Photo of the Month
The end of the year is almost upon us and with December, like in the years past, we hold our annual Holiday Party and related events. On Friday, the 14th at 6:30pm at the Anser Charter School 202 E. 42nd St. in Garden City will be the date and time for this year’s Holiday Party. The board meeting, which proceeds the Holiday Party, meets at Anser Charter School on Wednesday, the 5th at 7:00pm.
We have our officer elections for the board. The following positions are of course open.
As the nights lengthen and the crisp, clear skies of winter present the dilemma of good seeing but low temperatures, it is time for all of us to consider the past year’s accomplishments. Even though 2018 got off to a weird start and there was some hiccups along the way our outreach programs (star parties) provided literally hundreds with views and information about their universe. Many looked up for the first time and truly wondered about the night sky. Even during the eclipse we had good feedback and turnout was lighter than expected.
It is this last item that strikes me as the most important service we provide the community: awakening others to the beauty, wonder and importance of seeing the universe and our relationship to it. It is why we come together as club members and do what we do, look up and enjoy the night sky.
This is a big reason why it is so important Boise Astronomical Society continues doing its remarkable amount of public outreach. Aside from the “Oh wow” objects we show at our star parties, we are demonstrating the rewards of an intellectual pursuit. How understanding, even a little, of what surrounds us opens us up to our sense of place in this vast domain. The importance of this cannot be overstated as we are confronted by general anti-intellectualism and distrust of science. We stand as proof of the value of knowledge and how that enriches our lives. This must be passed on, particularly to young students in those “boring” science classes.” Hopefully we can directly remedy some of this with our presentations targeting the science classes in the Boise and Treasure Valley area that are planned for 2019.
Our star parties this month are the 6th and 13th. On the 6th the calendar shows the last star party
for 2018 at the Idaho City (Granite Creek) dark sky site. If you are planning on attending, I
recommend dressing warmly as the higher elevation brings much cooler temperatures.
So as we wind up this year and prepare for the sure-to-come surprise comets, supernovas, exoplanets and amazing images of the next, let’s take a moment to appreciate what difference astronomy has made in our lives and commit to sharing it.
Onward to successful 2019.
Clear skies until next month.
David Olsen, President