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New Officers Elected

At the meeting on Saturday, October 9, at Brower Observatory, the club elected new officers:

Members at the Oct. 9th meeting

Jim Curry, President

Colin Caissie, Vice President of Equipment and Inventory

Jon Silverman, Vice President of Policy and Public Relations / Secretary

Jacob Gerritsen, Treasurer

Jim and Jon are new to their posts. Jim replaces Pete Kalajian, who wished to step down after over two years of service. Jon fills a  previously empty Vice President’s post, and was additionally drafted to serve as Secretary because of his habit of taking notes at meetings on his iPod anyway. Colin and Jacob were reelected.

Minutes of October 9th Meeting

Brower Observatory, 7:00pm

Thirteen members showed for the meeting and elections, including three relatively new members. Pete Kalajian lead his last meeting as President.

Updates about refurbishing the club’s 16″ Newtonian in the dome of Brower Observatory:

Jim Curry, the club’s machinist, recently tested his latest work on the declination axis, and reports it “almost works.” This is good progress for a scope and counterweight system weighing many hundreds of pounds.

The new GoTo system has passed its initial testing. Once the declination axis is ready, one day’s work remains to complete the installation.

These significant upgrades will be great for star parties. We will no longer have to nudge the scope between observers, which will help immensely when there are many observers. Additionally, those of us who are less adept at finding dim objects manually will be able to share the work with the current scope masters.

The club has adopted preserving the dark skies of Maine as a major area of outreach.

Pete Kalajian, a science teacher in Rockland, used the club’s 80° sky meter and data collected by an army of his high school students to enact a lighting ordinance in Rockland. The club voted to buy a more precise 20° USB meter for real-time logging to detail Rockland and one other town. Jim Curry recommends Thomaston, to prepare for stores emerging around Wal-Mart.

There was some discussion of whether the club, Pete’s school, or perhaps some other organization should buy the new light meter, which will cost about $160. It was decided that owning the meter would put us in a strong position for outreach, with other organizations calling us asking for our help bringing lighting ordinances to their towns. The upgrade allows both better precision in measuring sources of light pollution and real-time analysis of the data via the connected computer, making projects faster and less expensive. The old meter may be sold on Astromart.

New member Dwight Lanpher is the Secretary of the Island Astronomy Institute, a nonprofit in Mt. Desert Island with a particular interest in preserving dark skies. Dwight is joining all the astronomy clubs in Maine, with the goal of enhancing them all by uniting the tribes. A collective newsletter is a first priority, with a long-term goal of some kind of federation so that all the clubs would know each other’s activities, and could more easily coordinate efforts among themselves and other organizations.

As an electrical engineer, Dwight lead a discussion of how the color of lighting was even more important than the cut-off (focusing all light downward). The new, blue, energy-efficient LED lighting permiates the sky in a manner causing more light pollution than the old, yellow sodium arc lighting, even when both are properly shaded. Dwight commented that Wal-Mart has been a good neighbor for lighting, because their accountants are savvy to the significant cost savings in lighting only the grounds, not the skies. The real risk is that the many smaller businesses Wal-Mart would attract may think they were saving money by buying cheap, outdated fixtures that actually were expensive to run.

Jon Silverman commented that the astronomical societies could work together with organizations seeking to lower Maine’s carbon emissions and overall use of energy. With the finances on our side, this is a wonderful, win-win opportunity for astronomers to retain the dark skies we need, while preserving Maine’s beauty for everyone.

Other new business:

CMAS will be joining The Astronomical League. Annual dues are $10 per club plus $5 per member. Treasurer Jacob Gerritsen said this could be paid out of General Fund. The League will provide liability insurance for the club’s officers at star parties, reducing the insurance burden on the landowners of our observing sites.

New member Pete Coughlin, Webmaster of Town of Randolph , will be creating a Facebook page for the club. There was discussion of how sites are only as good as their content, so we wanted to be careful not to dilute the existing site when adding another. Pete is confident he can do that, while allowing CMAS to take advantage of the marketing possibilities of social networking.

Pete Kalajian will continue as Webmaster, to help the new officers in the transition to the new WordPress based Web site.

9/11/2010 meeting minutes

hese are the minutes to the meeting held on Saturday, September 11th, 2010, at 6:00pm in the Damariscotta River Grill in Damariscotta, Maine, including a report on the dinner held to honor the memory of Stan Brower.

