April 10, 2003

The meeting was called to order by President Ron Kunkel at 7:35 PM. There were 40 attendees. Secretary Barb Geigle noted that copies of the March General and Board meetings are available. The minutes were approved. Treasurer Linda Sensenig reported a balance of $8,343. She stated that our annual donation of $150 was sent to the museum. She also noted that Ryan Hannahoe became an Eagle Scout and turned 18 on April 6.

Sky Report: Ron reminded us that Asteroid Vesta is still visible. Jupiter’s moons are still occulting and eclipsing, and Jupiter and Saturn are both high in the sky for viewing. He also noted that there was a supernova in Leo at the end of March that was discovered by a gamma ray burst prior to visible light, which was only 2 billion light years away.

Old Business: The Great Outdoor Expo on March 16 had a good turnout of both members helping out and visitors. Telescopes were available for solar observing outside, and a table with multiple activities was set up inside. Ron presented awards at the Berks County Science Fair. Mike Bashore and Ryan Hannahoe had selected 6 astronomy-related projects. Ron noted there had been a Board meeting on March 27, and that all the attempts for a Messier Marathon were cancelled due to weather. He also reminded everyone to turn in Pleiades observation charts to Michel Ramsey. Ron reported that the Barnstormers had installed gates at the Flying Field to help prevent vandalism. Ron has a key for the one gate and the combination for the lock on the other gate.


Upcoming Events and New Business: There will be a Board meeting on April 24 at Paul Becker’s home at 7:00. Earth Day is Sunday, April 27 at City Park from 12 to 5. Volunteers are needed for solar observing and to help with the table. The next General Meeting is May 8 with Inge Heyer from the Space Telescope Institute presenting a program entitled Extra Solar Planets and the HST. There will be 2 public star watches at the Berks County Heritage Center in May. May 9 at 7:30 will be a regular star watch with a talk and observing. On May 15, at 8:00 p.m. there will be a lunar eclipse watch. The annual Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) is May 17 and 18 in Suffren, New York. On Friday, May 23, there will be a star party and talk at Blue Ball Elementary at 7:30 p.m. Volunteers are needed as a large crowd is expected. The Mason-Dixon Star Party is Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1 at Codorus State Park.

Ron introduced Richard Machmer, who is a new member.

Dave Brown announced that the SETI program would be completed this fall.

The program was a planetarium show entitled Light Years from Andromeda, presented by Mark Marzurkiewicz, the Reading Museum Planetarium Director.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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