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

Our 2013 OTAA Convention — All Good

Last weekend’s 2013 OTAA Convention was a success, featuring clear skies (for a change) and excellent prizes!

Thanks to everyone who attended our annual convention Saturday at Letha House! In spite of all the clouds and rain we’ve had so far this summer, we were lucky Saturday with a nice afternoon and clear skies at night for our star party. The star party lasted until about 2:30 AM when a cloud bank with big flashes of lightning was seen moving in from the north.

Thanks to everyone who brought all the good food for our potluck dinner and cookout. We had a lot of good things to eat!

Special thanks to our VP Tim Campbell and to the owner of Five Star Brand Meats for the great hot dogs and brats. Once again, the Five Star company sold the meat to us through Tim at half-price. Members who enjoyed the hot dogs and brats can find Five Star meat products at Marc’s and at other grocery stores in the area.

Thanks also to our Secretary Steve Gallant, who solicited all the door prizes and thanks, of course, to our very generous donors for providing the following prizes given away during our August 3 event:

Bob’s Knobs (

2 • Red light key rings
1 • gift certificate for a set of thumb screws

Explore Scientific, LLC (

1 • 70 Degree Series 25mm Eyepiece

JMI Telescopes (

2 • $50 gift certificates (credit on orders of $100 or more)

Software Bisque (

1 • $99.00 gift certificate

Orion Telescopes & Binoculars (

1 • Moon map
1 • Orion Star Target Planisphere
1 • AstroGoggles
1 • Skyline Deluxe Green Laser
4 • Rubber Eyeguard, 1.25”
1 • SteadyPix Adapter for iPhone
1 • StarSeek Tel . Connection Cable
1 • 50mm Spotter
1 • SCT Access to Mak Adapter Ring
1 • Observer’s Eyepatch
1 • 2-inch Parfocal Ring
1 • Deluxe Binocular Strap

OPT Telescopes (

1 • OPT Plossl 40mm eyepiece
1 • stack of brochures about company

Sky & Telescope (

1 • Pocket Sky Atlas

Tele Vue Optics (

1 • 2X Barlow


1 • Alan Bean autographed print

1 • telescope donated by CAA Member Susan Petsche

Convention thank-yous!

by William Murmann, CAA President

We would like to acknowledge and thank the organizations and businesses that helped support our 2012 Annual CAA Convention by donating door prizes for our event. These organizations and companies offer many quality products and services for amateur and professional astronomers. Many thanks to our Secretary Steve Spears who solicited the donations and to the following for their support:

Orion Telescopes

Oceanside Photo & Telescope

Astozap- Joe Golias

JMI Telescopes
Jim’s Mobile, Inc.

Astronomy Magazine

Kitt Peak National Observatory

Bob’s Knobs

Vixen Optics

Software Bisque

Sky & Telescope Magazine

Convention wrap-up

A big thank you to everyone who came to our annual convention yesterday (July 21) at Letha House! We had a good cook-out and potluck dinner, lots of nice prizes for the raffle, and plenty of opportunity for socializing for the 50 or so members, spouses, and guests who attended.

We had sunny weather, but as we moved toward dusk we got partly cloudy skies that became mostly cloudy by about 11 PM or so. In spite of the increasing cloudiness, 17 optimistic members set up their scopes. By about midnight, however, everyone had packed up and left due to the clouds. We’ll have to hope for better luck next year!

Thanks to our Secretary Steve Spears, we had a great selection of door prizes, including a 70mm Vixen refractor that was won by Susan Petsche. Steve sent out a lot of letters and did a lot of work to line up the prizes. A good job as usual.

And a special thank you to our VP Mike Williams, who donated a two-inch eyepiece and a pair of Coronado solar binoculars to the collection of door prizes to help benefit our club. Mike also did the grilling for our supper.

Thanks to Tim Campbell and Marianne Wadsworth who brought all those great sausages and hot dogs–and to everyone who brought a potluck dish or dessert. I don’t think anyone went home hungry! Gail Korylak and Marianne Wadsworth helped set up the serving area and helped with the clean-up.

I was planning to give a slide presentation about Mars and the new NASA rover and science lab, named Curiosity, that is due to land on August 5. After the raffle, however, we decided to forgo the presentation.

I really appreciate the efforts of Tim Campbell, Jim Cofer, Jay Reynolds, and Praveena Lagudu who lined up a projector and laptop for my presentation. Too bad we didn’t see the presentation–I was all set to reveal the secret hiding place for flying saucers on Mars! My lips are sealed now, however!

Again, thanks to all. If I can get the reservation, next year’s convention will be on Saturday, August 3.
— William Murmann, CAA President