Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society

Indian Hill Observatory
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We Observe - by A. Mallama

Update April 4, 2004

The Valley SkyWatcher Magazine
A Publication of the Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society
P.O. Box 11 Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022

April 2004 Edition


Bank - $1,833.38, Petty Cash - $52.00, Total - $1,885.38

Paid $16 phone bill.

Observatory Director

  1. Talked about what needs to get done at Indian Hill for this coming year, items included: Fixing the electrical line, putting a fresh layer of gravel down for the drive, creating a new access way up the hill for vehicles, cutting down a couple of trees at the exit of new parking area, cleaning up behind the shed, and finish clearing the land to the southwest of the new dome.

  2. The bottom of the drive is very soft this time or year. It was recommended that people don't stop in this area when opening the gate. Also the land to the south of the parking lot is very soft and muddy, so don't try to drive on this for the next month or two

  3. Someone suggested making a new sign for the Outhouse (the "Kundel Commode" that was dedicated in 1989).

  4. Plan on having a training session for the 12" and 16" telescopes at the May 1 meeting at the Hill. The training session is to be held before and after the monthly business meeting.

  5. It was noted that the focuser for the 16" is not in very good shape and we should replace this.

Director of Observations

For Bob's complete observations report please visit the Monthly Sky Calendar on our website.

Talked about the upcoming transit of Venus and possible viewing locations to travel to. A state park in Rochester, New York which is about 250 miles away looks like a good location for now. Presque Isle in Erie, Pa. was also suggested. But, any final decision on where to travel to probably will not be made until the last minute. Basically it comes down to what location is predicted to have the best weather forecast.

Observations for past month

Bob Modic managed to get in some CDD images of variable stars. He is able to get down to 17th magnitude with a 8" telescope under somewhat light polluted skies. Steve Fishman and Dave Knorr used the 16" at the hill during the night of our planned Messier Marathon. Was able to get some general viewing in even under less than ideal conditions. They also reported the 16 inch electronics and guiding was working fine. A few others took advantage of the couple of clear nights we had and did some viewing of the planets.


Handed out the latest issue of The Valley Skywatcher. Accepting material for the next issue.

All members of CVAS and the OTAA are encouraged to contribute ideas, articles, images and observation reports for possible inclusion in future issues of this monthly update and in the quarterly editions of The Valley SkyWatcher

Old Business

  1. Light Pollution - Larry Boros reports that Terry McGowan is looking into trying to get Geauga county to pass zoning ordinances that will place certain restrictions on lighting and perhaps designate certain special areas.

  2. Steve Fishman, Larry Boros, Vickie Ford, and Dan Galdun who had volunteered to teach a group of girls at Mayfield Middle School the basics of Astronomy for a competition that was held at Cleveland State received a certificate of appreciation from the school district.

  3. Larry Boros and Dan Rothstein reported on the meeting with the Geauga Park board on the new installation for the 25" Oberle Telescope. The main topic of discussion was on the cost of the project which is estimated to be around $250,000. Besides the observatory, they want to make a complete physical science center. Also got a $900 quote for recoating the 25 inch mirror and secondary from EMF. The next meeting is to be at West Woods on Monday, April 26th at 7PM.

  4. Grants - Larry Boros talked more about CVAS Mission Statement for the club. The main thing here is how to differentiate ourselves from the Geauga Park district since they plan to go after grant money as well.

  5. Dan Rothstein still has not done a night-time night survey for the new Oberle telescope due to the weather. Hopefully sometime in the next month if the weather clears will get this done.

  6. Dan Rothstein contacted the Geauga County Treasurer and had our land taxes split off form Keiths taxes. Now the tax bill will come directly to us. They gave him a telephone number to call about getting a tax exemption for the land. Basically have to call the State, which then will inform the county that a 501c3 organization owns the land and does not have to pay taxes on it. This will save the club about $65 a year. Steve Fishman will work this project.

New Business:

  1. Went over calendar - Added three new star party dates:Saturday May 8th at Indian Hill for some Girl scouts at Indian Hill, Saturday May 15th for a Church group at Indian Hill, and Friday October 1st at Riverview Farm. A Frontiers of Astronomy program is on Thursday, April 15 at 8PM at the Natural History Museum. This is on "The Birth and Death of Galaxies". On Saturday, April 24th, which is Astronomy Day, a group from CVAS plans on setting up some telescopes at Riverside Park in Chagrin Falls.

  2. Larry Boros handed out a calendar of events sheet.

  3. Discussed the electrical situation at the hill. Dan did some research and found that a wind generated electrical system to charge up batteries would be very costly and require a very tall tower. Using solar power and batteries is cheaper, but still would cost at least $5000 to $6000. The cheapest solution is to use a generator, but this requires filling it up with gasoline and is noisy.

  4. Dan also investigated getting running water for the hill. Since we don't have any where for the drainage to go, we probably never could do this. Dan suggested that perhaps we look into getting a composting toilet. Can get systems for starting for around $1000. For water, we can always buy tanks of water as an alternative to running water.

  5. Dan Rothstein and Steve Fishman visited the submarine USS Cod in downtown Cleveland. They when to evaluate the Bausch & Lomb targeting binoculars and make suggests on how to fix the optics.

  6. The April 30th edition of the Bainbridge Banner is to have an article about the CVAS in it.

  7. Steve Fishman reported that an adult collage student is doing a story on us. She wants to the hill in the few weeks to do some viewing for this story.


Had 2 visitors who joined the club. Welcome to CVAS Rob Engel and Joyce Padavick.


Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora