The Official Publication of the Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association, Inc


VOL XVII, NO 9                                                SEPTEMBER 2002                                              
Scott Petersen, Editor

©2002 BMAA, Inc

NEWS FLASH!!! Crop Circles Found in Bucks County...

- by Alan Pasicznyk

So there you have it. This year's "let's get their attention with a hoax" headline. I knew that you were expecting more,

but hey, if it works for Mel Gibson, it's good enough for me.

And now for something completely different...

At the June meeting it seemed to me to be pretty much of a given: Stella Della Valley would be cancelled for this year. It appeared as though both the "Megameet" and South Jersey star parties would occur on the same weekend as our own SDV, and even BMAA treasurer Ed Radomski had serious doubts as to whether holding this year's event against the other two would be a good idea. But then the E-mails began to circulate on the Internet, saying, in effect, things like: "Who's the idiot that decided that this thing should be cancelled", and "I always enjoyed Stella Della Valley... It isn't the darkest site in Pennsylvania, but it's close, and sure is darker than my back yard". So at the next business meeting it was decided by the "powers that be" to "Darn those Photon Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead! "It is in that spirit that I, along with Co-Chairs Ed Radomski, Antoine Pharamond and Bob Black ask for your attendance and help in running this event.

If I've said it once, I've said it a BILLION times, the more people that help out, the less that each person has to do.

Last year's event ran smoothly, and at that time I announced that I would continue to staff positions for SDV as long as the interest from our club remains. So here I am!

I will begin filling positions in early September as Stella Della Valley is slated to be held on the weekend of October 4,5,6, but, as always, if you're really smart, you'll get with me early enough so that I can post you in a position you want.

Hope to see you all there!

* * * * * * *

The following is a list of who-did-what at last year's SDV-XV. This is only for reference.

FRIDAY: Parking: 6:30-7:30p Bob Jackson, Allen Rodriguez

7:30-8:30p George Reagan, Wayne Adams

8:30-9:30p Paul Kohler, Steve Bryant

Registration: Start at 5:00p, 1:15 Hr Shifts

5:00p Ed Radomski

6:15p Linda Van der Spek

7:30p Antoine Pharamond

8:45p Alan Pasicznyk

SDV Signs: Bernie Kosher

Ladder: Ed Radomski

Field Markers: Ed Radomski, Peter Van der Spek, Paul Kohler

Walkie Talkies: Peter Van der Spek

Digital Photography: Jim Moyer

Red Bulbs and Candles: Alan Pasicznyk

Red Parking Flashlights: Alan Pasicznyk

SATURDAY: 7:00a Breakfast Setup: Ed Radomski, Paul Kohler

7:00a Flea Market Setup Tables: Peter Van der Spek, Paul Kohler, Mike Bowdren, Bob Post

2:30p Speaker + Dinner Table Setup: Peter & Linda van der Spek, Ken & Rebekah Wieland, Harvey Scribner

BMAA Table Stuff: Peter & Linda van der Spek, Connie Mininger

Pizza Fetchers: Ed Radomski, Antoine Pharamond

4:30p Dinner Food Setup: Peter (Ticketman) & Linda van der Spek, Jim & Marian Shearer, Gwen Bryant,

Ed Murray, Scott Petersen

SUNDAY: 8:00a Breakfast Setup: Ed Radomski, Frank Schubert

10:00a Pre-Departure Cleanup: George Reagan, Bruce Collier, Antoine Pharamond, Ed Radomski

Red Bulbs : Alan Pasicznyk


AND NOW.... From our home office in Danboro, Pennsylvania...


10 The crisp, beautiful Fall weather

9 You get to see Bernie Kosher go nuts buying flea market stuff

8 Clear skies, Clear skies, Clear skies !!!

7 The return of the "all you can eat" pizza banquet

6 The Tastykakes after the banquet

5 Meeting with old friends you saw last year

4 Meeting with young friends you saw last year

3 Prizes, prizes, and even more prizes!

2 The amazingly amazing astrophotography guest speakers during the afternoon, so-you-can-get-out-to-observe-early

1 You get to see Connie Mininger and Alan Pasicznyk search for the aliens amongst us!

* * * * * * *

- BMAA member Alan Pasicznyk coordinates the SDV volunteer needs every year. [ -ed]


President's View

- by Antoine Pharamond


As you probably all know by now, Stella-Della-Valley XVI is quickly approaching. I can't wait! SDV is really why we're all here - to get together, observe and share stories and expertise. There's a long list of door prizes this year, and four speakers presenting talks on

Astrophotography, Mars and more. But the best part of SDV is that it's a fun, relaxing weekend getaway. And if you don't feel like packing up the camping gear, you can sleep indoors! Or just drive home - it's probably less than 45 minutes away. So why not pre-register? It saves you money and helps out the club? What else can you do all weekend for $25? See you there!

Observatory Projects

As the summer comes to an end, we find both Observatory projects gaining momentum. Discussions with the Boy Scouts concerning our joint venture at Ockanickon will be resuming this month, as will discussions with the Bucks County Parks System concerning the site at Tohickon Valley. Pending the approval of the membership, we will also be finalizing arrangements with the Willingboro club to purchase their 14" F/7 reflector.

Updating the By-Laws

The Executive Committee has been considering making revisions to the By-Laws for quite a while. The September Executive meeting will concentrate on this task. Among the issues to be discussed are: term limits for the officers, use of the internet to facilitate voting and member participation, standing committee definitions, and responsibilities of officers and committee chairs. All members are invited to join the Executive Committee at 8:00p on September 18th, at the Peace Valley Nature Center.


Election of Officers

This is just a quick reminder that officer nominations will be open until the end of the general meeting on Wednesday September 4th. No one has yet been nominated for any of the offices.

The following people have indicated a willingness to serve:

For President, Antoine Pharamond.

For Vice-President, George Reagan.

For Secretary, Bob Black and Pablo Vasquez.

For Treasurer, Ed Radomski.

These people, as well as any other nominees, will be introduced at the September general meeting. Biographies will hopefully be included in the September Constellation. Elections will be held at the October general meeting.

Clear Skies...



Wednesday, September 4 at 8:00p - BMAA General Meeting at Peace Valley

Wednesday, September 18 at 8:00p - BMAA Business Meeting at Peace Valley

The next BMAA General Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2 at 8:00p


 BMAA MESSAGELINE - 215/579-9973




The CONSTELLATION is the official publication of the Bucks-Mont Astronomical Association, Inc, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and exists for the exchange of ideas, news, information and publicity among the BMAA membership, as well as the amateur astronomy community at large. The views expressed are not necessarily those of BMAA, but of the contributors and are edited to fit within the format and confines of the publication. Unsolicited articles relevant to astronomy are welcomed and may be submitted to the Editor.

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