Upon the meeting’s beginning with necessary introductions all around, an informal vote ensued. It was unanimously agreed that we needed to get together more often, and not only in the dark. Many of us had actually worked together finding all kinds of objects at our star parties, but could not recognize each other when seated at a common table in daylight. Others had simply not met, an understandable, if sad, result of everyone’s attending meetings and parties when they can. Pete proposed that the meetings needed to be more attractive, and suggested speakers and trips to make the club more compelling to its members. There was talk of visiting the planetarium in Portland, question of how far people would travel for events, and murmerings about a believed active contingent of astronomers in the Bar Harbor area whom we all hoped to join in the near future.

The club met at the Damariscotta River Grill for a dinner honoring the memory of Stanley Brower, a mentor to many of us, influence to all of us, and the major benefactor in establishing the club and its unusually fine observatory. The location was chosen for its ambiance, proximity to the site of the evening’s star party afterward, and the wide range of its menu ($10 to $25 per person, in the hope of suiting the tastes of all members). Those who knew Stan discussed not just his life’s history, but the fascinating link between his gracious personality and practical philosophy, including as expressed in his creations. On display, for example, was a magnificent tool for measuring the curvature of mirrors, machined to the tightest tolerances from the finest steel, yet with a casual approach to the aesthetics of the beads of epoxy holding the parts together. This profoundly focused, productive man found technical perfection partly through differentiating between essential and unimportant details, a good lesson for us all.

To honor Stan’s memory, Colin recounted Stan’s words on donating many boxes of items most likely packed away since the 1970s, when Stan moved from New Jersey to Maine. He had said we were receiving many boxes that most likely would never be opened, but that did not matter, because we likely would have no use for most of the items inside anyway. Colin therefore decided to open a beautiful mahogany box for the first time at the memorial dinner. Inside were a number of tools and fascinating mirrors and prisms, all with unusual shapes and coatings. While passing the objects around the table, we mused about how Stan may have used them. Photographs of our surprised expressions will be posted on the Web; watch for the link to arrive separately. Stan’s son will also receive this link, to show once again how grateful we are for all Stan gave us.

After honoring Stan, we moved on to the business meeting.

Elections are overdue. They were meant to have been held last May. Pete wants someone else to assume the presidency. Nominations are sought for elections in October. Votes will be accepted at the meeting and election at 6:00pm before the October star party at Brower Observatory, or by eMail in advance.

We are behind in collecting dues. Please pay at the club’s Web site, .

The club raised money by selling some of the equipment donated by Stan Brower. As an example, Pete showed pictures and discussed an historically important Schmidt camera that Stan built and used some 60 or so years ago. It will soon be displayed in a museum in Indiana. Today’s astrophotographers use digital SLRs to get better images more easily, so it was felt to be appropriate to send our camera on to a properly curated and conserved collection.

With $3,000 in the bank, these votes were accepted:

(1) CMAS will join the International Dark Sky Association . This important organization leads in the fight against light pollution, and so is basic to the future of amateur astronomy. It appears to accept annual memberships for any amount of $35 or higher, with $50 the lowest full fee. Our fee will be whatever Pete, as president, feels is appropriate when navigating their gracious if somewhat baffling Web site.

(2) $75 to pay for one year of CMAS’s three entries on Atilla Danko’s Clear Sky Charts . That’s $25 each for the Brower Observatory, Galaxy Quest, and the Damariscotta River Association. Yep, you heard it right; we’ve been freeloading, but that’s about to end. Clear Sky Charts are astronomical weather forecasts. If you are unfamiliar with them, you really should try them. They are far, far more accurate than other forecasts, graphically representing cloud cover, transparency, seeing, and darkness of the skies, along with wind, humidity, and temperature at ground level. They are the gift of a wonderful man in cooperation with the Canadian Government. Forecasts for major cities are already in the database and always free, but he gently encourages $25 donations from anyone who requests that forecasts be created for special locations. iPhone jockeys, be sure to download the free app, “iCSC.”

(3) Recoat the mirror in the 16″ reflector in the dome, as part of its routine maintenance. The cost was not discussed. Not cheap, but we can afford it. Best of all, Colin will regrind the mirror to correct for newly discovered imperfections prior to recoating. Following on the refurbishing of the mount this summer, this will complete the scope in its current form. Next up? The local tinkerers are plotting to convert it to GoTo. We’ll then have the perfect easy-to-point light bucket for seeing countless dim objects easily, complimenting the many manual scopes on the ground for learning to find objects manually. We are extraordinarily fortunate to have such a fine scope available for our use. If you have not been up in the dome to see the skies through it, be sure to attend October’s star party at Brower Observatory.

