Location: Chemistry/Physics Building, MUN
Time: 8:00 pm
Doug gave an abbreviated introduction, as only old members were present. Doug also introduced the topics of the meeting.
Doug noted that the next meeting will be in September. We usually have a summer break over July and August.
Greg's talk was inspired by his experiences in Ottawa with the Ottawa Valley Astronomy and Observers Group (OAOG).
The sidewalk astronomy methods were based on the International Sidewalk Astronomers. Greg's group would meet most often at a local Chapters on a regular monthly basis.
The OAOG started public sidewalk sessions during the Mars opposition in 2003. Once a year they would have a big session for Astronomy Day (about 2000+ visitors). On occasion they would have more formal public Star Parties. Summer solar observing would take place at a local Public Library. During the sidewalk events their basic strategy was not to advertise in advance, but to go to a busy spot on a regular basis. They would set up signs in high traffic areas, directing people to their spot. During the day volunteers would meet people at the high traffic areas, and quite often these people would come back later during the night. They deemed this a successful strategy, rather than depending upon people showing up due to advertising.
As an example, some people from Houston visited and were skeptical as to how this approach would work down in the States. Indeed it did, and there is now a successful (honorary) Houston chapter of the OAOG.
Greg also touched upon the history of the International Sidewalk Astronomers, originally formed by John Dobson in 1968 as the San Francisco Sidewalk Asronomers.
Greg is not sure how this approach would work with the RASC. They had a small group, there was no public advertising (this is how they wanted it, but it might be an insurance requirement with the RASC), and they sought no permission from property owners. Other issues here would center around the weather. Some possible sites that may be interested to see us would be the Avalon Mall (movie nights), and Chapters. We could use signage to redirect people to low traffic areas, and traffic cones to cordon off our "site".
Robert passed around a short handout. There was some information on the sun and prominences.
The Butterpot Star Party will be on August 8-9, and people are invited to attend. Hopefully, we can have an additional session during the Perseids on August 12. Robert floated the idea of opening up more of our sessions to park patrons.
We were shown some recent pictures of various objects, starting with M13. Tim and Garry took some pictures of M51, also Tim took some of M81 and M82. Both groups used stacks of roughly 60 or so pictures, each exposed on the order of 30 seconds. We also saw again some pictures Tim took of Jupiter last year with an 8-inch Celestron. All these pictures are on our Member's Pictures section of our website.
Currently, we have no representative [later Phil McCausland agreed to represent the Centre].
It was agreed we could ask Phil to take our proxies and represent us at the AGM, but not necessarily at National Council (depending on his wishes).
Doug briefly went over the proxy forms, explaining what each motion was about. The National Annual Report can be found on the national site, with some explanation of the proposed changes to the Society to fall in line with the Charities Act and of other matters.
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