by Gene Allen, Secretary
The meeting was convened on Zoom by Director Dr. Rex Parker at 1930 with the agenda for the evening.
Program Chair Victor Davis introduced featured speaker Dr. Joleen Carlberg who presented “The Fiery Fate of Exoplanets” from her home in Silver Springs, MD. The talk was interrupted for about twenty minutes by what turned out to be a power failure in her neighborhood, but it was successfully resumed.
The business meeting convened at 2200 with a twenty minute Unjournal Club Presentation by member Surabhi Agarwal about her “Iceland Adventure” and views of its auroras and fiery underground.
Rex presented a Sky X depiction of the orbit of Comet Leonard and impressive astrophotos taken of it by members Robert Vanderbei, Tom Swords, and himself. Robert’s photo of the partial lunar eclipse was also shared.
The newly opened AAAP Online Merchandise Shop was described by Lead Facilitator Rich Sherman. It can be accessed from the AAAP website with the password SiderealTimes. Although purchases made now are unlikely to ship before January, members are encouraged to support the club by way of the 15% that returns to our treasury.
Dave Skitt reminded members that purchases made through Amazon Smile can also return a share to the AAAP as a legitimate charity.
The newly set up AAAP Server on Discord was described by Rex and Lead Facilitator Len Cacciatore. It is a communication platform that allows multiple forms of media and is restricted to AAAP members. An email invitation to join was sent to all members on this date. Rules and moderators will be set up as members join. Discussion revealed some dissention about choosing Discord over other platforms, but while the choice was properly considered, it is being operated on a trial basis. No cost is involved, so if it does not prove useful or substantial support grows for an alternative, we can change.
Rex proposed that interested members set aside January 7, February 4, and March 4 as possible dates for our Astrovideo Live Winter Zoom Sessions. These dates are near the New Moon, and if weathered out, hardware and technique discussions will be conducted. Members who are developing an astrovideo/EAA capability are invited to add their setups to those of our veterans.
Observatory Chair Dave Skitt presented the status of several issues. The state has finally responded to us with the specific documents we still need to provide for them to consider granting permission to repair the deteriorating roof-supporting columns. Water is currently still defended against freezing by light bulbs in the bathroom, but it will be turned off and drained shortly. The cooling function in the AAAP owned ZWO ASI294 Pro astronomy camera has been conclusively proven defective and the camera will need to be returned to them for servicing. Dave is accumulating needed bits and pieces to be added to our spare hardware for the Scope Loaner Program.
Available hardware is being prepared to be offered to members in the Scope Loaner Program. Dave, Rex, and Tom are assembling the pieces, but we need one or more members to step forward as facilitators for this program.
Miscellaneous discussions wound down and the meeting was adjourned at 2240.
Between Zoom and the live YouTube feed, approximately 55 people attended the speaker’s presentation. The business meeting began a half hour later than usual but 40 some stuck around for at least part of it. As of today we have 173 active members.