Welcome to the premiere publication of Astrotent
on-line. Full blazing colour and the same incisive editorial matter. In
addition, we hope that Astrotent will provide expanded contact for all of
us with the astronomical community via direct links. In the same fashion
it will give us insights of our members beyond these pages. Read what you
will on-line or download whatever you wish for future reference.
A New Pres...and many thanks to Andreas
By now you will all know that Marc Castel was acclaimed as
club president at this year's Annual meeting. Former president Andreas Gada
was acclaimed to the newly created position of Starfest Coordinator. John
Shepherd assumes the duty of Vice-president and Secretary, while Glenn Slover
remains as club Treasurer. The hand at the helm may have changed, but Starship
NYAA's course is steady.
Wanna go somewhere?
A couple of excursions are being planned by club members.
The first is a camping/observing trip to the newly created dark-sky preserve,
Torrance Barrens. This trip is scheduled for April 28/29. Contact Rick McWatters
for more details. Bob Sandness is co-ordinating a trip to Manitoulin Island
for the Great Manitou Star Party, July 27 - August 2. A fair number of club
members have expressed an interest in this trip. Also contemplated is a
visit to Stellafane. It happens to occur the same time as the Manitoulin
jaunt, but you can contact Otmar Eigler if you are interested.
Lots of co-ordination
Mike Ruttan is stepping down as Meeting co-ordinator after
a year of excellent service. Thanks, Mike! The new meeting co-ordinator
is Mark Kaye. Other co-ordinators are unchanged, except perhaps for Joe
Adair who now heads the RAT group. Check the new club website, www.nyaa-starfest.com,
for details. Yes, that's right, we have a new web address. This site provides
much more room and download capability than our old site, which incidentally
will be around for a bit longer and will automatically direct you to our
Club Facilities Update
We plan to demolish and rebuild one of the observatories at the Bog, sometime
in late May. Contact Danny Driscoll for more details. The secondary mirror
for the Lorenz scope at Oak Heights is being re-figured by Father George
Galea. The primary mirror appears to be a Ritchey-Chretien, so the secondary
will be re-figured to match this. Call Phil Reed for more details. In other
TM (for Telescope Making, not Transcendental Meditation, although the former
may lead to the latter) news, we have plans to build a 6-inch Dob and present
it as a door prize at Starfest. Cathy McWatters and Norm Folkers are in
charge of this project.
On the observing front, John Clemmer challenged members in
balmy Southern Ontario to a Messier marathon contest. From the (lack of)
reports it would appear that John won the contest handily. He and Dave Oldford
used John's Pronto and the club's 8-inch Dobsonian to lead a group of new
observers on a fuzzy tour through the skies. (insert
from the Great White North: we had a total of 6 people show up at John Lamberts
property about 10k north east of the Starfest site. Dave and I spent most
of our time helping out the new astronomers who were armed with exerpts
from my Messier Marathon book. The club 8" with a new Orion 1x finder
worked well for them and most of the 18 objects plus some bonus finds were
tallied. With less help from us as the evening progressed.) Some
members at the Bog embarked on a marathon of a slightly different kind under
brighter than usual urban light pollution. They staged a mini-marathon for
the benefit of Discovery TV.
If you Like Doing it in the Dark
Several dark-sky weekends are scheduled at the Bog as well
as at Oak Heights over the next few months. Check the website, or the ergosphere's
Edge listings, or call Dan Driscoll (Bog) or Andreas (Oak Heights). All
members, especially the newer ones, are welcome to attend. Bring a scope
if you have one, or perhaps just binoculars and a star map, or even just
your curiosity. But come out and share a night under the sky with friends.