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Meeting minutes

NSAAC Business Meeting February 2, 2024
By Tolga T Yazicioglu
Posted: 2024-02-04T15:26:07Z

NSAAC Business Meeting February 2, 2024

President Julian Troake called the meeting to order at 7:31 PM.

The meeting was held at the new Boxford Community Center at 10 Elm Street in Boxford, as well as via Zoom.  There were 33 participants (30 in-person and 3 on Zoom).

Guests and new members were asked to introduce themselves: John & Marie from Boxford, Greg & Andrew from Boxford, and Stacy & Christian from Tewksbury.

Officer Reports:


Julian Troake called for approval of the January Business Meeting Minutes, which were approved by acclamation.

Vice President:

Tim Hart noted that Mike McCoy, one of the club’s founding members, has a telescope he'd like to donate to the club.



Tolga Yazicioglu provided an update on the current slate of candidates for the upcoming 2024 NSAAC Election:



Jim Holland 


Justin Murray 


Tolga Yazicioglu 


Ron Sampson 

Membership Director


Member(s) At Large

Brian Stone


Ron Sampson noted that the club recently paid the liability insurance for Star Parties.

Membership Director:

Ilane Walberg noted that there are now 90 members reported by the website software. One (1) new member joined in January.


Merrimack College / Star Parties:

Brewster LaMacchia provided an update on Merrimack College and Star Parties:

Merrimack College (Mendel Observatory):

Clouds, more clouds, and a few more clouds.  Only able to open the first week in January for a training session – had a surprise clear Wednesday but it was too late to advertise.  If anyone is interested in learning how to operate the telescope, reach out to Brewster.

Star Parties:

Upcoming star parties are now posted to the website – head to the “Volunteering” section under “Resources”. 

Salem State:

Dennis Gudzevich provided an update on the Salem State observatory:

Jan 22nd Hosted a scout Troop with a total of 20 cub scouts and guardians.  Difficult conditions, with the Moon barely visible at times.  After the Cub Scouts left, 5 university students came up with two outside guests. 

Old Business:

Reminder that the club has loaner telescopes available.  The 10” dob is available, reach out to Brewster for details.

New Business:

No new business.

Business Meeting was Adjourned at 7:43 PM 

The guest speaker following the meeting was Professor John Winston Belcher, Emeritus Professor of Physics at MIT.

Professor Belcher discussed his experience with the Voyager program. He was the principal investigator on the Voyager Plasma Science Experiment and is now a co-investigator on the Plasma Science Experiment on board the Voyager Interstellar Mission. He has won the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, not once but twice for his work on the program.

The two Voyager spacecraft left Earth over 46 years ago and Voyager 1 has travelled more than 15 billion miles. 

Respectfully submitted,

Tolga Yazicioglu, Secretary