Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society

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Update February 22, 2007

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

February 2007 Edition

Meeting called to order on February 19 at 7:35 PM in the Nature Education Building at the North Chagrin Resevation. 12 members and 1 guest were present. .

Officer Reports


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


Member dues were summarized.

$1,714.60 in Bank, Petty Cash - $31.00. Total - $1,745.60. Current balance on the land is $5,100. For the month, we paid:

  • $50 phone bill.
  • $30 for monthly insurance premium.

A $250 donation was received from the Chagrin Jaycees. Thanks to CVAS member Ian Cooper who represented the club at their awards dinner event.

The Treasurer resolved the missing electric bills from First Energy. They had an incorrect billing address. For the 4 month period, service activation in September 2006 thru December, our bill was $27.00, or about $6.50 a month. For comparison , we were paying Keith a flat $7 each month when our electric was being fed from his house.

Observatory Director:

Marty was not present, but presented the following update via email.

All is quiet on the Eastern front.  That is the OD's report from snowy Huntsburg, Hts.

Seriously, the Hill has less snow on the ground than I have here in Concord.  Very unusual pattern.  The drive to the Hill has been plowed several times and the facilities are in use.  This may be a little premature, but the last construction effort where the warm room door was re-hung evicted a large mouse nest.  They have not moved back in to date.  Strange not seeing little eyes looking back at you occasionally.  The dome was operated from the warm room recently in 15 degree weather and the equipment, computers and all, performed flawlessly.<scary>  We just need some sky without the moon in the way.

Our digging for the new electrical service uncovered a substantial flow of water from the side of the hill.  Currently, this is draining to the road through 200 feet of 4 inch drain pipe and the driveway culverts.  The water flow has not slowed since the ditch was opened this fall.  I purpose that before the poison ivy comes out we locate the source of this spring and consider what would be needed to reroute the flow towards Keith's pond.   It also may make a good source of running water for the Hill.  All that would be needed is a tank and a simple pump. 

Two perspective new members, who live close by IHO,  were shown the facilities in January.  We also were able to do a little observing with the 16 inch.  They were quite impressed and plan on joining CVAS in the spring.


Tom distributed copies of the January issue of the Valley Skywatcher to the members present at the meeting.

Director of Observations:

Bob read his report. For his complete observation report, please visit the Monthly Sky Calendar on our website.

The first CVAS star party of the year took place last Friday evening at the Rookery Geauga Park. Clear skies rewarded 9 club members and approximately 40 visitors with very nice views of Saturn and early evening views of the long period variable star Mira. Mira is presently near maximum brightness for this cycle and is exceptionally bright – a full magnitude brighter than its average maximum. See the Monthly Sky Calendar for details.

Plans are being made to observe the lunar grazing occultation on Saturday February 24, and we discussed the recently discovered nova in Scorpius.

There is a lunar eclipse on Saturday March 3. We do not have any formal observing plans with North Chagrin as of the meeting date. For an alternative site, Bob Modic will contact Earl Luck at Case to request permission to use a site at Case's Squire Vallleevue farm. They have an excellent eastern horizon to watch the moon rise fully eclipsed.

The Museum of Natural History has also invited us to view the eclipse with the public at a site near University Circle.


Aaron Worley was present at the meeting, and expressed an interest in joining the club. He participated at the Rookery star party on Friday, the 19th.

Old Business:

  1. Tom made a motion to authorize Vickie to represent CVAS in working with the folks at Pen Glen regarding our participation in the Super Star Party August 18 2007. The motion passed with no one dissenting. The general idea is for CVAS to provide telescopes and instruction on the observing field, to operate the StarLab activity in the visitor center, and to conduct a presentation at the picnic shelter on some astronomical subject prior to the beginning of observations.

  2. Steve K. suggested that the eastern horizon from Indian Hill’s lower level could be improved by removing some trees in that direction. This suggestion met with approval, especially since the 12 ½” telescope currently being renovated will likely be located nearby.

  3. Vickie and Dan Galdun have been teaching in the Science Olympiad program at the Mayfield Middle School . The competition was held last weekend, and the students earned the “gold” in astronomy. Steve F. has been teaching Science Olympiad program for Mayfield High School students. They scored 11th out of 45th place at the Solon competition on February 3 and 13th out of 38th place at the February 17 Mentor event. The regional event at Akron is scheduled for March 10. See for the training material for the high school students.

  4. Tom reported that the display at the Chagrin Falls library has been taken down. The display materials will remain intact for use later at the North Chagrin Reservation, and elsewhere if needed

  5. The club will host a star party at Indian Hill for members, family, and friends on October 13 2007. A picnic style supper prior to viewing is being planned.

meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm

Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora