Andover Astronomical Society

Chairman's Statement on Covid-19 situation.

‘Dear AAS Members,

I hope you and your families have all managed to stay clear of COVID 19. The clear skies brought about by the huge reduction in air traffic has brought some compensation for us astronomers but of course this remains a difficult time for many with no immediate end in sight.

With our new programme due to start on 17th September, I want to bring you up to date with the outcome of a committee meeting held on 11th August at which the main item for discussion was, not unexpectedly, the way forward for the Society over the coming months. The meeting was unanimous in agreeing that physical meetings in the hall at Grateley were going to be unrealistic in the short-term and were likely to remain so over the normal duration of our programme, that is, to mid-April 2021.

The committee considered that use of a conferencing tool was the only practical way of keeping the Society going and, accordingly, the Society’s talks will be conducted via Zoom until the situation improves. We are taking out a one-year subscription for this platform which will allow the option of continuing beyond the usual finish in mid-April and to potentially include other activities such as practical demonstrations by our members. The Society will provide instructions for those not familiar with Zoom.

The initial talk to be given by our friend Bob Mizon on 17th September will thus be conducted via Zoom; most appropriately, given the number of sightings this year, the talk will be on the subject of historic comets.

For the sake of continuity and to avoid further disruption, it is proposed that the present committee continues until at least mid-April when the feasibility of holding an AGM, either physical or virtual, will be reviewed. On account of fact that last year’s programme was unavoidably curtailed, the committee thought it right that subscription fees should be waived, that is, membership of the Society for the new programme will be free.

Finally, we need to make sure that we have your correct email addresses in order to sign you up to Zoom. Lawrence, our esteemed treasurer, requests that you confirm your email addresses by contacting him at lawrence.saville@gmail.com.

I send best wishes to all and look forward to meeting up with you virtually via Zoom next month.

Kind regards,
Brian

Chairman,
Andover Astronomical Society