Saturday, 04 March 2017 12:45

March 2017 President's Message

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Wow! We had a really good turnout for the February PAS meeting — 47 people I think. We have not had numbers like that at a regular PAS meeting in a long, long time. Once we get up to a number like 47 (and higher) there is a certain electricity in the meeting atmosphere which is undeniable. It was nice to experience that again. It ties into our goal of getting numbers like that at each and every meeting.

One of the factors that plays into getting good meeting attendance is having a meeting agenda and meeting program with wide appeal. Not everyone has the same interests and there are many aspects to our hobby. A few years ago we queried the membership about their interests and we try to appeal to a broad range of interests. Obviously if someone has an interest which is not shared at all by other members or by only a few, it is less likely to become a meeting program; not because we don't want to, but because we may have no one who can speak on the subject, except maybe the one requesting a program about the subject. You will be very surprised as to how rewarding and doable this can be. Request a subject — research the subject — and do a program on it. Easier than you may think, now that we live in an age where data is just a computer click away. Think about this, volunteer, do the research and present your findings. Do it, we know you want to!

At this month's meeting, the program, entitled "Looking Up, How to Begin Observing", will consist of four 15 minute presentations by Ron Marcella — Gretna Observatory, Barry Simon — Binoculars, Gabe Dickens — Small Telescopes, and Bill Davis — Moon. Jerry LeBauve will finish the program with a discussion of what ALCOR offers to novice astronomers. Hopefully we will have something for everyone!

The PAS recently did another "Observing Day" (and night) at the SPMOS site. 11 PAS members were able to attend this one. Not bad at all, considering the competition from the big weekend leading up to Mardi Gras Day. Our next one will be held on Saturday, March 25th. Hopefully the weather will cooperate again and the event will have good turnout.

In closing let me say that I am just about ready to get out the registration form for the Deep South Star Gaze Spring Scrimmage which will be held from Thursday, April 27th to Sunday, April 30th at the Feliciana Retreat Center. Look for an announcement about this as soon as it is ready. More details coming soon!

Looking forward to an interesting March meeting!

Barry Simon, President
Pontchartrain Astronomy Society

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