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Brower Work Day

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 10:00am — Brower Work Day
341 Route 126 (Jefferson Road), Whitefield, ME 04353
Sunday, April 30, 2017 — Rain Date

“Bereit ist besser als kann” is German for “Willing is better than can,” and is the closest approximation in the Roman alphabet to my grandfather’s favorite Yiddish saying. Your hands and willingness to work are essential to Work Day’s outcome, but your skills are not. Sure, we’re thrilled when some members arrive with truckloads of power tools and scaffolding, but even Your Illustrious President was able to wield a brush to paint some walls, and to fiddle with frozen roller bearings in the dome until they spun again. Please come help your club in the ongoing maintenance of your observatory.

Work to be completed includes:
• Re-shingling the roof.
• Sealing leaks in the fiberglass dome.
• Sealing the soffits against invasions of wasps.
• Replacing weak boards.
• Painting the floor and the outside walls.
• Installing a curtain of hardware cloth between the pier and the floor, to prevent birds (and their droppings) from taking up residence in the observatory.

A small army of CMASian tool-weilders could accomplish all that in a day. Bring your own lunch, but join the conversation if you may want to stay for dinner. If the weather allows, there may be a star party in the evening after workday. We could consider a simple, but hearty, communal dinner, to entice us all to work, and then to transition ourselves from the day’s labors into the night’s observing. If enough of us offer to help cook, or buy ingredients, or even set tables, we may add a dinner of pasta and salad to this event, or perhaps a star-be-cue.

Galaxy Quest Star Party

Saturday, May 20, 2017, 9:00pm — Galaxy Quest Observatory
84 Vancycle Road, Lincolnville, ME 04849
Saturday, May 27 — Rain Date

Astronomy is partly about looking up at dark skies, and partly about looking around at the beautiful surroundings where dark skies are found. The night is never more beautiful than when seen from Galaxy Quest. Long vistas of horizons extending across the sea, distant mountains encircling fields sloping gently toward oncoming ocean breezes, Polaris crowning the trees atop a hillside serving as a natural compass to the stars. Why only look at the heavens, when one can, quite convincingly, be in heaven at Galaxy Quest?

Riwaj Pokhrel at Southworth Planetarium

Thursday, June 1, 2017, 7:00pm — Riwaj Pokhrel, Speaker
“Star Formation in Nearby Molecular Clouds”
Southworth Planetarium, 70 Falmouth St, Portland, ME 04103

Join Southern Maine Astronomers as they host a remarkable speaker, doctoral candidate Riwaj Pokhrel. He will be discussing his work at the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (the professional home of CMAS’s own Nimesh Patel). A few years back in his native Nepal, Mr. Pokhrel joined a long line of people waiting to peer into the eyepiece of an utterly unfamiliar device from abroad, the 5” telescope that Astronomers Without Borders had shipped to his town. That kindled an interest in astronomy that, backed by considerable scientific aptitude and a friendly curiosity spawning many messages back and forth with Astronomers Without Borders, lead to his attending college to study astronomy in the United States, culminating soon in his earning a Ph.D. from one of the world’s premier observatories.

Confirming CMAS Star Party at DRA

This message happily confirms that we shall meet tonight, Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 7:30pm, at DRA, the Damariscotta River Association’s Land Trust. Do not be fooled by an afternoon of dense clouds! Forecasts uniformly predict that the clouds will clear at sundown, or shortly thereafter.

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30pm
Damariscotta River Association
110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543

March 2017 Star Party

This month’s star party will meet at DRA, this Saturday, March 25, 2017, at 7:30pm. The rain date will be Saturday, April 1. The long-term weather forecast rots, but we’ll let the clouds force us to postpone on Saturday, if they must. In the past few weeks, those of us who observe at home, or who attend flash mobs, have enjoyed astonishingly fine conditions on nights of the usual conflicting forecasts. Iffy nights can turn out to be superb, so chin up! We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday.

Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30pm
Damariscotta River Association
110 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543