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Meeting and Talks: "Charles Messier" and "A Savage Journey to the Promised Land"

At the Warren Astronomical Society's Cranbrook meetings, we spend the first hour or so of the meeting on club business and observing reports, then have two presentations, one short and one full-length.

Ken Bertin will give the main presentation, on Charles Messier.  French astronomer Charles Messier (1730 – 1817) was basically a comet chaser. In his search for comets he discovered that there were many objects in space which could be mistaken for comets. This caused him to make as part of his lifelong work a catalog of deep sky objects including clusters, nebulae and galaxies. He wanted to make sure that future observers would no longer be fooled by these objects. Starting in 1758, he developed his famous catalog and for the rest of his life added to it.  This presentation will highlight his life and particularly the development of his catalog.

 Ken has been a member of the Warren Astronomical Society since the late 70s. He has held the office of VP and President.  During his term as vice president, he developed the speaker forum which we use presently.  During his administration as president he expanded the board to seven members from its original five, adding Outreach Director and Publications Director.  Ken also added the “In the News” segment to our meetings which keeps the membership updated on new developments in the field of astronomy. Ken has observed 10 total solar eclipses, four annular eclipses and numerous lunar eclipses. Once a year, he develops a presentation on an historical astronomer and to date there have been a total of 15 such presentations. In 2001, he was awarded the John Searles Award and last year was presented with a lifetime membership. He has been studying astronomy for over 60 years. He considers it a passion, not a hobby.

Gary Ross (shown at left with his friends Jack Szymanski and Larry Kalinowski) will give a short presentation entitled “A Savage Journey to the Promised Land”.  "In which it will be shown," he says, "there is more astronomy inspiration to be had browsing the OBSERVER'S HANDBOOK of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada whilst abusing the refill policy at the bagel joint than all the iDorks with too many 'apps' and excessive storage capacity. Virtuous pilgrims set out for what they rightly believed to be the Mecca and Medina of North American astronomy but unlike the Jew who goes to Rome in the DECAMERON come away the worse for wear because they wound up in Islington."

Of his education, Ross says: "vast, varied, and most of it regretted."


If you would like to present either a short talk (10-15 minutes) or a full-length talk (45-60 minutes) at a future meeting, please email Dale Partin at [masked].
The views expressed in presentations are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent, and should not be attributed to, the Warren Astronomical Society.

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  • Eddie W.Frank J.

    Great turn out,enjoyed the presentations,always learning new info,it's good to be in the presence of a knowledgeable group of people

    May 6, 2014

  • Ralph D.

    Two entertaining presentations again with the unique style of Gary Ross followed by a detailed and well-researched talk from Ken. I am now motivated to put my computer driven scope in mothballs, dig out my 45 year old Tasco, and use old sky charts to observe every Messier object! Wait. I tried that already. Maybe I'll just mount the Tasco on the go-to and give it another whirl :-))

    May 6, 2014

  • Carl R.

    My first Cranbrook meeting, what a great turnout!
    Really enjoyed the presentations by Gary Ross & Ken Bertin.
    The wit & wisdom of Gary combined with the well researched talk about Charles Messier by Ken was very thought provoking & informative.
    Many thanks to Richard Gala for showing me his modifications on the Mak 127.
    Mingled with many in the crowd & had a great evening with WAS!

    May 6, 2014

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