ALCORs = Regional Council, to set agenda, promote astronomy, budget Regional Chairperson: vote on national council, calls meetings Vice Chairperson: assists Chairperson Sec-Treas: logistical coordination Regional Representative: vote on national council, attends ALCONs Junior ALCORs, participate on Regional Council, under 18, one per clubACTIVITIES: annual regional meeting(s) for business and member showcase/forum, newsletter, promote starparties, Astronomy Day, etc.
A bit of history: REGIONAL MEETING JULY 1999:
The first of the MARS 1999 regional meetings occurred at the CSAS Star Stare starparty on July 10th, with over 30 participants for the afternoon session. Dr.Bob Stencel presided, representing the Astronomical League. He opened the meeting with a presentation about the overall value of the League, and what specifically a strong regional organization can mean for local clubs. Then, an outline of the draft Bylaws for the MARS region was presented, and the current slate of nominees introduced, with a call for additional moninations . Nominees present gave brief statements, including Dave Larson (DAS, for Vice- Chairman), Gene Schermerhorn (CSAS for Sec-Treas) and Ginny Kramer (for Regional Rep). Nominations will be held open until the August regional meeting during Montana Starwatch, afterwhich ALCORS will receive ballots for club vote tallies. Ideally, the new slate of officers can be in place by autumn. Then the meeting was opened for discussion. Schermerhorn made a motion to suggest to regional affiliate clubs that $1/member/club of dues be given to the MARS region account annually for support of the activities, particularly for a regional newsletter. This was seconded and approved as a motion by the majority of those present. Finally, senior club officer representatives gave brief summaries of their group activities during the past few months. The clubs reporting included Colo Springs, Bozeman, Grand Junction and Denver. Dr.Bob spoke briefly on behalf of the Wyoming clubs not represented that day.
Robert Zubrin, author of The Case for Mars, gave a stirring speech about the prospects for Mars travel and colonization. He also announced the plans for a Mars conference in Boulder to be held this summer.
Following a coffee break, MARS Regional Chairman, Terry Chatterton, discussed plans for MARS activities in 98/99. A vote was taken to form a MARS Executive Committee with regional ALCORs plus the Regional Chairman and Regional Rep, Jerry Sherlin. The motion passed. Copies of the ALCON97 Proceedings were displayed.
Dr.Bob Stencel briefly spoke about light pollution initiatives in the region, and promoted variable star observing (see below).
The balance of the MARS business meeting featured club reports by the DAS, LAS, NCAS, CAS, CSAS (in absentia), WCAC, and SMAS (SW Montana).
Brief talks were presented on the Little Thompson Observatory project and the new intensified eyepiece (I3Piece).
Following a second break, a series of slide shows of outstanding astrophotos were presented. The meeting adjourned and reconvened at Chamberlin Obs for pizza and a starparty.
The best of the regional starparties have been held for several years running. Consult the particular websites for updates:
Because of the generosity of the estate of longtime variable star observer Ron Ham, DU now has hundreds of star charts, and is prepared to provide to interested observers copies of these along with complete instructions.
If you'd like to give it a try, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, mailing address and a starting constellation. You can also mail the same info to Dr.Bob Stencel, Dept. Physics & Astronomy, University of Denver, Denver CO 80208. Note: this effort is sponsored in part by the MARS region of the Astronomical League, and the AAVSO the American Association of Variable Star Observers.
Provide updated mailing lists of club members to League secretary
Identify and promote club nominations for NYAA and Horkheimer awards
Assist in promoting and awarding Observing program activities (Messier, etc)
Participate in the MARS region Executive committee
Identify young club members to serve as club's Junior ALCOR
and lots more! See website: ASTRONOMICAL LEAGUE. for details. Thanks!
Observing locations: Finding a good observing location near light polluted metro Denver is a challenge but the following are possibilities -
head west - lots of locations across the Divide feature what remains of dark skies in Colorado
head east - same can be said of the high plains 60+ miles east of Denver
TELESCOPE SUPPLIERS: we are fortunate to have several good sources nearby:
S & S Optika, Littleton CO, 303-789-1089. Software Bisque, Golden CO 303-278-4478.
JMI, Littleton, CO. 303-233-5353. & more!