My name is Lisa Ann Fanning – I live in Marlboro Twp., NJ. I have been very casually observing since 2019. My husband, Rob and I, are avid birders, so my beginning efforts have been utilizing a Swarovski 65mm spotting scope with 20-60x zoom eyepiece. The beginners’ book series that got me hooked was John A. Read’s
“50 Things” series (50 Things to See on the Moon and 50 Things to see with a Telescope.) In July of 2020, when Comet NEOWISE became the star attraction, my interest was re-generated. I reached out to John in mid-July to understand what options I had for any type of beginner’s training and he informed me that he was co-hosting the Explore the Universe certificate series for Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) with Jenna Hinds, outreach coordinator. I completed my certificate in October, 2020 and have since begun work on my Explore the Moon certificate. I am a member of the RASC’s Halifax Centre. As a newer member, I was asked to share my thoughts and experiences in a short piece in the Jan/Feb edition of SkyNews. I was also one of a few folks interviewed to tell my story in a CBC Radio interview about how my interest in Astronomy was ramped up during the pandemic and my connection, as an American member of the Halifax Centre.
I was also recently asked to join Astronomy By the Bay’s Sunday Night Astronomy Show (an online Astronomy show broadcast on Facebook Live and YouTube by an Astronomy club in New Brunswick, CA.) On that show, I told my story as a beginning Astronomer, my connection to Halifax Centre, how I have since done some online work to share with my birding friends about how they can enjoy Astronomy with much of the equipment they already have. My pet project for December was documenting the Conjunction through my spotting scope.
I have since been gifted a friend’s old Orion SkyQuest XT10, which I am currently learning how to use. I am excited to join AAAP.