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Starry Nights Festival 2000
Starry Nights Festival 1998

AAAA Attends Starry Nights Festival

October 16-18, 1998

Presented by the Town of Yucca Valley, California
and the Western Region of the Astronomical League (WRAL).

Astronomy on the Hi-Desert

Astronomy on the Hi-Desert
Starry Nights Schedule
Guest Speakers
WRAL Meeting Notes
Observing at Black Rock Canyon
The 5K Run
The Pancake Breakfast
1998 Registration Form
Town of Yucca Valley

Bob Gent, Jim Robertson, Ed Flaspoehler, and Tim Hunter at the Starry Nights Festival

WRAL Chairman and Astronomical League Vice President Bob Gent, Yucca Valley Town Council Member Jim Schooler, AAAA Vice-President and AL REFLECTOR Editor Ed Flaspoehler, and WRAL Representative and IDA Chairman Tim Hunter, at the Starry Nights Festival, October 18, 1998.

Astronomy on the Hi-Desert

The Second Annual Starry Nights Festival took place on October 16-18, 1998. The convention, with speakers, workshops, and demonstration booths, was held during the days at the Yucca Valley Community Center, while the observing sessions were held at night in the nearby Joshua Tree National Park. There was a pancake breakfast on the 18th, and a 5K run on the 17th.

I am happy to report that, thanks to a cheap ticket on America West Airlines from Dallas to Long Beach, which ran mostly on time, I was able to attend the Starry Nights Festival in Yucca Valley, and had a wonderful time. I attended interesting talks by speakers I had not enountered before, like Leo Connolly, Edwin Krupp and Gene Hanson, as well as my old friend David Levy.

I was able to enjoy the magnificence of the Yucca Valley skies. I think I had the best view of M31 I have ever seen through Tim Hunter's 8.5x44 Swift binoculars. Transparency and contrast were exceptional.

But most important of all, I was able to meet and visit with many people in the Western Region of the Astronomical League. People like Lance Shaw, Marishka Emry, Wayne and Arlene Johnson, Beverly and Jack Sales, Mark Angeli, Ashley MacDermott, and all the attendees whom I got to chat with were committed to amateur astronomy and the WRAL.(I am sorry I did not get to meet Tim Robertson, from Ventura County Astronomers, who got called away on business at the last minute!)

I was able to be a good will ambassador for the Astronomical League, distributing 200 copies of the Eclipse Issue of the REFLECTOR from May 1998, as well as copies of many of the AL's binocular observing clubs. All were eagerly received by participants.

WRALChairman Bob Gent afforded me the opportunity to make a short statement at the WRAL business meeting. I pointed out the benefits the AL offers to its member societies, which appears on page two of every copy of the REFLECTOR, and Iexhorted everyone to take the enthusiasm evident at SNF, and the information we provided about the AL, back to their local clubs.

A constant theme was that people often do not get the REFLECTOR. I had to point out that keeping the address list up to date with the AL is the responsibility of the local club and their ALCOR. The REFLECTOR is the most obvious and tangible benefit of the AL, at least to the average club members. It is no wonder that people question the benefits of the AL if they do not even get the REFLECTOR.

My Best Wishes for WRAL and Western Amateur Astronomers, and a hope that not too long from now, there will be a merger of the two.

I had a great time at Starry Nights Festival.

Ed Flaspoehler
Vice-President, AAAA

Bob Gent
SNF Registrar
325 Cloudes Mill Drive
Alexandria, VA 22304-3080
E-mail: BobGent@aol.com
Starry Nights Festival Poster, October 16-18, 1998

Astronomical League Logo

For additional information about the Western Region of the Astronomical League or the Starry Nights Festival, contact Bob Gent, SNF Co-chair, on e-mail at BobGent@aol.com

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