I am the current President of the PAS.
We are now virtually at mid-year and now entering a 3 month stretch where our "laboratory"—the night sky—will often be less than ideal for serious observing, at least from southeast Louisiana. Actually the last two months, April and May, was one of the wettest two-month stretches of weather that I can remember. Our weather adversely impacted a number of activities that we participate in—the Deep South Spring Scrimmage, our Astronomy Day event at Audubon Park and the PAS Picnic at SPMOS. Hopefully the skies above will show us a little mercy and give us some good weather over the remainder of the year.
Remember what I said last month about this being a very busy time of the year for the PAS? It has been and it will continue to be. At the end of March we were the the co-sponsor of the Dr. Alex Filippenko lecture at UNO. The PAS was well represented with at least 20 or so PAS members in the gathering of as many as 500 people for his lecture.
Listen closely, do you hear the thunder? Do you see the lightning? Well maybe you do, after all we do live in New Orleans. That however is not exactly what I am talking about. What I am talking about is the fact that right now, at the end of March and on to the end of May is a very busy time of year for the PAS; we are in our "Lightning Round" if you will. This is a very exciting time of the year for the Pontchartrain Astronomy Society.
With Mardi Gras behind us we will soon see more moderate temperatures for observational astronomy……maybe not better conditions, but just more tolerable. With the milder weather comes several star party opportunities – the Deep South Spring Scrimmage, the Hodges Gardens Star Party (formerly the Kisatchie Star Party) and the Mid South Star Gaze. I will speak briefly about these (with details) at our March meeting.
The PAS is also moving into the season where we will be hosting a number of outreach events as well as at Astronomy Day. As of now, the calendar for March and April looks like this:
Well, February is here and before you know it we will be moving on to spring and warmer weather. Blink your eyes and spring is gone and summer (with its hazy skies) will be here.
The crazy calendar racing by is a constant reminder to me and the rest of the officers that we have to plan ahead and constantly adjust plans based upon what we can control and what has happened which is beyond our control. The 2015 PAS Officers actually got a head start with a meeting held in mid-December to plan the January meeting and our other early activities for 2015. This was made necessary as the January meeting was so early in the year. Anyway, we got off to a really fast start with several tweaks to the meeting format and there will be more to come.
I really want to thank John Martinez who has taken over the position of 1st Vice-President, Program Chairman. John is on a fast track with programs and we will be seeing some guest speakers and even some special programs with guest speakers over the next several months – all due to the hard work that John is putting in. He will have more to say about upcoming programs at the February 6th meeting.