Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
March, 2007

In this Issue

March Events Upcoming Events
Total Lunar Eclipse Membership Dues
Member News  Space News
Short Subjects  

If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men
believe and adore. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

March Events

This monthís meeting will be on Friday, March 2, 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 dark-sky star party/ Messier Marathon this month will be on Saturday, March 17, at Cliff Hillís farm, clouds permitting of course. 

Upcoming Events

March 2, March meeting
March 3, Moon rises in total eclipse (see below)
March 16-18, Tennessee Spring Star Party
March 17, March star party/Messier Marathon at Cliff Hillís farm
March 20, Spring Equinox
April 6, April meeting
April 14, April star party at Cliff Hillís farm
April 21, National Astronomy Day, W. A. Gayle Planetarium
April 19-22, Georgia Sky View 2007 
May 4, May meeting
May 19, May star party at Cliff Hillís farm
June 1, June meeting
June 16, June star party at Cliff Hillís farm
Total Lunar Eclipse

ďSoon after sunset on Saturday evening, March 3, sky watchers in eastern North America can watch the rising full Moon undergoing its first total eclipse in nearly 2 years. ... For North Americans, the farther east you are the better.  The eclipse will already be in progress when the Sun sets and the Moon rises, two events that happen almost simultaneously on a lunar eclipse night. ...The Moon will track across the northern portion of the Earthís shadow, and will be completely immersed for one-hour and 14 minutes, making this a somewhat longer than normal totality.Ē

2007 Membership Dues

AAS membership dues for 2006 expired at the end of December.  Annual dues for 2007 are  $20.00 for regular membership, and $10.00 for full-time students.  Those who have paid  dues to AAS for 2007 are: 

1 Joe Albree 
2 Glynn Alexander 
3 William  Baugh 
4 Shane Bledsoe 
5 Alan Cook 
6 Mike Holley 
7 Rhon Jenkins 
8 Eddie Kirkland 
9 Everett Leonard 
10 Dr. James T. McLaughlin 
11 Robert  Rock 
12 Allen Screws 
13 Dr. Syd Spain 
14 John  Tatarchuk 
15 Russell Whigham 
16 Dr. Ben   Wouters 
17 John B. Zachry 
Make your check payable to Auburn Astronomical Society.  If you canít attend the meeting, send your check to: 
Auburn Astronomical Society
c/o John B. Zachry, treasurer 
501 Summerfield Road
West Point, GA 31833

Make sure John has your current mailing address so that youíll continue to receive The Reflector.  If you have questions about your membership status, e-mail John at:

Member News

Aaron Wilson

Hope things are going well for everyone at the A.A.S.  Since moving back here to Raleigh NC last summer I've been hard-pressed to find a dark site as nice as Cliff Hill Farm and Conecuh National Forest.  The skies around my house are decent for being only 16 miles south of Raleigh... lucky for me there aren't any nearby local light pollution sources besides the city.  Haven't got around to putting a permanent shed in yet, but I do have a couple piers placed strategically to avoid backyard trees.  Now that I have a new laptop, MX7C for auto-guiding, and a new Rebel XTi, I hope to start turning out better photos than my days of manual guiding!

Anyways, this may not be news to you guys but thought I'd share in case you have any early risers.  I've yet to see it myself due to clouds, but hoping for a lucky break tomorrow: 

A Naked-Eye Nova in Scorpius:
I'll send a picture if I'm lucky enough to image it.  Clear Skies!

Aaron Wilson
Raleigh NC 

Jeff Logue of LaGrange GA, has found us and is anxious to learn more about astronomy.  He is using his binoculars now, but has his eye on an 8-inch goto SCT. Hereís Jeffís online interview:

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

 J.L.: Always been a sky watcher, have become more interested recently!

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

J.L.: I just love the Stars!!!

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

J.L.: Divorced, two kids 19 and 23Ö Iíve taught them a little! Right now teaching or better yet learning together with a friend Erica!

AAS:  Can you tell us a little about your formal education? 
J.L.: High school some college 

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

J.L.: 1 dog

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

J.L.: Sales at Acura of Columbus

AAS:  Besides astronomy, what  other hobbies do you enjoy? 
J.L.: Hiking, camping, travel

AAS:  What was your first or favorite car? 
J.L.: Mustang

AAS:  What was your first or most interesting job? 

