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 LVAAS General Meeting

Sunday, February 9 at 2:00 p.m.

Trumbower Hall, Muhlenberg College

Featuring

Clif Ashcraft, PhD

Member, AAI of New Jersey

Check out Clif's website at: https://www.wa2guf.org/

Clif and Noah by 12.5" in old tube

Mars Through the Dust Storm

 

Clif's presentation is based on his own images of Mars taken during the 2018 opposition when the entire planet was obscured by a long lasting dust storm.  To deal with the opacity of the atmosphere, Clif did telescopic imaging with a CMOS digital video camera equipped with a 850 nm long pass filter.  This gave him an NIR band pass from about 800 nm up to 1100 nm.  It penetrates all but the densest dust storm clouds and allows imaging of surface features that would be completely invisible in 400 to 800 nm visible light.  Telescopes used for these observations included his 7.25” Schupmann Medial and the C14 in his home observatory in Perrineville, NJ as well as the 13” Schupmann Medial at MacGregor Observatory on the Stellafane site near Springfield, VT. 

 

 

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 Website Upgrade Complete!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and welcome to your newly-remodeled LVAAS Website! Santa's elves -- actually, just one elf -- has been busy reconfiguring our website programming to work with the manadatory upgrade to PHP version 7.2. (See the latest issue of The Observer for more details.)

As you unwrap this shiny present, please be thoughtful of the presenter. You are pretty much guaranteed to not like everything about it, at least not right away, but please consider putting your protests back under the tree for a little bit, and see if you can accept the whole in the spirit it is given. We did not ask for this gift, but we are forced to take it, and I have done my best to make it acceptable. Unfortunately there was no easy way to keep everything the same (and it's not really obvious that we should.)

Tips on getting the most out of the new lvaas.org

One of the features of the updated software is that it tries to be more friendly for users of smart phones and other small screens. The way that it does this was not friendly to our old menu organization, so now we have a new one. The main navigation menu is moved to the bottom, so that on large screens, the Upcoming Events feature remains prominent.

You will notice a "Menu" link on the top left, and I have gone to some extra trouble to make sure that it is always there, although the rest of the horizontal menu goes away on devices. I've decided to keep a few items on the top menu to entice casual visitors to learn more about LVAAS. In any case, a quick click on the Menu link will take you to the complete menu, where you will find a "Back to Top" link to reverse the effect.

Also, notice that clicking on the Menu link and then scrolling up a bit is an easy way to get to the Clear Sky Clock. We could also move the Clear Sky Clock down into the footer area, if we want.

On mobile devices, the Login button on the upper-right corner disappears, but there is a Login link available in the second footer menu, which contains other member-specific choices.

I've removed links to a bunch of stuff that seemed mostly obsolete and neglected, but anything that we really need can be brought back.

Open Issues

The site will continue to evolve and improve, and we will continue to find things that need to be fixed. Hopefully, we'll also find things that we prefer over the old site. Those of us who edit content on the site should enjoy the updated, less buggy editing software.

If you notice a critical issue, please don't hesitate to let me know right away. But as I mentioned, if you have a minor complaint, I would prefer you hold back a bit to see if it's really something that you can't live with.

Here is a list of some known issues that I think we must fix soon, although I elected not to let them cause a delay in bringing the  site back on-line:

  1. If you get the size of your browser window and the text magnification just right, the full-month Calendar is rendered as if there are six days in a week, with no Saturdays, creating extra weeks and assigning the dates to different days. It is hard to trigger this but it is atrocious, and could mislead someone if they didn't notice it happening.
  2. Pages that have images distort the aspect ratio when displayed on small screens.
  3. On small screens, the Menu button briefly highlights in a really ugly, misaligned fashion when pressed.
  4. The main navigation menu does not appear on some pages, which makes the Menu link superfluous on those pages.
  5. We need a better way to render our monthly events calendar for publication in the newsletter.
  6. There are some security issues which will cause notices which you may see when you are logged in. These issues have been the same since before I took over the site, but the updated software is being more aggressive about complaining about them.

I have a complete list including many picayune defects that I have noticed, and there will be more.

-- Rich Hogg, December 19, 2019; email

 

 



—    LVAAS    —

THE LEHIGH VALLEY AMATEUR ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY -- 620B East Rock Road -- Allentown, PA 18103 -- 610-797-3476 -- www.lvaas.org

WELCOME!

Founded in 1957, the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society (LVAAS) is one of the oldest continuously-operating amateur astronomy organizations in the U.S. The mission of LVAAS is to promote the study of Astronomy and to maintain a meeting space, observatories, and a planetarium.

LVAAS operates two astronomy sites: The South Mountain site in Salisbury Township is the headquarters of the Society. It has a planetarium with a Spitz A3P projector, a 21 foot dome, meeting space, the Red Shift store, library, workshop space, and three observatories. The Pulpit Rock site near Hamburg is LVAAS's members-only dark sky site. At 1600 feet above sea level, the site features five observatories and a pad for member's scopes.

Members who receive training on the scopes may obtain keys to the observatories. LVAAS also maintains a rental "fleet" of telescopes that members may rent at low cost. Members also receive access to The Observer, our online newsletter, as well as reduced subscription prices to Sky and Telescope and Astronomy Magazine. If you want to learn more about astronomy and LVAAS, please join us at our next public star party.

 

South Mountain Clear Sky Chart  image

Pulpit Rock Clear Sky Chart         image