Syracuse Astronomical Society President's Message for July, 2007

A decidedly short post this month…

This will be a somewhat abbreviated monthly message as more work gets put into preparing for the Summer Seminar, for which an email and website will be sent out with all of the details in plenty of time for all not previously aware to change all their August 10th-12th plans. In the interest of having a modicum of celestial eye candy on the SAS site, however, I include a link below from the Cassini Imaging website (appropriately named CICLOPS, or Cassini imagine Central Laboratory for Operations) of the "odd world" Hyperion. It's spongy appearance is indicative of low-density, all the more reason to float above Saturn's active atmosphere.

Credit: CICLOPS. Click on the image for a larger view.

Hot (But Below Boiling) Off The Press, Number 245!From the "why didn't we start that one first" department, the The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia ( reports that the study of exoplanet HD 189733b reveals water vapor in its atmosphere, the first conclusive evidence from among all the exoplanets thus studies for atmospheric content (atmospheric content being what we can currently measure when the planet passes in front of its neighbor star and the spectral fingerprint of the star changes as atmospheric contents absorb various frequencies of light). An interesting bit of news for the water cooler, with the addition of the website to the roster of sites to appear on in the SAS perhaps the more useful add-on as many, many, MANY more such exoplanets are reported. Quelle excitement!

From Across The Galaxy To Across The Pond…

While all websites are intrinsically global (and beyond!), it's not often that a website gets recognized as such! The SAS recently made an appearance in the browser of Graham Cliff of, a sister organization (of sorts) of SELENE-NY, of which our own John McMahon is an active member (who Cliff knows from the YAHOO Outdoor Lighting Forum). With a pleasant exchange passed, we now have someone we can get the official 5-hour warning from when the Sun begins to go nova.

From Across The Pond To Across The Street…

I'm very pleased to report that the SAS board has been/will be involved in a few public service/outreach programs for the year. Coming up this Friday (July 13) our own John McMahon will be giving an introductory astronomy lecture for Planting Knowledge: Summer of Exploration 2007, with our own Stu Forster taking duties for the 2nd semester August program. On December 7th of this year, the SAS will be giving a lecture at the DeWitt Community Library just in time for the Geminids meteor shower (which promises to be quite the display this year as Earth passes right through the center of the cosmic debris field of 3200 Phaethon). More info to follow for the public DeWitt Library lecture as the date begins to approach.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

This past June 28th I attended one of the yearly organizational meetings (as the SAS representative) of the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). I openly admitted to not even knowing of its existence before the email invitation but, as both a member of a local, technology-based society (certainly one of the sciences to benefit most from technological improvements) and a technologist of a sort myself, I thought it very good to know that there's an organization working to interface with all of the many societies in the area. Their mission, from the website…

The Technology Alliance of Central New York exists to enhance and facilitate the development, growth, and advancement of education, awareness and historical appreciation of technology within the Central New York Community. Through its programs and support efforts, the Technology Alliance seeks to further serve members, as well as educational groups and institutions with similar missions, and be the key link among technical societies in Central New York.

A number of interesting cooperative events that could include the SAS and its Observatory were mentioned and it is my hope that we find ourselves hosting a few society parties with a very narrow range of conversations going on between the numerous stargazes. If you're an SAS member, a member of any other society or organization in the area and don't know about TACNY, I highly urge you getting in contact with their organization. More info is available at their website,

Space is the place,
Damian Allis, Ph.D.

Links Used Above (Subject To Web Changes)

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