J.L.: Sales 

AAS:  Tell us about your favorite vacation. 

J.L.: TEXAS on the fly!!!

Space News
John B. Zachry

See International Space Station pass over West Point, Auburn, Montgomery Area
Date: Friday, March 2, 2007
Time: 7:19 p.m. - 7:25 p.m. EST (6:19 pm - 6:25 pm CST) approximate
Direction of travel in night sky:  From Northwest to Southeast
International Space Station (as of December 2006)
Crew: 3 Astronauts
Habitable Volume 15,000 cubic feet
Orbit: 200 to 216 miles
Weight: 471,444 pounds
Span of Solar Arrays: 240 feet
Length: 146 feet from Destiny Lab to Zvezda module
Height: 90 feet

Short Subjects

Hartmann Mask

[Editorís Note:  With CCD/DSLR cameras and image-stacking software, exposure times are kept to a minimum and guiding less critical than with even the fastest film.  Focusing is still essential for good astro imaging.  The link below is in French, but I think youíll see from the diagrams how the Hartmann mask works.  Google Hartmann maskRDW]

Try this figure for a Hartmann mask to focus  When in focus, you will have a nice "cross" well balanced.  I should translate my page from French to English to have it explained more precisely
Anyway, images are self explanatory ... normally !

Marc Partry:

Meade has begun selling a few accessory parts:

Optical Dictionaries
Here are is some Googled dictionaries of optical terms.[%22A%20Dictionary%20of%20Astronomy%22]

Optical Coatings (from a thread on sct-user@yahoogroups)

The basic idea is to put a coating that's 1/4 wave thick on the lens.  Then when light goes through the coating and some reflects off the glass, the reflection is 1/2 wave out of phase with the incoming light when it gets back to the top surface of the coating, so it cancels.  I'm not exactly sure how (probably involves the law of conservation of energy), but that results in more light going through the lens.

John Mahony

Whenever light goes from one medium to another a part of the light is reflected.  In ordinary glass it is about 4% when light falls normally on the surface.  Since a lens has two surfaces the total reflected (lost)intensity is about 8%. To avoid this reflection a coating is given on the surfaces. Because of the coating a lens in a camera or scope looks colored.

How this coating works  can be explained by the principle of interference which is a property of any wave (sound or light). In the simplest coating one layer of a suitable material of particular thickness is coated on the glass surface(lens).  Two waves cancel each other if crest from one and trough  from the other meet. The coating thickness is such that the reflections from the top and bottom surface of the coating cancel and there is no reflection.  Note that there  is no loss of light here.  When the wave cancellation occurs for a particular direction light does not go in that direction!

K Sakthivel

How big is an arc second?  The apparent size of a dime at 2.3 miles.

From Shane Bledsoe:  Check out this nut job:

Anagrams  [PG-17] 

Anagrams of "Meade Instruments":

Unterminated mess; Mutants need miser; Menu isn't mastered; Immense, neat turds; Nude man's termites; Meanest turds in me; Determine nut mass; Termites amend sun; Stand mere minutes; Mundane items rest; Trustees in madmen; Mustiest, mean nerd; Menus and termites; A mud mess internet; Nudism enters team; Turd tameness in me; Unseen, dimmest rat; Mine untested Mars; Resent nudism, mate. 

Anagrams of "Celestron International":

Intolerant intolerances; Tentacles not on airliner; Clean rattle on insertion; Nose-intolerant clarinet; Nicer talents, alien or not; Ancient, intolerant loser; Tolerant once in latrines; Intestinal cleaner or not; Alien continental resort; An insincere, tolerant lot; An intolerant, sincere lot; An intolerant, sole cretin; Clean torrential tension; Loneliest nectar on train; Rectilinear noon talents; I clean on rotten latrines; Nicer, intolerant, sane lot; I tolerate innocent snarl; Ancient or stolen latrine; Insolent recanter in alto; Latrines entertain colon. 

Hoping to see everyone at the meeting and star party,