At our October 7th meeting, Norman Dillard gave a wonderful talk about Extra-Solar (or Exoplanets) Planets.
Norm detailed the several procedures used by astronomers to discover the planets. By a deftly orchestrated use of overheads and a wry sense of humor, Norm walked the club through the full range of how the planets came to be, the importance of a Jupiter size planets to a solar system that may have a life habitable zone with an Earth-like planet in its population. Norm even touched on the possibility of life on a planet outside the habitable zone supporting life, based on the huge diversity and resilience of life on Earth. Norm, who claims to be in retirement, as one of new and vital members of our club has now made two speeches and plans to grace us with many more in the years to come. I, for one, can't wait.
We have several presentations planned for the rest of the year which will certainly advance our ever expanding knowledge of our favorite subject.
As you know, I am constantly seeking additional speakers. We would like to get volunteers to speak on each of the planets and other objects in the solar system for next year. Each meeting would feature about a ten or fifteen minute update about the planets and their moons, in addition to our regular speaker. Or we could dedicate a full meeting to 4 or 5 mini presentations on those subjects. If you are interested please E-mail me, or you will certainly be harassed by me at the meeting(chuckle).
At our meeting of October 17th, Dave D'onofrio gave a terrific talk on CCD cameras.
Dave outlined the numerous problems associated with obtaining a good photograph. Those included the correction of motor drive errors of the telescope, proper focusing and alignment. He outlined atmospheric disturbances, determination of what is obtainable with regard to telescope and CCD specifications. He also went over the equipment that can be obtained to make all the above problems easier to solve.
Many questions came from those still awake by the end of his talk. All kidding aside, Dave inspired all those at the meeting to either pursue CCD photography or to avoid that aspect of observing completely. All in all, David showed himself to be true expert on the subject. His dedication, enthusiasm and focus on detail is a reason for great admiration amongst the members of the club. I, for one, look forward with great interest to his fourth talk on the subject early next year.
The November Cranbrook meeting will feature Al Mangani, who will speak about the physics of Quarks and other little stuff. At Macomb, Steve Greene will speak about Spectroscopy.
Doug Bock will speak about Remote Access Telescope Systems at our December Cranbrook meeting.
We do need volunteers to speak at our meetings in 2003.
On November 22, I am off to Africa to observe the total eclipse of December 4th. I will be in Paul Kruger Park in the Union of South Africa attempting to videotape the event.
Congrats to my fellow officers on the event of their election for the next year. I am glad that there were no hanging chads to be dealt with during the election process.
Thanks again to Doug Bock for running the election and minimizing the controversy that comes with it.
My E-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can call me, if you prefer, at 248 626 6016.
Submitted by: Ken Bertin 1st Veep Program Director