TAS General Meeting, September 25, 2020
Online Virtual Meeting via ZOOM
The September General Meeting of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will be an online virtual meeting via ZOOM. The meeting will begin at 7:30 pm. CDT. Members in good standing of Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will receive an email notification containing information about how to join the virtual meeting.
|Zoom open for Q&A|
| Meeting called to order
Opening remarks from the President
Virtual Swap Meet
|TAS Business Meeting|
|Constellation of the Month|
|Adjourn to BAMSIG|
Don’t miss this special meeting on Zoom at 7:30 pm
1. - TAS Elections
We will hold our annual election for the TAS Board of Directors and Officers at the beginning of the meeting, so don’t be late.
The candidates running for the open positions or continuing in their second term are as follows:
- President: Dodie Reagan
- Vice President: Tammy Onufreiczuk
- Secretary: Nathan Day
- Treasurer: Daniela Grushevska
- Directors at Large: John Wagoner, Matt Cooper, Lloyd Lashbrook, Grady Muldrow, Clayton Fitchett, Lint LaCour
2. - Virtual Swap Meet!
While we cannot meet in person we do intend to make use of ZOOM virtual technology to conduct the Swap Meet. There are a couple easy ways to participate and market your wares:
- Prepare a PowerPoint slide for the item(s) you wish to sell with a photo set, description, and asking price.
- You will be permitted to share your slide over the ZOOM meeting, talk about the item, and answer questions.
- Set the items up and use your smart device to do a walkthrough of the product in a show&tell style.
- Interested parties can make the arrangements to meet outside the General Meeting to transact business.
3. - Frank Castanho’s Annual Astrophotography Special Interest Group Video!
Frank’s APSIG video is a compilation of astronomy photos done by members of the APSIG group of TAS. Galaxies, nebulas, solar system, Milky Way, globular clusters, open clusters - they’re all represented in this showcase of members’ photos from the past year. You will be inspired!
4. - Constellation of the Month with Chaz and Dennis
Dodie Reagan, TAS VP
TAS Short Sleeve Logo T-shirts
A Word from the President
September 15, 2020
Dear TAS Members,
As I have reached the end of me second term as your president I want to say thank you to all who have supported the TAS Mission throughout the years I have served this fine organization. I have learned a great deal from this experience and made many new friends along the way. As we welcome the next slate of leaders and pass the reins on to them I would also encourage every member to consider taking on a volunteer position as an appointee in support of this BOD, or consider shadowing one of them for the 2021/2022 election. TAS success is solely the result of its volunteers.
The candidates running for the open positions or continuing in their second term are as follows:
Our club flourishes through its member’s willingness to volunteer and the time and energy they invest to set and achieve club goals and overall mission. Please join me in welcoming this slate of volunteers for TAS leadership in 2020/2021.
TAS Accomplishments in 2020
In spite of the difficulties we have faced in 2019/2020, TAS has many accomplishments to be proud of. We had incredible success fundraising for our new Bunkhouse, raising over $18K. This allowed us to fully fund the new facility as a capital project. We broke ground in January and contracted the building structure, concrete, electrical, and HVAC. Nearly a dozen volunteers were involved in the effort to finish out the building interior including insulation, wall paneling, ceiling paneling, installing an engineered hardwood floor, trim, paint, lights and fans. The project is nearing completion and is certainly going to provide a great service to TAS for decades to come.
At the same time the bunkhouse project kicked off we were drawn into the issues of sustaining club activities through an unprecedented pandemic. As UTD shuttered the campus facilities, TAS had to find a new way to maintain communication with membership and a means of continuing key operations including General Meetings, Board Meetings, and Special Interest Group meetings. This required new technology to be embraced to provide virtual presence and participation. We elected to accomplish this through ZOOM. The quick action of the Board of Directors to tackle this problem quickly has proven to be a great success. Meeting attendance during the pandemic has seen record numbers of attendees.
Other incremental IT Infrastructure improvements have been made to the TAS Website and most notably to our Membership Portal. PayPal Payment capabilities have expanded to include the ability to accept donations and sell TAS logo merchandise from our website. Our Treasury’s accounting practice in Quickbooks has been improved. We have seen explosive global presence through Facebook as well as an increase in club membership and Special Interest Group participation throughout the year.
Site maintenance has been completed including painting our World Class Outhouse & Picnic Tables. Trees were trimmed away from the picnic pavilion, new gravel was laid to manage ingress/egress around the DRLC/ABO and the new Bunkhouse, we sprayed herbicide on the existing gravel throughways to improve visibility.
A new club observing tradition was created around Stephen J. O’Meara’s “Ghost Hunt”. TAS was highlighted in the September 2020 Astronomy Magazine for having held this event in Fall 2019. A new Observing Special Interest group was created to support those new to Astronomical Observing and selecting their first telescope or binoculars. A new Beginners Astrophography group was created to support those just getting started in imaging the night sky.
Virtual Swap Meet
At September Meeting we plan to hold our annual Swap Meet. While we cannot meet in person we do intend to make use of ZOOM virtual technology to conduct the Swap Meet. There are a couple easy ways to participate and market your wares:
1. Prepare a PowerPoint slide for the item(s) you wish to sell with a photo
set, description, and asking price. You will be permitted to share your slide
over the ZOOM meeting, talk about the item, and answer questions.
