Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
July, 2006

In this Issue

July Events Upcoming Events
Departing Member New on the Mail List
Loaner Scopes Telescopes & Accessories For Sale
Outreach 12.5-inch Redux 

July Events

This month’s meeting will be on Friday, July 7, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building.  Our program this month will be a video supplied by John Zachry, from the Science Channel, "Most of Our Universe is Missing" about the 96% of the Universe we haven't found. 

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 Saturday, July 24, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course. 

Upcoming Events

  • July 7, July meeting
  • July 20, Lunar occultation of the Pleiades  1:45 – 3:45 AM
  • July 22, star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
  • August 4, August meeting
  • August 13, Perseid meteor shower
  • August 19, star party at Cliff Hill’s farm

Departing Member

We always hate to see good observers go, but out loss will be Texas' gain.  Good luck and stay in touch, Bill.

I have moved to Texas due to a good job offer. So I will not be renewing my membership or attending any events. My new email address will be wprados(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Bill Prados

New on the Mail List

Shelli Allen is the latest to be added to our e-mail list.  She has received the telescope she describes below, and is waiting for clear skies to try it out.

… I ordered the Celestron NexStar 114 SLT....Celestron NexStar 114 SLT - Telescopes - .  It was a little more than what I had originally planned on spending, but I'm hoping that I made a good choice??   I figure that a little more expensive isn't a bad thing when it comes to seeing the stars/planets!!   It will be a few weeks before I receive it but I can't wait to get it. 

Loaner Scopes

Loaner scope steward, Rhon Jenkins, reports that the PST solar scope is available. Peggy Russell will be returning the 8-inch "loaner" telescope  for Don Cluck to use for the month of July. Let Rhon know if you (members only) would like have your name added to the list to borrow either of these telescopes. 

Telescopes & Accessories For Sale

Starmaster ELT  11" Dobsonian
(scope images)

The items listed below are for sale.  I'd like to find a local buyer before advertising on Astromart. 

Starmaster ELT Dob with 11" Zambuto primary (f4.55).  Purchased second-hand via Astromart in the spring of 2004.  Scope has DSC's that I have never attempted to use.  No sleeks or scratches that I've noticed on the primary but it could use some cleaning.  I've had the scope out only on 6 - 8 occasions, the last time being over a year ago.  It has been stored in my attached garage.

• TeleVue 35mm Panoptic (no box, top cap only)
• TeleVue 15mm Panoptic (no box, both caps)
• TeleVue Paracorr (both caps, box)
• TeleVue 9mm Nagler (Taiwan - Type 1?) (plastic screw case and caps)
• Meade #140 Barlow lens (plastic screw case)
• SkyAtlas 2000.0 (Tirion & Sinnott) laminated field version
• Celestron 20 x 80 Binoculars (all caps, no case or strap)
• Catseye 2” collimation system: sight tube, Cheshire, and autocollimator
• Howie Glatter 2” holographic laser collimator
All items are in very good to excellent condition cosmetically.   No visible optical flaws.

Reason for selling - most of my free time is spent on my bicycle.  I started cycling about four years ago and have come to really enjoy it.  Late night observing sessions don't mix well with early morning bike rides.  I will consider any reasonable offers for the equipment listed above.

Dave Burnett
H) 272-8381 (not after 9 PM, please)
W) 242-3559
burnett (you know what goes here)

10-inch Meade Starfinder Equatorial Newtonian Reflector

For Sale: 

• 10 inch Meade Starfinder Equatorial Newtonian scope.- with  motor drive. 
• Weight: 97lbs. 
• Focal length 1140mm. ratio f/4/5. 
• Bought in 1997 from Pocono Mountain  Optics; 
• Universal Wheeley bars; 
• Collimator bought in 2005. 
• Garage kept
Gail Smitherman

John Zachry

The editor of Valley Times - News put my article about the I.S.S. passing over West Point area on July 6 and July 8, on the front page of the Friday edition.  I got a lot of free publicity about the Auburn Astronomical Society. Bet most people did not even know we exist. Will ask phone company to add us to their area clubs page.

Here is a note I received from Mr. Cy Wood, Editor of the Valley Times-News. Notice he asked me to inform him of "any astronomical events" in the night sky - not just passing of the I.S.S. Apparently he is really interested in bringing such matters to the public and needless to say this will help bring publicity to our club.  I would encourage members to check the Heavens Above web site often for the best times when the International Space Station will pass over their community (say with an altitude at least above 70 degrees) and report the same to their local newspaper. I would emphasize only reporting the "best" passage times so the Editor and the public would unlikely be disappointed.

I Wish I had not said "the I.S.S., being also as bright as nearby Jupiter" in my letter to Mr. Wood. I would have liked to be more accurate. I was really thinking "almost as bright as Jupiter" which, to the average untrained observer, would appear to be correct.

I'll bring Valley Times-News paper to next meeting to show members how to get free publicity for A.A.S.  Picked a real good I.S.S. transit to impress Editor and public. Got his attention. He asked for more. - John

From: News 
Sent: 6/20/2006 7:50:48 AM 
Subject: Re: Thank you!!!

We appreciate your taking the time to apprise us of this event. I had several people tell me they saw the ISS after reading about its over flight in the paper. Please continue to inform us of any astronomical events that you think will be of interest to the naked eyes of the public. Thanks again, Cy Wood 

On Jun 19, 2006, at 4:25 PM, John Zachry wrote:

Dear Mr. Wood,
Just a personal note to thank you so much for publishing the article about the International Space Station passing over the West Point - Valley area Sunday night. I do hope you and yours had the opportunity to see it. The sky was clear and the I.S.S., being also as bright as nearby Jupiter, was a spectacular sight. As you probably know the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery with 3 astronauts onboard is scheduled for July 1.  When the Space Shuttle docks with the I.S.S., the 100 ton International Space Station (with its crew of 5) will become much brighter and heavier. Should you and your readers like to see the International Space Station together with the Space Shuttle attached, you will be able to easily see the same on the night of July 6 and July 8 if the skies are clear. I can give you better data just prior to those nights but currently on July 6 the I.S.S. will pass over this area from NW to S between 10:22 p.m.. to 10:26 p.m.. On July 8 the I.S.S. will pass over this area from NW to SE between 9:33 p.m. to 9:38 p.m.

Thank you so much again. 

Sincerely, John B. Zachry, Treasurer
               Auburn Astronomical Society

12.5-inch Redux

Ray Kunert and your editor will be picking up AAS’s 12-inch f/7 Cave Astrola telescope that’s been in storage since we lost the observatory twenty years ago, from Jim Chesnutt, Saturday.  Ray wants to see if it can be returned it to service if only in a Dobsonian configuration.  If Ray is able to restore it to a useable condition, perhaps it can be added to our loaner scope inventory!

12.5-inch f/7 Cave-Astrola
12.5 inch f/7 Cave Astrola

Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,