Hi there – my name is Aurora (yes that’s my real name!), and I am the interim president this year. I am a mechanical engineer, university instructor, airplane pilot, astronomer, and mom of four. I also wanted to write to you myself and let you know that I am a real person.
My favorite telescope is my 8′ Newtonian (pictured). I also have a Meade LX200 “GoTo” (I have yet to master this feature – I usually just point it where I want it to go so I suppose I am the “Go To”), a Coronado H-Alpha, and two binoculars (Orion UltraViews 10×50 which are excellent, and newly acquired Oberwerk BIG 20×100’s on a monster mount), and more tripods than I can use. I recently moved to a ranch in SLO County and have been typically spending about an hour each week solar and star gazing.
I joined CCAS about 9 years ago and have also served as a past CCAS newsletter editor. I really did have a 1-meter satellite-dish-turned-radio-telescope in my backyard at one time, I really do launch rockets (although not in the house anymore), and I currently give workshops to local students in physics and chemistry (which often includes astronomy).
Our club is made up of all walks of life, from busy soccer parents to doctors, engineers to professors, armchair astronomers to astrophotographers. And my job is to serve you. All of you.
CCAS has a lot of different things going on, and there’s going to be something that really hooks you. For example, you might be super-excited about the star parties but would rather skip the speaker talks. Or perhaps you find the public outreach programs the best use of your energy, but you can’t find time to read the newsletter.
What I want to get across is that whatever capacity you choose to participate in our club is perfectly fine. Our club is here for you, which is one of the reasons we offer so many different opportunities. Feel free to select the ones you want and leave the rest for someone else.
One of my primary goals is to take care of our members. This means you’ll be seeing more astronomy things coming your way, from a noteworthy newsletter to observatory visits to telescope clinics. This is where you come in – feedback. If there’s something you want to see in our monthly meetings, local star parties, or other CCAS activities, just fire me an email and we’ll see how to make it happen.
Another important goal of CCAS is Public Outreach. For years, CCAS has spent countless hours doing talks and stargazing events for schools, families, teachers… just about anybody that will listen. We’re going to continue our public education efforts, and if this sounds like something you’d want to help with, sign up here on our Volunteer Form. Even if you don’t know an atom from an angstrom, or even own a telescope, we still welcome you to join us as we hit the schools and sidewalks, bringing the stars closer to a hungry audience. The feedback from these events is worth its weight in GOLD, and we invite you to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.
For our CCAS members, we have our Celestial Observer newsletter delivered to you monthly (by email in PDF format). We’ll also be posting the newsletters to the website, so you can access them anytime.
Want to observe but you need a telescope? As a CCAS member, you’ll have access to our club’s loaner telescopes, which also includes free instruction by our friendly astronomers.
I hope you enjoy being a part of our CCAS as we move into action and make it all happen. I really look forward to working with you over this next year, whether it’s shooting me an email or racing me to the next celestial object at our current star party. Our club is what we make it, and this year it’s going to be amazing!
President, Central Coast Astronomical Society
P.S. How long has it been since you attended one of our star parties? I invite you to visit one soon – everyone in our club would love to meet you there.