Meeting Minutes: 18 Aug 2021

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The Santa Fe Stargazers convened for their regular monthly meeting at t 7 PM MDT on Aug 18, 2021.

The meeting began with the introduction of one new member, who joined us for the first time.

Following introductions, Sam Finn gave the Monthly Sky Report, highlighting a raft of anniversaries, planetary conjunctions, and deep sky “eye candy” available for viewing should the monsoon leave us a clear night.

Following the MSR, Jim Baker moderated “My Favorite Space Probe”: a show-and-tell by members of space probes that were of special interest of significance to them. The Viking Lander(s), Rosetta, Mariner 2, the Voyager spacecraft, the Pathfinder and Opportunity rovers, Kepler, and the Soviet Venera probes all made appearance (as did others: I apologize if I missed yours in this summary!)

Following the featured presentation we began “Member Reports”, a new part of the agenda that allows for any member to report on any astro related activity they may have recently engaged in. Michael Jacobs reported on his participation in a night sky photography workshop at Pecos National Historic Park, showing a very nice shot he took of the Milky Way with the elements of the church in the foreground. Sam Finn reported on a night of recent observing he was able to “steal” from the monsoon, which allowed him to complete to Astronomical League programs that he had been working on: the Herschel 400 program and the Arp Peculiar Galaxy program.

The “business” meeting began with a brief update by Robert Powers on upcoming opportunities for club members interesting in supporting outreach opportunities planned by the NPS staff at Pecos National Historic Park and Fort Union National Monument. There has been no change in, but also no further information regarding, activities discussed at our July meeting. The earliest of these will be in Sep 4 at Fort Union; later events will be Oct 9 at Pecos and again at Fort Union on Oct 22. The first two of these are dark nights – i.e., no Moon, or very young Moon – and will likely feature telescopes; the Oct 22 will be just pass the full moon and may be just a guided night time walk.

Following the outreach report Jim Eagle and Robert Powers discussed the hand-over of club member observing opportunities. We may resume this activity as early as the Sep new moon. Jim will be in touch.

The next topic for discussion was meeting programming. Current scheduled programming takes us through the end of calendar year (i.e., November: we will have no December meeting).

The meeting ended with a brief report on Dark Sky advocacy work.

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