(4) About $200 for permanent access to Sky and Telescope’s On-Line Archives. Members would have to log on one at a time. Looking at Sky and Telescope’s Web site after the meeting, we may be mistaken. No link to online access was apparent. It would be less practical for members to share the DVD sold on the home page.

Clear Skies,

Jon Silverman

Archived meeting minutes

Meeting minutes for the following meetings are available online:

CMAS minutes of 9/29/07 meeting

The club met at Jake Gerritsen”s beautiful house in Camden. Others present included Pete, Bill, Roberta, Chuck, Herb, Phil Gaudet (new member), Ellen and her husband. Terry Gerritsen graciously assisted in hosting.

The theme of the presentations at the meeting was astro-photography.

Jake started off with a slide-illustrated account of how he built Galaxy Quest in Lincolnville on the former property of the painter, Neal Weller. On 300 acres, the dark sky site was conceived from the start to be a versatile photographic observatory. It incorporates a number to cleaver features in its roll-off building, particularly a spacious heated control room.

The second presentation was from Herb Helbig, retired college physics professor. Herb is measuring the variable star, mu Cephei in the neighborhood of Polaris. He built a unique home-made astrophotography mount for his digital SLR based in a window. It has produced a detailed account of the light output of this eclipsing binary system.

Next, Pete gave us a slide show account of his ongoing astrophotography techniques. Then he and Jake demonstrated to us how an astro-photograph is made using several exposures with color filters and a CCD, stacked over one another and processed using digital photo lab techniques.

Old business: The day for the October star party scheduled at the DRA for Friday, October 12 was changed to Saturday, October 13. This accommodated Chuck’s work schedule. He and Wayne Barber will co-host the October star party.

New business: the club approved the purchase of a star pointer costing $400 as requested by Pete. Jake will make the decision on which brand to buy.

We talked about having Ed Lowe give his Polynesian navigation arts talk again. Hey Glenn or Max! Can you get in touch with him?

All in all, an amazing meeting that illustrated the prodigious talent in this club. The meeting was followed by a impromptu visit to Galaxy Quest with a spectacular sky.

Respectfully and in awe of all, Chuck

Minutes of the CMAS Meeting 4/11/08 , 7:00 PM in Rockland, Lincoln Street at the Watershed School

Present: Roberta, Bill, Pete, Chuck, Wayne, Phil, Jake, Lucy, Karl, Sherry, Isaac G, Phil G.

Pete called the meeting to order with self introductions. His illustrated presentation on the birth of astrophysics followed.

(Short synopsis with apologies to Pete for errors)
Famous prognostication by Compte that we will never know the composition of stars.

Contributions of Newton, Fraunhoffer, Kirchoff and Bunsen, to understanding light spectra of the sun, the last two to understanding the relation of absorption spectra to emission spectra of flames. Recognition of relation of spectral lines to the emission lines of the elements of the periodic table by Rutherfurd with Fitz. Application of spectroscopy to the stars . Rutherford invented closely ruled diffraction gratings but prisms continued to be used . Experimentaion with various glasses and fluid. Eventually all settled on wide dispersion flint glass. Limitation of existing clock drive mounts. Fraunhoffer’s device for expanding the height of lines incorporated along with a reference light source and a micrometer into a working spectrograph by Huggins, Rutherfurd and Fraunhoffer. Observation that stars differ in spectral signature. Meant that stars could not all form from the same homogenous “nebula.”

Difficulty of recording star’s spectra lead to spectra-photography. Period of amateur telescope makers and gentlemen scientists ends. Age of institutional behemoth telescopes. Huggins went on to knighthood as astronomer royal and Draper in the US took first photos. Discovery of Doppler shift of the absorption lines, discovery of emission nebulae spectra composed of a single element. Meant nebula was a cloud of uniform composition.

Lessons for standard models of cosmology today: Compte was proven wrong by unforseeable advances in technology.

Jake presented a talk on making his Galaxy Quest Observatory robotic and ready for remotely controlled astro-photography.

(Short synopsis with apologies to Jake for errors)
Intention was to run the observatory from the attached shed. Additions that automate the observatory are : a Boltwood weather sensor, wind indicator, an internet controlled web-switch that turns on the motor to remove the roof, light switch and webcam, and mount motors. This

allows the observatory to be remotely controlled.

Business meeting followed the talks.

Elected officials will continue in office serving out their two year term.

Because of changes to the magazines subscription rates, the club will not be handling SKY AND TELESCOPE.

