November 13, 2003

President Ron Kunkel called the meeting to order at 7:36 PM with 33 in attendance. Secretary Barb Geigle had the Minutes from the September General and Board meetings available on a handout.  Treasurer Linda Sensenig reported a balance of $7,052.66. She noted that October’s Anniversary Banquet was a success with 45 tickets sold, even though we lost a small amount of money.  The final figures weren’t all tallied yet. Ron noted that even though we had a technical glitch with the video clips, the evening went well.

Sky Report:  Ron reported that there is a double Leonid Meteor Shower this year, with a peak tonight favorable for the west coast, and another peak on Wednesday, November 19 at 2:23 AM. Barb noted that Saturn is occulting an 8.5 magnitude star around 1:00 AM on Saturday morning. 

Old Business: Ron gave talks on September 29 and October 1 at Hawk Mountain Scout Reservation for Schuylkill Valley Middle School. John Dobson spoke to a good crowd at the Heritage Center on October 17, even though the star watch was cancelled due to the rain. Ron also gave talks for the Hamburg Area Middle School at Camp Conrad Weiser on October 20 and 22. We were finally able to have a small star party for Blue Ball Elementary on October 25.  It was cloudy, so Barb Geigle, Dave Brown and Barry Shupp, assisted by Melody and Ralph Gardner, gave a presentation in the school’s lobby. When a parent came in and said some stars were visible, we rushed everything outside, and about 25 people were able to view Mars. There was a large turnout for the Lunar Eclipse Watch at the Heritage Center on November 8. We served hot chocolate, and Ron gave a PowerPoint Presentation.

Upcoming Events and New Business:  We will have a Leonid Meteor Watch on Tuesday night, November 18, at Dave Brown’s house (behind his house, not at the upper field). Our next meeting will be December 11 for our Christmas party and election of officers. Paul Becker and Barry Shupp are the Nominating Committee. Paul reported that nominees so far are Ron Kunkel for President, Dave Brown and Ryan Hannahoe for Vice President, Linda Sensenig for Treasurer and Barb Geigle for Secretary. He noted that nominations will be open up to the election.

On behalf of the Board, Ryan Hannahoe presented a Lifetime Membership Award to Keith Minnich for his support and generosity. Keith is underwriting the expenses for tonight’s speaker, as well as one speaker every year relating to the exploration of our solar system.

After a break for cookies, brownies and coffee, Ryan introduced our speaker, Dr. Terry Huntsberger, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. His talk was “Exploration of the Solar System: Past, Present and Future”. It was a terrific presentation on space robotics, especially the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that will be landing on Mars in January.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara Geigle, Secretary


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