2. Set the items up and use your smart device to do a walkthrough of the product in a show&tell style.
Interested parties can make the arrangements to meet outside the General Meeting to transact business. Either way this will allow you to sell and buy during the September meeting. Astronomy has been a hobby of choice during the pandemic and products are scarce! Dust off the equipment you are no longer using and let someone else make good use of it!
Lastly I want to recognize the passing of two of our members, Bob Logue and Joe Lalumia.
Bob Logue served TAS as our Dark Site Manager for nearly a decade, and as a Director for several terms. He oversaw the maintenance and upkeep of all aspects at the Atoka Dark Site, and led the construction effort on a new roll off to house our Meade 10” LX90. Bob loved to talk about the history of Astronomy and the biographies of the women and men that worked to understand the mysteries of the universe.
Joe Lalumia served as our Public Outreach Coordinator, Treasurer, and President over many years. He published numerous videos of TAS programs, tutorials, ATM Special Interest Group activities, and more under the pen name “The Telescope Man”. Bob and Joe taught me a great deal about astronomy, leadership, camaraderie, and how to have a whole lot of fun in this hobby. I miss them dearly, however, I also feel their presence every time I look up and observe that vast, beautiful, and infinite night sky. As Joe would often remark “Keep looking up to see the greatest show on Earth right over your head every single night!” No better show has, (or ever will), existed.
Gary J. Carter
President, Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
About the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
The Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas was chartered in 1955 to promote interest and research, and to give instruction in the science of astronomy and related disciplines. Membership is open to anyone having an interest in astronomy and related subjects and includes benefits such as a our monthly newsletter, discounts to the top astronomy magazines, access to our dark sky observing site and many more.
Our annual membership dues are very reasonable and can be paid on-line using the PayPal link listed below. Membership is open to anyone having an interest in Astronomy and the night sky.
Please visit the Club Information section for more on TAS.
New members can download the New Members Handbook from the Members Only Section of the website.Follow @TASObserve
We invite you to further explore our website for more information and hope you consider becoming a member of our Society. TAS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, donations to which would be tax deductable for U.S. taxpayers under IRS rules. Donations may be given by using our secure PayPal site and indicating "donation" on the form.
Thank you for your gracious support of the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas.
The latest issue of our award-winning monthly newsletter, the Spectrum, can be downloaded below.
Back issues are available under "Features->Spectrum Newsletter" in the main menu.
TAS Recurring Star Parties
TAS holds 4 regular monthly Star Parties where our members get together to observe and educate about the night sky. Come join us to look at planets, stars, and other celestial wonders. The monthly Star Party schedule is as follows:
Our full schedule of activities is on our calendar. Please come out and join us or volunteer at one of our events.Please call the Public Observing Hot Line at 214-800-6000 for the latest cancellation information.
Visit the members' discussion forum to discuss astro-type stuff with fellow TAS members.
Visit the Members Only section for access to:
Constellation of the Month: September: Pegasus and Andromeda
TAS is now 600
members strong....why not become a part of our family?
TAS is a member of
The World's Largest Federation of Amateur Astronomers AND the
Three column web layout courtesy of Matthew James Taylor
Sun, Moon, and Tonight's Sky
| Richardson, TX
(times in CDT):
Sunrise today: 7:15am
Sunset today: 7:24pm
Moonrise today: 1:07pm
Moonset today: 11:28pm
27% of moon illuminated
Click the above image for a chart. Popup blockers must be disabled. Chart courtesy of Fourmilab Switzerland.
| Major Planets and Moon Charts
Bright Minor Planet Charts
Observable Comet Charts
Magnitudes observed within the last 5 days:
Minor planet and comet lists, and corresponding orbital elements, are courtesy of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Charts courtesy of Fourmilab Switzerland
Special Interest Groups
APSIG (Astrophotography Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas.
APSIG meets once a month to share information and learn more about the art and science of Astrophotography -- taking photographs of objects in the night sky such as planets, galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Imaging these celestial objects requires special techniques and equipment, but are attainable by anyone willing to point their camera skyward. Come learn how! For more information on APSIG just follow this link...
ObSIG (Observing Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas. ObSIG meets once a month to promote astronomical observing with telescopes, binoculars, and naked eye. We are also here to help new comers to the hobby of amateur astronomy to get started, learn the sky, and get help picking out the right equipment. For more information on ObSIG, follow this link.
Our meetings are held online via ZOOM, on the third Wednesday of each month. All ObSIG meetings start at 7:00.
ObSIG Meeting Schedule
If you would like to attend an online ObSIG meeting, send an e-Mail to:
Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas
ATMSIG (Amateur Telescope Makers Special Interest Group) is sponsored by the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas, Texas.
The ATMSIG meets every other month to explore the design, construction and adjustment of both do it yourself and professionally built telescopes. Anyone interested in building their first scope will find this group a big help in finding the best place to start. You don’t need to have a well equipped workshop, just a few simple tools and an interest in building or modifying it yourself. The ATMSIG is a wonderful place to see projects built locally by TAS members and to share new ideas for the future! For more information, just follow this link...
Please Note: ATMSIG is currently inactive.