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«Peoria Astronomical Society, Inc. P.O. Box 10111 Peoria, IL 61612-0111 Section of Peoria Academy of Science Affiliate of the Astronomical League ...»

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Peoria Astronomical Society, Inc.

P.O. Box 10111 Peoria, IL 61612-0111

Section of Peoria Academy of Science

Affiliate of the Astronomical League



FALL, 2016


List of Board of Directors

Editor’s Notes

Address/email changes

Future Editions of the Starlite

New Members

Special Tributes to Michael Hay

President’s Ramblings

Fall Banquet

Slate of Officers

Photos/Articles for Website

Caterpillar Matching Gifts

Programs for 2016-2017 Starlite Past Article Northmoor Hosting Schedule Jubilee Maintenance Schedule


President: Dan Son, sonshine1992@gmail.com Vice-President: Jesse Hoover, hooverje@gmail.com


Treasurer: Brian Hakes, bhakes02@comcast.net Parliamentarian: Nick Johnson, johnsnl@comcast.net Nominating Chairman: Tatiana Johnson, 2gsheps@gmail.com

Legal Agent:

Northmoor Chairman: Nick Johnson, johnsnl@comcast.net Jubilee Chairman: Robert Pauer, sbpauer@winco.net


www.facebook.com/PeoriaAstronomicalSociety Editor’s Notes: With mixed emotions, I have to let everyone know that this is the last Starlite that I will be composing and publishing. After the banquet a new Starlite editor will take over. It has been a pleasure to serve the PAS as the editor for the past several years. The next Starlite will be published late November. Thank you for the opportunity and cooperation you have given me over these years. Linda Hay


Please notify Scott Swords at sswords3@comcast.net if you will be getting a new mailing address, email address and/or phone number. It is important that he has your personal information correct so you will continue to receive the Starlite and the Reflector. He would also like to receive any changes to your e-mail address as this is part of his database.

If you would like to join the Peoria Astro e-group or if you have changed your e-mail address, please notify Mike Frasca at mfrasca@att.net with your e-mail address (for in-club use only – not given out to other sources).

He does not need your mailing address or phone number. If you are not a member of the e-group, you may want to consider joining. A great deal of club activity information is sent via the e-group. And by the way, it is free to join!!!


New delivery method for the Starlite:

From Dan Son The PAS board has talked about stopping the process of printing and mailing Starlites out to members. We have considered this for a long time and with the costs being so high for this, we have decided to try emailing them to members as well as having them online at our website. For members who have already joined the email group, you will just get an email with the Starlite attached, for those members who have not joined the email group, you will have to go to the website and download it from there. This would be a good time to join the email group to get the Starlite and also get information for star parties and such. The stopping of mailed copies will start with the Fall Starlite. If you have question feel free to email me or any board member with your concerns.


The Peoria Astronomical Society welcomes new members:

Bryan Storey, Peoria Heights Jared and Sara Woiwode, Peoria Jack Schmitz, Mark, IL Jim and Jane Beard, Peoria Chris and Alice Wright, Peoria We say Goodbye to one of our long time members: Michael Hay. Many of you know he lost his battle to liver cancer July 14th. He will be missed by many and his shoes will be hard to fill.


–  –  –

By John Barra Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Star stuff. That phrase certainly applied to Mike Hay, who passed away from this earth last month. Star stuff.

He was a star to the Peoria Astronomical Society for many, many years. He was president of the society eleven different times. And he was parliamentarian and legal agent for as long as I can remember. But he was a star of a person in many other ways, particularly as a friend. He was one of the first persons I got to know when I joined the club. In the beginning, I always enjoyed stargazing with him at Jubilee. Me, with my small homemade telescope at first and then with my eight-inch Coulter dob, and he with his 12 inch dob. I soon spent more time looking through his telescope as the extra light-gathering power allowed us to find more faint and distant objects.

