March 13, 2003

The meeting was called to order by President Ron Kunkel at 7:35 PM. There were 37 attendees. Treasurer Linda Sensenig reported a balance of $8637, but that she had just issued some reimbursement checks to members. Melody Gardner reported that the four star watches have been confirmed for the Berks County Heritage Center. May 9 will be the regular spring star watch, May 15 will be a Lunar Eclipse watch, October 17 will be the fall star watch with John Dobson, and November 8 will be another Lunar Eclipse watch.

Sky Report: Ron reminded us that Asteroid Vesta would be a naked-eye target with a magnitude of 5.4 during March. It is between the stars Denebola and Spica. Jupiter’s moons have another 3 months of their occultations/eclipses. Jupiter and Saturn are both well positioned for viewing. He also encouraged members to try the Winter Project of observing the Pleiades for the International Dark Sky Association. Forms are to be submitted to Michel Ramsey. Larry Citro noted that Jupiter and the Beehive Cluster are visible in the same field of view, and that Mars viewing will be terrific this summer. He briefly mentioned setting up a web cam for astrophotography. He will give us further details in a Gadget of the Month talk in May.

Old Business: The full moon hike to the Pinnacle and the February 27 Board Meeting were both cancelled due to weather. The LCD Projector was ordered, and was shipped on March 11. Ron thanked all those who have contributed articles to the Pegasus, and encouraged other members to submit articles.

Upcoming Events: On Sunday, March 16, the Great Outdoor Expo will be held at the Perkins Student Center Auditorium at Penn State Berks from 1:00 to 5:00. Setup starts at 12. BCAAS will have some tables set up and volunteers were requested. The awards ceremony for the Berks County Science Fair will be March 19 at 7:30 PM. There will be a Board Meeting at Paul Becker’s home on March 27 at 7:00 PM. The club will have a Messier Marathon at the Flying Field on March 28, with a weather date of March 29. Ron is going to contact the Flying Club to make sure we have access, as they are installing a fence and gate at the field. Hands on Optics, in Maryland, are having an Astro Swap Meet on Sunday, March 30. Our April 10 meeting will be held at the Planetarium for a show entitled "Light Years from Andromeda". As a reminder, the museum will be charging $5 for adults and $3 for children. There will be another Board Meeting at Paul’s home on April 24 at 7:00. The club will be participating at Earth Day in Reading Center Park from 12 to 5 on Sunday, April 27.

After visitors were introduced, Barb Geigle presented a short Gadget of the Month talk on the Meade Electronic Eyepiece. After a short break, Dr. Dana Bachman from F&M University was introduced. He presented his program on Extra Solar Planets, SIRTF (Space Infrared Telescope Facility) and SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy). As usual, Dr. Bachman presented an intelligent program in terms that the layman could understand. Many members came up to Dr. Bachman after the program to compliment and thank him. He gave a couple of website addresses for further information on extrasolar planets: www.obspm.fr/encycl/catalog.htm, and www.exoplanets.org. The meeting was adjourned at 9:10, after which a short board meeting was held.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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