Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, February 1, 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.
In lieu of our regular dark-sky star party, we’ll be helping with the Horseshoe Bend star gaze on Saturday, February 9, clouds permitting of course. See details below.
February 1, Jupiter and Venus 0.6 degrees apart
in the predawn sky
AAS membership dues ($20.00) were due in January. Make checks payable to “Auburn Astronomical Society”. Special thanks to those members who do not attend on a regular basis but still want to help us out by paying A.A.S. membership dues.
Auburn Astronomical SocietyContact John at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Many thanks to Scott Thompson, for doing this. So we can get your shirts to you, please make your checks payable to Auburn Astronomical Society send to:
Auburn Astronomical Society
Randall Becker, park ranger at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, is hosting a stargazing / astronomy program at the park on Saturday, February 9. It will begin at 7:00 with a short PowerPoint presentation covering light pollution awareness, basic orientation to the night sky and some Creek / Cherokee star myths. We will then move out to the parking lot and have a constellation tour with more stories. Please let me or Rand know if you plan to bring your scope to help. Horseshoe Bend is located ten miles north of Dadeville on ALA 49. It's about one hour from Auburn / Opelika; and 1.5 hours from Montgomery. Sunset will be about 5:25 pm.
At the invitation of Jennifer Lolley, administrator of the Forest Ecology Preserve in Auburn, we helped share the night sky with an estimated 200 visitors who braved the January cold to enjoy the experience. Representing AAS were:
Mike Holley, CPC 1100 SCTThe event was held on the grounds of the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest, located on Moore’s Mill Road. Jennifer had astronomical exhibits set up under the pavilion along with patio heaters as warming stations. Snacks provided for the guests included coffee, hot cocoa, Rocket juice (Kool-Aid), Milky Ways and Moon Pies, and Starbursts. She also had red lens filters for the visitors’ flashlights.
For most of the afternoon the skies were overcast. We went with the Clear Sky Clock prediction of clearing by 8:00. By 5:00PM as we began setting up the telescopes, we could see breaks in the clouds and were rewarded with mostly clear skies by 7:30.
Promptly at 7:00PM, the program began with a welcome by Jennifer followed by an overview of the evening’s activities. She then introduced AAS president, Rhon Jenkins, who in turn introduced the AAS members who brought their telescopes. Rhon then went on to explain how the telescope enables us to see small and faint objects in the night sky, using the AAS 8-inch loaned scope in the demonstration. At the conclusion of Rhon’s talk, the visitors headed out into the darkness.
Out on the observing field, Jennifer siphoned
off some of the group for a constellation recognition presentation using
her green laser pointer, while other visitors queued up behind the telescopes.
The four-day-old Moon, Uranus, and Pallas, had slipped behind the
pine trees, and Comet Tuttle was hazed out by the time the visitors approached
the scopes, but with the Moon out of the way, the prospects of the winter
deep-sky objects were suddenly an option. Guests were treated to
views of Mars, the Orion Nebula, open clusters M-35, M-41, M-46, M-47,
and the Andromeda Galaxy.
More proof of Life on Mars digg.com
The sky is falling! http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2008/01/28/obrien.falling.satellite.cnn
Hoping to see everyone at the meeting and star gaze,