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Editor's News 'n Views

Another wild and woolly month as the EAS Leah Restoration Project nears completion. We are now ready to install Leah onto her concrete throne, and let me tell you: ya won't recognize her. She is going to be Chabot's Jewel of the Night, the Cinderella of 'Scopes, the Madonna of the Moon! Sorry, I couldn't contain myself. Anyways, you're practically going to want to see her more than see through her, she's that beautiful. The current plan is for the Leah Restoration Team: Carter Roberts, Ken Swagerty, Debbie Dyke, Mike Hanley, and myself to install her on June 2 and/or 3. I think it might make a really good photo-op / media event for Chabot and the EAS, but haven't heard of any specific plans in this direction, yet. Keep your eyes peeled on the EAS website (www.eastbayastro.org) for newsflashes.

And speaking of the Internet, last month's survey results are in, the Board has met, and decisions have been made: we are going to begin using digital delivery for our monthly newsletter (for those who have agreed to, and are capable of - getting it that way), and the rest of you will get your newsletters via First Class mail <yes!>. Roughly, about 50% of you have email capability, and (so far) about 50% of those with valid email addresses have agreed to receive their newsletters via email notification. This is great; the advantages in this method are overwhelming, and I want to thank each of you who responded to the surveys, for your insight, opinions, and especially for your votes.

The second survey subject regarding meeting changes didn't get quite the response the first one did, but of the handful of people who responded indicated, 85% were in favor of changing the monthly meeting time and location to something other than our usual Saturday night at 7:30 pm. We discussed the subject at length at the EAS Board meeting, and these are the issues we considered:

1 The day (Saturday? Thursday? Sunday?)
2 The time (5:30? 6:30? 7:30? Until 9:30 or 10:00?)
3 Telescope viewing after the meeting?
4 The location (Astronomy or Physics classrooms? Tien MegaDome Theatre?)
5 The order (which should go first: business or lecture?)
6 Charging non-members an entry fee for the lecture portion as an incentive for people to join the club?

Out of all these options, we thought a good combination, with all the considerations in mind, would be: Still free to all comers; Saturday from 6:00 - 7:00 in the theatre for the lecture; refreshment and social break out at the Café; club business meeting in the Physics classroom. This venue would interfere somewhat with the dinner hour, but it would give attendees a chance at telescope viewing, would enable volunteers to still help out with public telescope viewing, would make the lecture more pleasing, and would not interfere with Chabot's operations. We'll discuss these options at the next club meeting on June 2nd (which will be in the Physics classroom because the Astronomy classroom is being used for a new Hubble images exhibit).

The owner of Scope City in San Francisco (Sam) has a tip for owners of the Celestron NextStar 8: there is now a rail that allows the unit to tuck into itself for storage, just like the 5 inch does. For more info, contact Sam at (415) 421-8800.

As a parting shot, here's a few pix of interest. Enjoy, enjoy!

Dave Rodrigues showing public the moon on
Astronomy Day at Jack London Square. (photo by Don Saito

Debbie Dyke gets into her work as she paints the inside of Leah's tube flat black (photo by Carter Roberts)

A mere sample of how beautiful Leah has become. When fully assembled, she'll be a real 7-sector knockout!

Jim Scala's 9" APO refractor inside his observatory dome in Lafayette, California. Yowsa!

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