CAA’s 2017 OTAA Convention

by Bill Murmann, CAA President

I’d like to thank members who joined us and brought food to share and who helped with our Annual Convention and potluck picnic Saturday (Sept. 16) at Letha House Park.  And thanks to our officers and board members-at-large who brought supplies and helped with the picnic — especially Treasurer Ron Palcic who handled ticket sales for our raffle.

We had nice weather and pretty decent night skies for observing, though we had some haze around the horizon and dewy conditions later in the evening.

Special thanks goes to Rich Whisler who did all the grilling for our meal, and to Marianne Wadsworth and Gail Korylak who organized the food line on three tables.  Thanks also to Marianne, and Nancy Whisler who helped clean up.

And thanks to Observatory Director Jay Reynolds who held observatory training and brought a slide show about our solar eclipse program that helped draw an estimated 10,000 guests to Edgewater Park.

I think everyone, including visitors from the Black River and Mahoning Valley astronomy clubs, enjoyed the food and socializing.

Jay Reynolds, Bruce Lane, Dave Watkins, and I were the last to leave at 12:45 AM after listening to groups of coyotes howling in the distance off to the east and the west.

Finally, our sincere appreciation to the following donors who generously provided items for our raffle:

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
TeleVue
Meade Instrument Corporation
Sky & Telescope Magazine
Knightware, LLC
Bob’s Knobs

Next year’s Annual Convention and picnic will be on Saturday, September 8, 2018.

Great food, friendship, observing, and prizes at annual convention

Our rescheduled September 24 OTAA Convention was a success with great weather, good food, starry skies, and good times! The event took place at the CAA’s observing site in the Medina County Park System’s Letha House Park West. Many thanks go out to the generous CAA officers and members who worked diligently to make the event happen.

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association would also like to thank the following vendors for their donations raffle prizes for the convention:

Astrozap
P.O. Box 502
Lakewood, OH 44107

Bob’s Knobs
6976 Kempton Rd.
Centerville, IN 47330

Knightware
305 Evans Estates Drive
Cary, North Carolina 27513

Oceanside Photo & Telescope
918 Mission Avenue
Oceanside, CA 92054

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076

Tele Vue Optics, Inc.
32 Elkay Dr.
Chester, NY 10918

Yes, our next OTAA Convention is already scheduled: Saturday, August 19, 2017. See you then?

Rescheduled OTAA Convention: September 24

The CAA’s annual OTAA Convention event has been rescheduled to take place on September 24, 2016 at Letha House Park West; registration should begin at 3:00 PM. The gathering was to have been held July 30 but a scheduling issue prevented it taking place.

Socializing, a cookout, door prize raffle, astronomy talk, and (weather permitting) star party are planned for the day and night. Members of the CAA and other regional astronomy clubs are invited to attend. In the event of cloudy or inclement weather, all events except for stargazing will take place.

Image: All-Sky Map, September 24, 2016
All-Sky Map, September 24, 2016 – Click to Embiggen

Letha House Park West features an enclosed, heated and air conditioned event building with modern lighting, projection equipment, and restrooms. The CAA maintains its observatory at Letha House Park and that facility will be open during the star party. The parking lot is paved and a large, grassy area adjacent to the lot makes for easy telescope setup. Nighttime skies are good (considering the Northeastern Ohio location) allowing for rewarding observations.

CANCELED: Annual OTAA Convention

Due to a scheduling conflict involving our Letha House Park venue, our planned July 30, 2016 OTAA Convention has been CANCELED. We are disappointed and upset that this issue developed outside of the CAA’s responsibility but circumstances afford us no alternatives. The officers and members of the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association regret any inconvenience this emergency cancellation may cause.

UPDATE: The event has been rescheduled to take place on September 24, 2016 at Letha House Park West. Announcements concerning the event will be posted soon. 7/29/2016

Convention sociable, except for skies

Photo: Jay Reynolds reports on DAWN and New Horizons
Jay Reynolds reports on DAWN and New Horizons
The 2015 OTAA Convention, hosted by the Cuyahoga Astronomical Association (CAA), was a friendly gathering featuring socializing, information, and hot weather. Members from area astronomy groups were in attendance, mixing with CAA membership at the Letha House Park Observatory site.

