Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
October, 2010

In this Issue

Events Calendar AAS 30 Year Anniversary
Public Stargaze Discount Magazine Subscriptions
AAS Shirts  Web Links
CBR Horn Preservation 
Telescopes for Sale

Events Calendar

In lieu of our normal first Friday meeting that fell on October 1, our October meeting will be held in conjunction with our 30-year anniversary banquet on Saturday, October 9, at 6:00PM at Good Ol’ Boy’s restaurant (see below).
October 9, AAS 30-Year Anniversary/October meeting
October 15/16, American Heritage Girls stargaze, in Prattville
October 22-23 W.A. Gayle Planetarium Wizard of Oz/Pink Floyd Laser Show

December 4,  Forest Ecology Preserve stargaze in Auburn
December 20, Total eclipse of the Moon This eclipse will be fully visible from North America. The moon enters penumbra at 11:28 A.M. CST on December 21 and leaves penumbra at 5:06 A.M. CST on December 21. 

AAS 30 Year Anniversary

The Auburn Astronomical Society’s 30-year anniversary banquet will be on October 9, at 6:00PM at Good Ol’ Boy’s restaurant at 1843 Sandhill Road in Auburn (Lee County Road 10), just under 2 miles from US 29 S; 3.5 miles from Society Hill Road.  We’ll order from the menu and an 18% gratuity will be added to your order.  Special thanks to Joyce and Rhon Jenkins for making the arrangements. Rhon will give a PowerPoint presentation summarizing the previous thirty-years of the Auburn Astronomical Society.  

Our anniversary banquets have traditionally been family affairs -- a time to share a bit of what we do with friends and family.  We also hope that former AAS members will come back for a visit, and perhaps, get back into astronomy.  

The restaurant needs an approximate head count.  At last report, Rhon had received 15 responses.  If you plan to attend, please let Rhon know how many will be in your party.   If you see at the last minute that you’ll be able to come, we’ll find room for you.

Public Stargazes

Our American Heritage Girls stargaze, in Prattville has been rescheduled for Friday evening, October 15.  Telescopic observing will begin at 7:00.  If clouds get in the way Friday, we’ll try again on Saturday, October 16.  Troop leader, Terri Klose, asks that we help the girls with their Space Exploration badge, with emphasis on observing the Moon.  I’m sure we’ll find a way to squeeze in a few constellations, planets, and maybe even a few deep-sky objects.  Terri will be sending directions to the site in a few days, so please let me know if you can help with this event. 

Jennifer Lolley and the members of her Forest Ecology Preserve group have rescheduled the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest stargaze for December 4,  with December 11 as a cloud date.

Discount Magazine Subscriptions

Auburn Astronomical Society Club subscriptions are the same as last year. Sky & Telescope is $32.95 and Astronomy magazine is $ 34.00. We will need at least 5 subscriptions for each to get club discount. Will start taking checks this month. As soon as I get 5 members for one magazine I will send it in. Will need subscriptions in by November if a member doesn't want to miss an issue. Thanks - John 

AAS Shirts

From: John Wingard 

Just a note for your information....
I thought that I would order a club shirt from the web link on the AAS site the other day. After placing the order, I received a reply from the owner(?) of the monogram service stating that they preferred not to honor a request for a single shirt, only a group order. In addition, he stated that after the end of November, they would be shutting down operations for an indefinite period of time. I just told him to cancel my order and issue me a refund, which he did without any questions. I just thought that you might want to know before anyone else tries to order a shirt. Don't know if you want to remove the link from the web site or not. 


Hello John,

Thanks for letting me know.  I hate that this hasn't worked out.  Steve Durham and I worked hard to make it easy for everyone, now this.  He was a really good guy to work with, but apparently, we were not the only ones who didn't support his business.

I've removed the AAS Shirt link from the menu until we can find somewhere else that can work with us.

Thanks again for letting me know.

Web Links

From: Brian Combs 
Jupiter Animation - September 20, 2010

Here is a 10 frame animation I made from images taken between 04:47 and 05:19 UT.  [Editor’s note:  Brian Combs is a local guy from Buena Vista, GA.]

From: Larry M. Owsley
This Day in Science History - August 19 - John Flamsteed

August 19th is John Flamsteed's birthday. Flamsteed was an English astronomer and the first Astronomer Royal. He was the primary force behind the construction of the Greenwich Observatory and was responsible for gathering precise measurements of nearly 3,000 star positions to aid navigators with the determination of longitude while at sea.

He used his own money to equip the observatory and perform his task of creating the star catalog. This would later cause a rift between himself and the Royal Society's president, Issac Newton. Newton wanted access to Flamsteed's data on lunar orbits for his Principia. Flamsteed did not want to release his data until it was complete but gave Newton the information with the understanding it was to be for his use only. Newton got Edmund Halley to publish Flamsteed's star catalog without his knowledge. Newton felt that any data gathered by the Royal Observatory belonged to the Royal Society and he could publish without Flamsteed's consent. Flamsteed felt the data belonged to him since he did the work with his instruments and the tables were incomplete. Flamsteed managed to collect 300 of the 400 copies of Halley's publication and publicly burned them.

