Meeting Minutes: 15 Sep 2021

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The Santa Fe Stargazers convened for their regular monthly meeting at t 7 PM MDT on 15 Sep 2021.

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

Following introductions, Robert Powers gave the Monthly Sky Report, feating several important anniversaries – from the dedication of the Yerkes Observatory, through the launch of Sputnik, to the end of Galileo mission to Jupiter – followed by a survey of the months sky, from planets to DSOs.

The evenings featured presentation – The Exciting World of Exoplanets – was given by Mark Giovinazzi, a fourth-year graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Mark gave us an overview of exoplanet searches and how they exploit faint but well-defined observational signatures in stellar spectra or apparent brightness; how exoplanets are characterized; some of the more prominent and/or important exoplanet systems; and what we might expect from upcoming space observatories.

Member Reports included comments by Robert Powers, Albert Schulz, and Sam Finn.

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. Four club members will be supporting a limited-attendance Oct near-new-moon program at Pecos. Sam Finn flagged two opportunities: first, support of Santa Fe Conservation Trust activities in Spring; second, updating the “Outreach” section of our web site with a calendar or area events and area stargazing locations. The update of the web site is motivated by the large (6-10) number of inquiries made through our web site by visitors interested in stargazing or other observing opportunities. There is a clear demand for a consolidated calendar of events. If we are able to demonstrate how one might work we may be able to enlist other area organizations to help maintain it, perhaps hosting it on a dedicated website.

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

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