2017 President’s Annual Address

Another year has passed.  The 80th year for The Astronomical Society of New Haven.  We should be very proud that since 1937 ASNH has been dedicated to the advancement of astronomical science to the public.

As of today, we have 81 active members.  I encourage all members to come out to our public outreach events. We have a lot of knowledgeable members that know the sky and can show you some remarkable deep sky objects and planets. The public events are the best time to bring out your scope and take advantage of those in the know as well as some good venues for viewing.   You do not have to have a telescope to participate in our events; everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Our monthly public events are held at Silver Sands State Park, Milford and Young’s Pond Park, Branford. At these events we educate those attending in general astronomy and in some cases where we have and indoors facility we display our meteorite collection and have an interactive hands-on exhibit with children and their parents. We had 22 events scheduled this year so far.  Seven of these events were held, with 15 canceled due to the weather.  For more than 15 years we have participated in The New Haven Science Fair.  We present a telescope to the student or classroom whose project best represents an astronomy theme. This year was a bit disappointing. For the first time that I can ever remember, there was no astronomy project.

Throughout the year, we also participate in events with the Boy Scouts of America, Regional Water Authority, Trumbull Nature Center, New Haven Land Trust, Discovery Museum and many more.  We give educational talks, share our meteorite collection and of course show the stars.

In October, 114 people attended the 27th Connecticut Start Party (CSP) at the Edmund D. Strang Scout Reservation camp in Goshen. I would like to personally thank everyone who attended and continue to support us over the years.  We had more first time CSP attendees than we have had in a few years.  We had some great viewing, great food and our speakers, Dana Casetti, Pete Kandefer and Andy Poniros presented various astronomical topics.  Since 2012, the CSP “T”-shirt artwork has been created by Donna Pursley and Mike Zarick. I’d like to thank them both very much for doing an outstanding job over the years and hopefully for years to come. I’d also like to thank the CSP Committee who were the reason we were so successful this year:  Mike Zarick, Donna Pursley, Ray Kaville, Jim Mazur, Laurie Averill, Bob Carruthers, Gaianne Jenkins, Al Washburn, Wendo Steinhardt, Steve Steinhardt, Leo Taylor, and Andy Poniros. Every year they help make CSP the premiere star party in Connecticut.

We’ve had a couple notable accomplishments this year:

We’ve had a long running project to loan a telescope to a local library.  Jim Mazur and Laurie Averill volunteered to complete the effort. We now have a 4.5” tabletop Dobsonian on loan at the Blackstone Library in Branford, CT. The library currently has 8 patrons waiting to sign the scope out and Jim and Laurie are now setting another 4.5”scope for a library in Madison!! Jim has done two presentations on the care and use of the scope for the Blackstone patrons. Many thanks to Jim and Laurie for all they’ve done and are continuing to do.

I’d like to take this opportunity to also thank Jim Mazur for producing our club’s quarterly newsletter the Shooting Star. It’s always a good read.

Our CSP banner was showing its age. The banner was created some 25+ years ago and the painted on letters were flaking off. Laurie Averill volunteered her time and artistic skills to replace our CSP banner with a new rip stop nylon material. The replacement is beautiful! Thank you Laurie.

Thank you all for another outstanding year.  Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and New Year.

Greg Barker
President ASNH

More Images from Connecticut Star Party 27

Photos by Shannon Calvert


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