April 2010 Presidents Message
By Craig M. Bobchin
†Welcome to the April issue of the Sirius Astronomer. One of the hardest things to do is to lose a club member.
On Sun. March 14th 2010, the club lost a valued member of the club and Astroimagers SIG. Bill Patterson passed away of a heart attack while biking on Mt. Baldy.I want to extend my condolences as well as those of the club to Billís widow Pam and the rest of his family.
†Barbara Toy has written a very touching article that touches on some of the ways Bill touched the members of club. I for one will miss him and his smooth southern drawl. I learned a lot from Bill in the AI sig that has made me a better astroimager. †Goodby Bill; you will be missed.
In other news, the recent rains have had a couple of effects out at Anza. †For one the wet weather is going to mean a very big bloom of flowers and weeds,† these weeds will wither and die and will create a fire hazard. So we must be vigilant and proactive in weed control this spring and summer.
The other area that nature has affected at Anza is the roads into the site. The long road in has been graded by our neighbors and is smoother than Iíve seen it in years.† The direct road however is a different story.† At the March Star Party is was deeply rutted and tricky to traverse.† Hopefully our neighbors will take care of that as well and if you see them Please offer a word of thanks and if you feel some gas money.
On other Anza issues, Iíve heard from several members about conditions at Anza house.† For starters we all must keep in mind that Anza house is shared by all members and we are all responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. If you see a problem and can fix it please do so, If not Alert the board, Steve Condry (who is the Anza House Custodian) or Don Lynn who does a lot of work keeping Anza going.
Another thing to be aware of is that we have only one table at Anza house and a lot of people using it. Please be courteous to others and if you are using a laptop at the table and people want to eat please move the laptop to a chair or couch so there is room at the table. This will also help in leeping the house clean since it is far easier to clean up a table rather than spilled food from the carpet and chairs.
The March Star Party was the first opportunity to run the Messier marathon; the Astronomical equivalent to the Olympics. It is a chance to see all 110 Messier Objects in one night. Those of us who were out there, had to contend with clouds that blocked us from seeing the 1st part of the marathon. The clouds cleared around 8:30/9:00.† The temperatures dipped to the 30ís and any dew froze out. But then the winds kicked up and made viewing and imaging difficult at best.† But donít dispare if you didnít get a chance to partake this month April offers another couple of chances. Since the new moon falls in the middle of the week, we have two star parties that month and thus two more chances for the marathon. We will also have the same opportunity in the fall.
Club Fund Raising
I wanted to put a reminder out that we have several opportunities to help bring income into the club. We have two ways to increase our income, one is via the Amazon.com link off the Clubís main page and the other is the link to the OCA store on CafePress.com. The store has lots of OCA branded merchandise such as Hats, Mugs, shirts and lots more. So check it out at http://www.cafepress.com/ocastore .
Till Next month hereís wishing you clear dark skies.