Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
March Meeting: In a slight departure from the norm, and for a very good reason, this month’s meeting will be on Thursday, March 11, in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building, on the campus of Auburn University, at 8:00 PM.
From AAS president, Rhon Jenkins:
Jim Voss has agreed to present a program for us on the evening of THURSDAY, MARCH 11. The program will concern the space station and its role in a possible future mission to Mars. Jim will present a short movie taken aboard the station, some slides, and his expert commentary on what life is really like aboard the station. This should be the best program we've had in a long time! Time will be 8 o'clock, as usual. Go ahead and say room 215, but I'm going to try to get a bigger room in the building if I can. We can always direct people to it.You can read Dr. Voss’s CV at: http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/voss-ji.html
As usual, riders from the Montgomery area are welcome to meet at the home of Russell Whigham, 518 Seminole Dr., and carpool over to Auburn. Plan to be ready to head to Auburn at 7:00PM sharp.
March Star Party: Friday/Saturday March
19/20, at Cliff Hill’s farm. This will coincide
The Messier Marathon presents an opportunity to view the entire Messier ListMore Messier Marathon observing forms and other aids at: http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/marathon/marathon.html
The February star party was attended by: Mack Acheson, Mark Pratt, Russell Whigham, Alan and Susie Cook, Lesa Leon, Allen Screws, John Clifton, John Tatarchuk, Japhet Nylen and family. We shared views through a wide assortment of telescopes and observed scores of winter deep sky objects, a 1.5-day old Moon, and four bright planets. One special guest passing through the solar system was Comet LINEAR (C/2002 T7) was an easy target at magnitude 6.8 near Gamma Pegasi. This one may be a harbinger of things to come:
A pair of comets show much promise for early 2004,
though keep in mind that predicting the brightness of comets remains a
somewhat unreliable science. However, one is now at 7th magnitude and brightening.
Astronomy Day 2004, will be observed on Saturday, April 24, at the W.A. Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery. In what has become an annual tradition, Rick Evans, director of the planetarium, and the Auburn Astronomical Society pool our efforts to bring astronomy to the people of central Alabama. This year’s speaker will be Dr. David T. King Jr. presenting his findings on the Wetumpka meteor crater. We’ll have a 5-day old Moon, a sky full of planets for the visitors to see through the telescopes.
The telescope clinic proved very popular at the Saturn Gaze in January so let's count on doing that again prior to the presentation in the auditorium. Rick is still working out the details for the agenda. Watch this space for specifics, next month.
Each year attendance for this event grows. We’ll need help from everyone who has a telescope to share with the visitors. We typically have about a dozen telescope volunteers, but could really use several more to reduce the length of the queues.
We’d also like to have a couple of people at the AAS information table to hand out information sheets and answer questions about the society. If you don’t have a telescope, but do have a camera, we could use your help capturing images of the event.
Gail Smitherman reminds us to bring our
old telescope catalogs to share with the visitors and keep door prizes
in mind when browsing at the book store. Please let
us know if you think you’ll be able to help.
CONSIDER: In its literal sense, this word means "observe the stars." It began in Latin as a term describing the work of astrologers, who needed to study the stars in order to do their work. In the original Latin, the verb was considerare. It didn't acquire its current meaning until sometime in the 1500s.
Hope to see everyone at the meeting,