The following is reprinted for RASNZ newsletter No 170 20 Feb 2015 ============================================================== Steve Kerr to Direct the Occultation Section ----------------------------------------------- The RASNZ Council has appointed Steve Kerr be the Director of the Occultation Section. Steve succeeds the late Graham Blow who founded the Section. By way of introduction Steve has provided the following biographical note. ------- I am an Industrial Chemist by training and profession working in the electricity generation industry and based at Rockhampton in central Queensland, Australia. I consider myself to have been an amateur astronomer since the age of 10 and my early mentors were involved in occultation observing and other forms of 'scientific' observational astronomy. My earliest formal contact with the RASNZ Occultation Section was in 1984 when I commenced timing the eclipse disappearance and reappearances of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter for Brian Loader as part of the program he was running for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). I continued making these observations through until 1991. It was not until the late 1990's (after finishing my Chemistry Degree and getting a job) that I made direct contact with Graham Blow and commenced making observations of other sorts of occultation phenomena - specifically lunar and asteroidal occultations. Graham almost immediately got me involved with the section's newly created website and for a number of years, I was responsible for all site updates and data management. This extended to preparing notes for the section circular relating to asteroidal occultations. Most of these activities (and in fact most astronomy in general) had to stop in 2001 when I became a parent. Since then, my involvement in the RASNZ Occultation Section has been in: - active observer of asteroidal occultations with less emphasis on lunar occultations - attended all of the Trans-Tasman Symposia on Occultations (TTSO's) to date usually making presentations and acting as convenor for TTSO6 in Brisbane in 2012. - writing a semi-regular column for Australian Sky and Telescope on occultations with strong reference back to the RASNZ Section. Beyond occultation astronomy, I have been an active variable star observer both for the RASNZ VSS under Dr Frank Bateson and more recently with Variable Stars South. I also operate a semi automatic video meteor observation program as part of the IMO (International Meteor Organisation) video observing program. I am a member of the AAQ (Astronomical Association of Queensland) and promote occultation observing within that organisation. Graham Blow has often discussed Occultation Section matters when we caught up over the years - we first met face to face in 2003. I must say I was shocked and very humbled when he broke the news to me of his medical condition and that he was considering nominating myself as a possible next director for the Section. I fully realise that these are enormous shoes to fill but also that Graham has cultivated a very effective network of people across New Zealand and Australia that together make the Section's activities possible. This network of volunteers will be critical going in to the future. On that basis, I am prepared to take on the role of the Director should the Council see fit.
RASNZ OCCULTATION SECTION
The RASNZ Occultation Section (RASNZ/OS) is one of several Observing Sections of the Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand. The Occultation Section was formed in 1977 to promote all forms of occultation observing throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Southwest Pacific, and to provide a centralised focus for collecting observations and providing news and feedback to members. Current members reside throughout Australia and New Zealand.
WHAT THE RASNZ OCCULTATION SECTION OFFERS:
The Section offers a number of both free and subscriber-only benefits to observers and others interested in occultations throughout Australia and New Zealand These include:
Benefits only available through Subscription:
At one stage the Section published two series of Circulars, the CN (news) series, and the CA series for minor planet occultation predictions. However since 2008 the CA series has not been published as its function has been superseded by our online Planetary Occultation Predictions page and the common use of Hristo Pavlov's excellent OccultWatcher software.
The CN series of News Circulars do however continue to be published. CN Circulars list observations made, provide analysis and feedback on events observed, give advance warning of upcoming lunar and planetary occultations, and contain news of occultation results from elsewhere around the world. The CN Circulars are traditionally published quarterly, but were in abeyance between 2008 and 2012. At present we are publishing Circulars as quickly as possible to get our publications fully back on schedule. (Note that the CN Circulars publish ALL the obervations from EVERY observer, whereas the website publishes only successful observations).
Sample issues of recent News Circular are available from our Publications page.
The RASNZ/OS distributes to its members, on behalf of the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA), the Journal for Occultation Astronomy (JOA). This publication is produced quarterly by the European Section of IOTA, and replaces the previous Occultation Newsletter publication which had appeared since the 1980s.
Sample issues of the Journal for Occultation Astronomy are available from our Publications page.
How to Subscribe:
Subscriptions are $NZ35.00 per calendar year and include both our Circulars and the Journal for Occultation Astronomy. (If you are joining late in the year please contact us to see whether a discount applies).
Cheque - Made out to the RASNZ Occultation Section and sent to the RASNZ Occultation Section, P.O. Box 3181, Wellington.
Direct Credit - To our bank account: BNZ Acct #02-0506-0132094-00. Please ensure you include your name in the Reference column.
The email address payment should be made to is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Email: Steve Kerr
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