May this message find you in good health and high spirits, with your eyes always looking upwards, curious about the mysteries of the cosmos. June marks the start of new leadership transition for the club as I assume the role of President and we welcome four new board members. We have high hopes and goals for the club as we begin the 96th year of the club’s history and begin preparing for our 100th year anniversary in 2027.
I want to begin my inaugural President’s letter by asking for help from our membership. We need members to get involved and to donate their time to the club more now than ever before. Please reach out to me and other members of our executive committee or board members and tell us how you would like to help. The pandemic years have been difficult for many of us and in particular for a club such as ours it has been a painful period as most of our activities were curtailed or relegated to online settings.
Nevertheless, even during those dark days we continued to deliver great content from our lecture series to our diverse menu of classes. We are happy to see all of our observing events back in full swing now, please check out our new website for a comprehensive calendar of our observing events. We are expecting the opening of New York City’s first public observatory, which we have been working on bringing to fruition over the past year.
Eyepiece, AAA’s newsletter, is a great vehicle for you to share your observations and thoughts about astronomy with other members of the club. Publishing an article in Eyepiece is a special benefit of AAA reserved solely for our membership. You all have unique experiences and points of view on our universe so send us your articles and photographs.
Summer is a great time of year to travel with the club to our dark site location in the Catskills and see the splendor of the night sky away from the heavy light pollution of our favorite city. Summer is when the Milky Way Galaxy is directly overhead, so don’t miss an opportunity to see it from a dark site! Warm evenings should make for some fantastic opportunities to witness the beauty of the night sky. We have some exciting astronomical events upcoming such as the conjunction of both Mars and Venus with the Beehive cluster in early June, followed by the incomparable Perseid Meteor Shower which runs from July 17 to August 24, with the peak on August 12th. Jupiter, the king of the planets, will be at opposition in July, when it will treat us to spectacular views of its glorious belts and moons.
The beauty of astronomy is in its boundlessness, its infinite capacity to both amaze and educate. It compels us to explore, pushing the frontiers of our understanding, making us realize how small we are, yet how significant our pursuit of knowledge is. I hope to see many of you at some of our observing and other events.
Moreover, I want to say that I am also open to ideas and suggestions from members on what they would like to see and get from the club as members. Please drop me an email and lets talk. I am looking forward to spending more time outside, contemplating the grandeur of the universe. I look forward to the coming months with great anticipation and hope you share my enthusiasm.
Stay curious, keep looking up, and remember, as Carl Sagan once said, “We are all made of starstuff.”