News From Last Month's Club Meeting
OAC Meeting News:
February 4, 2024
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- Opening: Welcome Guests and New Members.
- Major Presentation: February's meeting, "In the Shadow of the Moon!", was presented by club member and solar observing maven Matt Schie. Matt's excellent program shared an historical perspective on total solar eclipses and ended by preparing us to observe the progression of remarkable sights to be enjoyed on April 8th. Matt, your presentation rocked! (By the way, if there is a topic you would like to know more about or a topic you would like to present, please send an email to Tom, vicepresident at oaklandastronomy.net).
- Visual Observers Guide: Veteran observer Dave Holt briefly reviewed the new format for this year's "Monthly Visual-Observers Guide", noting that his selections will be from Peter Birren's delightful book, "Objects in the Heavens". In February we will focus on the host of galaxies in the constellation Ursa Major. (I had no idea galaxies in Ursa Major were so plentiful!) If you have not ordered your copy, let John P know to order a copy for you; at the end of this week, he will be placing another club-discounted order for Peter's guidebook, which includes a personalized note from the author. As always, you can download this month's Visual Observer Guide, skymap, and .skylist file, from the "Observation Tab" of the club website under "What's Up?"
- Club Events Report:
- Since our last club meeting:
- January 19, Many thanks to Tom C, John P, Gary, Bill, Penny, Scott, and David Kastl for generously sharing their love of astronomy with the Oakland Township community gathered at the historic Cranberry Lake Farm. And many thanks to the staff at Oakland Township Parks/Rec for creating such a perfect observing field for this event!
- January 20, Bill, Scott, Tom C, and John P shared an enjoyable indoor/outdoor program at Troy's Stage Nature Center. Along with our guests, we were further entertained by the amazing outdoor preserve for injured owls that was situated right next to our observing location at the nature center. Thanks, all for making this a memorable night for all..
- January 27, West Bloomfield's annual lantern-lit woodland walk was cancelled by the park because the trails through the woods were unsafe due to the heavy snow and rain preceding the event.
- February 3, Fourteen club members were rewarded with pristine skies on a damp-cold evening at Addison Oaks! Our normal observing area was too muddy for safe passage, but the park supervisor graciously allowed us to utilize alternate observing field space--which had great horizons on this clear, moonless night. Thanks Kate!.
- Upcoming February Events:
- February 10, Bring your scope and join us for a delightful evening at Shelby Township's winter festival at the Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center. We'll provide three short presentations about Mother Nature's winter luminaries, invite guests to observe "The Real McCoy" with us, enjoy a lantern-lit walk through the woods, and nosh on s' mores around a cozy fire.
- February 24, We are scheduling (yes, the sun has been invited) a sunny day at the Franklin Public Library where Matt Schie will lead an adult-oriented presentation about the upcoming eclipse; weather permitting we’ll share live telescopic views of the sun. If you have a solar scope, or white-filter for your scope, now would be a great opportunity to share them!
- In addition to the community-sponsored events, plans were discussed for February's star party and club observing evenings.
- Upcoming March Events are posted on our Events website.
- A copy of this report will be emailed to club members after the meeting.
- News from the Vice-President: Tom shared that 51 club/family members have signed up for the total solar eclipse trip in April. By midmonth, Tom will email additional information about activities planned for the eclipse weekend. Tom also reminded members to save the dates for the summer camp out and the annual summer club picnic.
- News from the President: Gary thanked the 31 responders to the annual club satisfaction survey and shared the affirmations for things the club is doing well and suggestions for areas of improvement. Overall, there is a high level of club member satisfaction and participation by club members is strong.
- Open Discussion and Image Sharing: SeeStar Dave shared a splendid image of M97. Bob Berta shared his dazzling image of the Heart Nebula captured from his suburban backyard using an 8" SCT that he turbo-charged to f1.9 using hyper-star. Wow! Bill shared his captures of Orion from our recent event at the Troy nature center, and Scott shared some of his first SeeStar images, M1 and M45. Thanks to all, you make it look so easy!