Happy New Year! We experience a lot of emotions at this time of year – some, unfortunately, on the negative side. First is the disquieting realization that another year has flown by – far faster than we’d like. Looking ahead to a new year may be daunting. What worldwide or national crises will we have to deal with? Will we suffer setbacks in our health or financial situations? What about family and friends?
Back in my younger days, I asked a rather sprightly octogenarian how he navigated through the travails of life – particularly old age. His response was simple and straightforward. Have something positive to look forward to. Instead of dwelling on past and future bumps in the road, anticipate the good things that lie ahead. As astronomy enthusiasts, we have plenty of those in the bank.
Last month, I mentioned some noteworthy astronomical events we can anticipate in 2018. The New Year may bring some unexpected cosmic surprises. It’s been a long time since the last bright naked eye comet graced our skies. Will this be the year? Will a bright nova or (dare we hope) supernova erupt in our galaxy? What astounding astronomical discoveries will excite the armchair astronomer in all of us?
As ATMoB members, we can add numerous on-the-ground astronomy-related happenings. We’ll have 11 monthly meetings where we can get together to catch up on things and hear about the latest astronomical news. The backyard astronomers in our ranks can count on regularly scheduled group observing sessions at the clubhouse field. A Saturday mirror-grinding session at the club workshop is something to look forward to. And don’t forget our annual ATMoB picnic and New Year’s parties.
Outside of ATMoB activities, there are annual astronomy conventions. To that end, I’ve already circled August 9-12 (Stellafane!!!) on my calendar. We also have NEAF, the Astronomer’s Conjunction, and AstroAssembly to look forward to.
Don’t fret over the cloudy nights 2018 may bring. If you’re an astronomy enthusiast and ATMoB member, you have a lot of positive things to look forward to.
Clear Skies in 2018,
Glenn Chaple, President