Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society

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We Observe - by A. Mallama

Update April 4, 2007

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

April 2007 Edition

Meeting called to order at 7:40 pm on April 2 2007 in the Nature Education Building at the North Chagrin Reservation. 8 members and 2 visitors were present. .

Officer Reports


Minutes for the February meeting are on the CVAS website. No additions or corrections were noted by the members present.


Tom reviewed the treasurer’s report in Steve’s absence. Member dues were summarized.

Cash in Bank - $1,557.60, Electric Fund - $0.0, Petty Cash - $61.00, Total Cash - $1,618.60.

For the month, we paid the insurance premium in the amount of $30.00, and telephone in the amount of $50.00. We also made a $300.00 land payment, leaving a balance remaining of $4,800. The electric bill for the prior month was $5.96..

Observatory Director:

Although not present at the meeting, Marty reported via email that electrical outlets at the Hill are in operation, and we now have wireless internet access at the hill thanks to Russ Swaney . Russ also provided a new focuser that Marty will install on the F4 8” Newtonian currently mounted with the 16” .


The March 2007 edition is in print and available. .

Director of Observations:

Bob reviewed his monthly report for April. For his complete observation report, please visit the Monthly Sky Calendar on our website.

Bob pointed out a fascinating image taken from the Cassini spacecraft late last year of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. The picture shows streams of ice and water vapor pouring off the moon and into the E ring. To see the image, go to Astronomy Picture of the Day archives for March 27 2007.

On March 28, Russ Swaney made a spectacular image of Near Earth Object 2006 VV2 using the F4 8” Newtonian at the hill. The asteroid has a diameter of a mile or so, and passed within 2 million miles of the earth (8 times the lunar distance). The image shows the 11 th magnitude asteroid moving at the rate of about 1 degree per hour. The galaxy M81 also appears in the image and is nearly in the asteroid’s path. Russ constructed the image by stacking six – 3 minute exposures using his digital SLR.

Several members present reported spending time this past month with various observing projects both at the hill and elsewhere.

Rick Trembour continued his wildlife reporting by describing a flock of circling buzzards at the zenith while lying motionless in a field earlier in the day. We’re all glad Rick was still around this evening to tell us about it.


Lynn Schreffler was present for the meeting, and a second visitor (my apologies to Ray for not learning his last name) joined us for the second time. Both are expressing interest in joining the club.

Old Business:

  1. Tom reported the 12.5” mirror is ready to go to Spectrum for recoating. Larry has graciously offered to cover the cost of shipping the mirror to Spectrum, lowering our out of pocket expense to $190 for the recoating .

  2. Tom indicated our display materials will be at the Bainbridge Library through the end of May 2007.

  3. Vickie confirmed our participation in the Super Star Party at Pen Glen to be held rain or shine Saturday August 18 2007 8:00 – 11:00 pm. To receive remuneration for providing services at the SP, CVAS will be regarded as a “vendor” and will enter into a simple Vendor Letter of Agreement. CVAS will provide the following services

    a. Produce 15 members and scopes
    b. Conduct an orientation presentation of basic astronomical concepts from 8:15–9:00 pm .
    c. Provide two back to back StarLab programs.

    In return, LMP will pay a flat rate of $250.00 as an Instructor’s Fee to CVAS. We will need to submit a W-9 form to LMP’s Finance Department soon so that the Club can be processed as a vendor.

  4. CVAS will participate in the Astronomy Day at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on April 21. Several members are planning on helping

New Business:

  1. Rick suggested the club consider establishing the position of club historian. Discussion ensued regarding the need for a central location to store historical materials. Tom lent his support of the idea, and there appeared to be a consensus that the idea deserves further discussion
  2. Tom suggested that Bob and Marty co-lead a session at 7:00pm at the hill next month prior to the 8:00pm regular meeting that will serve to review for the members proper procedures for operating the scopes at the hill, opening and closing the observatory buildings, turning the power on/off, securing the property, etc. Discussion continued regarding potential locations for our winter meetings next year. Several options will be pursued, and the information will be presented at a future meeting. .
  3. A new SP date has been added to our summer calendar. The event will occur at Mentor Headlands on Friday August 3. See the Calendar of Events page on our website for details about this event and other events coming up.
  4. Ron stated his appreciation for the science discussion content of our meetings, and would like to pursue ways for us to expand this part of our monthly meetings. Tom indicated he has always been a strong proponent of the educational aspects of our meetings and would be in favor of some type of expansion. For a quick improvement we decided to move Bob’s Monthly Sky Calendar, and the related observing reports from the members, to the end of each meeting. The idea is that once the business aspect of the meeting is concluded, we can focus on the astronomy subjects without the feeling that we need to get back to business.

    Other members voiced opinions in favor of expanding science/education in our monthly meetings. Larry suggested a plan which would involve critiquing articles appearing in current astronomical literature. Another suggestion involved providing refreshments between two meeting sections, business and science. Due to the apparent general consensus, Ron suggested that a focus group be formed charged with the purpose of developing suggestions relative to expanding the science content of our meetings, which would then report to the members at a future full meeting, although at this point such a group has not been formed .

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM

Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora