Those of you who made it to the
July meeting at Chapman may have seen my introduction
where I decided to point out the New Members Badges
display. Charlie Oostdyk - our dedicated OCA Treasurer
- puts the new members badges up for display and
pickup at the meetings.
I pointed out that many of the
badges are indeed for new members - but some of
them are also new badges for existing members. In
particular I managed to create some laughter by
noticing my own name badge was on this display.
What on earth does the president of the club need
a new badge for? Did I lose my other badge? Had
I never picked up my badge from nearly 4 years ago?
Actually none of those reasons.
I am now a Star Member and the
proud owner of Star Member Manual number 124.
My first trip out to our Anza observatory
was in February 1998 - and the clubs 22" Kuhn
telescope was being operated that night by our then
president Wayne Johnson (AKA Mr Galaxy). The Kuhn
was one of those items that clearly said to me that
the Orange County Astronomers were serious about
It has always been my intention to become a Star
Member myself and quite apart from being able to
claim the 22" telescope to be my own play thing
- I would look forward to taking my turn running
the Kuhn on star party nights for the benefit of
other members and their guests. Over the past year
or so - there have been a couple of occasions where
the Kuhn was closed on a star party night - and
I wanted to do my bit to ensure this rarely if ever
What exactly does it take to become a Star Member?
According to our membership form a Star Member is;
A special class of membership,
which allows a member to operate the Kuhn Telescope.
To qualify for Star Membership, you must be either
a Regular member or a Life member. The following
restrictions apply for use of the Kuhn Telescope:
1) The Star Member must be "certified"
by the Scope Trainer before he/she may operate the
2) Observatory/telescope must be 'booked' ahead
of time with the Scope Scheduler.
Of course there is also a one-time
payment of $150 as well!
Sounds pretty simple right? I must
say that is absolutely correct.
Long-term member Chuck Lodoza handles
the training and certification for Star Members.
Chuck lives in Temecula and has a leisurely (just
kidding) job as a pilot for United Airlines. Over
the years Chuck has modified and created a very
professional set of documentation to make the task
of operating the clubs prized asset a very straight
forward one. The control software (the TCP as it
is called) allows very easy control of the telescope
from the computer. Objects can be easily selected
from the on-line database - and the telescope slews
to the item of interest with the most delightful
whirring sounds. My own 10" LX200 seems to
be much noisier.
On Thursday July 19th a whole group
of us descended on Anza to be trained on the Kuhn
(three completely new Star Members) and a further
5 or 6 others who needed the refresher training.
The training lasted about 3 hours or so. The result
being that I am now fully certified to operate the
You can do this too!
Please note that our annual Star-B-Que will be held
at the Anza August Star Party on August 18th.
NO SMOKING AT ANZA.
The Board of Directors and Trustees resolved unanimously
to permit smoking at the Anza Observatory property
only inside private automobiles and no where else
on the property or inside of any building. This
resolution was made primarily for fire safety reasons
- as we have been finding very many cigarette buts
around our site.
OCA Annual Banquet
We will be holding our annual Banquet this year
at the Orange County Mining Musem in November. The
specific date will be confirmed soon.
"every day we are connecting ever more photons
of light from distant galaxies to the eyes, hearts,
minds and imaginations of our members and others
in our community."
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