You may think that this message is late. It really isn’t, if you look at the Martian calendar—only 1/6 of a year has passed since I became NEKAAL president. Mea culpa anyway. But it has given us a chance to test out some of the new things we’re trying, and so far it’s looking pretty good.
Russ Valentine has created a Meetup group on the internet for NEKAAL. We’ve had a number of people come to general meetings and Open Houses at Farpoint through it. The more, the merrier! We’ve got some neat topics lined up for General Meetings; check the schedule online for topics. We had a sizeable turnout for the Ad Astra event at Washburn on April 21. The planets have been parading through the evening sky so far this year, and meteor showers are occurring during the dark of the moon. It’s looking good for 2012.
There are several sky events coming up soon that you should note, though for opposite reasons. The partial lunar eclipse on June 4 will be a bust in northeast Kansas—we’re too far east to see anything. But we will be well placed for the Venus transit the next evening, on June 5. We’re setting up some scopes for solar viewing to watch the transit, which start about 5PM. The sun will set while Venus is still visible against the solar disk, but that should give us several hours of history. Just in case your calendar get filled for the year 2117, better make it to the lake!
One of the things we’re doing differently this year is the Open House schedule at Farpoint during the summer. We still have a respectably dark sky out there, particularly when compared to in town, so there are 2 dates scheduled for the months of June and July. So many people haven’t even seen the Milky Way, so we’re giving them extra chances to enjoy our dark site. Check the schedule on the website, and come out and enjoy.