Thursday, 04 May 2017 12:41

May 2017 President's Message Featured

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As I write this I am just back from the Deep South Spring Scrimmage. The weather this year was...mixed. We know every spring (for the Spring Scrimmage) and every fall (for the Deep South Star Gaze) that we are at the mercy of the weather and that can be quite frustrating for those that look forward to these events primarily for clear, dark nights. Thursday during the day looked quite promising with dark blue skies and comfortable temperatures for planning the night's activities. Solar observing during the day was very good with Helios having a few good sunspots. After dinner some high level cirrus clouds moved in and blocked various parts of the sky during the course of the evening. In spite of this we were able to get some observing in for 4 or 5 hours.

Friday was pretty much a bust for observing with mostly cloudy skies during the day and night. Saturday brought more clouds but with more breaks in the clouds we did have some early evening observing of the Moon and Jupiter. Only 6 of us remained by Saturday evening, but for those that remained we managed to have fun between the food including extra desserts and several movies. Oh well, we are now looking forward to the fall and the 35th edition of the Deep South Star Gaze.

Speaking of the Deep South Star Gaze I have some news that I believe most of you will be very happy to hear. The Deep South Star Gaze will be held at our home for the past eight years — the Feliciana Retreat Center. How is this possible? As most of you know, we were looking at moving to a new home this fall because of circumstances at the Feliciana Retreat Center. We, in fact, put down a deposit at the Judson Baptist Retreat Center. Discussions this weekend presented several scenarios and opportunities. By not charging us for nights not stayed, we are able to apply those savings toward a deposit at the Feliciana Retreat Center, making up for the money deposited at the Judson Baptist Retreat Center. There is a bit more to this story which I will not relate here. Suffice it to say, we will be back at the Feliciana Retreat Center this fall.

This May is a busy month. More will be discussed at our meeting but going thru the month, here is what lies ahead of us — Friday, May 12th — our May meeting at UNO — in the Science Bldg., usual room, usual time. Connor Matherne with entertain and inform us with the second part of his astrophotography program, this time covering deep sky objects. One week later on May 20th, we will hold our annual picnic at the Sarrat riverside estate on the Bogue Falaya River in Covington. For those who have never attended a picnic at this venue, you cannot miss it! Brief details — the PAS will provide all the food and setups for PAS members. The only thing that members are responsible for are their drinks, cups and ice. What constitutes a membership? >>>>(member and spouse and their school age children) Note — grown children, parents of members, cousins, friends, etc. will be subject to a $10 per person charge for food. We will be doing burgers, hot dogs and we will have potato salad as a side. The picnic will be from 10:30 am until 5 pm. We will also have a raffle, a good one! More details on the web site and at the meeting. We will have a sign up list at the meeting. If you cannot make the meeting please contact either John Scholl or me (Barry Simon) and let us know if you are attending and how many will be with you with appropriate details

Later in May (on the 27th) we will be doing another outreach event at Bogue Chitto State Park, across Hwy 25 from our SPMOS club observing site. Look for details on the web site and I will provide additional details at the May meeting.

Looking forward to a good turnout!

Barry Simon, President
Pontchartrain Astronomy Society

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