November 13, 2003

The meeting was called to order by Ron Kunkel at 7:30 with 28 in attendance. Secretary Barb Geigle had the Minutes from the December General Meeting available on a handout. Treasurer Linda Sensenig reported a balance of $7,355. She announced that Tom Boussom’s wife passed away, and also Dave Brown’s friend, Tony Blessing.

Sky Report: Ron reported that Venus and Mars are out in the early evening. Saturn rises after dark, then Jupiter comes up later. He also handed out a finder map for Comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), which is now visible with binoculars or telescope.

Old Business: There was a Board Meeting on December 18. Barb noted that the Minutes were included on the back of the General Meeting Minutes handout.

Upcoming Events and New Business: There will be a comet watch at the Flying Field on January 16, rain date January 17. The program for our February Meeting will be Ron Kunkel discussing the free 3-D simulation software, "Celestia". Michel Ramsey reviewed the Winter Observing Program, requesting observations of the Pleiades during February and March. Michel has forms available. There was a copy in the Pegasus, and there is a link on our website. Our speaker for March will be Larry Lebofsky, of the University of Arizona. His talk will be "Water on Asteroids". The Great Outdoor Expo will be held at RACC this year on March 28. Ron will get more details. The Berks County Science and Engineering Fair is also in March. Mike Bashore and Ryan Hannahoe will be judges, and Ron will hand out the awards. Melody noted that Kevin and Candi Simmons need volunteers for a Star Party for the Pottstown School District Honors Program, March 19 (rain date March 26).

After visitors were introduced, Ron gave a Gadget of the Month talk on his recent cold weather acquisitions that included a head lamp, battery operated socks, mitten gloves and a winter cap. Tonight’s speaker was Matt Binder. As a finalist for the next Teacher in Space, Matt’s program detailed all of the steps that have been necessary for him to make it to finalist, including a week in Houston. It is amazing just how much these teachers have to go through to make it into the astronaut program. We wish Matt the best of  Luck.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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