February 23, 2003

The meeting was called to order by President Ron Kunkel at 7:05 PM. There were 24 attendees. Ron asked for a moment of silence in honor of the Space Shuttle crew. As Treasurer Linda Sensenig was unable to attend, her father, Clarence, reported a balance of $9684.98.

For the Sky Report, Ron noted that Jupiter’s moons are still a good target, and that Asteroid Vesta can be seen naked eye during February and March at magnitude 5.9. He also mentioned the article about the oldest light in the universe, where the age of the universe is now thought to be 13.7 billions years, with the first stars lighting up about 200 million years later. This is still consistent with the Big Bang theory and expansion of the universe. The composition of the universe is 27% matter (4% ordinary matter and 23% dark matter) and 73% energy.

Old Business: Ron noted that the C11 scope was sold for $1800 and is working fine, and that the Board had decided to keep the Unitron for a while. Plastic storage boxes and Rigel Quickfinders were purchased for the portaball telescopes. Ron also made solar filters for them. Ron also mentioned that he was the only member to go on the Full Moon hike from the Hamburg Reservoir to the Pinnacle with the DV-AMC. It was very cold and windy with a great moonrise. There was a board meeting on January 23. Ron and Ryan had presented a talk to Cub Pack 160 and received a $25 donation for the club. The Polar Bear Star Watch was cancelled due to weather (what else is new!!). Ryan gave a talk on the Global Student Telescope Network to the West Chester Astronomical Society.

Dave Brown announced that he received a $40 donation for a presentation he had done. There had been a lot of questions about the shuttle disaster. Mars will be a prime observation target in August. He will present two programs at Nolde Forest this summer.

New Business: The monthly Full Moon hike to the Pinnacle will be Sunday, February 16. Anyone interested should contact Ron Kunkel. The next Board meeting will be February 27 at 7:00 at Paul Becker’s home. Dr. Dana Bachman from F&M will be our speaker at the March 13 meeting. The Club was asked to participate at the Great Outdoor Expo in the auditorium at PSU-Berks on March 16, and volunteers were requested. The awards ceremony for the Berks County Science Fair will be March 18. The purchase of an LCD projector was discussed. Ron noted that the Board had approved bringing it to the general membership for a vote. The model selected normally lists for $1500, but Ron has found it online for less that $1200. It was approved that the projector be purchased. There were no new members this month.

Gadget of the Month: Michel Ramsey demonstrated her Sunspotter Telescope. The sun is projected by mirrors onto a white screen, and it is possible to see sunspots.

Winter Project: Michel also explained the IDA’s request for observations of the Pleiades during February and March. This is a survey of how many stars can be seen in the Pleiades on a clear, dark night naked eye and with binoculars. There is a link to the report form at our website. Anyone interested should contact Michel, and reports should be given to her to be submitted as a group to the IDA.

Melody Gardner requested articles for the Pegasus. Michel Ramsey will have a regular article entitled "Women of the Stars".

Dr. Ruth Daly, from Penn State, presented an informative and interesting talk entitled "Beyond the Milky Way". The meeting was adjourned at 9:35.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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