Notice Board

✨ 👀 Webmaster’s Focus – April

This B@#$%^&*!! Weather!

For most amateur astronomers, the weather took a sharp turn for the worse on the day we bought our first telescope. Cloudy conditions seemed to come thicker and faster with telescope ownership.

The Aussie climate has extremes of scorching heat with bushfires or pouring rain with floods. It is what it is – but it’s all those cloudy night skies in between that amateur astronomers despair of the most.

Here in Macarthur our last four summers have been almost a total wipe-out. First the bushfires in 2019-20, then the continuous cloudy conditions in the three summers which followed.

This summer, the poor run even seems to be dragging out well into Autumn. From 1st November to 6th April, MAS had scheduled twelve Stargard nights and only one has escaped cancellation.

Once you’re out there under the stars, astronomy is so enriching and so stimulating but sometimes those constant grey skies and lost observing opportunities can be mind destroying.

As winter beckons and daylight saving time ends, let’s be optimistic that we get more dark sky opportunities, the weather improves and we achieve more observing time and less cancellations.

Roger Powell
Webmaster

Stargard 9th September 2023 (credit: G Bradford)

Annual Report

The MAS Annual Report is now available to read or download > HERE <


Notice of Annual General Meeting

Monday 15th April.

Notice is given that the Annual General Meeting of Macarthur Astronomical Society will commence at:

6.30 pm for a 6.45 pm start.

The meeting will be held at the University of Western Sydney in the small lecture theatre located in Building 30, School of Medicine. It will also be conducted online via Zoom and a link will be e-mailed to all members.

Please attend at the earlier than usual start time, in order that we may get proceedings underway quickly and enable us to proceed in a timely fashion to our normal monthly Macarthur Astronomy Forum.

To be eligible to vote at the AGM you must be a financial member for 2024-25 prior to the meeting.

Agenda

  • 1. Opening of meeting, welcome and apologies.
  • 2. Minutes of previous AGM, 17th April 2023
  • 3. Business arising from the minutes.
  • 4. Presentation of Annual Reports
  • 5. Presentation of Membership Awards
  • 6. Appointment of Returning Officer.
  • 7. Election of Management Committee for 2024-2025.
  • 8. Other Business directly relevant to the AGM.
  • 9. Close of Meeting.

All relevant documentation is included in the 2024 Annual Report.

Seven positions are available on the committee and nominations for election to the committee closed at noon on Monday 1st April. Seven nominations were received before the closing date.

Seven nominations have been received: John Rombi (President); Noel Sharpe (Vice President); Roger Powell (Secretary); Suzanne Adijans (Treasurer); Frank Alvaro (Membership Officer); Greg Bradford (Committee Member); Phil Kidd (Committee Member).

Following the conclusion of the AGM, the meeting will continue as an Ordinary General Meeting (Macarthur Astronomy Forum).

Roger Powell
Secretary


Macarthur Astronomy Forum

Smart telescopes.

The new thing in Astronomy, but are they worth the bother?

Phillip Kidd (MAS)

Monday 15th April, Following the AGM

The world of amateur telescopes is changing.

Many of us have already been through the cheap refractor stage, the reflector to get more light stage, the Goto mount and the “gotta have a bigger scope on an EQ mount” stages and for many of us the “that’s just too heavy” stage.

Now, more and more manufacturers are bring “smart” scopes to market. The questions are, however, are they worth the money and are they going to replace the telescope I am using now?

In this presentation I will look at three of the lower cost “smart” scopes, compare their features, their usefulness (both the good and the bad), and the results you might expect.

Macarthur Astronomy Forum is open to MAS members, WSU students and the general public. No admission fee (maybe if you come more than a couple of times you might like to think about becoming an MAS member). Gold coin donations appreciated. The Forums are held in the small lecture theatre in the School of Medicine (Building 30), Goldsmith Avenue, WSU Campbelltown Campus. You can find a location map and details by following this link.


