Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
Because of the conflict with the New Year holiday weekend, we’ll hold our January meeting on the second Friday of the new year, January 9, at 7:45PM in room 215 of Davis Hall, the Aerospace Engineering Building. The doors to the classroom buildings automatically now lock at 8:00PM, so if you’re running late, rap on the door nearest our meeting room. Remember that access to the parking lot is now from W. Magnolia only. Bring your new astro-toys that Santa left for you for the “Show & Tell” segment of our meeting.
Our new moon star party this month will be on Saturday, January 24, at Cliff Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
We’ll have a favorable ISS Pass Jan 16
AAS memberships ($20.00/$10.00 for full-time students)
are due in January. Make checks payable to “Auburn Astronomical Society”.
If you’re unable to attend our January meeting, mail your dues to:
Your dues allow us to purchase DVDs for programs, continue our affiliation with the Astronomical League, and to buy, upgrade, and maintain our loaner scope program and tape/DVD library.
We’ve never made a big deal about membership and encourage “AAS friends” to attend and participate in meetings, star parties, and public events. But, there are a few benefits restricted to members:
• Discounts on purchases from Oceanside Photo & Telescope
Special thanks to those members who do not attend on a regular basis but still want to help us out by paying AAS. membership dues.
20X80 Binocular Parallelogram Mount
AAS members are encouraged to check-out these and our other Loaner Scopes. Check with scope steward, Rhon Jenkins, to schedule a loan.
It was in the year 1609 that Galileo first turned his telescope to the objects in the night sky, revolutionizing astronomy. This year, the four hundredth anniversary of his first discoveries, professional and amateur astronomers around the world will celebrate the event during the International Year of Astronomy.
As part of the 400 year celebration there will be a $10 dollar Galileo style scope for kids that requires assembly and will be a teaching tool with experiments included as the child does the assembly. These are under 10 dollars each when you buy in quantities of 10 or more: <http://www.sciencefirst.com/vw_prdct_mdl.asp?prdct_mdl_cd=PS-04B>
A more expensive version with optical glass lenses is at: <http://www.telescope1609.com/>
The December 12 “Big Moon” captured lots of attention. Check out the following images that were submitted.
Scott Thompson’s moonrise images over Lake Martin show what you can do even with only a tripod and telephoto lense, only hint at his photographic skills. See Scott’s other jaw-dropping nature images from the “Slideshow” icon on the upper-right of the first page.
Here's a pic I took of that moon. Taken at the prime focus of a Meade 10" Schmidt-Newtonian (f/4, 1016 mm) with a Canon XSi DSLR, ISO 400 for 1/2500 sec. I was out tonight testing the new gear out and I figured since this thing was washing out everything I wanted to try and shoot, I would go a head and take a shot of it.
Submitted by Phil Hosey
Thanks so much for the heads up on the moon today. You really made tonight, one I will remember forever. I am attaching a couple of shots from just a little digi-matic camera.
Submitted by Dave McConnell
Acouple of weeks earlier, on November 30, I snapped this image of Jupiter, Venus, and the 3-day old Moon above my neighbor's manger scene. Canon 10D, FL 21mm, f/2.8, Exp 1/2 sec, ISO 400.
I accepted a job offer at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Ocean Springs, MS today. We'll probably be moving and the end of the month and will not make it to the meeting. I will be closer to Conecuh NF now and try to make it to a dark sky star party. Let me know if you want a beach holiday.
If you want to do the same at your new location try:
South Mississippi Astronomical Society
I had a nice telephone conversation with Syd Spain recently. He is a former member of the AAS, and still receives and enjoys our newsletter. Syd was in town visiting friends and relatives for the holidays. I was delighted to hear that he is doing well. Dr. Spain is now the Executive Director of the University of Mississippi Research Park. This facility, once it is complete, will be one of the finest of its kind in the US. He still loves astronomy and is trying (like some of the rest of us) to use his telescope more often. It was wonderful to hear from him, and, from me personally.
Buyer’s Guide for Your First Telescope:http://www.jotabout.com/portuesi/astro/firstscope.html
I would like to let the group know I am parting out a Meade LX 50, 8". Everything but the tube itself. Also a complete setup of Lumicon digital setting circles. You input the RA. and Dec. and it will put you on your target.
David McConnell 334-745-7143
Jennifer Lolley writes:
I am thinking about having a short night class- maybe 2 sessions- on learning the Winter night sky- I would limit this to a small group- I would like to have them in an indoor facility first- School of Forestry- to teach and ;look at PowerPoint of constellations- then head outside to a nice dark spot for some stargazing. It would be great to have a couple of telescopes. I know you are in Montgomery, but do you think anybody around here would be interested in setting up their scope for me. Thinking about doing this in February. Just in the planning stages right now, but I think there is some interest. Our big astronomy nights are so busy, this could be more intensive to any interested parties. Your thoughts?
Which "nice dark spot" did you have in mind? On campus, or out at MOTDF?
I am actually looking at a new site, north of town. Much darker. The MOT is really getting to be too light, unless I can convince Sam's and Tiger Town to dim the lights on our star gazing nights. A.U. has lots of land, I am checking out some of the ag sites. I will let you know.
Jan. 4 - Mars Exploration Rover -
Spirit landing in 2004
years of wondering whether the exit pupils of my binoculars were even remotely
aligned with the pupils of my eyes, I have found a method to set the interocular
spacing that works well.
When someone stands outdoors in bright sunlight, the pupils of the eye also contract to about 2 mm. Using the binoculars under such conditions makes it very apparent whether the interocular setting is correct -- you either see or you don't! The diaphragms may then be removed, and you can use the glasses at night, secure in the knowledge that all available light is entering your eyes.
ALLEN 46 Herman Ct.
[Editor’s note: For my 15x70s, stop down to 30mm (2x the power)]
Why a 359 Tooth R.A. Gear?
Most old ac synchro drives used a gear ratio that
would give 1 rev in 24 hours if run off 60Hz ac with a 360 tooth main gear.
But they used a 359 tooth gear instead. The 1/360 difference almost perfectly
compensates for the fact that a sidereal day is different from a 24 hour
solar day by 1 part in 365.
Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,