphitheatre. Dave Frey brought his 18 AND 20" to Yosemite for all to gawk. Saturday brought clouds and sucker holes, but fine observing of Ganymede's transit. Vivian is squaring away the finances. Joe is working on the web pages, the Board is getting me organized. Fall Astronomy Day is fast approaching. Tim Ferris' "Seeing in the Dark" will air September 19th in conjunction with fall astro day on our local PBS stations.
Mt. Tam program:
has been quite a hit for the past 2 months. Over 300+ in attendance on both occasions.
Mt. Tam party dates for 2008: May 5, June 7, July 12, August 9, Sept. 6, Oct. 4
August 15th speaker is incoming new director, Ryan Wynn of the Morrison Planetarium. Don't miss it! Come early...say 7 pm for a good seat at the Randall. SFAA speaker schedule for the rest of the year:
Our SFAA Coronado PST, housed at the Randall got a workout for Sun, Wind, Water day. Ken Frank gave a talk in the theatre "Hot Stuff, the Sun", while Susie of the ASP made sundials and demonstrated limb lightening, albeit no sunspot activity, but lots of proms via the PST. SFAA Night on Fremont Peak June 15-16th was a huge success and we got praise from Ron Dammann for helping out public night.
John Dobson Day and Night is August 25th. John will again be assisted by Ken for
Telescope making at the Randall in October. John also will give his flavor of cosmology as well.
Finally SFAA awards dinner is January 19th at Delancy Street. Sign up soon with Vivian. Views are great, transportation easy. Join in on the fun.

Ken Frank

San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA) Club Report

SJAA is again hosting CalStar in October at Lake San Antonio in Monterey County. See our website for details. (The Ephemeris SJAA newsletter is at We are hosting Lunar Eclipse viewing at our local park. We are recognizing our very large and successful scope loaner program after Mike Koop left.

Aug 26

1. Called to order by Walt at 9:35 am

2. Roll call - Alan Introduction of new members
Doug Brown, Ed Pieret, Ken Frank, Alan Gould, Darryl Sanford, Mike Koop, Dean Drumhiller, Mike Portuesi, Walt Heiges, Mohsen Janatpour, Mike Ryan, Dave Harris, Michael Kran, Channan Greenberg, Vivian White, John Dillon, Liede-Marie Haitsma, Richard Ozer.

3. Approve minutes - Mike R moved Mike K seconded to approve minutes. Passed.
Last AANC meeting notes can be found here:

4. Treasurer's report. Richard. We got $240 Conference Registrations. Walt will add Richard to online banking access for WAMU. Balance in WAMU is $2573.72 minus $21.40 pastage spent by Walt. There will be $45 due to Mike P for website costs. Walt will try to get us access to Franklin money fund (Rancho Cordova). Golden State Star Party has joined AANC.

5. Old business -

Summary of AANC Award nominations


Liede-Marie Haitsma/MDAS - nominates Jim Head/Outreach Representative for the AANC Amateur Award. Member of MDAS since 2003 and is in charge of outreach. Programs for schools.

Ken Frank (SFAA) nominates Michael Portuesi. President of SFAA two years. AANC Board. Does Sidewalk Astronomy website and conference website.


Walt (SVAS) nominates Chris Hulbe for Professional Award. Sacramento City College and Sacramento State U.

Mike Portuesi (SFAA) - nomimates Phil Plait of Sonoma State U (now in Colo). Runs daily blog. Bad Astronomy website. Dedicated to debunking bogus astronomy assertions.


Ken Frank (SFAA) nominates Dean Drumheller, CSM.


Richard Ozer nominated Michelle Stone from Plettstone Telescopes.

Voting results:

Michael Portuesi of SFAA and SF Sidewalk Astronomers

Phil Plait - Bad

Dean Drumheller, CSM.

Plettstone Telescopes (Michelle Stone).

Prior year award winners

6. New business

Walt asked Michael Kran to chair a Committee on membership. Michael accepted.

Richard: Golden State Star Party has hoined AANC. Date of next star party July 2-5, 2008.

Mike Koop made announcement about Aurigids.

Michael Kran: College of Marin almost cancelled astrnoomy, but they found a good professor. With his help a College of Marin Astronomy Club has formed. They have a nice collection of telescopes.

