AAA President Message – April 2020

Dear AAA Members,

The world has changed drastically over the past month – some of you may have little to no time or bandwidth for recreation, some of you may have more time on your hands than you’d like, and some may need an outlet more than ever. In any case, AAA is still open for astronomizing! We’ve been adapting as circumstances evolved so that we can continue promoting the study of astronomy and emphasizing its cultural and inspirational value. Here are some of the modifications for recent and upcoming events…

While we didn’t get to observe from a common location for Messier Marathon 2020, some Members were still able to hunt down objects on Messier’s list, and share their results with the group. John Bills swept this year’s EAA MM, capturing 100 objects in one night. A spectacular run!

The most recent class, taught by David Kiefer, ran on Zoom for its final two weeks. Since this  worked well, we will offer two spring classes online. David has developed a new class, Planetary Science, which will be on Wednesdays, starting April 22. There will also be an Astronomy 101 class on Tuesdays, with a mid or late-April start date. More details will soon be available on the classes website.

The March lecture had to be cancelled, and to date it has not been rescheduled. David Kraft is coordinating with the speakers to live-stream the remaining lectures in our 2019-2020 season. A link for viewing will be posted on the lectures website and shared on our various social media channels.

NEAF will be a free, one-day, virtual experience this year. Join the event online, April 4, 10AM – 8PM. Thank you to Rori Baldari and David Kaufman for coordinating AAA’s presence there, and to the volunteers who were scheduled to staff the AAA booth. If you’re eager to help on the rescheduled dates for NEAF, go ahead and mark your calendar for September 12-13.

While our public observing is on hold, some of our intrepid observers and EAA experts have live-streamed views through their telescopes or cameras. As more of our volunteers get a handle on streaming, we could start holding short virtual-observing sessions in lieu of our previously scheduled events. If you’d like to assist with live-streaming celestial views through your telescope/camera, providing commentary, or sharing some other astronomy or astrophotography topics on a cloudy night, please complete this form.

Astrophotography meetups are going strong, on Zoom. Join the Astrophotography google-group, or any of the other special-interest groups to get more connected with the AAA community.

 And as always, you can read about what’s been happening with AAA right here in The Eyepiece – check back often, as Editor Jeff Williams and his team are continually adding submitted articles about AAA and other astronomical events and stories.

Clear Skies,
Irene Pease
AAA President