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08 November 2019November Club News
November Club News presented to Members & Visitors at our last Monthly Club Meeting on Tuesday 5th November 2019.
Eric opened the meeting by welcoming members, guests, visitors from SIGMA, and the several first-time visitors which is always a pleasure to see.
We have carried out an essential repair to the Observatory - a broken step leading to the dome had to be replaced - and it is clear that, with the observatory being in its 11th year, that a more detailed inspection will have to be carried out with the outcome of a 3-year maintenance & operation plan. We won't bore everyone with the details of the plan, however, if there are any financial implications for the Club then we will need to inform you.
HAS hosted 13 members from Aberdeen Astronomical Society on Saturday 26 October with Eric, Pauline, and Dave representing ourselves. We must thank AAS for their generosity in treating us to a meal and it was heartening to see they brought members with a good range of age - from youngstars to much the more experienced!. It was a very successful encounter with one idea in particular which deserves further exploration -
The north of Scotland is now covered very effectively with amateur astronomy clubs from Caithness right through to the north-east by Caithness Astronomy Group, Highlands Astronomical Society, SIGMA (Moray's Astronomy Club), and Aberdeen Astronomical Society. We all experience common issues and there is the potential to derive mutually beneficial solutions. Perhaps one of the most tempting benefits is that an association could add combined strength and effect to campaigns such as light pollution. A potential work in progress for the Chairman!
The main Outreach events coming up this month are
- the Mercury Solar Transit with a public session taking place at UHI Inverness Campus, An Lochran this Monday 11th November from 12pm until 4pm (sunset). Helpers/volunteers to assist the Observing Team would be very much appreciated.
- Eric is giving a talk to Loch Ness Rotary Club this Wednesday 13th November and will let them see what we get up to, how we run our Club, and, in particular, the public & community activities we get up to.
In line with our Club Aims of Keeping It Simple, Straightforward, and Accessible and For The Members we have distributed Feedback/Comment/Suggestion Sheets & Pencils on the tables. We encourage you to use these to help the Committee shape the club to YOUR needs.
Eric drew members attention to several key points in the Notices then introduced Gordon Mackie, Chairman of Caithness Astronomy Group, who presented his excellent talk "Astronomical Alchemy" (Members can read a summary of this talk in their e-mailed copy of Stargazey Pie).
The presentation contains news, updates, and photos of the following
Mercury Solar Transit
31 October 2019Members Mods - "Let There Be Light!"
19 October 2019JSL Observatory - "One small step ..."
Gerry and Dave "on the step"
At our last Observing Session it was noticed that the bottom step leading up to the observatory was a wee bit springy and gave us cause for concern. On later inspection it was found that the step was rotten and needed replacing.
On a dry, windless, autumn Wednesday afternoon a small team consisting of Gerry Gaitens, Dave Davidson, and Eric Walker were tasked with installing the £14 replacement step which had been bought by Pauline Macrae.
After much sawing, kicking, pushing & pulling the new step was successfully installed and tested for "fitness of purpose" by Gerry and Dave. It passed the test!
The Observatory will need a detailed inspection throughout and immediately after this observing season as it is now in its eleventh year and we need to ensure we maintain it well for the long term.
Looking forward to seeing everyone up there this season.