7. Club reports

8. Adjourned 10:16

AANC "Reach for the Stars" Committee Meeting

Conference Committee Meeting—Doug Brown taking notes

Meeting Notes: Powerpoint | PDF

Richard Bennion gave report on RealSky Show

Adjourned 11am.

Conference website -

Designs for AANC con 2007 T-shirts and pins.



To... Archives of AANC Board Meeting Minutes


LHS report (Alan Gould). Current planetarium shows at Lawrence Hall of Science (through Aug 24):
1:00 p.m. - Flying High (ages 4-7)
2:15 p.m. - Target Earth (6 yrs and up)
3:30 p.m. - Constellations Tonight (6 yrs and up)
Shows October 2007 - January 2008
Saturday and Sunday, plus Holidays.
1:00 p.m. - Journey to the Moon (ages 4-7)
2:15 p.m. - Our Very Own Star (6 yrs and up)
3:30 p.m. - Constellations Tonight (6 yrs and up)
Stargazing on LHS plaza every 1st and 3rd Satruday, weather permitting. Volunteers needed (preferably with telescopes, but not required). See

MDAS report ... From: Liede M. Haitsma

MDOA- Board meeting 8-1-07; 13 members; no information with regards to the generator, tank and electrical; Richard Ozer has the camera from the TKO and will be checking for suspected moisture, he will dry the camera using the oven; Jon Wilson had nothing to report with regards to the website; Ranger Dan received a request from the Environmental Study group for more information with regards to the requested ditch digging for the wires; Jack Borde suggested that we go into the Home Schooling area for Outreach also.

MDAS- Board meeting 8-13-07; Auction to be held in November; 50th Anniversary of MDAS to be celebrated with a dinner at the club meeting in October; Outreach with the schools will be starting up again in September; library displays continue to be set up per month within Contra Costa County; Public Nights draw over 100 people each time during the summer months.

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP/IMAGING- There are 35 members; interest in imaging going strong; some of the members are being trained to use the scope/computer in the observatory on Mount Diablo and images are being taken; the group will give a demonstration in October at the MDAS club night; the imaging group will try to set up astrophotography classes at Diablo Valley College within the next few months, contact with the instructors will be arranged for possible interest.

Hercules Stargazers Club Report

Hercules Stargazers Report for 8-26-07 AANC meeting:
Stargazes at Foxboro Park, Hercules --
1) August 11 Stargaze changed to August 4. Three volunteers and a few visitors viewed Jupiter and its moons, M4, M6, M7, M8, M20, M11, M81 and 82, Albireo, the Ring Nebula, M13, and the Perseus Double Cluster.
2) Remaining Stargazes for 2007: September 8, October 13, and November 10.
Submitted by Dave Harris

SFAA Club Report

SFAA Club Report for Sunday August 26, 2007
CSP (City Star Partys) is on Saturday August 25th at Lands End
September 22nd CSP is located at the Randall Museum
We just had a very timely Dr. Janice Voss - NASA-Ames Research Center "Life as an Astronaut"speak this past Saturday at our Mt. Tam program: On 9/15 at 8:00pm our very own John Dillon, Nature Curator of the Randall Museum will speak on "When Astronomy Became a Science" Mt. Tam pubic star party dates for 2008: May 5, June 7, July 12, August 9, Sept. 6, Oct. 4
SFAA Special Use Permit (SUP) evenings for next year are: 1/12, 2/9, 3/8, 4/5, 5/3, 5/31, 7/5, 8/2, 8/30, 9/27, 10/25, 11/29, 12/27
The SFAA's Star B Q is on Saturday,September 8th at Bootjack and will be quite different this year. We are inviting the newly formed COMAS or College of Marin Astronomy Club. This will ensure mutual benefit to both clubs. We look forward to the Star B Q Hope you can make it. Bring a side dish or dessert and join in on the fun. One request, no alcoholic beverages please.
On August 15th we heard new director of the Morrison Planetarium, Ryan Wynn speak about honesty and the message you want to portray in imagery. A very thought provoking lecture with many questions by SFAA members to the talk, including disposition of the projector and what is a visualizer?
Next month is Chris Ford of don't want to miss it. Very similar theme of: Using hard data, amateur astronomer Chris Ford will show astronomy visualizations, aspiring to scientific accuracy that will educate and entertain. SFAA speaker schedule for the rest of the year:
SFAA will be a test club for a new and exciting qeustionare designed by Institute for Learning Innovation. Check out: The ILI is recognized as leaders in what is called "Free Choice Learning" . Currently the ILI is working on the actual survey for the ASP to be presented by Suzie Gurton the ASP's Astronomy Education Manager sometime next month. We are very excited about the outcome and what it will show us how to improve the volunteerism w/in the club environment and the inner workings of what makes or breaks an astro club like ours.
John Dobson Day and Night is August 25th and will be celebrated at the CSP on Lands End.
SFAA awards dinner on January 19th at Delancy Street is filling up fast. Email our treasurer, Vivian White <vivwhite at> for a reservation.

