On Friday I drove up to Westfield, New Jersey, to give a public lecture to Amateur Astronomers, Inc. at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. On this, my second visit to this amateur astronomy club, my lecture topic was the story behind the Apollo 8 mission to the Moon, the subject of my first book, Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8.
I visit a lot of astronomy clubs, giving talks on space and its history, so it is not a light complement when I say that this particular club is one of the most active, organized, and enthusiastic astronomy clubs I have ever seen. This is not to say that other clubs are not active, organized, or enthusiastic, only that it seems to me that the members of Amateur Astronomers are particularly so.
This fact only makes the decision by Union County College to throw the club and its observatory off campus seem incredibly stupid. Fortunately, the club has managed to negotiate a two year postponement of their eviction. What will happen after that, however, remains unknown.
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