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AAAA News and Activities

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Learn About NPO's 
Stars-N-Parks Program

There is a new website for NPO's Stars-n-Parks effort.  If you'd like to check it out go to:  http://members.aol.com/StarsnParks

Dave Osper will soon be adding Iowa to the states with NPO Stars-n-Parkssites and I will begin doing Stars-n-Parks work at a N.Y. State Park near my home, in addition to the work Kat, myself and John O'Hara do at Cherry Springs State Park, PA.

That will bring the number of states with active Stars-n-Parks programs to 5, with 8 parks in use.  We'd like to increase the number of states and the number of parks with Stars-n-Parks activities, please help us out.

You could do a series of public nights or even a single annual event like perhaps a Perseid Meteor Watch at a park near you or someplace you often visit.  That's how the Cedar Key Star Party began.  Kat and I vacationed there every year in Feb., so we decided to get an event going.  All we did was invite people and they came, no fees, no admission, very informally planned and everyone had a GREAT time!  If I can plan a star party with nobody I know personally from a 1000 miles away by phone, you can certainly do one closer to home.  Try it, it really is FUN!

Drop me a line if you decide to start your own observing program or series and we'll get it on our website right away.

Thom Bemus. NPO

AAAA Supports 
The National Public Observatory

A new not-for-profit organization, the National Public Observatory, Inc., has recently been created in New Mexico. The goal of the NPO project is to build resources through memberships and donations over the next several years to develop a National Public Observatory at a dark sky site in the desert southwest of the United States. Unlike many existing public observatories, the goal of the NPO is to provide an affordable, quality, observing experience for all members of the interested public in a park-like setting with camping facilities.

Plans for NPO not only include programs using a large aperture telescope with real time electronic imaging capabilities, but also other supplemental telescopes and telescope rentals to the public. Daytime astronomy as well as a planetarium, an astronomy museum, and a gift shop are planned. 

The National Public Observatory is also developing its own observing list of 109 selected objects to be certified through the NPO. The goal of the NPO Objects List is to facilitate the exploration of the night sky for the amateur astronomer with a list of  objects that are not on either the Messier List or the Caldwell list.  You may find out more about the NPO Observing list on the NPO Web Site.

To learn more about the National Public Observatory project, visit their website at astronomy-national-public-observatory.org. Individual memberships are $25 a year. Corporate sponsorships and affiliations are welcomed. With your $25 individual and  $40 Family membership you will get an NGC number and object assigned to you and your family as a membership ID number. NPO will send maps and pictures of the object you select along with a welcome letter which describes the object. You also get the quarterly NPO Newsletter along with other benefits of membership.

You may contact the National Public Observatory Inc. at P.O. Box 19. Radium Springs, NM 88054 or by e-mail to jgilkiso@zianet.com.

John Gilkison, President NPO

If your sleep patterns, complexion, and aversion to white light
have your co-workers convinced that you're a vampire ...

You MIGHT be an Amateur Astronomer!


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