AAC Monthly Meeting

  • 10 Jan 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Kika Silva Pla Planetarium & Zoom


Registration is closed

Our speaker will be attending in person, please try to attend in person too!


7:00 - 7:15 General Meeting & Announcements

7:15 - 7:30 Short topic presentation by a club member

7:30 - 7:45 Refreshment break

7:45 - Public Presentation

Speaker: Bob O’Connell

Title: Visual Lunar Observing


Our Moon is the most accessible and easily observed object through a telescope. Many nights each month, “The Face of the Moon” offers a bewildering array of 3-D surface features presented to our eye under continually changing solar illumination. All of us can remember the first time we looked enthusiastically through a telescope at that beautiful sight. But today, few amateurs make routine visual lunar observations. The Astronomical League acknowledges this reality noting the Moon is “that object in the sky that most of us take for granted, and which deep sky observers have come to loathe.”

We will briefly look back over the 360-year historical legacy of visual lunar observing which gradually faded away post Apollo Moon landings. Today, the Moon has been relegated to a target only worthy of occasional recreational viewing. We will then consider if and how a serious interest in visual lunar observing can be developed, nurtured, and sustained by amateurs in a world dominated by deep-sky enthusiasts obsessed with astrophotography. Replacing the human eye with a camera at the telescope’s focus is not observing. Lunar observing is placing eye-to-eyepiece with an observing agenda and with the Moon center-stage.

About the Speaker:

Bob is a psychiatric nurse in Gainesville and a longtime member of the Alachua Astronomy Club. He earned a BA in Political Science in 1989 from the University of Colorado at Denver and an associate degree in nursing from Santa Fe College in 2005.

Bob’s first view through a telescope was of the first quarter Moon in 1964 at the age of five with a 2.4” refractor. Since then, he has used a wide variety of telescopes to observe the Moon. From 2006 to 2013 he researched the controversial topic of Transient Lunar Phenomena (TLP) resulting in a paper published in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association co-authored by Dr. Anthony Cook from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales. Paper’s website www.the1963aristarchusevents.com

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