Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
September, 2004

In this Issue

September Events Solar Scope Update
August Star Party Please Welcome…
November Star Gaze Regional Star Parties

September Events

This month’s meeting will be on Friday, September 10, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building.  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 leave for Auburn at 7:00PM.

Our star party this month will be the following evening, Saturday, September 11, at Cliff Hill’s farm

Solar Scope Update

The Coronado PST Hydrogen-Alpha Solar telescope with tripod and equatorial mount were ordered from Orion Telescopes in July.  Our announcement that the solar scope had arrived last month was a bit premature.  We did receive a package from Orion Telescopes.  John's intentions were good in wanting to have it unwrapped at last month's meeting, but the shipment included only the electronic eyepiece and the clock drive -- no solar scope or mount.  The PST, mount and tripod are on backorder.  We'll have our official unveiling as soon as it arrives.

August Star Party

On Saturday, August 14, AAS members Mack Acheson, John Tatarchuk, Eddie Kirkland, Ray Kunert, Mike Holley, David McConnell, and Russell Whigham met at Cliff Hill’s farm, under a near perfect night sky, with unusually clear, cool, and dry air.  We toured all of the summer Milky-Way’s show pieces and previewed the fall objects with temperatures in the sixties.  Come on, fall!

Please Welcome…

David McConnell 
Opelika AL
Telescope(s):  4-inch reflector and 8-inch Meade SCT 
Area(s) of special interest:  Deep sky

AAS:   Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby? 

DMc:  Just learning

AAS:   What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy? 

DMc:  Christmas night, Orion Nebula

AAS:   Tell us a little about your family members; spouse? kids? siblings? significant other? 

DMc:  Married with 6 kids

AAS:   Can you tell us a little about your formal education? 

DMc:  I finished college twice with a 4.0 each time.{different subjects}

AAS:   Do you have any pets? What kind?; How Many? 

DMc:  10 Pomerians. Down to 4 now.

AAS:   Where do you work? If you're retired, what was your occupation?; If you're still in school, have you chosen a career? 

DMc:  I retired in 1994 at age 34.  I've been admitted 100 times and after 49 surgeries I applied for disability.

AAS:   Besides astronomy, what other hobbies do you enjoy? 

DMc:  Guitar, singing, motorcycling.  I have a car that only 19 were ever made so I enjoy it a great deal.

AAS:   What was your first or favorite car? 

DMc:  57 Chevy was 1st, then my 72 Olds 442 W30

AAS:   What was your first or most interesting job? 

DMc:  I played on the Grand Ole Opry and have been told I am a great singer.

AAS:   Tell us about your favorite vacation. 

DMc:  Hell, that was the best job and vacation

AAS:   Have you ever lived in some other part of the U.S. or another country? Where?; When? 

DMc:  No my people have been in Lee County before it was Lee County...1840's

You guys have really helped me learn where things are.  Next thing ya know......they move,,,ha ha ha ha ha

November Star Gaze

At our August meeting, Rhon read and invitation from Margaret Holler, with  the Forest Ecology Preserve in Auburn, for us to host a star gaze for her group, at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest area run by Auburn University.

Rhon writes:

Margaret, Joyce, and I met earlier this week at the proposed site.  It's on 
Moores Mill Road (near where we live).  I can honestly say that it's probably 
the nicest site (from the standpoint of amenities) that we've ever used for an 
event like this... including the planetarium in Montgomery.  The site is about 
1/3 mile off the road (Moores Mill) on a very accessible dirt/grass road.  It 
contains a nice open area (about 3 to 4 acres) for viewing, with good 
visibility to the east and south, acceptable viewing to the west, and Auburn 
city lights to the north :-).  There is a covered pavilion area (I'd guess 
about 40 ft by 60 ft) and restrooms for the guys and gals.  The field was 
mowed, but will need to be mowed again (and marked) for the event.  AU will 
mow, Joyce and I will mark.  The pavilion has power and lights, and the lights 
are on switches.  There are a couple of floods on the pavilion exterior;  I 
think we can switch them off too... Margaret is going to check on that with 
AU.  I think that we can throw a circuit breaker as a last resort.  I couldn't get 
on the property at night, but I'm pretty sure there are no other extraneous lights. 
The road, and a residence near the road, are definitely well shielded by 
trees.  Oh, and there's a nice parking area for visitors too.

Margaret's group already had events scheduled for both September and October, 
so it looks like November is it.  I would suggest Friday November 19 as the 
best date, since new moon is on the 12th and full on the 26th. 


Deep South Regional Star Gaze 2004

The dates for this year’s DSRSG are October 13 - 17, 2004, at Percy Quin State Park, McComb, Mississippi.  The web address is:  Once in the DSRSG Yahoo Group, go to files, and DSRSG 2004 Registration and Liability Form.  So far, representing AAS are Ray Kunert, and Russell Whigham.  We sure would like to have some company.

Chiefland Star Party – 2004

This year’s Fall Star Party at the Chiefland Astronomy Village in Chiefland, FL will be held November 7-14.  Anyone interested attending may visit the website at .  Please note that the event is now “Pre-registration only” and registration forms must be in by October 1. 

Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,