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Update December 1, 2002

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

December 2002 Edition

Sorry for the lapse in the Webnewsletter folks.  We have a new editor and will keep this web version current.

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.

December Meeting Summary:

New Member in December:

Roseanne Radgowski

Welcome to CVAS!


General Fund: $1,715

Petty Cash:     $    185

Paid $450 to Bob Modic, the 2nd installment on the gravel that was placed in the new parking lot last October.

Observatory Director:

"Quiet", according to Marty.  A 2nd PC was installed in the warm-up room, and a CD burner was acquired for $30 (nice deal).  The new PC, the old PC in the observatory room and the scope controller all talk to each other now .

A Lossmandy dove-tail system is attached to the 16” scope, so any one who has the equipment can attach it to the brackets.  

Marty proposed purchasing 20 foot of heating tape to heat the rails of the roll off roof.   He'll update at the next meeting.


Mercury will be visible the week of Christmas about 7 degrees in the southwest about  45 minutes after sunset.

Saturn is at opposition on Dec. 16 in Taurus and will be visible all night.  This is a great season for Saturn watching as it's rings are tilted at 27 degrees, the miximum tilt possible. .

Jupiter rises by 9 PM in mid-December. 

Venus rises around 4 AM.  It is a brilliant -4.7 magnitude.  .

Mars is located near Venus most of the month.

The Geminid Meteor shower peaks on the night of Dec. 13/14.  About 30-70 meteors per hour can be expected.

Jim Brownfield reported seeing Mars, Venus and the Moon very close to each other on the morning of December 1 - a very nice sight.   

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

Old Business:

Light Pollution News:

  • John Gorka.  Attended a meeting of the Aurora Astronomy Club in November to review a situation where some parking lot lighting is impacting some nearby houses.  Aurora does not have a lighting ordinance and this incident may be a good opportunity to get one established. John also sent a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Ohio noting a local u utility quoting $500 to shield street lights.    More to come at a later meeting. 

  • Larry Boros.  Larry is going to provide a copy of Mentor's lighting ordinance to various local Mentor suppliers of lighting equipment to notify them what is required by code to provide to the consumer.

New Business:

The annual CVAS Christmas party will be held at Joe Petrick's house on Friday, December 13, 2002.

Lake Metroparks will hold a training session of the portable/inflatable Starlab planetarium at Penitentary Glen on February 2, 2003 - noon.  This will be the same day as our February meeting. 

Tentative date for the summer OTAA Convention at Indian Hill Observatory is June 28, 2003.

See the January 2003 issue of Sky and Telescope for a picture of the Pelican Nebula taken by CVAS member Bob Rickert.

Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora