“FAIR’s support is immensely valuable to us. It allows us to do something that we would be otherwise unable to do, and that can’t be bad!” Jonathan Tate, director, The Spaceguard Centre, December 17, 2004

FAIR Society’s FIFTH annual donation was sent to Spaceguard in August 2008

With thanks to members 108 -132, whose fees totalled €360.00. The full amount was posted. (details and photos of exact expenditure to follow as per previous annual contributions below)

Intitial Spaceguard response: Now that we have our MPC Observatory Code (J26), and we are making regular observations of asteroids (though the weather is not helping at the moment), we are developing an exciting new education programme centred on NEOs, but reaching into many aspects of the National Curriculum.  As part of this I am planning to fit the 14″ with a filter wheel with LRGB, H Alpha, SIII and OII filters.  This will enable us to do photometry and produce colour images.  Your donation will make a huge contribution to this.

Many many thanks. Jonathan Tate, September 2008

Spaceguard Gratitude: As part of the education programme, and our asteroid observations, we are using the filter wheel and filters that your kind donation helped to fund (pictured right).  The system works very well – in fact it was the first and only component that worked first time!!  I enclose a couple of images.  The ability to use different filters is enormously useful for photometry, and essential for the production of colour images.  We will be looking at colour imaging very soon.  Jonathan Tate March 2009

April 2008 Equipment Donation from D. Aaron Freed

Spaceguard response: “I am sure that the increase in FoV is going to make a major difference to the system’s capabilities, and I am enormously grateful to the kind donor (Mr Aaron Freed) who made this all possible.  Mr Freed and other contributors to FAIR can be assured that any donations made to the Spaceguard Centre will be put to the best possible use in developing the SNAP system.”

Jonathan Tate, April 2008

FAIR Society’s fourth annual donation was sent to Spaceguard in March 2007

With appreciation to members 86 to 107, whose fees came to € 315.00. The society adjusted its banking procedure in 2006, and so FAIR was able to contribute a full 95 percent and sent Spaceguard a cheque for €300.00.

Spaceguard response: “You are still our only external funding, and everything is amazingly welcome. We used your last generous donation to help purchase a solid pier to mount the 14″ on – the tripod was fine, but prone to accidental jolting that destroyed the alignment!  The pier solves the problem at a stroke, and is a far more stable platform for the instrument.”

Jonathan Tate, November 2, 2007 (images below)

FAIR Society’s third annual cheque to Spaceguard was allocated in February 2006

With gratitude to members 54 to 85. An amount of €480.00 was collected for the 2005 fiscal year, our largest to date. As per the society’s financial setup (minus a 4 percent bank charge and 5 percent admin cost), a cheque for €436.80 was made out to Spaceguard (91percent). Specified details of expenditure will  follow, as with previous donations posted below. (Fees from members 86 and up will be allocated in fiscal 2006.)

Spaceguard response: “Very many thanks, both to you and your donors, for such generosity. Like a shining knight in armour, your cheque has arrived, just in the nick of time!! Thanks to FAIR we will now be able to acquire a suitable electrically heated system and controller to keep the telescope operational, however heavy the dew. This will significantly increase the telescope’s “up time,” allow many more observations to be made, and protect the instrument from water damage to the all important optics. As the telescope is designed to be totally robotic, it is essential that we put together a system that works autonomously and protects itself from the environment. Now we can do that!!”

Jonathan Tate, February 17, 2006 (images below)

The dew control system (above), bought with FAIR’s 2005 contribution, enables Spaceguard to operate longer hours

FAIR Society sent its second annual contribution to Spaceguard in December 2004.

With thanks to members 31 to 53, an amount of €345.00 was collected. In accordance with society policy, €313.95 (91 percent) was donated. (The balance was allocated as per setup: 4 percent for banking fees and 5 percent for administration costs.) FAIR’s latest contribution assisted Spaceguard when a vital piece of equipment needed repairing. (Membership fees 54 and upwards will be allocated at end of fiscal 2005.)

Appreciation from Spaceguard:  “I enclose some pictures of the burnt out box! It’s currently in the States being repaired (at huge expense), but we should be back up in a couple of weeks. The offending item, ready to go and the replaced piece—actually in the same box that the upgraded one arrived in in the Spring—kindly paid for, in part, by your contribution! We had two different systems for RA and Dec, with the Dec drive being an older, less reliable model. This we replaced. Now we are repairing the “good” one!

Jonathan Tate, September 8, 2005

Update from Spaceguard: “Telescope is now working just fine—the repaired box is doing splendidly.”  October 11, 2005

FAIR Society made its first annual donation to partially fund the Spaceguard UK SNAP1 project in November 2003, and it was the largest single cheque they had ever received.

“Actually we have no commercial funding, and we certainly get nothing from government at all! Given that we have failed to raise any funding for SNAP, you have done far better than we have!” Jonathan Tate, August 14, 2003

Members 1 to 30 are acknowledged with appreciation. Members 31 and upwards will be allocated at the end of the next fiscal year. The total amount in the fund at the end of the year was €450.00. After a 4 percent bank charge and 5 percent administration cost, €409.72 was left, which was passed on to Spaceguard in November 2003. Spaceguard used the donation to purchase a USB interface and multieyepiece camera turret.

Acknowledgement from Spaceguard: “The Spaceguard Centre has received a generous donation of over 400 euros from the FAIR Society. This will enable us to purchase a “flip-mirror” finder and USB interface for the CCD camera fitted to the recently refurbished 13″ apochromatic refractor that is our main telescope. These will significantly increase the speed at which we can set up and focus the camera and will allow us to take and process more images of asteroids.”

Jonathan Tate, November 4, 2003

The USB interface for the camera speeds up download time by a factor of 10! This makes multiple imaging and focusing much, much easier and faster—an enormous boon.

The multiple eyepiece holder makes it possible to fit a number of eyepieces and cameras onto the telescope, which makes acquiring targets very simple and fast. In addition, it means that we can use a webcam to centre objects before simply switching to the CCD. It is an absolutely brilliant piece of kit!

Many thanks to FAIR for enabling us to purchase this equipment— it will make all the difference!

All the best, Jonathan Tate, director of the Spaceguard Centre

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