Astronomy Day will be May 10 at Merryspring. Solar observing will be 1:00 TO 3:00. Dr. Wollman will give a lecture on cosmology at 6:30 PM. Motion passed to hand out five planispheres.

Pete pointed out that members can pay their dues online on the CMAS web site,
with Paypal.

The next club star party will be May 3, at the Brower Observatory in Whitefield from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Minutes by Chuck with partner who wishes to remain nameless.

Minutes of CMAS meeting held at the DRA on 12/06/06

Attending: Pete, Colin, Herb, Bill & Roberta

Herb showed us his camera mount for his Canon Digital.

Colin reported that we needed a 5th member to get the group rate for “Sky & Telescope.” Anyone?

Pete gave us a “short history” of cosmology; a “lunch time” course he developed for interested students at the
Watershed School where he teaches. Great!

Treasurer’s Report: We have a balance of $2347
The club has purchased a solar scope.

Upcoming events:

Friday, December 22 – Star Party at the newly completed Galexy Quest Observatory in Lincolnville. Jacob Gerritsen

Friday, January 19: Star Party at DRA, Wayne Barber

Saturday, February 3: Take part in Merryspring’s Ecology Day

See the wedsite ( for more information.

Respectfully submitted: Roberta

Minutes of CMAS meeting held at the DRA on November 1, 2006:

Attending: Pete, Colin, Max, Herb, Roberta, Kim Thompson and guests, Jim and Sarah Birkett

Pete introduced Jim and Sarah Birkett. Sarah’s father was noted optical physicist and amateur astronomer Robert M. Burley (See attached biographical information.Only attached to hard copy!)

The Birketts are donating a plethora of optical equipment to CMAS. Members have been invited to the Birkett’s barn to look at and take the equipment, most of which will be used and some stored at the Fergeson’s barn in Whitefield….perhaps some will be sold either at Stellafane or on Astromart or another on-line site. Members will meet at DRA at 7 am, Sunday morning, Nov 5 at 7 am to carpool to the Birketts farm.

Many thanks to this generous family!

(ed note: passed via email)

MEETING FREQUENCY CHANGE PROPOSAL: We discussed how we could get the most “bang for our buck” out of meetings. It was generally agreed that fewer more interesting meetings during the year with an appeal for a wider public audience would probably be better than monthly meetings. Of course, changing the monthly meeting schedule will require a bylaw change, which will be done by voting via email.

SIGNS: We also agreed to get some signs made up for the star parties so folks can see them from the road. If there’s anyone out there with a connection to a printer who does sandwich board type of signs, let Pete know.

The next Star Party is scheduled for 11/17/06 at the DRA hosted by Wayne Barber.

Jacob Gerritsen needs pads poured at the Licolnville Observatory.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, a transit of mercury will be visible from about 2 pm to sunset with a SW view of the horizon. Pete plans to set up for viewing somewhere in Rockland. Motion was made, seconded and passed for the club to purchase a $500 Coronado PST hydrogen alpha solar telescope in time to see the transit of Mercury. Watch email for location.

Book Review by Pete: Pocket Sky Atlas by Sinnott (?) published by Sky and Telescope Publications. This book includes constellations visible from both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Respectfully Submitted by Roberta

Paragraphs in italics are paraphrased from Pete’ email which he sent out after the meeting. You made my job easier Pete.


Minutes of the meeting of CMAS, August 6, 2006, at the DRA

Present: Herb, Pete, Roberta, Chuck (reporting), Jacob Gerritsen, and Lou McDowell

Using a media projector , Pete showed his revision of our website.

Jacob gave his slide presentation of the July 28 & 29 meeting of Stellafane. Pete showed his Stellafane award-winning telescope with a “bowling ball” mount.

The members present agreed to change our meeting day to the first Wednesday of the month at the DRA at 7:30 pm. However, the September 6 meeting will be at the Brower Observatory. After the business portion of the meeting is concluded, we will observe and learn how to use the 16” Meade scope in the observatory. Chuck Ebert reporting.

Minutes of the meeting of the CMAS, July 11, 2006, at the DRA.

Present: Herb, Pete, Colin, Roberta, Chuck (reporting).

Colin gave the treasurer’s report. The club has a balance of $2158.

A motion was made and passed that the by-laws as amended be adopted.

Pete will update the minutes and by-laws on the web site. Colin has not yet contacted the Porters about a press release.

Pete proposed that the meeting night be changed. This requires a change in the by-laws, particularly to Article VII. The new meeting date will be a convenient day, to be announced on the list serve.  By consensus, the by-law change will be posted and voted on at the next meeting.

