Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
Our monthly AAS meeting will be on Friday, April
4, at 8:00 PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering building, on the
campus of Auburn University.
Elementary School Star Gaze
The Ogletree Star Gaze was brought to fruition
on March 11th. The weather was ideal. This year only brought
out 25-30 people as opposed to around 100 last year. My theory is
that word leaked that Rhon would not be in attendance. Those that
were on hand to share their hardware and enthusiasm were Mackall Acheson,
Alan Cook, and Jim and Diane Locke. Everyone was very complimentary
of how the kids were treated by the scope owners. The Locke's and
Mackall earned extra credit for coming from Montgomery. Alan also
deserves credit for lugging a 10" SCT with lower back pain. Andy
Camerio had planned on coming from Montgomery for the first attempt that
was rained out. Thanks for trying Andy! Mackall also brought
his digital camera and supplied some shots to share.
[Editor’s Note: See the photographs at http://www.mindspring.com/~rwhigham/ scroll down to “Field Trips”,then click on “Outreach”, and “Ogletree”.]
It’s just over a month away now. On Saturday, May 10, we’ll gather at the W.A. Gayle Planetarium for our sixth annual joint venture with the planetarium for our celebration of National Astronomy Day. The agenda and a list of door prizes are on the planetarium’s Web site at :
The AAS’s contribution to the effort is scheduled to begin at 5:00PM. Volunteers with telescopes should arrive and begin setting up their equipment at least an hour before, as access to the area where we’ll be set-up is fairly restricted. We always have early arrivals who want a look at the Moon as well as some who need help assembling or adjusting their personal telescopes.
Last year, we had to contend with a pole mounted security light shining down our light paths. Thanks to planetarium director, Rick Evans, for having a switch wired so that that light will not be a problem this year. Thanks, Rick!
If you think you’ll be able to participate, please let me [Russell] know so I can send a list of volunteers and telescopes to Rick so he can have the name tags made for us. If this will be your first time, you can have a look at past Astronomy Day events on the Web page. at http://www.mindspring.com/~rwhigham/ scroll down to “Field Trips” then select “Gayle”.
Last Sunday night’s entire episode of “The Simpsons” addressed the issue of light pollution and its affect on the night sky. It’s probably the first time many viewers even considered why they couldn’t see stars at night. We’ll take help where ever we can get it.
SUMMER FIELD GEOLOGY EXPERIENCE IN ITALY GEOL 4930&4980.
Field Experience in Italy. 5 cr. hr. Summer term III (July 19-31), 2003. Requires GEOL 1100 or consent of dept. Will include field work and some lab work at Coldigioco Geological Observatory. This is not an approved geology elective for most majors and is not a substitute for field camp. *Enthusiastic non-major students in 1100 and 1110 classes now would enjoy this.* Call #s 13897 (3 hr)and 13902 (2 hr). Offered in cooperation with the Study Abroad Program,Office of Intl Education (Hargis Hall). Visas and registration are handled by Study Abroad (4-5766). There is a special low tuition rate for this course and we are trying to keep the total cost under $3000. There will be a spring cut off date for applicants, so if a student is interested, he should call Study Abroad soon and get his name on the list (334-844-5766). Students will learn historical geology in the field and visiting sites in the Apennine mountains of Italy. Students will see earthquake damage at Assisi, the famous KT boundary, Italian impact craters, a large cave system,and more. This is the perfect way to spend some time learning about geology in a very beautiful setting. There is more information on the Geology dept. web page and the Study Abroad web page (or call 4-4882). Limit is 15; there is still space available. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/geology/docs/italy.htm
David T. King, Jr., Professor, Dept. of Geology
If you have a dark-sky site, try looking for the
asteroid 4 Vesta without optical aid during the next two weeks. It rises
at sunset in Virgo and is now at its brightest (magnitude 5.9). Even if
your sky is light-polluted, Vesta is currently easy to spot in binoculars.
Read more about this asteroid in the article "Vesta in Virgo: A Naked-Eye
COMET VISIBLE AT DUSK AND DAWN
Until the end of March, Comet Juels-Holvorcem is an easy binocular object in the constellation Andromeda and is visible in both the evening sky (right after dark) and the morning sky (just before dawn). The view is better at dawn because the comet, as seen from 40-degrees north, is higher in the sky than during the evening. Read more about this comet at:
Astronomical League News
ALCON 2003 in Nashville, Tennessee is fast approaching.
For additional information, again, please see the League's web site..
July 8-12 will be here very soon, and we hope to see you at ALCON.
Hope to see everyone at the meeting, Friday,