Astronomy Day 2003
We celebrated National Astronomy Day 2003 along with
our perennial partners at the
Gayle Planetarium on Saturday, May 10. The date was somewhat
later than in years past. Setting up the telescopes gave us a very warm
feeling -- outside. Planetarium director, Rick Evans again
ordered up mostly clear skies for the day. Despite being Mother's
Day weekend, we had an estimated crowd of about 200 who enjoyed the evening's
5:00 PM - Public Viewing of telescopes
provided by Auburn Astronomical Society.
Special thanks to those who made time in their weekend
to share their telescopes and knowledge of the night sky:
6:00 PM - Guest Speaker Mitzi
Adams Solar Scientist, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
6:40 PM - Intermission
6:50 PM - Remarks from Auburn Astronomical Society
President (Dr. Rhon Jenkins)
7:00 PM - "Tour of the Night Sky"
7:30 PM - Columbia Tribute
7:45 PM - Door Prize selection
8:00 PM - Telescopic celestial viewing
|Alan and Susie Cook
||10-inch Meade SCT
||8-inch Orion reflector
|Rhon and Joyce Jenkins
||18-inch StarMaster Dobsonian
||8-inch LX 200 and 80mm refractor
||Meade ETX 90
|Gail & Marvin Smitherman
||7-inch Astro-Physics refractor
||11-inch Celestron SCT
||12-inch LX200 Meade SCT
Thanks to Brent Holman and David Wayne
Key for returning this year with Ricky and Scott, as
well as AAS friends, Nicole Long and Laura Kelly who made
surprise visits. Bill Blankley was on his way to Alaska, but sent
several different handout items.
Eddie Kirkland had to cancel at the last
minute with a bad cold, while Everett Leonard was unable to bring
his telescope because an injury sustained while attempting to carry in
down his apartment stairs. We hope both you guys recover fully and
We also want to acknowledge a visitor, and potential
member, Paul Williamson, who showed up with his 120ST AstroView
And finally, our annual huge thank you to Rick
Evans, director of the W.A. Gayle
Planetarium, for providing the drinks and sandwiches, for having the
switch on the outside light installed, and for his tireless efforts to
ensure a great turn-out for this event.
Early visitors arrived while we were still setting
up -- at first, just to see the wide variety of telescopes on display,
and later to get a close-up look at the filtered Sun thanks to Scott and
Gail, and a preview of the Moon in daylight through the others. Following
the presentations inside, visitors returned to the telescopes and a darkening
sky, to view Saturn, Jupiter, and details on the Moon in full contrast.
All of the AAS "Frequently Asked Questions" hand-outs
were taken and we have several new names added to our e-mail list.
Seeing the expressions and hearing the exclamations
of the parents and children after their first look through a telescope,
makes it all worthwhile.
|AAS president, Rhon Jenkins, putting the finishing
preparatory touches his 18-inch StarMaster.
||Scott Thompson desrcibes his 7-inch AstroPhysics
refractor to an envious Astronomy Day visitor.
|Allen Screws demonstrates his spectroscope.
Allen was manning the society's 8-inch loaner telescope.
||Alan Cook readies his 10-inch Meade SCT
|A view up one side of Telescope Alley
||Viewing a heavenly body
|David Wayne and Scott at the AAS information
||Rhon visits with Gail and Marvin Smitherman