Ken Frank

San Jose Astronomical Association (SJAA) Club Report

SJAA is again hosting CalStar in October at Lake San Antonio in Monterey County. See our website for details. (The Ephemeris SJAA newsletter is at We are hosting Lunar Eclipse viewing at our local park. We are recognizing our very large and successful scope loaner program after Mike Koop left.


Sep 23

Minutes from 23 Sep 2007

AANC-Con Organizing Committee Notes (no regular board mtg)

From: Liede M. Haitsma

Meeting started: 10:00 am

Mohsen Janatpour; Doug Brown; Richard Ozer; Steven Nelson; Mike Portuesi; Michael Kran; Dean Drumheller; Ed Pieret; John Dillon; Kenneth Frank; Mike Ryan; Chanan Greenberg; Marian Wieler, Mike Koop; Darryl Stanford; and Liede-Marie Haitsma

Discussion on Original Plans, Time Line, and Coordination of the Day:

Mike Ryan: Speakers; local publicity to newspapers; distribution of fliers. Said the current fliers do not show “Astronomy and is Free”. Music group called Dark Energy is getting “better” and would like to have 20 +/- chairs set up in front of them for people to listen-questioned if there would be enough “manpower”; Steve Nelson suggested 12 +/- chairs for ADA people; group would set up in the lobby twice in the afternoon-Steve Nelson said that would be a “good idea”. The meeting group “Agreed”.

Dean Drumheller: The awards to be given inside (around 6:15 pm…first thought) after Key Note Speaker; should take about ∏ hour (said by Richard Ozer/Doug Brown); asking how many people will be attending; a question as to time when it will be …suggested that each award will be given out after each speaker-this was Agreed upon by all in the Board!

* Group picture will be around 3 pm on the stairs of all the people involved; will be getting a professional photographer.
* Asking for other people with cameras to take pictures/videos and to send the best to Mike Portuesi
* Door/parking signs to be redone and/or done by Michael Kran
* Fliers to be redone or new ones added to add Astronomy wording-by Michael Kran
* Raffle tickets have been purchased
* Handouts of free “stuff”-in charge is Michael Kran/Mike Koop
* Vendor Packet-about five vendors will be there
* Registration-in charge is Richard Ozer/Liede-Marie Haitsma
* Food Vendor-Richard Ozer to check it out; Vendor has to decide if it’s “worth it” to show up; Registration people will get their box lunches; Doug Brown said that there must be food for ALL the people; Richard Ozer is against the AANC paying for it; there must be a guarantee that the Vendor will be paid and this was also stated by Michael Kran and Doug Brown. The Food Vendor is guaranteed certain hours.

Michael Koop discussed SETI and where they will be placed; they will have a room; Steve Nelson said that Jeff Adkins (Speaker) is one of the main speakers for high schools and teaching of Astronomy and that Jeff Adkins must have a separate room: SETI, too, must have a separate room since they have many items. Moshen Janatpour stated that there is limited room available; Mike Koop said that SETI will be in the hallway using video and passing out handouts.

Moshen Janatpour: Stated that there cannot be vendor sales as this is College of San Mateo policy; vendors can only display but no sales.

* Speaker Backup laptop/MAC-Christopher Go said this has now changed.
* “Center of the Universe” will be in the court yard; if weather is a problem then the outdoor Astronomy show will be changed to the Planetarium.
* Dean Drumheller to be with speakers all day long to help with their computers and video equipment
* Emergency numbers will be handed out; Dean Drumheller will be in charge with regards to emergencies
* Chairs and tables to be brought the day before (Friday, 28th) but they will either be set up that Friday evening or Saturday 29th in the morning; Moshen was charged $1800 for the tables and charges. He said that there might be 2000 +/- people there-security has been told about the number of people coming.