Membership Fees

Renewal Time is Running Out

A two month membership renewal period for 2024-25 opened on 1st March and will close on 30th April. Fees remain as last year. Please visit the renewals page.

It is important that you ensure that your bank transfer details identifies you. If in doubt please e-mail contact@macastro.org.au


Members Event Diary

DATE EVENTDETAILSPUBLIC
Saturday
13th Apr
Stargard
At The Oaks
Observing evening
SS 5.36 pm MS 8.45 pm
No
Saturday
13th Apr
Wooglemai
At Oakdale
Observing night C A N C E L L E D
SS 5.36 pm MS 8.45 pm
No
Monday
15th Apr
Annual General Meeting at WSUAnnual Reports, membership awards and elections. Start time 6.30 pm for a 6.45 pm start.
Monday
15th Apr
Macarthur Astronomy Forum
at WSU
Speaker: Phil Kidd (MAS)
Map. Commences immediately after AGM
YES
Saturday
4th May
Stargard
At The Oaks
Observing evening
SS 5.11 pm MR 2.51 am
No
Saturday
11th May
Wooglemai
At Oakdale
Observing night
SS 5.05 pm MS 7.26 pm
No
Saturday
11th May
Stargard
At The Oaks
Observing evening
SS 5.05 pm MS 7.26 pm
No
Monday
20th May
Macarthur Astronomy Forum
at WSU
Guest Speaker: Dr Laura Driessen (USYD)
Map.
YES

🟡 For Details of our next Public Stargazing night, please visit our Public Night page.


Our Observing Sites

Wooglemai is our members prime dark sky observing site near Oakdale. With clubhouse amenities, sleeping accommodation and unlimited all night viewing hours, the experience provides members with excellent value for money. See our Wooglemai page for site details.


Stargard is our main general purpose observing field at The Oaks. Whilst it does not boast the facilities that Wooglemai does, it provides convenient evening sessions closer to home and free of charge to members. See our Stargard page for site details.

Coming? We need to know who is planning to attend our observing sessions. Members are requested to contact John Rombi at: president@macastro.org.au to reserve a place before travelling to an observing session. For essential information about our observing session protocols, please read our Field Night page.


Weather Check

Weather Forecasting for Amateur Astronomers

The Oaks Weather-cam: South facing

The Oaks Weather-cam: North facing


General Notices

Observing

Members intending to attend our observing nights must read our Field Night page and Stargard or Wooglemai pages. Sessions are normally scheduled for Saturdays, because we recognise the needs of members who may have weekday jobs to go to. In the event of a doubtful weather forecast, members should check both here and our social media pages.

Laser Pointers

It is a legal requirement here in NSW to register laser pointer ownerships with the Police Firearms Registry. However, as MAS members, you are exempted from this obligation if the laser pointer is only used for astronomy. The Society keeps a register of members who are laser pointer owners and requires you to formally notify the Membership Officer if you have purchased a laser pointer.

MAS Private Messages

Due to privacy laws, MAS is prohibited from releasing members e-mail addresses. The intention of the PM system is to permit an individual member to contact another without initially knowing their e-mail address. You can find the PM System in the Users menu above, after you have logged on.

Membership

Please contact Dave Manning (Membership Officer) for all new membership enquiries: membership@macastro.org.au or go to our new membership page.

E-mail

E-mail is our primary means of direct communication with all our members, so don’t forget to tell us if your e-mail address changes: membership@macastro.org.au.

Member’s Postal Address.

Membership cards are posted annually to the last postal address which you have provided to us, so please contact us with your new details at membership@macastro.org.au.

MAS Postal Address

We no longer maintain a PO Box address. After many years the cost and time did not justify a service that was so rarely used.

Management Committee 2023-24

President: John Rombi.
Vice-President: Noel Sharpe; Treasurer: Noel Sharpe; Secretary: Roger Powell. 
Committee Members: Phillip Kidd; Greg Bradford.



If you or a family member are showing any symptoms of covid, influenza or the common cold etc. please do not attend any of our events.