Observatory Director and CSU Research Astronomer Jay Reynolds gave an up-to-date presentation on space mission results from DAWN (at asteroid Ceres), and New Horizons and its just-completed flyby of the Pluto-Charon system.

After the lecture came a convivial cookout and potluck dinner which, in turn, was followed by the highly-anticipated annual door prize drawing. The hoped-for late-night star party was thwarted by clouds that moved in from the north. Spirits remained high, however; this is Northeastern Ohio after all, and clouds go with the territory!

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association would like to thank the following vendors for their generous contributions to our recent convention.  Their donations of raffle items helped to make the event such a great success.

Astrozap – Member-Owned Purveyor of Telescopes and Accessories

Bob’s Knobs – Seller of Collimation Thumbscrews

OPT Oceanside Photo & Telescope – Sellers of All Manner of Astronomy Gear

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars – Astronomy Gear Galore

TeleVue Optics – Telescopes, Accessories, Imaging

Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope – Serving Photo & Telescope Enthusiasts Since 1952

Annual Convention: July 18

Saturday Night – July 18

The Cuyahoga Astronomical Association’s Annual Convention, Potluck Dinner, and Star Party will be held on Saturday, July 18, at our Letha House Park Observatory in Medina County. The event will be held, rain or shine.

All CAA members and spouses are invited to attend this event. Starting time will be at 2 PM with registration and sale of tickets for the raffle of door prizes.

Our observatory director and CSU professor Jay Reynolds will be our featured speaker with a talk at 3 PM about NASA’s ongoing missions to Pluto and Ceres.

The potluck dinner will start around 5 PM. The buns, condiments, paper plates and napkins, utensils, and lemonade will be provided by the CAA. If you are attending the dinner, please bring a covered side dish or dessert that can be shared with fellow attendees.

There is plenty of room for parking. The shelter is air-conditioned, and features two modern restrooms and a drinking fountain. In addition to indoor seating, there are outdoor picnic tables on the shelter patio.

Please join us for the activities and a night of stargazing. See you there! Hope for clear skies!

Cloudy convention, warm inside

by William Murmann, CAA President

In spite of 100 percent cloud cover, thunder, and intermittent downpours, everyone seemed to have a good time Saturday (July 26) at our Annual Convention at Letha House.

About 39 guests attended the event, which included members, several spouses, and about 10 guests from the Black River, Chagrin Valley, and Mahoning Valley astronomy clubs.

We had a lot of good food.  Thanks to VP Tim Campbell, who brought the usual supply of discount-priced brats, wieners, and sausages — thanks to Five-Star Meats for their generous support.  Many thanks to Rich Whisler, who did all the grilling while being protected from the rain by Paul Leopold, Tim Campbell, and Marianne, who held umbrellas.

Many thanks to all those who brought yummy side dishes and desserts for the potluck supper.  We had a great selection of food, ranging from brats and potato salad to pizza, fried chicken, watermelon, and cupcakes and pies, etc.

A special thank you to Gail Korylak who set up the food line and who with her husband Steve did most of the clean-up when it was time to leave.  Gail and Steve have been a big help with our conventions for years.

Thanks also to Mike Williams and Jay Reynolds.  Mike gave an interesting presentation about star charts.  Jay discussed our observatory and gave lessons on the proper way to open and close its roof.

Special thanks to our Secretary Steve Gallant for all the work he did for months soliciting and collecting door prizes for our annual raffle. Thanks to Steve and our generous donors, we had a nice selection of prizes this year.

And speaking of door prizes, a big thank you to CAA member Joe Golias, owner of Astrozap, who donated $200 in gift certificates for this year’s event.

Finally, thanks to our Treasurer Suzie Dills, who did a ton of work signing people  in, selling raffle tickets, making change, and keeping track of all the financial stuff.  Suzie tells me that after paying for expenses the club made money on this year’s convention and raffle.

Thanks to all!  Apologies if I missed anyone.  Next year’s convention will be on Saturday, August 15,  2015.  Hopefully, we’ll have better weather!