Chanan Greenberg spoke about the groups of people to be there with and without scopes; volunteers to help out the people with scopes; there will be directors; volunteers for traffic control, the Astro Theater, with the usage of computers, and help the vendors.

Richard Ozer presented the idea to have raffle tickets sold all day long with volunteers walking amongst the people (“roving” raffle ticket people). Mike Koop to be in charge of the raffle; he has several lists of raffle items and which vendor is bringing what for the raffle.

Doug Brown to be in charge of getting name tags made out; there will be approximately 80 +/- name tags.

* It was suggested that balloons be tied to the various signs to attract attention.

We were advised to be at the College of San Mateo by 9 am on Saturday, 29th, and park in Lots 9 and 10; we will help (if needed) to set up tables and chairs, and do whatever is needed before the event opens at 12 noon.

The meeting ended around 12:30 pm; after the meeting many of us helped put packets together consisting of literature from various vendors.



LHS report (Alan Gould). Current planetarium shows at Lawrence Hall of Science (October 2007 - January 2008):
Saturday and Sunday, plus Holidays.
1:00 p.m. - Journey to the Moon (ages 4-7)
2:15 p.m. - Our Very Own Star (6 yrs and up)
3:30 p.m. - Constellations Tonight (6 yrs and up)
Stargazing on LHS plaza every 1st and 3rd Satruday, weather permitting. Volunteers needed (preferably with telescopes, but not required). See

From: Liede M. Haitsma
Mount Diablo Astronomical News for AANC meeting 9-23-07

Board meeting 9-10-07; Jim Scala, "What's Up" coordinator, is getting a pin made showing our 50th Anniversary dates and will be giving those to the individuals who present a short program during each General Club meeting (they look very nice!); Jim Head, Outreach coordinator, has begun to set-up programs for the coming year. We have two in September: The first is with the Muir Heritage Land Trust, on the 14th at the Fernandez Ranch in Martinez for Girl Scouts. The second is at Parkmead Elementary School in Walnut Creek on the 19th. More in October; Liede-Marie Haitsma has set-up this year's last library display at the Concord Library. The library asked MDAS back for a second year because everyone who viewed liked it; the Club is planning for its 50th Anniversary in October; in November the Club will be having an auction/swap meet.

MOUNT DIABLO OBSERVATORY ASSOCIATION: Meeting cancelled for 9-19-07; meeting date TBD

The group has a loyal gathering of about 10 to 14 that meet regularly; remote imaging has become an interest due to people like Richard Crisp and R.J. GaBany talking at various clubs, showing their images and discussing the use of remote viewing.

9-14-07: Starparty with Jim Head at the Fernandez Ranch site/Muir Heritage Land Trust in Martinez; around 75 people-went very well!
9-15-07: MDAS tabling, by Liede-Marie, event at the Clayton Library
9-19-07: Starparty with Jim Head at Parkmead Elementary School in Walnut Creek; was cancelled due to cloud cover; will be rescheduled.
Jim Head will be scheduling more Outreach programs in weeks to come.

Conference website -

Designs for AANC con 2007 T-shirts and pins.

Dec 2

Minutes from 2 Dec 2007

1. Call to order 10:14 am Walt

2. Roll call

Alan Gould, Rich Neuschaefer, Richard Ozer, Michael Kran, Mike Koop, Dave Harris Liede Marie Haitsma, John Dillon, Ken Frank, Walt Heiges, Mike Portuesi, Ed Pieret, Len Nelson. Welcome new SJAA rep Rich Neuschaefer.

3. Approve minutes

Ken moved Mike seconded to approve minutes. Passed.

4. Treasurer's report - Richard. See 2007 Conference Summary.

We netted $858 on the conference. Food costs - it would be nice to reduce those food costs. Richard hopes that AANC can get out of the food business, because that was a big hassle.

Questions about honoraria. Mike expected that all speakers get honoraria. Jane's reimbursement was more for travel expenses. Richard will correct that item in the summary.

Walt: We have about $5000 in Franklin Fund. Walt entertains motion to make Walt the new signatory for the Franklin fund account for AANC.

Michael Kran moved that due to AANC Treasurer Don Stone's failing health, the Board has determined to remove Don Stone's signatory authority for the AANC Franklin Templeton Investments account (account # ending in 606), and grant signatory authorityfor that account to the AANC President, Walt Heiges, until such time as a replacement AANC Treasurer is elected. Dave Harris seconded. Motion passed.

