by Gene Allen, Secretary
Director Rex Parker convened the meeting at 1937 in the Peyton Hall auditorium and on Zoom. We are thrilled to have been invited back to the Princeton University campus for the first time since the pandemic. Our hope is to make all our meetings hybrid by Zooming the in-person gathering.
Rex briefly shared his agenda items:
- Still seeking ideas to celebrate our 60th.
- Anniversary logos are available on AAAP merchandise.
- Artemis program overview.
- Lunar South Pole water ice – challenge
At 1946 Program Chair Victor Davis introduced speaker Dr. Michael Strauss, Professor and Chair, Department of Astrophysics, Princeton University. His topic was The First Black Holes in the Universe: Searching for the Highest Redshift Quasars.
NOTE: The recording of this and other AAAP talks can be found on the AAAP YouTube page at
Dr. Strauss fielded questions from 2045 to 2013.
During and after the break authors Drs. Strauss and Vanderbei held a book signing.
The meeting was reconvened at 2018.
The Lunar South Pole Challenge is even more difficult than originally anticipated
Rex shared his image
Member Tom Swords shared his image and that SkySafari can point to named craters
Rex reviewed some of the sights now in the night sky and demonstrated the miracle that the Optolong L-Extreme filter can achieve with planetary nebulas and recommended them as targets at this time of year. He noted that the Abell catalog of planetary nebulas is included in TheSkyX (and in SkySafari).
Outreach Chair Bill Murray reported that:
- We opened the observatory on Saturday October 15 to host some 120 scouts. Their leaders metered the boys through very effectively, so we were never overwhelmed.
- About a half dozen AAAP members took scopes to offer a star gazing evening to a couple dozen campers in Mercer Meadows on October 29.
- He found skies as dark or darker than Cherry Springs when attending the Almost Heaven Star Party in West Virginia but pointed out that it is a camping-only venue.
Recommended viewing is the 2016 Ed Jenkins presentation on the history of Peyton Hall:
American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
One can follow the work and writings of Avi Loeb, or speaker last month, on medium.com:
Dr. Jim Green, recently retired from NASA, spoke to us here in Peyton Hall in 2016. He has authored a paper recommending a framework for evaluating and reporting evidence of extraterrestrial life. The abstract is available for free at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03804-9, but he responded to my correspondence with a copy of the full article. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy.
We will hopefully meet here again in December.
The meeting was adjourned at 2200.
We had 60 attendees in the room and 40 online.
Our membership currently numbers 191 of which 53 have joined this calendar year, 27 since the June meeting. We have had 107 renewals while 55 have allowed their membership to expire, giving us a 66% retention rate.