March 17, 2021 Meeting Minutes

At 7 PM MDT on March 17, 2021, thirteen members of the Santa Fe Stargazers met for the Club’s regular monthly meeting. After introduction of two new members – Greg Marshall and Steve Moore – Sam Finn presented the 2nd Monthly Sky Report, which covered events that took place since the last meeting – e.g., the Perseverance landing – and upcoming anniversaries, and astronomical events and news.

The evenings featured presentation was given by Peter Lipscomb, NM State Parks Ranger, owner and operator of Astronomy Adventures, Deep Sky West observatory technician, and long-time dark sky advocate. Peter’s presentation, titled “Astrophotography: A Personal Journey”, described Peter’s growth and accomplishments as an astrophotographer. His presentation was followed by a lively discussion on equipment and technique.

Following Peter’s presentation the group turned to the business portion of the meeting.

  • Monthly Sky Reports: Inspired by the Rose City Astronomers, at its January 2021 meeting the Santa Fe Stargazers decided to try-out its own Monthly Sky Report, with Jim Eagle taking February and Sam taking March, and a decision by the club at the end of the March meeting on whether to continue the feature. The decision was taken to continue the feature, with the next two months taken by Robert Powers (April) and Jim Baker (May).
  • Future Meetings: Jim Baker led a discussion of featured presentation programming for the several months beginning May (the April presentation will be given by Glenn Edens). Several possibilities were discussed and greeting enthusiastically by the group, including several “group” presentations (“My Favorite Space-probes” and “My Most/Least Favorite Telescope”, “My Favorite Star Party”), a presentation my Greg Marshall on astrophotography for beginners, a discussion-oriented presentation on the Santa Fe Street Lighting upgrade project, and a presentation on the use of Slooh and/or related robotic telescopes that can be “rented” by amateurs. [Other presentations were also enthusiastically discussed. Jim Baker, who is in charge of programming, took copious notes. I apologize if I missed yours here.]
  • Outreach: Noting that there is no indication when person-to-person, at the eyepiece outreach may resume,  Tom Aldern gave a presentation on a web-based tool, provided by Night Skies Network, that could be used by anyone in the club who does either EEA or frame-grab astrophotography, to host virtual outreach events.
  • Dark Sky Advocacy
    • Robert Powers reported that his dark sky advocacy article will appear in the May Vistas;
    • Albert Shultz reported on the activities of the Jemez Consortium, which has been incredibly active and is achieving great results in the Los Alamos area;
    • Sam, assisted by Albert, reported on the status of the effort to get the city of Santa Fe to reconsider the nature of its LED lighting upgrade project.
    • Stargazers are reminded that “Save The Night Sky 285!” is looking for new members to help protect our night skies: if you’d like to join (membership is free, so join twice!) complete the form at the Contact Us link.

The meeting adjourned at 10:00 PM.

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