by John Miller, Secretary
with additions: Larry Kane, Assistant Director
● This was the second virtual / online general member’s meeting of the AAAP since the club’s inception. Attendees were invited to participate via the cloud-based Zoom communications software. About 51 people were logged on at 7:45 p.m. This process was instituted for the safety of participants due to the global Covid -19 pandemic. The Princeton Campus remains in lock-down.
● Director Rex Parker brought the meeting to order about 7:30 P.M. Among other general comments, he recommended the web site: “thinkastronomy.com.” [ lk]
● AAAP Member Bill Murray gave the main presentation titled: “How Stars Got Their Names.” The online meeting began with 54 participants, via Zoom software.
● Assistant Director suggested the formation of a task force or committee for the purpose of raising funds to pay for the planned observatory pillar repairs. R. Parker stated this was a good idea, giving L. Kane the responsibility for moving the idea forward. Some suggestions were made by other attendees for instituting this idea. Among these suggestions:
1. Member Ralph Marantino recommended approaching Johnson & Johnson, Inc. since that company had give the AAAP a grant for a telescope purchase years ago.
2. Possibly selling the name of the observatory.
3. Approaching the Charles Hayden Foundation.
4. Contacting NJ State senators and assembly representatives for State funds. [ lk]
● A discussion was held on how to implement “Phase 2” of the club’s Covid -19 related activities. Observatory Chair David Skitt described his current broadcasts, emanating from the observatory and his home via social media. An attendee raised the question whether we could establish a YouTube Channel for these broadcasts. D. Skitt added he is also working on a video system to feed, real-time, to a large screen placed outside the observatory. [lk]
● A club capital expenditure requested for the observatory pillar repair remains $8,500 per the original contractor estimate. Director Parker recommended an additional $1,000 be budgeted as a buffer for unforeseen added costs. This suggestion was passed by most board members.