I am the current President of the PAS.
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.
President’s Page for October 2015
I looked at some beautiful blue skies today (Sunday, October 11th). Same thing yesterday and most of last week too. October is often our best month for viewing both the daytime and nighttime sky. Considering that this is following the typical hazy days (and nights) of summer, finally getting some telescope time in is a real treat.
If our calendar year can be compared to a horse racing track, summertime is the backstretch and we are about to enter the far turn for the final push and sprint to the year’s finish line. We can see that finish line but the race is not yet done and we still have a lot of things ahead of us that can have an effect on how we finish the year. More about all of this later, I want to first talk about our August meeting which will take place in about 1 week.
July is kind of a “reset” month. Our “moon phase/by the calendar date” for having a meeting would have put the meeting on Friday July 3rd, but being as we had another opportunity to have a July meeting also in line with the lunar phase we decided to do that. (Typically if a meeting falls on a 4th of July weekend, attendance is poor.) I hope the large gap between meetings did not confuse anyone and if anyone went to UNO by mistake on the 3rd……don’t tell anyone that you don’t consult the PASNOLA website!!!!.