Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, September
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
We’ve moved the start time up 15 minutes because the doors on campus classroom
buildings automatically lock now at 8:00PM. If you’re running late,
knock on the door nearest our meeting room.
Recently, building construction precluded entrance
everywhere except the east side (front/College St. facing) door.
And, don’t forget that access to the parking lot is now from West Magnolia
Our dark-sky star party this month will
be on Saturday, September 27, at Cliff
Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
September 12, Monthly meeting in room 215 of the
Engineering Hall. (Away game)
September 18, Favorable ISS pass
September 27, star party at Cliff
September 22, Fall Equinox
September 28 - October 05, PSSG'08
October 2, Lecture by Captain
James Lovell at Faulkner University, Montgomery
October 3, Monthly meeting in room 215 of the
Engineering Hall. (Away game)
October 4, Forest Preserve Star Gaze
October 7, Yarbrough Elementary School star gaze
October 8, Space Shuttle Atlantis to service
the Hubble for the final time
October 28 – November 2, Deep
South Regional Star Gaze XXVI
School Star Gaze
Now that I'm back in Auburn, my mother wants me
to come in to her 3rd grade class some time during the day and do the sun.
I was curious if the PST was available? It would be great to show
the kids two different parts of Sol, the chromosphere and photosphere,
especially if it is quiet and boring in the photosphere.
Additionally, I told my mom that I would be willing
to do a star party for her class or even the whole school. She told
the principal and he wants to do it. Do you have any suggestions?
I could bring at least my two scopes (18" and 25"), but I was curious if
you think that this might be something the club could officially host?
Personally, if I had to choose a date, I'd pick first quarter moon, October.
The time change should have just happened, so it will be getting darker
earlier, and I think Jupiter should still be around in the evening.
October's a pretty clear time of year too, and there are also lots of bright
deep space objects that would be viewable under Auburn city skies, like
M15, the Double Cluster, Alberio, etc. What do you think?
predicts favorable passes of the International Space Station on September
- Pluto-New Horizons spacecraft 2500 days to Pluto
29 - Jules Vernes Automated Transfer Vehicle reentry in Earth's atmosphere
30 - End of Mars Phoenix Lander Extended Mission
- India's Chandrayaan Lunar Orbiter launch delayed
- China's Shenzhou 7 spacecraft with 3 "Taikonauts" launch
- 2nd Mercury Messenger spacecraft flyby of Mercury 3:39 a.m. CDT
- Space Shuttle Atlantis to Hubble Space Telescope for repair launch
- Cassini spacecraft passes Enceladus at height of 15.5 miles!
- Expedition 18 Soyuz spacecraft to I.S.S. with Richard Gsarriott tourist
John Zachry calls our attention
to the 3D images from NASA. John writes:
I am planning to buy a pair red/cyan
clip-on 3-D glasses to see 3-D pictures on NASA web sites. Anybody
want me to order them a pair? Cost about $ 9.00. - John
Images at: http://www.rainbowsymphony.com/mars3dgallery/index.htm
Glasses at : http://www.berezin.com/3d/3dglasses.htm
Deep South Regional Stargaze XXVI
Tuesday, October 28th - Sunday, November 2nd,
Camp Ruth Lee, Louisiana
Release and Registration forms are in the files section of the Yahoo
Checks should be made payable to "DSRSG" and
sent to :
110 Choctaw Drive
Pineville, LA 71360
Peach Star Gaze 2008
The online registration for the PSSG'08,
September 28 - October 05, is now available. Many of the website
pages have been updated. Vendors, Speakers and more.
has a new 12-inch Meade LightBridge truss tube Dobsonian. It arrived
in time for hurricane Fay and has spawned four other hurricanes since.
It must be a good one.
I looked at several online vendors, I chose Telescopes.com due to their
competitive price, mostly. They seem to have a good reputation in the industry
and I had purchased my Nikon binoculars from them last year. They also
had a shroud for the scope with free shipping on it. The shroud looks good,
just a little lonely.
knew I wanted a Dob type scope for it's portability and ease of setup.
After borrowing our 8 inch a couple of times, I felt the larger scope was
about the size I could and would regularly use. Having this as my first
larger scope also will hopefully hone my skills somewhat in preparation
for perhaps a larger scope later. Besides, storing a 16 inch in the garage
(for there is no other room in the house to put one) just won't do now
with all my woodworking tools and the inevitable sawdust they produce.
Bigger house for a bigger scope, I suppose. Don't let my wife hear this.
But I digress.
suppose extra eyepieces and maybe some filters are in my near future. Deep
sky objects are the most desirable views for me at first. You have mentioned
that the TeleVue brand of eyepieces are a good choice but I will have to
make a detailed list for Santa this year. The local representative of his
Elf Union is picky about her lists. You also mentioned getting the 82 degree
eyepieces. How does this enhance the view compared to say, a 68 degree
the scope arriving in early August, Lord willing, I should have time to
practice with it before the October star party. I really am looking forward
to those clearer autumn skies now. I also want to thank you and the
others for your encouragement and guidance in this choice. This scope should
be a good, new beginning for my observing and open a window of opportunity
to share the night skies with my family and many others in the future.
