Chagrin Valley Astronomical Society
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We Observe - by A. Mallama

Update November 4, 2003

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

November 2003 Edition


Bank - $1,873.96, Petty Cash - $95.00, Total - $1,968.96.

1. Paid phone bill.

Observatory Director:

1. The Meade 12" LX200 is up and running and can control about everything from the warm room except for the dome itself, which is coming. The telescope is ready for club use, but anyone wishing to use it needs some brief instruction on opening and closing the dome and what to do in case of any problems there.

2. There are 5 category-5 data lines between the warm room and the dome. One is for the telephone in the dome, one is a network connection for a laptop or PC, a third line connects to the LX200 RS-232 port. This line goes to an A-B switch next to the warm room PC that switches the PC port between the 16 inch and the 12 inch scopes. A planetarium program like ECU or the Sky can control either scope from there. The fourth line is for a camera filter-wheel control and the fifth line is a spare. There is also a 25 conductor shielded parallel port cable for camera control. All these lines have been tested and are working. A coaxial cable for video use will be added shortly.

3. The PC in the warm room now acts as an Internet connection sharing server. If you plug in a laptop anywhere on the network, you get an IP address from the warm room PC and you can cause it to dial the Internet just by opening something like a browser. File sharing is enabled permitting transfer and use of data form any connected PC.

4. The warm room PC has been upgraded from a PII-233 to a PIII-566 with a 14GB hard-drive. It has a considerable amount of general astronomical and image processing software on it. This PC has a 6X CD writer in it to create copies of image data taken at the Hill. It also has a video capture card that can display and record full screen video from a composite or broadcast source.

5. Joe Petrick has donated his B&W Astrovid video camera to the club and it has been tested with the video capture card in the warm room PC. This should be good for group viewing.

6. Dan Rothstein has continued cutting brush south of the hill. Reports that a wood chip pile from the trees that were chipped up a couple of months ago actually caught on fire. Marty Niemi and Jim Brownfield came out and got some water from Keith's pond and put it out.

7. Dan Rothstein also came up with an idea for better access to the hill. Basically we could widen the walk up path on the west side and have it come out near the work shed with little work. One idea is that on busy nights we can use that as a way up and the steeper path on the east side can be used as a way down.

Director of Observations:

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

The main highlight for last month was the Auroras. There were two main shows that were seen on the nights of October 29th and 30th.  See Steve Fishmans' photos on our website and\sfaurora.html.  If anyone else has any photos send them in and we'll post them on the website.


Passed out the new issue of the Valley Skywatcher.

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. Discussed the dedication of the new observatory. One idea is to have a small ceremony this November 8th and maybe a bigger one at our OTAA convention. This Saturday is an eclipse of the moon so we probably will have some members out there for that so the idea is to combine the events.

2. Light Pollution - Larry Boros is having a meeting with Mentor's city manager about the lights that are going up on Heisly Road.

3. Dan Rothstein reports that Ian Cooper, Ken Hubal has started to take apart the Oberle telescope. Unfortunately the Geauga park districts crane is not big enough to get the mirror out of the building and a private contractor will need to be hired.

4. The Geauga park district has brought 535 acres of land about 3 miles north of Indian Hill. This could be the possible site of the 25" Oberle telescope.

5.  Dan Rothstein, John Gorka and Steve Fishman did a star party for a group of Cub Scouts on October 10 at the Orange Village Park.  A partly cloudy night gave us views of the full moon and Mars.

New Business:
1. Calendar of upcoming events - The Museum of Natural History has asked if we can bring some small telescopes there on November 8th for a program that runs 6PM to 10PM. We are also planning to do some type of program at the hill on November 8th. Club members can choose which place they want to go to. A cub scout troop is coming to the Hill on 11/15. The Super Star Party for 2004 at Penitentiary Glen is to be August 14th. Also discussed having a backup date if this is clouded out again and perhaps doing another program for the Lake Park District at the Hill.

2. The CVAS Christmas Party is to be on December 20th at Joe Petrick's house. This will be a potluck dinner, the time is yet to be announced.

3. Dan has brought the wood to rebuild the cradle for one of Denny Jefferson's telescopes. Ian Cooper and Dan plan to start working on this soon.

4. Held elections for next year. All offices were unopposed so a motion was made to accept the nominees without a formal vote. The club officers for 2004 are: President - Dan Rothstein, Vice-President - Larry Boros, Observatory Director - Marty Niemi, Director of Observations - Bob Modic, Treasurer - Steve Fishman, Editor - Earl Green, and Secretary - Steve Kainec.

5. Had discussion on raising money by using grants. Larry Boros is to call the Cleveland Foundation and talk with them about our situation. 

6. Dave Knorr looked into advertising in the Cleveland Magazine. Reports this would not be cost effective. A better plan might be just to put out press releases about our events.


Had 2 visitors who joined the club, Welcome to CVAS Steve Verba and Vickie Ford.

Welcome to CVAS!

Special Photos:
October 30, 2003 Aurora