Monthly Meetings on Zoom

By Donna Pursley

Our ASNH general meetings are still being held via Zoom. The presentations are shared so all can see. There is also a dial-in number for those that are shy or are not using Zoom. This way everyone can join the meetings.

Here is a short summary of the January and February meetings.

January 26, 2021

There were 20 people in attendance on Zoom or dialed in.

Since there are some new people in our group we decided that we will be having some Astronomy 101 type classes during the general meetings.

All events have been cancelled. We are thinking of adding some events for the fall and see how it goes.  The Madison moon walk is on the calendar for October 17, 2021 and Massaro Farm will be sometime in early November.

We now have 85 members with a new member of Addie Bali this month.

Some topics that we would be discussing for our Astronomy 101 are:
-new scope for the holidays – questions
-where to buy, how to use
-where to start, how to collimate, astrophotography, cell phone astrophotography
-star hopping, when to use 2” or 1 ¼” eyepieces
-variable stars and how to start observing them

We had discussions about comets this year, and observation reports from people who were able to see the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in December 2020. Some pictures were shared.

Jim Mazur would like people to send him their pictures and he will put them in the online version of the newsletter (not in the printed version because they don’t come out well).

Dave Noble is in Arizona where they had 2 feet of snow. He showed very nice pictures of star trails.

Chris Predom said there are YouTube courses in Astronomy such as PSCI1414.

The Carl Sagan program Violent Universe is also on YouTube.

February 23, 2021

15 people joined us on Zoom or dialed in.

We still have 85 members with a new member, Gary Davis.

March’s Astronomy 101 talk will be on eyepieces and filters.

This month’s talk was by Al Washburn about the club’s meteorites. We first got them in 2001 through the Cosmic Cultures program.

What is a meteorite?  A rock fragment that survived coming through the atmosphere.

3 kinds – metal, metal/stone, and stone

Difference between Falls and Finds. Fall we see falling, Finds came down when no one was looking.

We have mostly irons in our collection.

Canyon Diablo – Arizona
Gibeon – S. Africa
Toluca – Mexico
Sikhote-Alin – Siberia – Fall – tumbled
Mundrabilla – W. Australia
Henbury – Australia – did not tumble
Allende – Mexico – carbon – pre-dates the solar system
Northwest Africa – some iron flecks – fusion crust
Esquel – metal/stone – Palisite – iron/peridot/olivine – Argentina

There is a book Rocks From Outer Space that mentions the two meteorites that fell in Weathersfield in 1971 and 1982.

We talked about Perseverance lander on Mars.

Al Washburn likes the eyepiece cellphone adaptor for his iPhone. He also said that the book The Last Stargazer was very good.

Al Sacharow has a former student who works at NASA. He said that the Webb telescope is scheduled to be launched and the end of the year.

Laurie Averill has been using her solar scope and was able to take some pictures of the Sun. She is also using an app to adjust the exposure, FOV and white balance. It is called Nightcap and has astrophotography modes.

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