Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, February 3, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building. If available parking space is still an issue, Rhon suggests trying the on-street parking on Wright St., the first street (north) off of W. Magnolia.
Our dark-sky star party this month will be on Saturday, February 25, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
Maxwell AFB Elementary
800 Magnolia Blvd
Maxwell AFB, AL 36112-6147
Organized by Major Aaron Wilson.
2:30pm-4pm Classroom telescope show-n-tell, and how to read a sky chart (for evening session). They also have an inflatable Star-Lab planetarium that we might also use to help students prepare for their evening viewing. Aaron Wilson will handle this, but assistance is always welcome!
4pm-5pm Set-up telescopes in soccer field next to school.
If you don’t have a military ID card, please let me know by 1 Feb. I will meet you at the gate and sign you onto the base.
Directions From 85W
5pm-~7:30pm Observing session (WX dependent). Light pollution limits our scope viewing to stars about mag 9.5 (with average seeing). Head count not final, but estimate 20+ students Grades 3-6 , plus parents and/or siblings so perhaps 50 people total.
Ground crew: Aaron Wilson, 8LX90. Russell Whigham, C-11. Pat Moylan, ETX90. Bill Holt, 80mm Celestron. Not sure if the clubs reflector is available, but between the four of us, I think we probably have enough.
I did not see any power sources, so come with charged batteries.
Plan on the following objects:
o Moon (quarter phase)I’m willing to stay later if we continue to have an interested crowd, but expect a final tear-down NLT 10pm. Your schedule may require you to leave early that’s fine.
WX Plan: Well make an early CX if the 24hr forecast is poor and reschedule for the next day (3 Feb, Friday). We will have a green light if the weather is partly cloudy without high stratus/cirrus. Any questions, please call Aaron's cell phone (803-361-2932), leave a voice message if I don’t pick up right away and Ill call you back.
Ms. Hill says the students are very excited and are looking forward to a fun, educational event!
Let me know if you have any questions!
Dr. David T. King Jr. will give a lecture on his findings in the investigations of the Wetumpka impact crater at the old Wetumpka Courthouse on Thursday, February 23, at 7:00 pm. The lecture is open to the public.
On the following Saturday, February 25, David will give Impact Crater Tours from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Tour times: 9am, 11am, and 1pm. Meet at Gold Star Park. You’ll have to sign up for the field trip by calling 334-567-9541. There is a $20.00 fee for the tour.
The new 68 page guidebooks will be for sale. If someone wants one and is not going on the trip, contact David.
AAS: Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby?
TJ: I'm a longtime space enthusiast, but I bought my first telescope just 4years ago.
AAS: What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy?
TJ: My interest in space in general began during the Skylab missions when they showed video of the astronauts floating around inside Skylab. My interest in astronomy really began when I had to teach a regular class in astronomy at Space Camp in Huntsville. My first good telescope experience was in Arizona while taking part in an Astronomical Adventures tour.
AAS. Tell us a little about your family members; spouse? kids? siblings? significant other?
TJ: I am married to the former Mary-Aileen McLemore of Montgomery. We have two incredible sons.
AAS: Can you tell us a little about your formal education?
TJ: Graduated from Huntsville High School, Huntsville, AL, and attended Huntingdon College, UAH, and graduated Auburn University in 1993.
AAS: Do you have any pets? What kind? How Many?
TJ: No pets yet.
AAS: Where do you work? If you're retired, what was your occupation? If you're still in school, have you chosen a career?
TJ: I have been a realtor for 8 1/2 years in Montgomery. I am the president of the Multiple Listing Service, and will be president of the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors in 2007.
AAS: Besides astronomy, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
TJ: Masters swimming, birding, space tourism, hiking, travel, and lots of reading.
AAS: What was your first or favorite car?
TJ: A pedal fire truck when I was 3. Nothing I have had since then can compare.
AAS: What was your first or most interesting job?
TJ: I worked for many years at Space Camp/Academy in Huntsville. I started as a counselor instructing a new team of children each week, but spent most of my time as the chief lecturer and instructor for the entire camp program. I taught space history, spacecraft systems, spacesuit systems, astronomy, crew systems, shuttle launch procedures, and others. I also worked for a year with Space Adventures, a company offering high-end space orientated travel adventures. Space Adventures brokered the very first private trips to the space station via Russian Soyuz rockets, and they offer many other space related adventures.
AAS: Tell us about your favorite vacation.
TJ: A 10 day trip to Arizona with my wife, that included a three-day hike of the Grand Canyon.
AAS: Have you ever lived in some other part of the U.S. or another country? Where? When?
TJ: Grew-up on an Air Force base in Georgia, lived in England for 6 months when I was 11, but lived most of the rest of my life in Alabama.
AAS: This is your space. Tell us anything else about yourself that you'd like to share.
TJ: I am also a member of the Solar System Ambassador program for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I may be available for speaking events at your children's schools or your own civic organizations. You can find out more about the program at http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/ambassador/index.html
Loaner scope steward, Rhon Jenkins, reports that the PST solar scope is available now. The 8-inch Dob, was loaned out for January. Let Rhon know ASAP if you (members only) would like to borrow either of these for the month of February.
AAS treasurer, John Zachry, reports that the following have paid their dues for 2006:
Auburn Astronomical SocietyMake sure John has your current mailing address so that you’ll continue to receive The Reflector. If you have questions about your membership status, e-mail John at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I wonder what the A.A.S. would think about a club trip to see the IMAX film "Magnificent Desolation" in 3D or the IMAX film Mars Rover some time in the future? Here is a list if IMAX Theatres in Alabama and Georgia. "Magnificent Desolation" is now playing in Huntsville. Maybe a trip to Birmingham when one of these movies is available? Please have a look at the two web sites provided.Hope to see everyone at the meeting,