Analemma Society Annual Report (March 2015 to March 2016)
Analemma Society (AS) is a 501 (c) 3 Educational Non-Profit dedicated to teaching the public science through Astronomy. AS is registered with the Commonwealth of Virginia. We maintained our status by doing our annual registration with the state as well as filing income tax forms with the US Internal Revenue Service. We are authorized by the state of Virginia to fund raise. We operated ObservatoryPark at Turner Farm to further our educational aims.
AS opened Observatory Park (OP) to the public for Friday night viewing and OP Saturdays and Sundays in general as in years past and closed when the sky was cloudy, temperature below 20º F, (or wind/chill factor below 20º F), or snow/ice on ground, OP was not opened to the public.
The AS opens OP to the public on clear weekends for sundial viewing and general unsupervised public access to the park.
Table: Summary of 2015 AS Volunteer Activities
Over the course of the year we have held observing sessions for HerndonHigh School and local elementary schools, Sunrise Elementary and Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups. The general public is always invited and we get regular attendance from them. During the construction of the Roll Top observations were moved to Baron Cameron Park on selected Friday nights as well as a Remote Telescopic Viewing program at the Great Falls Library described below.
AS monthly meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month at Dantes Restaurant at 12:30.
In addition AS supported outreach events to inform the public about activities at the park, and did coordination meetings with Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) officials.
During summer months AS has set up an outreach table at the Reston Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings to advertise the park.
April 21, 2015 Charles Olin, Alan Figgatt, Jacque Olin reviewed Roll Top Plans with David Bowden, Barbara Nugent, and FCPA staff
May 6, 2015 Annual Analemma Society Meeting, elected the following officers and directors:
June 3, 2015 Meeting with Barbara Nugent/ FCPA and supporting staff to discuss RATO and Roll Top Observatory status
June 18-22, 2015 AS represented at North American Sundial Society (NASS) meeting in Indianapolis, IN by Jeff Kretsch, and Corena Alexander. Bob Kellogg is a prominent member of both AS and NASS.
June 20 – July 9, 2015 Charles Olin visited Florence Italy to inspect the SantaMaria Novella Sundial….
August 4, 2015 Jeff Kretsch gave an Astronomy presentation at Loudoun County Gum Springs Library for 3-5 graders for Amy Heaton.
September 27, 2015 Alan Figgatt, Mary Blessing, Doug Wood and Jeff Kretsch organized a Lunar Eclipse event at the park with an estimated 500 visitors.
October 1, 2015 Observatory Park was closed by the FCPA in anticipation of construction starting on the Roll Top.
October 6, 2015 Charles Olin gave a presentation to the Dark Skies Event for the Great Falls Citizens Association at a well-attended event. This is part of an effort on Dark Skies protection for Turner Farm Observatory with Jacque Olin, Bob Parks, Doug Wood and Jeff Kretsch to address updating the lighting ordinance of Fairfax County and Great Falls.
October 8, 2015 Jeff Kretsch made a presentation to the Boy Scout Roundtable planning session for the Camporee 2015 on the Astronomy Badge Merit program.
October 15, 2015 Charles and Jacque Olin met with Grace Han Wolf, Dranesville Representative to Park Authority Board, and Jane Edmonson Supervisor Foust's Chief of Staff, to discuss planning for the 2016 Park Bond and to make a presentation regarding the Ibn al-Shatir Sundial and Analemma Society plans for installation and budget.
October 21, 2015 following a board meeting, Bob Kellogg, Doug Wood and Jeff Kretsch did an experimental session with Abe Schwartz accessing his remote telescope in New Mexico. Charles signed a memorandum of agreement for Analemma Society with Great Falls Library to use the Library meeting room on 6 Friday nights in 2015-2016 for remote viewing for the public using a telescope in New Mexico being made available by an astronomer who has attended several AS monthly meetings and is making his telescope available to AS.
October 24, 2015 Jeff Kretsch and Alan Figgatt provided Astronomy Merit Badge training to Boy Scouts at the Camporee 2015 at the Flying Circus Aerodrome in Bealeton, Virginia
October 29, 2015 Jacqueline Olin and Jeff Kretsch attended a meeting at NGA with Dr. Gary Weir, NGA Historian, and Jack Hiller along with Marylou Gjernes and Lisa Wagner to discuss the Historical Sign at the Herndon Site that is now Observatory Park.
May – October, 2015 Doug Wood, Bob Kellogg and Jeff Kretsch worked on developing a means for remote control of the Meade telescope in the RATO in a critical step to making it operational.
December 11, 2015 Bob Kellogg and Jeff Kretsch conducted the first remote telescope viewing session at the Great Falls Library. Bob Kellogg provided the overview presentation and Abe Schwartz provided the telescope and observatory overview. He was in Puerto Rico and the telescope in New Mexico. Additional dates are planned for next year’s reporting period.
January 20, 2016 Analemma Society members Peter Gural, Jeff Mirick, and Jeff Kretsch served as judges at the Langley High School Science Fair.
February 3, 2016 Analemma Society members Peter Gural, Jeff Mirick, and Jeff Kretsch served as judges at the Thomas Jefferson School Science Fair.
February 4, 2016 Analemma Society members Peter Gural, Jeff Mirick, and Jeff Kretsch served as judges at the Herndon High School Science Fair.
February 5, 2016 Bob Kellogg and Jeff Kretsch conducted the second remote telescope viewing session at the Great Falls Library. Bob Kellogg provided the overview presentation and Abe Schwartz provided the imaging and observatory overview.
Membership Drive: Analemma Society collected $1550 in dues and donations over this period.
Springvale Road Pickup: Springvale Road runs along the western boundary of the park, and to maintain a pleasant appearance and environment AS has been doing road pickup under the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Adopt a Highway program. We have been doing the pickups on a quarterly basis and reporting results to VDOT.
AS consists of volunteers, among them Alan Figgatt has led the Friday night observing sessions, Mary Blessing has coordinated the Family Night program with schools, Dr. Doug Wood has led the effort to make the Remote Access Telescopic Observatory (RATO) operational, Robert Anderson has led outreach efforts, and Dr. Jeff Kretsch has handled VDOT Road pickup as well as general duties maintaining the non-profit status of AS. Robert Beamer has opened the park for sundial viewing on weekends. Brian Symmes has provided webmaster services.