I am the current President of the PAS.
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.
Another year is about to go in the books as we close out the last month of 2015. This year was a tough year as many amateur astronomers in many parts of the country did not have a particularly good year "weather-wise". Indeed in our area that was the case with poor weather for the Deep South Spring Scrimmage last spring and for most of the Deep South Star Gaze this fall. Add the September lunar eclipse to the mix too and also our Astronomy Day last spring for some more bad weather. Oh well, what this probably means is that it cannot get worse, so 2016 looks rather promising!
Thanksgiving approaches, it is getting cooler (finally) and it is darker a lot earlier.
Last month I commented on the nice beautiful days and nights we had in the first half of October...not so the last half of October and into early November. I guess we needed the rain, but the grass and plants were already slowing down as cooler weather and winter approached. The poor weather at the end of October and into the first week in November really had an impact on the Deep South Regional Star Gaze, particularly for the last two nights.