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July 2000 Presidents Message

At last month's club meeting I asked late arrivers if they knew the score of the Lakers-Pacers game. Our webmaster, Liam Kennedy (showing the utmost in dedication had just arrived at the meeting after a long flight from Washington DC) told us that the Lakers had won. This subsequently caused our What's Up presenter, Chris Butler, to chime in with the fact he didn't much care about the Laker game since he didn't follow American football. Laughter followed, naturally. A few days later a New Zealand sailing buddy of mine commented on the Laker's eventual championship victory with the comment that he didn't much care as he didn't follow American baseball. The difference between the two comments was that my sailing friend wasn't making a joke.

Well, while many of us followed the ebbs and flows of the Lakers and Packers, oops, I mean the Pacers, another event was taken place in Rochester New York that, to the world of astronomy, was the equivalent of the World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Championship, Stanley Cup and the World Cup all rolled into one. If you are an astronomer then you know that every year the American Astronomical Society annual meeting is an incredible event that showcases many of the most dramatic announcements of advancements and discoveries in astronomy. The 196th annual meeting was attended by more than 900 professional astronomers. And true to form, many of the announcements were spectacular. Here is just a small sample of what came out of that meeting:

A newly reliable measure of the total density of matter in the universe (Dalton and Glazebrook)
The first direct evidence of stellar collisions and mergers (Saffer)

A key lynchpin distance measurement (the distance of the Large Magellanic Cloud) has been refined which could change our measurements for many things in the universe (Fitzpatrick).

Two new stellar classes (L and T) are added.

Amateur-Professional cooperation in astronomy moves forward.
As the webmaster for Sky & Telescope is was a lot of fun to read these stories as the S&T editors forwarded them for inclusion on the S&T web site. The entire coverage can be found at http://www.skypub.com/news/000608.html .

Next year I am looking forward to the announcement that Shaquille O'Neal has been declared to be Minor Planet number 10000.

"The goodness of the night upon you"
Othello Act 1 Scene 2

Russell Sipe

Prior Presidents Messages
 July 2017 President's Message
 June 2017 President's Message
 May 2017 President's Message
 April 2017 President's Message
 March 2017 President's Message
 2012 OCA Board Election Results
 April 2010 President's Message
 February 2010 President's Message
 January 2010 President's Message
 November 2009 President's Message
 October 2009 President's Message
 September 2009 President's Message
 August 2009 President's Message
 July 2009 President's Message
 June 2009 President's Message
 March 2009 President's Message
 May 2008 President's Message
 June 2008 President's Message
 July 2008 President's Message
 August 2008 President's Message
 September 2008 President's Message
 October 2008 President's Message
 November 2008 President's Message
 December 2008 President's Message
 January 2009 President's Message
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 April 2008 President's Message
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 January 2008 President's Message
 December 2007 President's Message
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 March 2007 President's Message
 January 2007 President's Message
 December 2006 President's Message
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 Around OCA for February, 2006
 February 2005 President's Message
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 December 2004 President's Message
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 April 2004 Presidentís Message
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