Pete was nominated and voted president.

The new star party location in Lincolnville is almost ready. By consensus, the next star party will be at the DRA (Weather prevented it).

The 12” Meade at Telescope Park needs to be moved. Colin will move it to Lincolnville if Mr. Brower agrees.

This concluded business for the night.

Pete brought copies of vol. 1 and 2 of “The Night Sky Observer’s Guide” for the members to look at and discussed its features.

Pete plans a Stellafane slide show for the next meeting, August 8 at the DRA. Members talked about the great constellation presentations that Colin has given in the past and he agreed to do them again.

The members discussed drive motors for the 16” Meade and a motor for the dome.

Pete summarized his discussions with Merryspring on the fee issue. Observing days may be possible with CMAS acting as “experts” after October.

Pete brought up the issue of all the scopes that the club owns which are underutilized. Could the Porter scope be kept at the DRA? He challenged the club to think of ways to:

  1. increase membership
  2. creatively dispose of some of our stock (door prizes at star parties for example).

Meeting was adjourned.

Chuck Ebert

Minutes of the CMAS meeting of June 13, 2006

Held at the DRA, Damariscotta.
Present: Greig, Colin, Glenn, Herb, Pete, Dave, Roberta.

Treasurer’s report given by Colin shows $1652 in the newly transferred bank account. Glenn’s employer has donated $500 to the club.

Grieg introduced the issues he e-mailed to the list-serve.
1. That there are few replies compared to the number of
messages mailed out. ACTION: The meeting named Dave Miller as webmaster for our server so the website can be updated promptly. Also Greig will update the current list and send it to Dave for uploading to the server.
2. We need to increase the level of interest in the club.
ACTION: Pete suggested adding a private site in Lincolnville to the monthly star party sites to make them more accessible to the Camden-Rockport-Belfast area. Sept. 22 was provisionally designated as the first Lincolnville star party.
Glenn raised the privacy issue in posting a map of the site on our web-page. Glenn will update the site when the Lincolnville owners approve.
3. The DarkSky Clock site asks for donations for our three
entries. ACTION: The club voted that $75 be sent to the site.
4. Greig introduced a possible site in Waldoboro that has
been offered to us.

In new business, Herb has drafted a press release for the Porter Telescope dedication. Consensus held that timeliness is not an issue. ACTION: Colin will call the Porter family for approval.

By-Laws were discussed and Herb’s editorial corrections and improvements were voted on and approved. ACTION: The official updated bylaws will be posted on the web-page. The club will vote on the changes after they are posted on the web-site.

The next star-party is at the DRA at 8:00 PM Friday, June 30.
(Attendance was sparse except for the mosquitoes- Roberta, Chuck and Glenn brought scopes and a half dozen other people happened by and had a look. Conditions were somewhat hazy and an heavy dew set in forcing an early retreat. )

A general discussion followed concerning procedural issues.
Pete passionately argued against excessive focus on Robert’s Rules or the like. He advocated for talking about astronomy instead. Chuck suggested that the scale of the club is conducive to a more informal format for business meetings.
Business was concluded.

Telescope-making discussion followed on modifying Pete’s design for his mirror mount.

Meeting was adjourned.

Minutes of the February 7, 2006 meeting held at Roberta’s apartment in Newcastle.

Present: Roberta, Mr. Brower, Carl, Greig, Herb, Colin and Chuck (recording).

Mr. Brower brought three digital cameras for the club members to try with the club to have pick of two of the three.

Greig showed a printout of Pete Kalajian’s tri-fold and suggested it be made into a mailing with additional material on the backside. Later, he also suggested using the flyer as a neighborhood bulletin board posting to advertise CMAS.

Herb solicited suggestions for his project to track and record the variable star, U Cephei near Polaris.

Colin advised the club that Mr. Porter’s relatives have made a contribution to the club. Mr. Porter’s plaque was displayed.

Carl brought the by-laws for examination.

Greig read e-mail from Pete. As a result, the issue was raised of scheduling star parties on a rotational basis. Motion was passed to make a commitment for May 6 at Merryspring. Program suggestions
included: Telescopes, mirror grinding, computer with sky chart program, sun scope and monitor screen, Herschel wedge.

Motion was passed to meet March 14 at the DRA at 7:30 PM.

Colin presented the mailing letter for an updated database of interested persons. Motion was passed to proceed with the mailing.

