Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, August 5, at 8:00PM 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 dark-sky star party this month will be on the following Saturday, August 6, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
Last month, we mentioned that we had received a request from Peggy Dorminey, fourth grade teacher at Maxwell AFB Elementary school, asking that we host a star gaze for her class. The event was to have been on Friday, August 12, on Maxwell Air Force Base. Unfortunately, because of ongoing renovations to the school, the staff and faculty felt it would be better to postpone the event until things settle down a bit. We’ll let you know when the new date will be.
Scott Thompson writes:
I got the shirts the other day. They look good. I will try to make the meeting Aug. 9th. I am not on-call and should be able to get there.Be sure to be at the meeting to pick up your shirt if you ordered one. Thanks again to Scott for handling this for us.
August 2 - Messenger spacecraft to Mercury flyby
of Earth for gravity assist
Thanks to John Zachry for the dates of space events.
Rhon has confirmed that the date of the anniversary banquet will be on Saturday, September 10, and will serve as our September meeting. Our speaker, Dr. David T. King Jr., will give a presentation on the latest findings at the Wetumpka meteor crater. Rick Evans is allowing us to use the facilities at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium for the banquet and presentation. This date falls within two days of the actual first AAS meeting, 25 years ago. :-)
Arrangements have been made with Capitol Grill, in Montgomery, to cater the event. Owner, Dimitri Polizos, proposed a buffet style meal offering your choice of grilled chicken or roast beef; sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, and a cauliflower etc. mix; bread; salad; and bread pudding for dessert. The drink will be water or unsweetened tea with sugar or diet sweetener; for $10.00 per person.
I gave an estimate of 40 people with a specific number as we receive commitments from the membership. AAS treasured, John Zachry has sent the owner a $150.00 deposit with the balance to be paid on the night of the banquet. If the caterer doesn't offer coffee, I think Rick has an urn if we supply the coffee.
Plans now are to begin eating at 6:00PM, I think David could begin his talk at around 7:00 and wind up around 8:00.
Friends and families are encouraged to attend. Dress will be casual. John will begin accepting your reservation checks at this month’s meeting. If you’re unable to attend, send $10.00 per person to:
Auburn Astronomical Society
On sale beginning October 3, 2005
The House has voted for money for the Mint to create commerative coins for the 50th anniversary of NASA. http://www.space.com/news/cs_050719_nasa_coins.html
From: Jim McLaughlin
I recorded disappearance at 11:49:45 and reappearance at 12:03:35. I did a lousy job of anticipating the moon's southerly drift and got some interference from a pine branch at THE critical moment of occultation, which was actually pretty comical when I think back on it. Oh well, tis the price to be paid for being too lazy to lug 67 lbs. around a dark soggy back yard.
Last month I recommended Goggle Earth. Now there’s Goggle Moon. No special downloads this time. Be sure to zoom all the way in on the Apollo landing sites. http://moon.google.com/
Please welcome our newest member, Pratap Prasad. Also new to the mail list are Drs. George and Paulette Thompson, who were referred to us by Rick Evans, at the planetarium.
Mike Holley’s wife sent the following note:
Mike had an accident on July 7 - he fell from his truck trailer and had to have surgery to remove his spleen. He was in the hospital in Birmingham for nine days (five days in intensive care) – he’s back home now. He is doing well, just very sore. He said to tell you he was down but not out. He can't wait to get back to the meetings - he will be out for the next couple of meetings. Give him a call 260-9247- I am sure it will cheer him up - he will be out of work for at least 8 weeks.
Is Pluto a planet or not? It is appreciably smaller than any of the other ``traditional'' planets around the Sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), and of course is further away from the Sun than any of the others (its orbital radius is 40 times that of the Earth around the Sun, i.e., 40 Astronomical Units), and its orbit is more eccentric and tilted than any of the other planets. In 1992, astronomers at the University of Hawaii discovered the first of a whole class of 'Trans-Neptunian Objects' (TNOs; sometimes also known as Kuiper Belt Objects), asteroids in orbits as large of that of Pluto or even larger. Many astronomers quickly became convinced that rather than being the wimpiest of the planets, Pluto was rather the king of the TNOs, just an oversize asteroid.Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,