I finally thought it was time to buy something bigger. He convinced me to buy a 12 inch Meade like his. So I began to search for one. Then when I met him at Jubilee, I mentioned to him that I thought I would buy a 16 inch Meade. (More light-gathering power for only two hundred dollars more!) He said, John, before you do that, lift mine out of my car and set it up. If you think that is an easy lift, then go ahead and buy the bigger one. I did and barely was able to lift it. He won. I bought the 12 inch model and never regretted it. What great advice. Star stuff. After I retired and moved to Pekin, Mike and I car-pooled to Peoria twice a month for six years--once for the board meeting and once for the general meeting. I got to know him quite well. We probably talked about everything—on astronomy and on life in general. In all those talks, I don’t think Mike ever said one thing that I disagreed with. He was so practical and had so much common sense. A true friend.

Star stuff.

We at the Peoria Astronomical Society are going to truly miss Mike. Now he is up there with the stars--a fitting resting place. I only hope that he can be posthumously rewarded by his Cubs finally winning a World Series. (And that’s coming from a diehard Cardinal fan.) He certainly would deserve that. And so would Linda.

By Dan Son

I have a lot of memories of Mike. The thing I would like to say about Mike is that he loved to teach, anyone. I had a student from East Peoria doing a senior year project. She was going to build a telescope.

I was contacted by her to help in any way I could and she had the mirror ground down and was polishing it. I called Mike over to my house and he brought a Foucault instrument to test the mirror. I listened to Mike talk to her and me about what he was doing and what he was looking for. Finally she asked if her mirror was polished enough. He answered like any good teacher: It depends on how well you want it polished. You can polish it for a few more hours and get a better mirror. Mike always had a big smile and I enjoyed going to Jubilee and looking at his scope and testing eyepieces and just talking.

He was joy to be around.

By Gary Bussman I met Mike when I joined PAS around 1977. He was a very devoted member, who gave of his time and talents. I had great conversations with him over the years and I really enjoyed observing with him out at Jubilee observatory. Over the years we would go out to Jubilee to observe the Perseid meteor showers.

This year Mike will be watching the best meteor shower ever from Heaven.

By Brian Hakes

I have known Mike for more than a span of two decades, all of when he was a PAS board member in the role of parliamentarian or as president. When I served on the board, I was always impressed by his acumen to maintain order and continuity. What left a lasting impression is when I had a book from the PAS library and saw the name of the original owner of the book, A.E. Gault. When I asked Mike who he was, he gave a short liturgy about him as an early member of the society. There are not many members left who can do that.

Mike, as an educator and teacher of mathematics, spoke fondly of his interest in astronomy. More recently when he and I were the only ones sitting at a table waiting for the start of a board meeting, I commented that we board members are simply volunteers who share a common interest. And without hesitation, Mike replied, “ and because astronomy is important.” Mike’s fellowship will be missed.

By Eric Clifton

Memories of Mike Friday morning, July 15th, was a time of mourning and a deep sense of sadness and loss. That’s when we learned that Mike Hay had lost his courageous and tough battle against cancer the day before.

Mike joined the Peoria Astronomical Society about 40 years ago. He served on the PAS Board most of those 40 years and as President 11 times, sometimes by choice and sometimes because he got drafted.

Mike was elected Honorary Member by the PAS membership for a lifetime of service to the Society. He undertook many of the not-so-fun tasks on behalf of the Society. He was our Parliamentarian and our Legal Agent. He spent months working with the IRS and the State of Illinois, to secure our 501c(3) (nonprofit) status, thus making contributions to the Society ’tax-exempt’. This opened the gates for many donations to the PAS … not the least of which were ‘matching gifts’ from Caterpillar and other companies and foundations. This special status was to prove critically important to thePAS many years later … without that 501c(3) designation, our NorthMoor Renovation project would have never gotten off the ground. “Thanks for that, Mike.” After the many years that the PAS had struggled to find a way to finance the replacement of the dome at NorthMoor, and after the grants were awarded and the funds raised, mostly thru the efforts of Rich and Margo Tennis, many people belatedly jumped onto the bandwagon to be a ‘part of the renovation team’ and, as a result, confusion reigned. Some folks were talking to the AshDome company, some were talking to outside contractors, some were dealing with the Park District, etc., etc., … it was uncoordinated, crazy and total chaos. Recognizing this lack of coordination, Mike stepped in and asked Terry Beachler to be ‘interim NorthMoor Chairman and overall project leader’ for the entire dome project … and in doing so, IMHO, Mike ‘saved’ our entire 15-year effort at the last minute by appointing the best man for the job. The NorthMoor Renovation was a huge success, in a large part, because of Mike’s efforts at the very beginning and at the very end.

