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First Quarter Newsletter 2012


Volume 76————————————-Issue 1——–———————————— 2012


Dear ASNH Club Members:

Welcome to the latest version of the Shooting Star. We’ve had a little intermission in publishing our newsletter, but are back and ready to keep our members informed once again. The Shooting Star will be a quarterly publication, with issues published on-line and in print April 1, July 1, October 1 and December 15 each year.

I also want to thank Bill Chellis for his hard work as the newsletter editor for the last few years. Unfortunately, due to his work schedule, he’s had to step down. Bill took the initiative to bring us into the 21st century, by creating ASNH Twitter and Facebook accounts. Bill made the newsletter look easy. We are definitely missing him already.

A lot has happened during the year since the last newsletter. Last year’s rain had us canceling many public events. The ones we did have were well attended by both the public and club member volunteers.

Speaking of volunteers…. Our calendar is already full of public and private events. All members are encouraged to attend. You do not need to own a telescope or be an expert in Astronomy to be helpful at these events. The more events you attend the more fun you’ll have and the more you will learn. We are going to have some events this year with lots of attendees and will need as many hands on deck as we can get. The more scopes and the more help we have managing the crowds the better.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Best regards and clear skies
Greg Barker

75th Anniversary

2012 marks the 75th anniversary for ASNH and we’re planning a bash later this year announcements will be sent out when we have everything finalized.

New Officers Elected at the Novermber General Meeting

These are the results from the November 29th, 2011 General Meeting election. All ran unopposed and were voted unanimously. Officers serve for a two year term. Members-at-large serve for one year. All terms began January 1, 2012, and were sworn in at the December 10th Solstice Dinner.


  • Bob Carruthers, elected Secretary
  • Matthew Baker, elected Treasurer

Members at Large

  • Donna Pursley
  • Alan Sacharow
  • Al Washburn

Outgoing Officers

  • Bill Chellis – Secretary   Please thank Bill for his work for the last two years.  Bill was very conscientious of cost and made sure that the equipment used for newsletters and mailings was efficient and cost effective. Bill’s work during special events like CSP was key to getting the word out in a timely and effective manner.
  • Rich Gresham – Treasurer  Please thank Rich for his work for the last two years. Rich kept our money safe and was a thrifty spender.  Rich’s diligence handling the registration during CSP was key to our being able to run a successful event.  Rich has also helped our club in starting the Car Donation program that has brought in almost $900 in its first year! Please go to ASNH Donations to see how you can donate your junker to raise money for ASNH.

New Lifetime Member

Harriet Katz has been a constant supporter of ASNH for over 30 years and was honored this year with a Lifetime Membership.  Harriet was inducted at the November general meeting. Congratulations Harriet!!

Behind the scenes at ASNH! 

Below is a letter from Orion Telescope Al Washburn received recently thanking ASNH for thanking them for donating items for this past CSP door prize event.
Dear Astronomical Society,
Your kind words are sincerely appreciated. We are so happy to share our products with you! Thank ou for your kind support and amazing compliments. We love getting feedback from our fellow astronomers.Also thank you for the picture! It is always great to see a beaming astronomer with a new scope! We love to be able to share the wonders of the night sky. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance and once again thank you!
Hilary F.
Orion Telescope & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, Ca. 95076

2012 Messier Marathon  by Cheryl Barker

We scheduled our Messier Marathon for four (4) days this March hoping for at least one good (clear sky) night. We reserved March 16, 17, 23 and 24 at The Edmund D. Strang Scout Camp in Goshen, CT. Fortunately for us, everything worked as planned and we were able to view exactly one night out of the four. We should all get extra points for being astronomers dealing with our fantastic New England weather. 

March 16, 23 and 24 were all cancelled due to clouds/rain. March 17th was the one good night we had. Temperatures were mild (no gloves were needed), and the magnitude 6 sky was a little hazy with some high clouds coming in around midnight.   

Attending were Greg Barker, Ray Kaville, Walt Kupson, Donna Pursley Al Washburn, Mike Zurick and I. All of us were able to locate 20+ objects with Greg Barker pulling in the night’s top number of 50. Al also viewed comet Garradd.  Of course, Jupiter, Mars and Venus were some of our easiest non-messier targets of the evening.

I want to give a special call out to Donna and Mike who prepared our messier marathon checklists, brought a cook stove, food, drink, a heater and their willingness to step away from their scopes to help others (me) find objects.  I also want to give Donna kudos for being the most prepared with a 3-ring binder of star charts and extracts from books and guides on the objects she wanted to find.  And thanks to Al Washburn for setting us up with a warming tent as well. 

Even though we were going to have a contest and compete against other area astronomy clubs, and they had proclaimed interest in a contest, no one attended from any other club. So I am proud to announce that The Astronomical Society of New Haven is the winner of our first official Astronomical Society of New Haven Messier Marathon Contest.  

I look forward to next year’s competition and hope that more people can attend and challenge each other to find more objects…or just attend to have fun.

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