Discussion of transfer of “expert” status from Max to Colin of the UMO program at the Brower Observatory. This raised the issue of officers to fulfill the needs of the club. Greig suggested putting these issues off until the March meeting to give an opportunity to hear from Glenn. Web site and George’s future role were discussed.

Carl made a motion to e-mail the charter/by-laws with proposed changes to be voted on at the March meeting. An annual meeting would henceforth elect officers in May. Motion passed unanimously.

Greig suggested club members take base line measurements with the new Sky Quality Meter at as many places as possible.

Mr. Brower suggested creating a form letter for use where development might take place to show interest by the club and to keep the club informed.

Herb showed the book on astrophysics that he mentioned at the January meeting and explained how inspiring it was to him.Your Account0Ð`.,…7

Minutes of the Central Maine Astronomical Society

January 12, 2006, 7-9 pm

Skidompha Library, Damariscotta, Maine

Attending: 6 members and 7 guests

Introductions were made and guests were welcomed to the meeting.

Roberta showed the brass plaque that we had engraved for the 16” Meade telescope donated to the club by Mr. And Mrs. Warren Porter in memory of their son, Gary Allan Porter. She also announced the sad news that Warren Porter, who had been in ill health, died January 3, 2006. Colin sent condolences to the family on behalf of the club.

Chuck Ebert presented a review of Stephen Hawkings’ most recent book, A Briefer History of Time. After the review, in a “further reading” discussion, Herb Helbig suggested the book, Astrophysical Concepts .

Pete Kalajian introduced Sam Aucielo, one of his students at the Watershed School. Sam built a 4 ½ “ Newtonian reflector on a unique salad bowl alt-azimuth mount with a handsome stone counterweight. He ground his own mirror with help from Norm Meyer (?) and did the final polishing and figuring. After the meeting, we all had a chance to look through the scope outside.

Pete Kalajian presented drawings he made of the moon in the region of the terminator using a white gel pen on black construction paper. To quote Pete, “The best eye is a pencil. Until you draw it, you don’t really see it.” The telescope he used was a 6” Jaeger refractor.

Pete also showed us the Light Pollution meter purchased by the club. It will be used in a project by the Watershed School students to measure light pollution in the Camden-Rockland area. He also urged members to attend the February 4 Merryspring Park Ecology festival.

Mr. Brower presented the Club with a field corrector for the 16” Meade at the Brower Observatory.

Respectfully submitted by Roberta and Chuck -partners in crime

CMAS December 05 Meeing

There were 8 members in attendance.

Old Business:

1. Members voted to go ahead with the purchase (circa $70) of a brass plaque for the 16″ meade that was donated to the scope. The plaque will be in Memoriam to the donator’s son.

2. Members agreed to disseminate proposed bylaw amendments as outlined below. A vote will be held at the January meeting on whether or not to amend the bylaws as follows:

Article XIII Amendments
These Bylaws shall be amended only after an affirmative vote of 2/3 (two
thirds) of those present and qualified to vote at a regular meeting.

Article IX Dissolution
Should the society be dissolved or become inactive, all real property, liquid assets and material possessions of the society shall be distributed for one or more tax exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501 (c) 3 of the internal revenue code, or shall be distributed to the federal government or to the state or local government for a public use. Preference should be given to those organizations that are similar to, in likeness, purpose, and character to Central Maine Astronomical Society. This is to be done by an affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining qualified members.

Treasurer’s Report: It’s time to submit your dues for the new year! Bring your 12 bucks to the next meeting, or drop Colin a check. There is about $1200 in the kitty.

New Business:

1. The purchase of a Sky Quality Meter (cost $119 plus shipping) was authorized by a unanimous vote. The meter will be used by the Watershed Community School astronomy class to perform a baseline light pollution survey of the City of Rockland. Check out for more information on the meter. Who’s got the darkest skies? Take it home and let us know your “number”.

2. The members agreed to support Astronomy Day at the Merryspring Nature Center in Camden by scheduling a star party and activities for Saturday 5/6/05. Pete Kalajian ( agreed to chair a committee to plan and execute the activities. Please contact him if you have suggestions and/or are willing to lend a hand.

3. There will be a sidewalk astronomy session in Rockland on Dec. 16. We will concentrate on lunar viewing. Contact Pete Kalajian ( for more details. Are there any volunteers out there who would be willing to put together a handout with some interesting factoids about the moon, and information on CMAS! Let Pete know.