Flamsteed would eventually release his tables before his death in 1719. It was later determined his tables contained a star he named 34 Tauri which would be the earliest observation of the planet Uranus. Find out what else occurred on this day in science history. 

I’ve just put up the updated AAS History page to include our events of the past decade.  

W.A. Gayle Planetarium Wizard of Oz/Pink Floyd show, Friday October 22 - Saturday October 23, 2010.  During the Fall season Pink Floyd fans know it's time for the annual Pink Floyd Laser Light Show. As has become a tradition of sorts, we present a special showing of The Wizard of Oz movie, synchronized to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album. The laser light shows starts at 7:00 and 9:00 PM and the synchronization to Wizard of Oz starts at 8:00 PM. the price for both the laser light show and the dark side of the rainbow are $6.00 this ticket is for the laser light show and complimentary pass to the Dark Side of the Rainbow! For a list of coincidences, check out our Dark Side of the Rainbow page.

Horn Antenna Preservation
Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation Antenna

      I am writing every Astronomy Club and Astronomical Society that I can, individually, to ask for your assistance in saving the Bell Labs Horn Antenna from ruin. I am not selling  anything  nor am I asking for money. This is not SPAM nor is it an automated email. If you are like me, you are not an activist at heart but just want to enjoy the science of astronomy with friends and associates.  To do this we are, as Sir Isaac Newton put it so succinctly, “Standing on the shoulders of giants”. Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were not the tallest of those giants but they did make a revolutionary discovery when they used the Horn Antenna to discover the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation left from the Big Bang creation of the universe. Penzias and Wilson were awarded Nobel Prizes and went on to have successful careers.  The Horn Antenna underwent a much different fate. It was soon surpassed by newer technology and abandoned. In 1989 it was awarded the status of a National Historic Landmark and you would have thought that having that status would have provided it with the care and maintenance it required and deserved. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The National Park System has no power to force the owners and caretakers of National Historic Landmarks to provide any care at all. Because of this, it was easy for Alcatel-Lucent Technologies, the company that took over Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, to simply ignore their civic obligation. A personal visit to the site revealed to me that they had done just that. I ask that you look at the web site that I have created, and to recommend it to the members of your Astronomical organization.
     Once you have seen what has become of that once great technological marvel I hope that you will feel the sadness and anger that I feel. If you do, I ask that you email  Paul Ross, Director of Corporate Communications for Alcatel-Lucent Bell Lab at, and urge that the Horn Antenna be donated to either the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia or The Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
     Please let me know that you have done this so that, once they know that I am not alone in this quest, I can contact them again and try to lead them to the proper decision.
     I thank you for your time and cooperation.

Cordially yours,

Allan Cook, Amateur Astronomer,

Telescopes for Sale

Orion XT8
Please believe it is really hard to write this email. I must part with my Beautiful Telescope.  It is in great condition save for a layer of dust. I just had her out the other night touring the moon with the kids.  She has a spotter scope and Telrad mounted but otherwise untouched.  I have never cleaned the mirrors nor attempted to dismantle her. She is as she was when delivered. I even have the original shipping boxes.
Raul Sanmiguel,

10-inch Meade Classic LX200R $1400 
This is a combination of a Meade Classic LX200 fork drive and an LX200R OTA. I bought the OTA new several years ago and mounted it on the fork that I got on AstroMart. I haven’t ever completely aligned the OTA to the mount properly but its worked out well for me anyway. I’ve had plenty of use from it and now its time to reduce my number of telescopes. Some slight scratches on the blue paint from handling. Optics are in great shape, some dust specks on the corrector, Ill let you clean it with your preferred method. 

Included are: 

  • LX200 Classic Fork Mount w/v3.34L Firmware 
  • LX200R 10" UHTC OTA w/Bobs Knobs (OTA was $1800 new) 
  • Hand Pad w/cord, Firmware v3.21 
  • Counterweight 
  • 120VAC/18VDC Power Supply 
  • 12VDC/18VDC Power Supply 
  • Zero Image Shift Microfocuser 
  • Dec Motor Cord 
  • PC RS-232 interface cord 
  • AstroZap Aluminum Dew Shield w/Bag 
  • Instruction Manual 
New Meade LX200 Classic Hand Pad $125 
I bought this as a spare several years ago and have never used it. Firmware v3.21. I’ve plugged it in to make sure it works but that’s it. The protective plastic has not been removed from the display and the sticker with the menus has never been applied. This will be offered first to the buyer of the scope, then sold separately if its not desired. 

If I don't sell this together, I will be splitting up the OTA and the mount and selling them separately.

August Johnson 

These telescopes and many others are listed on the Astronomical Exchange.

Hope to see everyone at the banquet,