Astrofiles
Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
March 2011

In this Issue


Events Calendar Member News
Wetumpka Crater Cub Scout Thanks
Astronomy Day 2011 Dues
Web Links  

Events Calendar

We’ll hold this month's meeting on Friday, March 4, at 7:45PM, room 215 of Davis Hall, 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 6:45PM. 

Our new moon star party this month will be on Saturday, March 26, at Cliff Hill’s farm

March 04, Monthly meeting 7:45PM, in room 215 of Davis Hall.
March 04, New Moon
March 06, Waxing crescent moon passes 6 degrees north of Jupiter, low in SW
March 13, First quarter moon, spring forward Sunday to CDT
March 15, Mercury passes 2 degrees north of Jupiter in evening twilight
March 19, Full Moon, the Grass Moon
March 20, Vernal Equinox; spring begins at 6:21 PM CDT, moon 7 deg. S. of Saturn
March 23, Mercury at GEE, 19 degrees east of sun in evening sky
March 26, Last quarter moon
March 31, Waning crescent moon passes 6 degrees north of Venus in dawn

April 09, Monthly AAS meeting / Forest Preserve Stargaze 7:00-9:00
April 11, First quarter moon

May 07, Astronomy Day for 2011 is on W. A. Gayle Planetarium, Montgomery
 
 

Wetumpka Impact Crater Lecture and Tours 
(This weekend)

From the Wetumpka Herald: 

Two March events will offer the public a chance to learn more about the greatest natural disaster to ever hit Alabama -- a meteor impact more than 84 million years ago that struck in the area where Wetumpka is now located. The 5-mile-wide crater left behind by the 1,100-foot meteor will be spotlighted during a public lecture March 3 and tours March 5.
See more at: 
http://www.thewetumpkaherald.com/news/article_c31f93d8-25b8-11e0-8f5e-001cc4c03286.html

Thanks to Tiffany Robinson for updating the City of Wetumpka Web page links to AAS. http://www.cityofwetumpka.com/Default.asp?ID=145

Astronomy Day

W. A. Gayle Planetarium director, Rick Evans, has been busy in an effort to make up for last year’s Astronomy Day that was “tornadoed out”.  Here are the programs he’s working on this year:

Ham the space Chimp; Retired Col. Marvin Grunzke; Faulkner University professor
Space Camp;Melissa Snider, Camp Education Programs Manager,
• The James Wylie Shepherd Observatory; Dr. Michael Patton & Dr. Michael Sterner, University of Montevallo
• "Extraterrestrial Aliens: Friends, Foes, or Just Curious?" By George Michael

Good work, Rick!  We’ll try to hold up our end of the deal.

Web Links

From Rod Mollise’s Guide to Telescope Accessories
 http://uncle-rods.blogspot.com/2011/02/getting-set-ii.html

Portable Observatory For Sale
 http://www.patgarland.com/

Hundreds of Astronomy Freeware programs
http://www.auburnastro.org/freeware.htm

Andy Camerio sent us this link for NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock who is currently aboard the International Space Station shares pictures of the Earth he snaps with the world through Twitter.
http://twitpic.com/photos/Astro_Wheels

NASA TV Schedule
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/MM_NTV_Breaking.html

From Dr. Michael Sterner
Please vote for our Intelligent Use of Water Award grant proposal at http://www.iuowawards.com/Projects.aspx#project|b7a1c29f-9b49-4130-9493-776b04583c4d
 The James Wylie Shepherd Observatory is attempting to construct an outbuilding consisting of a control room, storage room, and restroom with self-composting toilets and recycled rainwater. This grant proposal is one of the ways in which we are attempting to raise the necessary funds for the project. Please consider putting a shortcut to the site on your computer desktop, and vote daily to help support the growth of the James Wylie Shepherd Observatory complex at the University of Montevallo.  You may vote once per day. Voting ends on 22 March 2011.

The main website of the Meade Advanced Products Users Group is
hosted in the UK and occasionally has some connectivity issues.
With the permission of MAPUG's webmaster, Ed Stewart, a mirror
site in the USA is now available.  MAPUG's main site is <http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/> and the
mirror site is <http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/>.  Links to both sites are now in this group's Links section per:
MAPUG Main Website
Main website of Meade Advanced Products Users Group
<http://www.mapug-astronomy.net/>
and
MAPUG Mirror Website
Mirror website of Meade Advanced Products Users Group
<http://thadlabs.com/MAPUG/>

More virtual telescope sites:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41465830/ns/technology_and_science-discoverycom/ and
http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/Home.aspx

From Joe Albree:  Vanderbilt’s role in largest digital sky image 
<http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2011/01/vanderbilt-role-in-largest-digital-sky-image/?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4d4c8651418a5a8b%2C0>

Member News

Frank Ward reminds us of CCSSC’s Astronomy Nights, especially for those of you who live over that way.  And for those who live closer to the Wiregrass, Landmark Park is just north of Dothan, has planetarium shows and astronomy nights.  Check their Events page for the next scheduled sessions.

Frank has also recently given a stargaze for his son’s Cub Scout troop and has promoted our Astronomy Day for the cubbies. 

Membership

We currently have seventeen members who are current on their 2011 membership dues, with a few conspicuous absences.  If it’s just slipped your mind, enclose a check payable to Auburn Astronomical Society -- $20.00 for Regular Membership. Full-Time Student Membership is $10.00, and send to: 

Auburn Astronomical Society 
c/o John B. Zachry 
501 Summerfield Road 
West Point, GA 31833 
If you thought you had paid for 2011, but don't see your name listed in blue on the AAS Members page, contact AAS treasurer, John B. Zachry to resolve the discrepancy.
 
Cub Scout Thanks
From: Amy McKay
Thank you all for letting us come out and look at the stars and planets with you.  We had fun.  Our favorite part was seeing the planets.  We were amazed at how bright the stars were when we were far out of the city.  Maybe we can come again sometime, when it is warmer!

Thank you,

Braden, Parker, Will, Austin and Grayson.

2011 Dues
We currently have seventeen members who are current on their 2011 membership dues, with a few conspicuous absences.  If it’s just slipped your mind, enclose a check payable to Auburn Astronomical Society -- $20.00 for Regular Membership, Full-Time Student Membership is $10.00, and send to: 
Auburn Astronomical Society 
c/o John B. Zachry 
501 Summerfield Road 
West Point, GA 31833 
If you thought you had paid for 2011, but don't see your name listed in blue on the AAS Members page, contact AAS treasurer, John B. Zachry to resolve the discrepancy.
 

Hope to see everyone at the meeting,

Russell