AAA President Message – October 2019

Dear AAA Members,

Just last weekend I caught the scent of dried, autumn leaves, a more vivid indication of the turning seasons that a note on my calendar. Watching the night skies, we are ever aware of nature’s constant changes, but still in awe of the beauty each part of the cycle brings.

AAA marked this autumn with an Autumn Starfest to remember! An incredible team of volunteers and observers pitched in to provide viewing, scavenger hunts, conversations, raffle prizes, and giveaways to nearly 800 visitors. Observers brought over 30 telescopes, plus binoculars, monoculars, and cameras. Al Nagler shared views through a special eyepiece he designed for the Apollo Anniversary. This year’s grand prize for the raffle, a SkyWatcher Virtuoso telescope donated by B&H, was won by Arjun Rajani. Thank you to everyone who helped out, especially the intrepid observing group leaders: Emily Bunin, Kim Ortega, Mauri Rosenthal, Matthias Schmitt, and Rori Baldari. Susan Andreoli led this year’s organizing team: Rori Baldari, John Bills, Faissal Halim, Stan Honda, George Hripcsak, Irene Pease, and Peter Tagatac. If you missed Starfest, you can see some of the event in the video produced by Stephen O’Ragen, and view Al Nagler’s presentation slides about his Apollo Anniversary Eyepeice.

The AAA 2019-2020 Astronomy/Astrophysics Lectures  Series kicks off  this month, starting on Friday, October 4. These lectures are free and open to the public – bring your friends! Two classes are currently running, and the next class, Astronomy 102, starts October 30. Check the AAA Classes website for information and registration updates.

This month AAA is participating in International Observe the Moon Night on Saturday, October 5. Tom Haeberle and Rori Baldari have been coordinating with AAA observers to register Observe the Moon sites in all five boroughs.  Join other AAA members at one of these locations, or observe the moon with neighbors in your neighborhood.

Later this season we have two more special events: Dawali on November 2, and the Veteran’s Day Transit of Mercury, on November 11. For more updates and opportunities to volunteer for AAA’s Diwali event, visit AAA’s Diwali website. For the Transit of Mercury, AAA is partnering with B&H to lend white light solar filters to observers for the day, and live-stream a view of the transit and short, themed astronomy presentations. There will be a Transit Meet-up on October 10 for AAA members to hang out and discuss – sign up through the link that was emailed to all AAA Members. If you’d like to help with observing (no telescope required), or to present a related astronomy topic as part of the live-stream, please email [email protected]. For all these events and more, visit the AAA calendar, or better yet, subscribe!

Clear Skies,