Our Zoom meetings for the club are being greatly attended and hence if you are interested in hearing a good theoretical scientific talk then tune in to the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm. This Tuesday, we have Dr Stuart Ryder, FASA (Adjunct Fellow, Dept of Physics & Astronomy, Macquarie University) who will give a talk on “Bursting with Excitement: Where do Fast Radio Bursts come from?” This presentation is open to all (guests and members). To register for this Zoom meeting, please register here.
Hope you are all going well and coping with our covid challenges. Just a quick update on the club and how things are progressing.
We have started a new series of nights for beginners called “Beginners Night in the Field”. We held our first in August and had lots of positive feedback from it. Our event in September is sold out and we have now opened bookings for 24th October. We will continue to improve this event with more time for individuals with an allocated astronomer. It’s free to members with a $10 fee for non members. It’s conducted in a covid socially distanced manner and places are limited so if you are interested please book in early via the NSAS webpage / store.
With regard to our new observing site we are in the process of finalising the agreement and plan to conclude this within the month. I checked out the field last weekend and whilst the area is a lot of crushed sandstone, and was a little wet under foot, the shape of the car park where we can set up is coming along nicely. There will be an “Open Day” shortly so keep an eye out for that. The final observing field will not be available till late in the year and potentially not until next year. At our current site if you notice some new sports ground lighting going up, rest assured we are working with the council to make sure our interests are being considered. Never-the-less, our timing with sourcing a new field is fortunate.
We have our AGM coming up in October and if you would like to be part of the team then please drop me a line. We have a bit of fun and most committee meetings are a mix of laughter and serious stuff. We aim to deliver on some big items this next year and it would be great to have new voices and ideas coming through. We are in particular looking for a Treasurer so if you can spare an hour or two a month and wish to lend a hand it will be much appreciated. The club has been discussing having our own field for quite some time and this year we plan to deliver on this, as well as a return of our Star Party. The last one was in the Hunter Valley and seemed to me to be full of laughter centered around our own VP, Jacinta (Nicholson). She assures me she is looking forward to again capturing this spirit in the next one. So if you want to be part of an eventful year please reach out.
The committee has also met and discussed the membership fees for 2021 and took the decision that a small rise should be applied this year. There are several new items being delivered this year with Members now having up to 11 nights per month, up from 2, to attend the observing field. The new funds will also help us secure the new field, which will be available on top of the current observing site and will also go into site improvements to make the field more usable for our members (ground preparation etc). We have also improved our websites facilities and all event registrations, telescope hire and membership fees can now be paid directly through the site using credit card or PayPal facilities. This will significantly improve the management of events like our Star Party with a more professional experience than is being done today. Memberships till October 2021 are now $70 for Individuals, $90 for family and $40 concession and are set deliberately to encourage partners to be included in the membership. Whilst not all partners will wish to listen in the theoretical talks, it is hoped many will see the fun from being involved in the field trips and star parties and will want to be included. Memberships are now open and can be paid through the website.
I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday or on the new field soon. Clear Skies !