courtesy of Ed Mizzi
The February monthly meeting was exciting and informative, for several reasons. Here are the highlights for those who couldn’t make it:
Gary Bennett, our club President, began by welcoming everyone, including two new visitors
Bob Prociuk (Special Projects Director) announced the latest membership numbers and it looks as if we are still in good shape!
Andy Blanchard (Programs Director) introduced our Vice President David Surette, who described the latest Armchair Astronomy night and encouraged people to attend and to reply to his Forum survey about that evening and possible options. Andy then called upon Muhammad Basil Ahmad to discuss the Visual Observing Nights and he also announced the next scheduled evening as Friday, Feb. 19.
Andy then asked Roger Hill (Orbit Editor) to talk about the Forum. Roger discussed some statistics (see the Feb. Orbit) that gave an indication of how much the Forum is being used. He indicated that he is pleased thus far with the amount of activity and number of users. Next, Roger spoke about the Forum contest and awarded a prize to Jeff Booth for his great photo(s) of the 5 planet alignment.
Andy next gave us a detailed update about AstroCATS, CAPS and the General Assembly. He was excited to inform us that booth sales are going strong and that we have some new and important vendors who will be joining many of the regular vendors that have supported us in the past. Andy also spoke about CAPS, indicating that several people have already made commitments to the courses offered at the school. He spoke about the world-renowned instructors that will be offering their expertise at CAPS.
Andy then told us about our exciting dealings with the RBG and that they are on board in helping us study the feasibility of a Planetarium being built on RBG property. In addition, the near future may witness these two prestigious organizations, the RBG and the RASC join forces in offering both memberships a more diversified slate of activities. And hopefully the Hamilton Centre will soon begin holding its meetings at the RBG Headquarters.
Gary Bennett (President) described the process followed by the Board of Directors re: new and future purchases and projects. Gary explained the rationale behind each and every item discussed at the Jan. Board meeting and indicated that all items will be purchased in an attempt to improve our club so that we can better provide Outreach to Members and the General Public.
Dr. Dave Dev was the Guest Speaker for the second hour of the meeting. His topic was Space Medicine and Dave kept our interests peaked with very interesting slides and explanations about the fascinating world of abnormal physiology, strange pathology, and countermeasures to help astronauts adapt to space hazards. Besides providing us with an excellent education about this topic, Dave made us rethink our desire to possibly be space tourists in the near future. It was truly fascinating and eye-opening!