I am the current President of the PAS.
By the time the May PAS meeting is called to order I will be somewhere off the east coast probably up near Maine or Nova Scotia on my way across the Atlantic to Ireland. Hopefully on the way over my small chance of seeing the Northern Lights from my window seat on the port side (left) of the jet will yield results. Anyway we are excited about this trip but scheduling was not able to avoid a conflict with the May PAS meeting. John Martinez, our 1stVice-President also has a conflict on May 27th so our meeting will be orchestrated by Kent Birkle, our 2nd Vice-President.
One thing is a certainty...you have to be flexible. In early April the University of New Orleans was going to hold their annual "Einstein Week" (with a lecture given by Joseph Giaime, who is the observatory head at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in Livingston, LA. He and his team at LIGO recently detected gravitational waves from the collision of a binary pair of black holes a billion light years from Earth. This discovery validates Einstein's Theory of General Relativity and his prediction of such waves. This is a major breakthrough in the field of physics and it opens a new era for astronomy.) However, we had horrible weather at the time this program was going to originally take place. " target="_blank">The lecture has been rescheduled and will now take place on Thursday, April 21st (at 7 pm). The lecture is free and the public is invited.
March is here...the lizards are out, the pollen is out, and so are the astronomers and astronomy related events. Last night (March 5th) there were 10 of us up at our SPMOS observing site and it was a great night. The humidity was low (relatively speaking). I did not have a dew strip on my telescope and I did not have to clear any glass during the course of the evening. I got what may be my last good look at the Orion Nebula for the season and I also got, as did others, a good look at Jupiter; the Great Red Spot being prominent..
Well Mardi Gras is over, what's next? Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, April Fool's Day, Memorial Day, etc., etc. It often seems like there are more holidays in a year than there is good opportunities to observe the night sky. Like it or not our best opportunities to observe a good clean and clear sky takes place during the colder months of the year. Not that our definition of "cold" is anything like the definition of "cold" in other places. Those places however may typically have nice and clear, free of haze, summer nights which are comfortably cool. Here in south Louisiana our observing season typically runs from early October to late May, so we have to take advantage of "Observing Season".
With 2015 behind us we look forward to an event-filled 2016 and hopefully a year with better weather for astronomical endeavors. In looking ahead we have to look back and take stock of what we did right and where we fell short. To be perfectly honest I don’t feel that we met goals that I thought the club could achieve in 2015. This is the primary reason why I was willing to serve as club president for another year, I hope to lead the effort in achieving those goals this year.