Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
September, 2007

In this Issue

September Events Upcoming Events
On the Tube 12.5-inch Loaner Scope
AAS Shirts Regional Star Parties
Cool Links  

September Events

This month’s meeting will be on Friday, September 7, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building.  This will be a “ball game” weekend, so parking could be a problem.   We’re not sure if the parking lot behind the Aerospace building will be open or not.  Plan “B” might be down Wright Street off West Magnolia. 

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, September 8, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course. 

Upcoming Events

September 7, September meeting
September 8, September star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
September 19, Timothy Ferris’ Seeing in the Dark 7:00PM CDT, on PBS
September 23, Autumnal equinox
October 5, October meeting
October 13, October star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
October 7-14, Peach State Star Gaze
November 6-11, Deep South Regional Stargaze

On the Tube
Timothy Ferris’ Seeing in the Dark
September 19, 7:00PM CDT, on PBS

This is program about us.  Amateur astronomers doing what we love.  You’ll want to set the DVD/VCR for this one.  Promo at: <>

12.5-inch Loaner Scope 

Tom McGowan with the AAS 12.5-inch f/7

Ray Kunert and your editor took delivery of the AAS 12.5-inch from Tom McGowan on the Sunday following the August meeting.  Ray is keeping the scope at his house until we have its latest “first light” debut.  Ray is working on an inventory for the accessory case.  Rhon Jenkins has donated two eyepieces for the scope: A 10mm wide view Plossl (2-inch University Optics) and a 32mm Konig (2-inch University Optics).  Thanks Rhon!

Tom was careful to preserve the integrity of all the scope’s components should we ever want to restore the scope to its original configuration.  Tom’s craftsmanship is furniture quality.  His workmanship reflects his attention to detail.  He put in many hours of engineering the mount to best mate with the scope.  Be sure to let Tom know how much we appreciate his time on this!

Here's a first draft of the Web page for the 12.5-inch loaner scope:

It's not linked from anywhere on the "Loaner Scope" page yet, as we are not quite ready put it in “loaner” status.  We’re still waiting to get the weights for the OTA and rocker box, and specifics on accessories.  Let Rhon know if you want to be on the waiting list.

AAS Shirts

Scott Thompson wrote:
The shirts no longer come in women’s sizes. They have a similar shirt that is white with navy strips. Since these shirts will fit women better, I have given the go-ahead with the ladies shirt that is just a little different. Hope that is OK. 


Sounds great.  Vive la difference

Thank you for doing this.

Fall Regional Star Parties

The Atlanta Astronomy Club presents the 14th Peach State Star Gaze, a week long event from October 7 through October 14.   The PSSG will be held for the first time at the Deerlick Astronomy Village
Registration form and other downloads.

25th Annual Deep South Regional Stargaze Camp Ruth Lee – November 6th through November 11th, 2007.

Cool Links

Google Sky
Google Earth version 4 [4.2.0180.1134 (beta)] has a new icon at the top of the page – Saturn.  Now you can explore the universe just like you’ve been exploring Earth.  The navigation tools are the same.  Lots of fun and its FREE!  Google Sky demo with Dr. Sally Ride.

Google Easter Egg
Google has hidden a mini flight simulator within Google Earth. To access it for the first time, hit CTRL+Alt+A in Windows or Command+Option+A on the Mac.

Laser Pointers 
From: Eddie Kirkland

True 05 mW Green Laser Pointer Pen Black $17.56
True 10mW Green Laser Pointer Pen Black  $21.72
True 20mW Green Laser Pointer Pen Black  $24.83
True 30mW Green Laser Pointer Pen Black  $26.52

Earth-based Picture of ISS/Shuttle.  7 inch Mak, manually tracked, Canon 1D.

Free Astrophotography Gallery

You can have your own free astrophoto gallery at

Take a look at these sites for good SCT collimation tutorials

The last site has an interesting approach of using a simple Hartmann Mask to collimate...

Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,