Co-chairperson Doug Lively led the meeting at the NCSU Crafts Center
16 members attended.
“Searching for Intermediate Mass Black Holes in Spiral Galaxies with the Help of Citizen Scientists” was presented by Patrick Treuthardt, Ph.D. Assistant Head, Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Dr. Treuthardt gave a brief introduction to the Hubble Classification of galaxies followed by a discussion of spiral galaxy structure as it relates to the mass of the galaxy’s central black hole. Intermediate mass black holes (IMBHs) represent a class of objects that need further study. Based on the relationship between spiral structure and IMBHs, the citizen science project was developed so that the public can help identify spiral galaxies with a structure that is associated with IMBHs. Once this step is completed, in-depth study can proceed on the candidates identified by citizen scientists.
- The procedures have been tested successfully with a small test group (including several RAC members). The project will be opened up to the public soon – stay tuned to participate. The project webpage is at https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/astro-lab-ncmns/spiral-graph
1. Treasury report. The report was provided by Treasurer Steve Izzo:
Current membership: 194 (counting 2 per family membership)
Single Members: 114
Family Members: 40
- $267 in business checking
- $12,970 in savings
- $50 in special purpose checking
2. Observing Committee report. The report was provided by Doug Lively on behalf of Observing Committee chair Matt Lochansky. As usual, please watch raleighastro mailing list for details.
- July 14, 7-9pm. Public observing at American Tobacco Trail/Harris Lake – Apollo 11 50th Anniversary. The event is coordinated by Mike Keefe.
- July 16 (raindate July 17), 8:30-11pm. Observing for Girl Scout STEM Camp at Meredith College. The event is coordinated by Barton Meeks. Register to help at https://bartonmeeks.wufoo.com/forms/zd3751c0ci98fe/
- July 20, 11am-4pm. One Giant Leap Festival at NC Museum of History. Celebration of the Apollo 11 landing 50 years ago. Volunteers are still welcome but it is too late to signup for free lunch and t-shirts. The event is coordinated by Doug Lively. The event webpage is https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/one-giant-leap-festival
- Sep 6 (raindate Sep 7), 8-11pm. Public observing at Prairie Ridge Ecostation featuring the crescent moon, Jupiter and Saturn. Event is coordinated by Steve Blake.
- Oct 5: Public observing at Dorothea Dix Park. We will need lots of telescopes for this popular event.
3. Upcoming events
- July 26: RACOBS at Big Woods
- Aug 9: Indoor Meeting at NCSU Crafts Center. Speaker has not been finalized at this time.
- Aug 23: RACOBS at Big Woods.
4. Observing awards.
RAC members Jim Michnowicz and Doug Lively have earned the “Apollo 50th Anniversary” NASA Observing Challenge certificate from the Astronomical League. Observers must sketch or image the areas on the moon where the 6 Apollo missions landed. Jim sketched the sites while observing with a C-6 telescope. Doug used old images that he had of the moon and marked the sites. Mike Keefe has completed the imaging for the certificate but has not submitted them for the certificate yet. He acquired his images with an iPhone and a 4” refractor.
You can find more information on this observing challenge at https://www.astroleague.org/programs/nasa-observing-challenges-special-awards-introduction
5. Club PO box.
The Cameron Village post office will be relocated for several months while it is remodeled. Our PO box address will remain the same throughout remodeling and thereafter.
6. Club BBQ.
Will be scheduled for September at Buckwheat Farm https://www.buckwheatfarm.com/. Please watch the groups.io mailing list for details. Mike Keefe will post a sign-up form on WuFoo as this is pot-luck event.
7. Upcoming star parties.
Sep 22-28 East Coast Video Astronomy Rendezvous (ECVAR). See https://nightskyobservatory.wixsite.com/ecvar
Oct 21-27 Staunton River Star Party (SRSP). Information for the fall star party has not been posted yet.