Dear Friends and Members of the Astronomy Club of Augusta,                                                 20100701

Thank you for your vote of confidence as the new president of the ACA.  I appreciate your emails and calls, expressing encouragement and ideas as we plan for this year and the future.   First I want to express many thanks to our previous 2009-10 officers and members for their efforts to keep our club going. 


            We are fortunate to have continuing and new officers:  VP Programs: Mark N., VP Observing: Stan Howard, Secretary: Gigi L., Treasurer: John W..  I look forward to working with them, and I hope you will give them your support and best efforts.  With an enthusiastic membership, there is little we can’t do. 

            Luckily we can be really enthusiastic!  Since the ACA began in 1987, it has evolved and is ready to meet new challenges and goals to encourage new and young future astronomers.  We have been online for some years.  We are capable of organizing and presenting large group programs. We have a wealth of experience and skill.  We have great places to observe and meet.  We have many friends who have expressed interest or held previous memberships, and we invite you to join us in the interesting activities planned for this year!


With this in mind, I am pleased to welcome Gigi L. as our new Secretary.  She has already started taking notes to provide us with meeting minutes.  Gigi is a very enthusiastic person, and also volunteered to work with me in notifying the news media about ACA’s activities and events. 


Mark N. has volunteered to look for new and interesting Program formats, topics, and speakers.  We have 3 sites where we are invited to do this:  ASU New Science Center, Ruth Patrick SEC, Fort Discovery     All have good presentation equipment, plenty of room, and allow snacks.  This will give us opportunities to try new venues, give our club more exposure and make our meetings more convenient to different groups.

We will continue to meet on the third Friday of the month.  Mark M. will start our programming year at 8:00PM on Friday, July 16, at ASU with his presentation on the Lunar Maria.  On August 14, our faithful Treasurer, John W., will provide his celebrity chef expertise at our annual Astronomical Barbeque and Star Gaze.  Bring your friends, family, and favorite side dish, relax, and enjoy the fun.  On September 17, our program will be about our closest star (Ol’ Sol).  Walt K. will present Jupiter on October 22.  We are off to a great start on programs, so be sure to mark your calendar!

You will be happy to know that we are bringing back 2-minute astronomy highlights, snacks, and more time for formal and informal discussions.  Our newest member, Ken B., has already volunteered to bring snacks to our July meeting.  Thanks Ken!  Call or email Mark N. to reserve your snack month.


Stan Howard, VP Observing, will keep us focused on "looking up"!  Mike B. did a good job of online previewing the night skies for us each month last year.  Stan will continue that precedence, and will be suggesting opportunities to learn more about the night skies through naked eyes, binoculars and telescopes.

We will have several opportunities to study and observe the moon.  Mark M. has promised to help in any way he can to encourage us to get our Lunar Observing Award through the Astronomical League, and has offered a $50 bounty for the first person this year (July’10 - June’11) to meet the award requirements.  That's a great challenge, and I'm sure many of us will try to meet it!

Stan will host our dark sky observing at NMR-DSO, a good time to learn basic star and constellation gazing, and then look for Messier Objects, comets, asteroids, nebula … Help plan for ACA Telescopes on the Lawn at SEED, Oct.16, and get a SEED T-shirt and a free lunch.  They say those 5 hours are lots of work, but everyone is proud of the many students we reach and teach on that day. 


            Many thanks go to all our members and supporters for developing a great wealth of knowledge and experience in astronomy.  Come and share, come and learn.  Let us succeed and grow!



Tedda Howard, ACA President 2010-11