I first met Mike in Madison, WI at the 1978 National Convention of the Astronomical League. I’d shown a computer-generated movie of interstellar spaceflight and I’d listed my club affiliation as Peoria, even though I’d been away for several years. Mike was PAS President at the time, and when Van introduced us, Mike’s lips said, “How-do-you-do”, but the look on his face was “Who the hell are you.” Unwittingly my project had incorporated all the things Mike enjoyed … not just astronomy, but math, physics, calculus, relativity theory, computer programming and graphics … the works. “I thought I knew pretty much everyone in the Society”, he said, “but I don’t know you.” We shared an affinity in our interests and that became the basis of our 40-year friendship. Mike was both a Teacher and a Student of the Universe. As a Student of the Universe, Mike’s interests in Astronomy ranged far beyond just knowing what you could see above the horizon on any given night. Mike’s horizons were much broader and much deeper than that. He wanted to know all the ‘what is it’ and ‘how does it work’ and ‘what came before’ or ‘will come after’ about our Universe. Mike, the bibliophile, was a passionate Learner. To walk into his den, you’d think you were walking into the Library of Congress. Bookshelves from floor-to-ceiling stretching 30, 40 feet or more. Mike was more than a ‘oh, gee, whiz’ amateur astronomer … he was a scientist … he was a life-long Learner and truly a Student of the Universe. As a Teacher, Mike taught advanced classes in math, calculus and computer programming at Pekin High School for 33 years.

I can personally attest that Mike took great pride in his students and their accomplishments.

It was his students who nominated Mike to be an Honorary Member of the National Honor Society … an honor for which Mike was deservedly very proud. (How many students now-a-days do you know that have nominated one of their teachers as best-of-the-best … Mike’s students did.) As a Teacher, Mike helped me immensely when it came my turn to serve as PAS President … the first time I’d ever been president of anything. During my first few Board meetings, the babble and blather ran late into the evening. Mike and Darrell Stafford gave me two important bits of advice …Darrell said, “give an agenda to everyone so they’d know how long they’re gonna be here” … and Mike said, “call each chairman to find out what they were gonna talk about.” “Do this before the meeting” … and after their wise suggestions, our meetings ran much more smoothly and more effectively.

Mike’s sly sense of humor was killer. I’d try to position myself at our PAS Board meetings so my good ear was pointing at Mike. His soft-spoken zingers were a hoot and so subtle that often the ‘zingee’ wouldn’t even know he’d been ‘zung’. We … he and I … got a kick out of comparing our meetings to the laws of science and physics. Our favorites … Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion (the law of inertia), the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy increases) (look it up), and Einstein’s definition of Insanity (doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results). Over the years many people have worn the mantle of PAS President, but Mike was more than that, more than ‘just’ President … Mike was a Leader … with a capital “L”.

Mike left a hole in the Society and a hole in our hearts … Mike, I hope you’re enjoying the view of Andromeda from the other side The Hay family wishes to thank each and every one of the PAS members/board for the kind words, calls, visits, card and flowers. Mike enjoyed visiting and talking “astronomy” etc. He was one of a kind and we are so blessed to have had him in our lives. He is truly missed each and every day.

PRESIDENT’S RAMBLINGS: Dan Son Well, fall is fast approaching and I hope everyone had a good summer. PAS has a lot ahead with the Banquet coming up, programs at Riverfront Museum starting in October.

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