Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Meeting: Tuesday, February 20

So it took a couple tries, but we finally had the February meeting. All of the dates mentioned below will be listed on the Member Information page of the website by the end of Wednesday.

It's confirmed that there will be Boy Scouts visiting the observatory this Friday, February 23, at 8pm. If it's cloudy, the session will be postponed until March 2nd, which is the last Friday classes are held before spring break. Don't feel obligated to come if you were planning on leaving.

We're trying to set up a date with Mercy St John's to go and take telescopes to patients there who are bedridden and can't leave the hospital. Also, Dr Fleisch has talked to Mercy Hospice and the Hospice of Dayton, both of which are interested in an event of the same kind. As well, there are groups for kids who have gone through difficulty, either by being severely injured themselves or by having lost family members, and we think this would be a good project for not only the patients, but for the club as well to share some of what we do with people in need. There is also a plan to buy or create some kind of device that would render photographs of astronomical phenomena tactilely for the benefit of the blind.

Trudy Bell will be writing a piece on historic observatories for Ohio Magazine this summer, and Weaver is one of them! Look for this magazine if you have a chance.

Summer observing sessions have also been added to the schedule. They are all Fridays at 8:30 pm: June 22 (the day after summer solstice), July 20 (the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon), and August 24 (back to school). The following Saturday is the backup day for each of these events.

Girl Scout Science Night is a great event that all the science departments at Wittenberg participate in, and we always try to have observing although in the history of the event it keeps being cloudy. That's on Friday, April 20th, and the observatory part will happen sometime around or after 10pm.

Remember all those documents that were recovered about the history of Weaver? We'll be going through them on Saturday, March 31, at a time yet to be decided.

It's nearing the end of the year, and that means the observatory needs cleaned. Spring cleaning and possible painting will happen on Sunday, April 22.

The SkyScout has made it through the acquisitions part of the buying process, which is good news. We're also planning to purchase the BlueStar telescope adapter so we can control telescopes using the program Starry Night. Anyone on campus with a campus Windows account (students, faculty, and staff) can access Starry Night in on the class (not class programs) drive by going to Class>Physics>Astronomy>Starry Night Pro.

Also, Wittenberg's chapter of the Society of Physics Students earlier embarked on a really cool project to restore two defunct radio telescopes that used to sit up on the science building, and they're almost done! After that it will be possible to do radio observations of the sky, in addition to the visible light observing we can already do.

If there are any books, software, or pieces of equipment you think the club can use, please email one of the officers or Dr Fleisch with your idea-- the club has a budget for the year and we'd like to put as much of it to use as possible.

We also looked at the Hubble Heritage Site during the meeting with the projector. It's one of the sites linked from the Astronomy Links section of the website, but it's here as well.

The next meeting is Tuesday March 13, the first Tuesday back after break; we will be discussing officer elections for the coming year.

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