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Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston

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President's Message: March

Glenn Chaple

Work continues on our two new ATMoB Committees, Outreach, and Telescope-making. I recently sent out an atmob-announce email seeking members who might be willing to join the Outreach Committee to include someone to serve as its Chair. We’ll also want one or two members to serve as star party coordinators. At the same time, Vice President Tom McDonagh has been getting our Telescope-making Committee off the ground. The goal of our new committees is to give these important club activities a much-needed “shot in the arm.”

Speaking of recognition, it’s always nice to advertise our club at public astronomy gatherings by wearing items (hats, T-shirts) with the ATMoB logo. Bruce Berger and Eileen Myers have been looking into the creation of a pin with the ATMoB logo that can be worn on hats, lapels, etc. As is the case with the two new ATMoB committees, we’ll keep you posted as things progress.

March brings the return of the annual Messier Marathon, when all (or nearly all) of the 110 Messier objects can be viewed in a single night. This year’s target date is Saturday, March 17, which meshes nicely with a new moon. We’ll be meeting at the clubhouse on that date to see how many Messier deep-sky delights we can knock off before eyelids droop and the comfort of warm bed at home is impossible to resist. Anyone looking for a change of pace can join me in tackling the 110 double, triple, and multiple stars in my Double Star Marathon.

Next month brings the spring edition of Astronomy Day, slated for Saturday, April 21, of this year. I’ve already reserved, through the courtesy of of Haystack Observatory, a conference room to hold an Astronomy Day event for the local community. I’ll be presenting a how-to talk on getting into backyard astronomy, and we’ll have (weather permitting) scopes set up outside. I’ll make an official announcement and request for volunteers at the March meeting.

As I mentioned last month, we need to start planning for a new Board to run the club during the 2018-2019 season. Open positions include President, Vice President, and Secretary. A candidate search will be necessary, which requires a 3-person Nominating Committee. We’ll need 6 candidates to run for the NomCom, and a vote to select the final 3 will be made at the April meeting.