Macarthur Astronomy Forum - December 2019
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|Newsletter 103 | December 2019 | www.macastro.org.au ||
Macastro Newsletter - December 2019
Welcome to our final general newsletter for the current year.
Well this year has certainly been a bit of a mixed bag! Some poor observing nights, including two out of four public nights at the Domes cancelled due to cloud and winds, with the other two offering very poor viewing due to heavy cloud. Then, we see the end of year with smoke from the bushfires that seem to be going on and on, and may yet preclude viewing possibly right through summer.
In July, we hosted a successful event, "Apollo 11 to STEM, and The Next Giant Leap". It required much organisational effort over the prior three months, with many additional viewing nights and sponsorships to cover our costs required.
December Forum: After we eventually made it into the lecture theatre at the uni last night, we were only a few minutes late getting the meeting going and after various notifications, I was able to present my surprised and very happy eleven year old grandson Lachlan with his MAS membership badge!
Bob Bee told us about his latest book of short stories, adding to an already impressive list.
Four girls, Helen Chau, Shikira Ngo, Rachel Quach and Rachel Huang from Prairewood High School who were assisted by their teacher Giorio di Scala, gave a presentation on "Saturn's Rings" with very colourful and interesting graphics.
Julian Murray From Broughton High School who was mentored by Tony Law, then gave his presentation on "The Formation of Nebulae".
Finally, Abbey and Jacob Goodridge from Broughton High School, who were mentored by Phil Kidd, gave a presentation titled "Double Stars". Hayley Simpson is the subject teacher for the students at Broughton High School.
The students went to much effort to learn their topics and should be congratulated on their outcomes. A very hearty clap on the cap to all their MAS mentors.
To end the evening, Jackie Slaviero from One Giant Leap gave a talk on her business and the wonders of Space Camp. They are expecting 100 children to be attending in 2020.
While we are on mentoring, we are losing Mike Nicholas as a mentor and Mark Brackenbury as a member due to personal reasons. We wish them all the best. Next year we will need more mentors, so please contact Phil Kidd asap, by email, if you are interested and feel that you may be able to assist.
Well, that's it for another twelve months, so lets hope after the bushfires have stopped, we have more successful observing through 2020.
The MAS committee wishes all members and their families a safe, merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
President, Macarthur Astronomical Society
USA May 2021: California Trip
For those that shop at Jaycar Campbelltown just a reminder that we, as MAS members, receive a discount if you show your current MAS membership card and quote our Trade Card No 42133631. This has been available for quite a few years now, and some members make good use of it purchasing bits for their scopes.
Fred Watson will be our speaker for Feb 2020. He will have his new book available for sale called, "Cosmic Chronicles: A user's guide to the Universe." Fred will be happy to autograph all books purchased on the night.
Speakers: coming up in 2020
20th Jan: Ric Forster (MAS member)
This is a very basic description of my proposal, approved at the last committee meeting.
I have some 16 names already, if you are interested in this itinerary please email me or add yourself to the list at the next meeting.
Trip includes Astronomy, Air, space and Maritime venues
Day 1 Fly LA and drive to San Diego - USS Midway visit (night in SD)
Day 2 San Diego Air & Space Museum; Scripps Institute (night in SD)
Day 3 Mount Palomar Observatory– may be able to overnight
Day 4 LA – Space X (tentative); Endeavour Space Centre; La Brea Tar pits; Griffiths Observatory evening (night in Pasadena)
Day 5 Pasadena NASA/JPL, Mount Wilson evening (night in Pasadena)
Day 6 Palmdale – Joe Davis Heritage Air Museum and blackbird Museum; Armstrong Test Centre (night in Palmdale or Mojave)
Day 7 Mojave – Edwards AFB (tentative); Mojave Spaceport and Virgin Galactic (night in Palmdale or Mojave)
Day 8 Sequoia NP; Yosemite (night in Yosemite)
Day 10 Yosemite NP – (night in Vandenburg)
Day 11/12 Looking at the potential launch from Vandenburg AFB; SpaceX launch of a Falcon 9 Block 5 Rocket - Mon, May 31st, 2021– (nights in Vandenburg or surroundings)
Day 13 am in Vandenburg or return to LA for flight to Sydney 22.30
Day 15 arrive Sydney 6.30am
Transport will be by coach or (more likely) car pooling, depending on numbers and costs. Estimated costs for flights, accommodation, meals and car pooling is $5000.00 at current exchange rate
Public Outreach: Request for Services and Support forms.
In order to regulate MAS public outreach activities, a "Request for Services and Support" form has been developed. There is a Commercial and Non-Commercial version, depending on the requesters status. An outside individual or organisation requiring MAS member(s) to attend shall submit the appropriate form. The forms are editable PDFs which will auto-email to the MAS Secretary. The forms contain MAS terms and conditions for undertaking an external activity and alternate means to submit the form. The form must be filled out and submitted by the outside individual or organisation - not by an MAS member receiving the request. A blank form can be emailed to the individual or organisation.
Short notice requests requiring a small number of members to attend can be directed by phone to the President for approval, but a form will still have to be submitted.The forms will be available on our up-coming new website. In the meantime, anyone receiving a request should contact a member of the committee to have the appropriate form emailed to the requester.
Members Observing Schedule:
Next Stargard - Saturday 21st December. Gates will open about 4.00pm.
The Forest - the weekend of Friday 27th/29th December. Gates open from 3.00pm on Friday.
Stargard - Tuesday 31st December - New Year's Eve! Gates will open about 4.00pm.
Orion Nebula - Bryan Pablo Tarantula Nebula - Phil Kidd
LOAN A TELESCOPE - CAMDEN COUNCIL
During November 2015, Camden Council Library Services launched their Telescope loan service to library members. Instigated by the library and supported by MAS, they now have three 8" Dobsonians and an ED80 refractor on loan. An ideal first step for families and individuals to 'try before you buy'. The Library ordered a further three ED80's! The project is a great success.
We still have McDob, our 6" Dobsonian, and one of our new members is currently using that. If you would like to borrow it next please let a committee member know. We also have a new loan telescope, donated to us by Helen Crase - a Celestron AstroMaster 130 newtonian reflector on a manual drive eqatorial mount. Please email the President (email@example.com) if you would like to borrow it.
MAS acknowledges Western Sydney University's generosity in permitting us the use of its facilities to hold MAS events such as the Macarthur Astronomy Forum and the Campbelltown Rotary Observatory for public viewing nights.
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