5. Old business

Membership Renewal Headway - Walt

Michael Kran is looking into membership renewal effort. Will send out renewal invitation to members. Michael needs letter-head. We could put letterhead on unlinked web page.

6. New business

A. AANC-CON 2007 Wrap up. Total success!

Archive "Reach" website - Michael P. - Mojo's photos of conference are linked to AANCcon2007 website. Michael would like to move the website to regular AANC website. Michael will bundle the site and give it over to Alan. He'll also ask Mojo if he's willing to continue hosting the photos.

Lessons learned. What we can do better next time around.

Liede-Marie: as event for CSM, conference was great. Talks were great. But this did not seem like an AANC event--it was CSM event. No clubs could sell anything, but CSM club sold items. Every club should have had separate tables available to them if they so wanted.
Ken: Could it be that AANC member clubs did not step forward?
Richard: If clubs were not allowed to have their own tables, that is very bad. Host should have right to showcase its assets. Clubs should also have space to showcase.
Alan: We need conference guidelines written that include policies such as the fact that clubs should be not only entitled to tables, but encouraged to each have their own table.
Michael K is willing to put some effort into crafting conference guidelines.
Alan can send Pacific Planetarium Association (PPA) conference guidelines to serve as example.

CSM did not make money on the event. They lost money, time, effort.

Michael P: There were issues/confusion with the raffle.
We need to set out clear elements in conference guidelines. E.g. should donors be allowed to buy tickets. People must be present at raffle to win prize. Michael P will help draft raffle guidelines.

B. Astronomy Events Calendar for 2008 Please submit your club calendar to Alan

Changes/corrections? Please let Alan or Ken know.

[Request from Alan G: If at all possible, I prefer to receive notice of calendar items in a format that is compatible and consistent with the AANC calendar in general. That would include DATE, TIME, EVENT NAME or LECTURE NAME with SPEAKER NAME, SPONSORING ORGANIZATION, Contact info &/or URL, optional--brief description in a few sentences or 1 paragraph.]

C. 2008 meeting dates: Feb 24, Apr 20, Jun 22, Aug 17, Oct 12, Dec 14.

D. Grants - no grant proposals to consider.

7. Club reports and website updates Please send to: Alan Gould <>

8. Other agenda items and announcements

Ken showed new book "Star Maps", by Nick Kanas, sold through Praxis or Springer. Highly recommended.

9. Adjourn Next meeting date: Feb 24, Location Chabot, unless otherwise notified.

SPECIAL ISSUE 2008 Jan 3: Alan Gould Motion to approve Proposal to the AANC Board (from Larry McCune, SCAS Treasurer
"that AANC sponsor a [Striking Sparks] telescope again this year... at a ... fee [of] $200."
The other officers (Walt, Richard, Ken) have in effect seconded this motion.

Final voting results for the proposal to approve allocation of funds for a telescope for the Striking Sparks program:

11 YES - to approve the allocation of $200 for Striking Sparks

0 NO - to not approve it.






To... Archives of AANC Board Meeting Minutes

CLUB REPORTS -|- MDAS -|- Hercules -|- LHS -|- SFAA

50TH Anniversary Celebration of the creation of MDAS/Project Moonwatch/and the launch of Sputnik I on 10-5-1957; the event was wonderful-there were probably 75 +/- people who participated and everyone enjoyed themselves-the food was prepared and served by the Concord police (Marni’s husband is a retired police officer and another police officer) and all said that it tasted very good-we also received a letter from Carter Roberts/EAS President congratulating MDAS on it’s 50th Anniversary which was read to the group by Nick/MDAS President (thank you, Carter!)-the highlight of the night was Jack Borde talking about the history of Project Moonwatch and the beginning of MDAS, the telescopes that were used for satellite viewing( and viewing Sputnik I) were on the tables, with displays showing how it all got started-Jack discussed how each one was used (these telescopes are indeed of historical value!)-everyone had a wonderful time!
Auction/Swap Meet/Bake Sale-meeting on November 20th; everyone had a great time; the auction saw many telescopes of various kinds being auctioned off, and the Bake Sale also brought various baked goods to be auctioned; when the auction was over everyone went to the tables to look for deals as there were many items on the tables…we had a great evening!

Meeting 10-17-07;
The following Park Rangers are leaving: Ryen Goering; Jack Duggan; and also, Craig Mattson will be retiring at the end of the year, December 28th.

