The main item for the next Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) on Saturday 14 December will be extended items of astronomical interest. This is a great opportunity for members to share any interesting stories or observation or astronomical images etc. Maybe you have a new piece of equipment or a favourite observing aid that you can tell other members about. Maybe you have been to a place of astronomical interest and can share the story or photos. Please contact the President or any member of AAQ Council if you have something you would like to present as we would like to put the programme together. Depending on the number of members with material to present, we may be able to incorporate anything extra you bring along on the night. This is a night when new members or anyone who has not presented before are especially encouraged to contribute. There will be the usual supper after the OGM.
Following supper, there will be the annual dinner at Bangkok Delight at St Lucia Village – as for last year, it will be a banquet dinner that caters to gluten intolerant diets. Remember if you have not already done so, contact the General Secretary John Salini if you intend to join us. The dinner starts at 7pm.
At the last OGM, Tony Dutton gave us an overview of what the AAQ calendar will look like, showing all the wonderful images by AAQ members. A big thank you to Tony who does a great job putting the calendar together each year. Calendars and Astronomy 2014 orders are expected to be available for you to pick up at the December OGM. You must pay for them before pickup. If you have not paid for your order please make a deposit to the AAQ bank account (details in the AAQ Newsletter).
Another reminder that the Council has decided to offer up to $10,000 from the Edward Corbould Research Fund for grants to assist astronomy research projects by amateur astronomers in 2014. Applications must be received by the General Secretary by 28 February 2014.
We can look back on a year which has once again showcased the amazing talents of AAQ members at each OGM and in the newsletter. Many members participating in research and producing excellent results, imaging that goes from strength to strength with results that continue to amaze, observatory construction and operation, ongoing education pursuits, travels to observe aurorae and other events. If you missed any of the OGM presentations, video recordings are of course available to members on the web site.
One thing that I really enjoy about astronomy is that there is always something interesting in the sky: the always moving planets and their moons, deep sky objects, a comet or two, meteor showers, occultations, transits, novae and supernovae, the spectra and ongoing variability of stars and of course eclipses and for me at least there is always the very serious challenge of attempting to photograph them. Quite apart from the often dramatic improvements in our equipment and techniques the sky ALWAYS has something to interest, challenge and astound. As I write this we have Nova Cen 2013 appearing naked eye in our own backyard. I know that we can all look forward to more enjoyable astronomy in 2014 (hopefully with clear skies).
On behalf of the Council I would like to wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year and I trust that you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season.