Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
October, 2006

In this Issue

October Events Upcoming Events
Magazine Subscriptions Member News
12-inch Progress Report Space News
Cool Links Loaner Scopes

October Events

This month’s meeting will be on Friday, October 7, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building.  This will be an home football weekend so parking will be worse than usual.  Be prepared to walk several blocks.

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, October 21, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course. 

Upcoming Events

Club subscriptions payments for Astronomy and Sky & Telescope magazines are due this month. The publishers want subscriptions in by October 15th.  If I get 5 subscriptions for Sky & Telescope and 5 for Astronomy magazine at the October meeting I will go ahead and send them in.  After that date I will collect names until November 10th before I send in my final list.  I will of course send in club subscriptions at any time during the year (feel free to ask) but I would appreciate it if most members would help me out this year and give me their orders in October or no later than November 10th. If checks are going to be late just send me an e-mail and I will add your name to my list and collect payment later. Club subscriptions for Astronomy magazine is $34.00 (regular price $ 42.95) for 1 year or $ 60.00 for 2 years. Sky & Telescope is $32.95 (regular price $ 42.95) for 1 year. Make checks out to Auburn Astronomical Society. Only members of Auburn Astronomical Society are entitled to club subscription rates. If you are unable to attend our October meeting, mail checks to:
Auburn Astronomical Society
c/o John B. Zachry
501 Summerfield Road
West Point, GA 31833
Member News

Please welcome Nathan Galle of Auburn, and Trey Lee of Opelika as AAS members.  We look forward to continue having them join us at or meetings and star parties. 

Mike Holley, while spending too much time under the cool dark skies with his ETX70, has compromised his objective immunity and suffered an acute case of aperture fever.  He’s doing much better now since he received his new Celestron CPC-11 (and enough bells and whistles to keep him occupied  for many years), from OPT using the AAS discount!   Mike ordered it the week before our September star party, if you’re looking for someone to blame for the clouds that night.  We look forward sharing lots of eyepiece time with Mike and his new baby. 

Shane Bledsoe has recently acquired a Canon AE-1 camera to go with his 8-inch Meade LX 200.  He’s looking for someone who might have a T-ring for his camera to sell or trade.

12-inch Progress Report

Ray Kunert reports that the tube assembly has cleaned up nicely with its fresh paint and new hardware.  The mirror looks to be in good condition, as well.  We spoke with Tom McGowan about building a rocker box when the time comes, and William Baugh has volunteered to re-aluminize the secondary.  Jim Chesnutt is still looking for the finder scope.  Perhaps all of the pieces will come together by Astronomy Day this spring.

Space News

John Zachry

Sorry to disappoint anybody but the newest pictures of the "Face on Mars" show it to be just a pile of dirt.

Messenger Spacecraft is scheduled to make it first flyby of Venus on October 24 at 3:55 a.m. CDT (4:55 a.m. EDT). 

Hope everyone is following MER Opportunity on the Mars Exploration Rover web site

MER Opportunity is "currently a little over 45 meters (148 feet) away from Victoria Crater's "Duck Bay" - a point on Victoria's vast rim. ... This location is expected to provide Opportunity a spectacular view of the crater's interior."

"Victoria Crater is big – six times larger than the stadium-sized Endurance Crater ..."

"Wheeling across the open, parking lot-like dune fields of Meridiani Planum, the robot is nearing a major milestone: rolling up to "Victoria", a crater that is roughly half a mile (750 meters) wide and 230 feet (70 meters) deep."

As most already know, Mars will be behind the Sun for most of October so don't expect any news about Mars spacecraft during this time.

For those with NASA-TV, set your DVD or VCR recorder for Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter News Conference on October 16th at 12 p.m. CDT (1:00 p.m. EDT). Should be great! (Sure would like to know how many members get NASA-TV!)

Mars Exploration Rover Spirit will have been on Mars 1000 days on October 23rd or 24th.

Messenger spacecraft will make its first Venus Flyby on October 24th at 3:34 a.m. CDT (4:34 a.m. EDT).

Thanks. - John

Cool Links

From: Jim Chesnutt
The Universe Song   Copy the link above to your browser.  It is worth the time.

From: Rod Mollise
A new blog has been posted. This time it's AstroPlanner, the observation/planning/logging program for PCs AND Macs.

Also check out Uncle Rod's Astroblog's:  Topics include:

• The Astro Holga
• How Not to Spoil a Star Party
• Heavens to Murgatroid! A Galaxy Filter?
• Who Wants a 66mm Telescope?
• Celestron's SkyScout: Uhhh! What is it Good for?
• Uncle Rod, What Am I Supposed to Bring to a Star Party?
Meade History

Loaner Scopes

Let Loaner Scope steward, Rhon Jenkins, know if you (members only) would like to have your name added to the list to borrow either of the loaner telescopes. 

Hoping to see everyone at the meeting and the star party,