Warming Room needs repairs due to parts coming apart; will get in touch with company where WR was purchased;
Ditching with regards to propane tank: The Park wants a write-up on the plan; Jack wants Ranger Dan to look at the site with him and to do a drawing of the ditch area; several ways to place the ditch; Contractor to check road covering; rain is a main factor and it might be spring 2008 that they start.
**Received this information from Jack Borde regarding the Warming Room (11-26-07): “The contractor has completed the installation of fuel line and electrical hook up from warming room to generator with optional auxiliary small generator operation. However we have to contact the generator people for a training session for its proper operation. Before this can be done we need to charge the battery on the unit and so far it looks like this training session would occur on a Friday afternoon sometime in the near future. Operation places need to be engraved and installed before this session occurs.”

Remote viewing and imaging has taken hold of the group; during the monthly meetings the various remote viewing sites and processing’s are discussed.

Jim Head, Outreach Representative, received word from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific that MDAS has been randomly selected to win a Mars Globe: “As part of an opening event for Muir Heritage Land Trust, the Mount Diablo Astronomical Society put on a star party in Martinez, California. Jim Head and nine other members entertained about 100 people with the newest Toolkit. Very curious and excited group. The Solar System Banner was a magnet for investigation and questions. We mounted the banner on the side of a car and almost every time we looked over there, a clutch of people had gathered to look at it. So we had many opportunities to discuss the movements of the planets and the missions that were exploring the Solar System." **It’s great to see that the MDAS Outreach programs are appreciated.**
Jim has also been in touch with a home-schooling group and found them to be extremely interested in hearing about Astronomy; their parents too were interested. As with the schools and scout groups this is a possible new direction that the club will take in showing Astronomy to the home-schoolers. Great going Jim!!
Save Mount Diablo: Mount Diablo Challenge (10.8 mile timed bike ride) on Mount Diablo on 10-7-07: This was a very nice event; many interested people came to the table; Tom Harris and Liede-Marie H. spoke to those asking questions about the club and Astronomy in general.
Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair in Concord on 10-13-07: There were three meetings, the first meeting no one was there, but the second and third meetings saw interested children and parents; it was very enjoyable and Jim gave lectures on various points of Astronomy; Liede-Marie H. spoke to the groups regarding the use of binoculars in Astronomy.
Primo’s Run, 3rd Annual Volunteer San Ramon Valley in San Ramon on 10-14-07: Liede-Marie H. tabled; many interested parents, school teachers and scout leaders came to the table for Outreach information as-well-as MDAS club information.
Rancho Romero Elementary in Alamo on Wednesday, November 14th, had a great MDAS Outreach gathering; there must have been 120 plus students/parents and teachers there; about 15 MDAS members and their scopes and binoculars were there; the skies were clear and we were able to see Comet Holmes clearly with binoculars…binoculars were better to be used for viewing the comet then scopes at that moment-everyone thoroughly enjoyed seeing the comet; Jim Head did a great job! Jim Head received this email from the school coordinator:
“Here's a message from last night's starparty school coordinator...
Hello Jim,

Thank you so much for the wonderful astronomy night that you and your crew put on for us last night! Everyone seemed to be having a great time during the event, and I've had lots of positive feedback today. It's such a fantastic service that you all perform, exposing so many children and their families to the wonders of the night sky. And like you said, you never know which future astronomer might have his or her curiosity piqued by their first gaze through a telescope.

I hope we'll be able to do it again!

Many thanks once again,
Linda Post”