Next Meeting: January 12, 2006. Chuck will review the new book by Steven Hawking. Pete and Colin will give a presentation on planetary imaging with a webcam at the Brower. On display, homebuilt 4.5″ f/10 newtonian on a saladbowl mount by Sam Auciello, Watershed Community School sophomore.
Please come!ù…

Central Maine Astronomical Society Meeting Minutes for 8/10/04

1. The meeting convened at 7pm.
2. Star Party rain date is Saturday at Greg’s place. Glenn will update the web site.
3. The pads at Brower Observatory are still not poured. The person who agreed to bring his cement truck and pour has not showed up. Greg suggested the club members do the work ourselves. Bill Smith said he would try another provider in Rockland first. It was agreed to wait a couple more weeks before doing the work in-house.
4. The tripod is ready for Stellaphane.
5. Henry Kennedy still needs to be contacted about donating the scopes.
6. The Boothbay Register asked to write a story about the club. The writer wants to first attend a club meeting.
7. It was suggested that the local Boothbay access channel interview some club members.
8. Max is cleaning out his office and asked what to do about the Ralph Dakin 50-year Sky & Telescope collection. No decision on whether to sell or hand the ownership to someone else.
9. Meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.

Minutes of the 3/9/04 Central Maine Astronomical Society Meeting

The meeting began at 7pm
The next Star Party is 3/19 at DRA
Private showing at Southworth Planetarium 3/13. Show starts at 4pm. Tickets are $4 each.
Carl Schmidt showed show pictures of the Moon he had taken through the Fecker scope using a Canon digital Rebel. Carl has corresponded with the Fecker club through their Web site. The Fecker 6″ scope needs a cover
Colin said there was plenty of money in the club treasury.
Bill said he may be able to get a free yard or two of cement for the pads at Brower Observatory
A club workday is scheduled for 10am, 4/17, at Brower Observatory. 4/18 is the rain date. New scope pads will be staked out. Shapes for a pedestal mount need to be poured. Some staining of walls is also planned.
Support documentation is required to maintain the clubs 501C exemption status with the IRS. All members are asked to submit a list of activities performed by the club.
Greg stressed the need for maintaining an archive of club activities.
Bronze gears for a Burn equatorial mount were discussed.
Max said Sam Lowe has asked that his navigation show be postponed till next year so he can prepare a more robust lecture.
A date needs to be set for the election of new club officers.
A club “star-becue” has been tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 4/24, at Brower field in Whitefield. The party will “begin at 5pm followed by a Star Party after sunset. Bring a cold dish.
Max will get a pier from Mike’s place
Astronomy books were donated to the club
Meeting adjourned 8:20pm

Minutes from Tuesday January 13th

Colin presented Greg with the new club scope ready for mounting. The planned mount will be a Dobsonian type.
The web site has been updated to include up coming events and also pictures made by Carl Schmidt.
Max is working to have Sam Lowe lecture on Polynesian navigation techniques. Time frame for the lecture is the end of February or the beginning of March. There was some discussion on holding the talk at the Skidompha Library. Serving of refreshments was also mentioned.
Greg to follow-up with Max on firming up plans for the lecture
Discussion between Carl and Colin about the Fecker Club scope.
The motion sensor light at the DRA viewing site is still a problem. Greg has been unscrewing the bulb. There was talk about installing a device to turn off the light automatically.
The discussion next turned to pouring more scope pads at Brower Observatory. It was noted that the last 8-foot pad required 31 bags of Sakrete. Others suggested that Dragon could pour the next pads (if we have set up enough forms to make delivery cost effective.) We could also have some sand delivered and make use of a mixer. There is a chance of having concrete donated.
Glenn will put a digital photograph of Saturn (taken from a 6″scope) onto the web site.
The next star party is scheduled for 1/23/04 @ Telescope Park. The party may be postponed a week if the outside temperature is too cold.
The German triplet needs a better housing. The triplet is a 6″F/15. Use of a tapered aluminum light pole was mentioned.
Last, a group trip to the planetarium in So. Portland was discussed. This could be a weekend family event.
Glenn to investigate options and costs.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Minutes from Tuesday December 9th

There will be an updated mass e-mail list for club members to be able to use. The address will be given out at the meeting
Pictures of the Fecker will be taken and given to a group in Ohio who are interested in it. Apparently CMAS has the only complete one.
Max will be checking to see when Sam Lowe can give another lecture on celestial navigation. It will most likely be after the holidays.
The Byrne Refractor is still in our care and Mr Tom Artor seems to think it’s in good hands and does not want to take it back right away. Kieth Taylor will look into restoring the mount, and a design will be needed for a tripod.