Frank followed with:
view from here has not been great. High humidity or just plain old clouds
seem to dog me right now. I know, welcome to summer in the south. Well,
I got the scope out once last week and set the finder's scope. My son insisted
on seeing the moon and Jupiter first before he had to go in for the evening
so we did. So much for deep space being absolute first light. However,
once he was inside, I was able to move the scope to a darker area of the
yard where the moon light had not yet reached and wait for darkness. I
was able to find the Ring Nebula at almost the zenith before the skies
became blurry with humidity and the almost full moon made a grand entrance
on the scene. The nebula was a blur due to some humidity, city lights and
my limited options in available eyepieces.
have the 26mm QX Wide Angled 2 inch eyepiece which came with the scope
and a couple of good quality ones (Meade) from the scope I have borrowed
from Mike. He has a 25mm and a 9mm in his scope case. I have only a small
8 mm from my Celestron 3 inch scope which did not give good results even
with Jupiter mostly because I couldn't focus it. The focuser on my 12 inch
Lightbridge would not go down to where a good image could be seen with
it. This is one of many reasons I am looking forward to your dropping by
some night soon, clouds and humidity permitting, of course. Another would
be your suggestions of which sizes of eyepieces to purchase immediately.
I may wait on some filters unless otherwise advised.
took the scope out last night for less than an hour to search the skies
and become more familiar with the optical tool. It was a good session as
I had to set it up in the dark and was able to identify 4 of Jupiter's
moons and saw two of it's prominent cloud bands. I used the 26mm to locate
my targets (with the finder scope) and the borrowed 9mm to zoom in. I was
able to find M25 ( I believe) in Sagittarius. A nice Open Cluster to view.
I then tried to find a couple of Diffuse Nebulae near M25 but had no success
there. Too much atmospheric interference with the humidity and light pollution
spoiled the view. By that time, the just past full moon rose over my neighbor's
house and the clouds started rolling in. I will continue to practice from
home when I can. If I read it correctly, tomorrow night looks okay for
Montgomery on the ClearSky Chart website. I am looking forward to your
insightful advice whenever the skies clear a bit and you have the time.
If it is possible, I would greatly appreciate it if you could bring an
eyepiece or two that we might could use.
skies to you and the gang.
tonight was a wash. Between the wife staying at work (where she still is
at this hour) children's choir for my son, his homework, supper and persistent,
numerous clouds, I didn't have a chance to get the scope out. As you noted,
Clear Sky isn't always reliable.
am using Sky & Telescope’s August chart for now. They included a CD
called AutoStar Suite, the Astronomer Edition which has some charts on
it as well. Some of these are crowded but the software has allowed me to
declutter it, removing the outlines of the constellations or extraneous
stars if I wish. I am still playing with it in my "spare time." As you
may know, my primary focus is being a dad/parent, especially when my wife
do not have a collimating tool. I was able to align the red dot finder's
scope with the eyepiece but that's about all for now. It's a big
scope for me at this time. I am sure I will get use to it soon enough and
want a larger one before long.
forward to seeing you and the guys real soon. Clearer skies.
last message, Frank has ordered and received his laser collimator, and
has expressed a request for help tweaking his optics. We look forward
to having a look through Frank’s scope.
I am thinking
of selling my 8-inch LX90 scope. I have a large variety of add ons for
the scope. Wide field adaptor, lenses, heater, dew cover, internet adaptor
cable to update the data base and a few other things. Rick Allen
334-728-1714 or email@example.com
We also have
a few other scopes for sale on the AAS “Exchange”
page. Check ‘em out. If your scope is listed there, but has
been sold, please let me
will have the PST this month. All other loaner scopes are available
to AAS members. Let
Rhon know if you’d like to check one out.
we asked for help with a parallelogram mount for the 20x80 binoculars.
We had no takers on the request to build one. Eddie Kirkland
has volunteered to place an Astromart
ad for us. Thanks, Eddie!
In June, Mrs.
Diane Swanton donated two telescopes, 20x80 binoculars, tripods, and
other astronomy accessories to AAS. Below is AAS president, Rhon
Jenkins’, letter of acknowledgment and appreciation.
behalf of the Auburn Astronomical Society, I want to thank you for the
donation of several telescopes and other astronomy-related items to our
club in memory of your husband, Lyle G. Swanton. One of the primary
purposes of our group is to bring the wonder of astronomy to young and
old alike. Towards this end, we visit schools, give presentations
at events such as Astronomy Day at the Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery,
and host “star party” telescope viewing sessions for the public several
times a year. I can assure you that your donation will play a very
large role in these presentations. It is exactly the kind of equipment
that we like to show children and young people (and older folks too).
It is quality equipment that is easy to use, which is a perfect combination.
By the way, our next public session is October 4 here in Auburn, at a gathering
sponsored by the Forest Ecology Preserve as part of their continuing education
program. If history is a guide, we believe that about 300 persons
will be present that night, about half of which will be school children.
closing, please let me extend my personal condolences to you for your loss,
and assure you that your husband’s memory will live on through your generous
Auburn Astronomical Society
Emeritus, Auburn University
Hoping to see
everyone at the meeting,