Some of my fondest astronomical memories can be traced back to the month of August. My father would pack up my brother and me into his Volkswagen Vanagon and head out to the western part of the county, away from city lights, to view the Perseids. Throughout the year we would witness many meteor showers and the occasional lone grazer but nothing compared to the awe and wonder of so many falling stars at once. It is a tradition I hope to share with my son as he gets older and one I’m always delighted
to share with the public out at COE. I expect a large turnout at this month’s public star party at the Eagle Eye Observatory due to it occurring around the meteor shower’s peak.
The arrival of the Perseids is also a great opportunity to start a dialogue about the upcoming Comet ISON. It has already been a record year with the viewing of PANStarrs and ISON is not expected to fail when it comes to the wow factor.
And speaking of conversing with the public, what better way to display your AAS pride when out and about than wearing AAS gear.
That’s right! At long last we now have available for purchase AAS branded apparel and merchandise. Between now and the end of August you can place an order for emblazoned shirts, hats and other items sporting our keen logo and in some cases our slogan, “Keeping Astronomy Weird Since 1969”. See the article in this Sidereal Times issue for more information.
Also new to the AAS website is our “Requesting a Star Party” page under the events tab. There you will find tips on hosting a star party, a star party FAQ and our printable request form. Feel free to forward this information and the link along to friends, family, co-workers or anyone else looking for a star party with AAS astronomers and telescopes.
If your friends are looking for a different kind of AAS experience consider bringing them to a meeting. Visitors are always welcome and the content is always entertaining. Jim Linn, Member Services Chair, is ramping up the Practical Astronomy session with full speed. This month, AAS member, Edward Plummer will present on “Astrophotography: Equipment, Techniques and Examples” followed by our post business meeting guest speaker David Henderson talking on "Science Awareness for the Layman - Astrodynamics"
There is always something new happening within the Austin Astronomical Society. If you’re not a member, consider becoming one or at least coming by to see what we’re all about. If you’re a member and want to be more active, have a conversation with your member services chair or outreach chair.
Opportunities abound! And as always…
Here’s to dark and starry skies!