In the spring there will be more concrete pads made at the Observatory and they may be linked together in some sort of step fashion

There are several telescopes in various stages of completion and people can take them to finish them if they would like. These will be “loaner scopes” for club members.

There are dates picked out for the first 6 months of 2004 and they will be posted on the website.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:15 PM

Minutes from Tuesday July 5th

Discussion included the finishing of the cement pad for telescopes at the observatory.
Colin brought the newly aquired Howie Glatter green laser pointer that the club owns. Max is going to have “CMAS” engraved on it.

Talked about which stuff to bring to Stellafane, blanks, tubes, coffee cups etc.
It was mentioned to make coffee and sell the cup fuull of FREE coffee.

A check from Maine Yankee was presented to the club in the amount to aid in our efforts.

A Solar observing day was mentioned and decided to happen at the Wiscassett waterfront
on the deck that is there. It is scheduled to happen on Aug 23rd. at 11:00AM. We will be checking with the Wiscassett Police to see about selling coffee cups there too.

Colin is contacting Newport glass to find out if how much it would be to remelt our 16″ blank and make 2, 1/2 thickness ones.

It was decided to change the end of August Starparty to the weekend after that because of the laborday weekend.

the meeting was adjourned at about 8:30.

Meeting Tuesday June 10

Peach brought two tubes for telescopes, one made out of carbon fiber and the other made from fiberglass.

Both were very nice but the carbon fibr=er is much lighter, but much more expensive to make.

Max is going to Stellafane on Wednesday, and set up the CMAS campsite further down toward where ASSNE has there site in the pines.

Greig made an 8′ forn to pour a pad at the observatory.

We discussed having a solar day in Wiscasset sometime soon.

Glenn brought the set of Meade eyepieces that come as a promo with a telescope purchase.

The club also has a box of books that are on loan from Mr. Brower.

Max and Glenn will be giving a presentation to the WISDUM Group at the Saint Paul Center in Augusta on 9/29/03 at 7:30PM.

The meeting was adjourned at about 8:45

Minutes of the January 14, 2002 meeting of the Central Maine Astronomical Society
Members present:
Glenn- President
Colin- Treasurer
We introduced two new members, Judith and Peggy

Colin reported that CMAS has about $1300 in the bank.
The appropriate tax info has been compleated for 2002.

Upcoming expenditures discussed and voted on:
* Max suggested that we purchase a good quality green laser which would be helpful in star and constellation identifying for astronomy education and star parties. The purchase of which was approved by the majority. Glenn agreed to research the lasers and make the appropriate choice.
* Greg has purchased, on behalf of the club, a set of astronomy videos. The club approved by majority vote to reimburse Greg $75.

Keeping track of who owes their dues on what date has proved elusive and it was suggested that all dues are due on January 1 each year. This was put up for a vote and approved.

Keeping the web site up to date has been an ongoing problem and the club discussed the options. With out an accurate, up to date site members and potential members can’t know where to get event dates. This not only generates confusion but gives potential members the impression that the club is nether active nor organized. Keeping the site up dated is a hassle for an individual so it was agreed that at least one other person needs to have access to the website to make the appropriate changes. It was also suggested that CMAS deal directly with GWI relieving George of most of the burden. This would involve a new web address. GWI offers web space to non-profits free of charge. Further study is needed in this mater but it was generally agreed upon to be a good idea. This was put up for a vote and approved.

Mr. Brower presented the club with two astronomy programs, “Red Shift” and Deepspace. The club may raffle them off at a future star party.

Mr. Brower also displayed his new 60mm Coronado solar scope which he is agreeing to bring to some daytime observing sessions. The scope did not come with much information and Mr. Brower is going to ask Coronado to send some along so we will know more about the design.

Max noted that he has received two calls for CMAS to help with some upcoming astronomy events;
Nobleboro elementary school is including astronomy in it’s after school science program. The astronomy night is February 27. CMAS will help them out with a presentation and solar observing.
The Damariscotta Boy Scouts have asked for an observing night January 27 at 6:30 Max, Herb and other members will help with that.
It was agreed that the club be more assertive about asking for donations.

Judith and Peggy brought a couple of scopes for collimating and demonstration. Colin did a brief review of how to collimate a Newtonian and how to use the scopes. Due to the frigid temperatures and the lack of cool down time no observing was done.

The next event is a star party January 31 at Telescope park in Edgecome.

The next business meeting is February 11 at St Andrews.

Minutes taken by Max