CLUB REPORTS -|- MDAS -|- Hercules -|- LHS -|- SFAA

HERCULES STARGAZERS - Submitted by Dave Harris.
October 13, 2007 -- We set up around 8 p.m., with Mark's 20" truss Dob and Dave's 10" Dob. Viewed the Perseus Double Cluster, M31, and M15. Then we tried to find NGC 7479 and NGC 7814 in Pegasus, but the sky was to bright. Next was Albeireo in both scopes, and the pair was split in the 10x30 IS binoculars. On to M11, and then to the Veil Nebula. Next was the Andromeda Galaxy and M33, and finally the Pleiades. We packed up around 11:15 p.m.
November 10, 2007 -- Due to rain, this Stargaze was cancelled, but we decided to reschedule it for the next night, Sunday, November 11, which was very clear from the rain. This would be our last Stargaze for 2007. We set up around 7:45 p.m. Timo had his newly-constructed 13" truss Dob, and two new Stargazers had arrived, Dennis with his NexStar 5
and Richard with his 10" Meade LX. Dave brought the 10" Dob and 10x30 IS binoculars, and Sherry brought her binoculars and camera. Later, Steve arrived, and helped set up the laser finder on the Meade. Viewing was excellent, and we started off with Comet 17/P Holmes, which showed well through all scopes and binoculars as a sharply circular cloud with a bright center and stars behind the coma, which appeared brighter to one side. Also seen were the Ring Nebula, the Double Cluster, Albeireo, and the Pleiades. Sherry tried imaging through the 10" Dob, but the objects were too faint. Sherry also shared her great photos of August's Lunar Eclipse, taken around 3 a.m. During this time we had one neighborhood visitor who recalled coming to our Stargazes over 10 years ago as a kid. A bit later, we found Mars, and viewed the Orion Nebula through the OIII filter on the 10" Dob. Last, we picked out the Andromeda Galaxy in Dobson's Hole. We packed up around midnight.
The 2008 Stargaze Schedule has not been made yet, but will start in April. There is a possibility that the group may meet on some evenings during the interim, either at Foxboro Park or some other location.


CLUB REPORTS -|- MDAS -|- Hercules -|- LHS -|- SFAA

Holt Planetarium Schedule - Saturday and Sunday, plus Holidays*.
October - December 16, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. Journey to the Moon (ages 4-7), 2:15 p.m. Our Very Own Star (6 yrs and up),
3:30 p.m. Constellations Tonight (6 yrs and up)
    * Holidays are Nov. 12 & Nov. 23.
December 22, 2007 - March 16, 2008 -1:00 p.m. - Flying High (ages 4-7), 2:15 p.m. Red Planet Mars (6 yrs and up), 3:30 p.m. Constellations Tonight (6 yrs and up)
    * Holidays are Jan. 21, Feb 18.
Daily shows 12/24/2007-1/04/2008

Saturday Night Stargazing — on the LHS Plaza
1st and 3rd clear Saturday of every month throughout the year— Weather Permitting —
8 – 10 p.m. September 15 through March 31
9 – 11 p.m. April 1 through September 14


CLUB REPORTS -|- MDAS -|- Hercules -|- LHS -|- SFAA

SFAA Calendar for 2008

SFAA Club Report for Sunday December 2, 2007

CSP's (City Star Party) are at the Randall Museum for solstice and equinox months, otherwise they are held at Lands End, above the Cliff House and below Fort Miley near the flagpole and monument to the USS San Francisco. The fickled finger of fog still arrives at inappropriate times. We think the SFSA approach of "go when it's good" may be the answer. Sounds good as an idea, but hasenÕt been tried out yet.
The last Mt. Tam program:
for the season was October. Next year for public star parties begins May 5, June 7, July 12, August 9, Sept. 6, Oct. 4.
West Peak Access to the mountain is the latest buzz. Let's hope we get it before Messier Marathon night. Stay tuned. December 19th is our Member's Night at the Randall with
Jim Cottle reminicing the launch pad at Cape Kennedy with sounds and sights of a real launch!
Check out our astrophoto contest, art and literary entries.

John Dobson's telescope making class of 10 students is doing quite well. Assisted by Ken Frank, there are only 2 sessions left. Bob Fies will again be busy aluminizing mirrors for the class. JD is leaving the Bay Area December 20th for Death Valley.
Call Furnace Creek and make either camping or room reservations NOW. The LA Sidewalk Astronomers leave the morning of the 26th from Burbank and stay until the morning of the 30th. Sun scopes are deregur during the day, JD talks one night and we do observing at the visitor center...several people have told us they plan their yearly trip to coincide with ours. And, if you're into the desert — Death Valley is the place...
Contact Donna Smith <dsmith1055 at earthlink dot net>

John Dobson will have two more informal meetings to discuss his flavor of Cosmology
-- on Tuesday, December 4th and Tuesday, December 11th, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., at his residence (the downstairs apartment), 4135 Judah St., San Francisco. Please call John directly at 415 665 4054.

Finally SFAA awards dinner is January 19th at Delancy Street. Sign up soon with Vivian White <vivwhite at gmail dot com>. Views are great, transportation easy. Join in on the fun.

Ken Frank