President's Letter

Original article appears in GuideStar June, 2016.


I often use this space to keep you informed of HAS events and the members who make them eventful. It’s a pleasure for me to write and I hope you enjoy reading it. We’re all members, all contributors, to this amazing club.


It’s summertime and our personal calendars are more fluid with family vacations and impromptu doings.Hopefully we can still make time for astronomy and our friends at HAS. As usual we’ll have our monthly speakers, featured on the GuideStar front page. And like Katz’s Deli, the HAS Observatory never closes. Work continues on the new bunkhouse, and when it’s done, many of us will be able to observe late, sack out in comfort, and travel home in daylight. On behalf of crew chief Bill Kowalczyk,the Observatory Committee, and the Women’s SIG, let me invite you to be part of its construction. Check the website calendar for the next work party.


As for club business, summertime is fallow time for the committees, a time to regroup and check plans against the balance of the year. Still, it’s a favorite time for observing despite the short nights. Is there anything more splendid, or more relaxing, than to view the summer Milky Way from a lounge chair? But maybe you’re in the mood for just a bit more of a hunt.


Fully illuminated by the sun at opposition and visible all night, Saturn’s rings will be especially bright due to the Seeliger Effect. Unlike the Gegenschein, the effect will be obvious to see, especially as you continue to observe Saturn’s rings throughout the summer.


View Jupiter and Mars in the evening, Mercury, Uranus, and Neptune in the morning, and Saturn all night long. Venus is lost in the solar glare and won’t reappear until early July after sunset. Ceres and Pluto are also worth a try.


This globular cluster, the largest in the Milky Way, is on everyone’s bucket list and we’re lucky enough to be able to see it well from the dark site. Starting June 1st in full darkness, look due south one fist’s width up from the horizon (about 13°). The bigger the scope the better the view but even with binoculars you can see its splendor. You’ve still got a good shot through June 7th before the moon gets in the way and then again beginning June 24th though it’s setting fast.

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