Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
We’ll hold our May meeting and star party in conjunction with Astronomy Day on May 7, 2:00–10:00PM CDST, at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium, in Montgomery’s Oak. Park.
May 03, New
From John Zachry: Just discovered great Moon Movie on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter web site. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/lro-farside.html provides link to 70 MB video from ASU's LROC website.
M. Owsley: Tuskegee Meteorite Comes Home
Here is a look at "nothing" in deep space! Click on the following URL and turn up the sound... http://www.flixxy.com/hubble-ultra-deep-field-3d.htm
Suryakant Bhandare “Surya” a graduate student in the Electrical Engineering Department, is our most recent member. Welcome to the group, Surya!
The Auburn Astronomical Society, in partnership with the W. A. Gayle Planetarium, will celebrate National Astronomy Day, at the planetarium in Oak Park [map] in Montgomery, on Saturday, May 7 from 2:00 – 10:00PM CDST.
Planetarium director, Rick Evans, has secured several presenters:
• Rhon Jenkins; EmceeAnd possibly: Everett Leonard; 10-inch Orion XT10 IntelliScope reflector and Bill McEvleen; AAS 8-inch Dob.
Astronomy Day has traditionally been our best attended event of the year. We extend a special invitation to those of you who live too far away to attend most of our events, to come and spend the afternoon and evening with us. If you plan to attend, please let me know. If you’re bringing telescopes, let us know what type(s) and size(s). Planetarium director, Rick Evans, needs a list of names for the name tags and a head count for refreshments.
If you don’t have a telescope, but would like to help, we need volunteers to assist visitors with the AAS 8-inch and 12.5-inch Dobsonian telescopes as well as the ETX-90, the Astroscan, PST solar scope, and the 20X80 binoculars from our loaner scope collection. And, we always need help at the AAS information table where we'll have an e-mail sign-up sheet. We will also need someone to help keep an eye on the clock to point out satellite passes (times and locations will be provided) to our guests. We’ll also need a digital photographer to capture images for the Web page.
Here is this year’s tentative agenda:
2:00 PM: AAS members and friends begin setting up telescopes in time to have them ready by the time the visitors begin arriving. If you can't be there that early, just come when you can. We'll try to set up around the entrance to the planetarium first, and save the area to the east of the sidewalk for those who arrive later.
3:00 PM: Early visitors will be able to view the four-day-old Moon, and the Sun in the light of hydrogen-alpha with the AAS PST solar scope, and members’ scopes filtered white-light images.
4:00 PM- 8:00PM:
• Outside: Children's Activities; Space Camp & VBAS, Huntsville
Susan Mallet will be inside with a video presentation of Dr. Grunzke’s - "The Astro Chimp" as well doing children's activities such as making foam rockets.
5:00 PM: The “Telescope Clinic” will be open for guests to bring their sick, disassembled, or otherwise malfunctioning telescopes for repair.
6:00 PM: Presenter: Dr. George Michael: "Extraterrestrial Aliens: Friends, Foes, or Just Curious." in the auditorium followed by AAS spiel by Rhon and door-prize drawings.
7:00 PM: Presenters: Dr. Sterner and Dr. Patton - University of Montevallo - Shepherd Observatory briefing. The directors of the James Wylie Shepherd Observatory at the University of Montevallo, will speak on the construction and operation of their new facility and its 20-inch PlaneWave telescope.
7:30 PM: Rick will present a "Tour of the Night Sky" (if time allows) in the planetarium, giving an overview of what the guests will see when they see when they step outside.
7:30 PM: Sunset
8:00 PM: Telescopic viewing with Auburn Astronomical Society: Our guests come out to view Saturn, the mountains and craters of the 4-day old Moon and several binary star systems.
8:10: Directly overhead ISS Pass 8:10 NW-SE
For those who have never attended one of our Astronomy Day events, you can get a feel for what goes on, by going to the “Field Trips” link from the AAS menu, then to “W.A. Gayle Planetarium Events”.
Here are a
few reminders to help make the most of your Astronomy Day experience:
Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest
On Saturday, April 9, 2011, AAS members and friends gathered at the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest on Moore's Mill Road in Auburn, for our spring, 2011, Forest Ecology Preserve stargaze. We began arriving just after 5:30 to set up our telescopes. With both the fall and spring events for 2010 here clouded out, it was good to be back at this wonderful facility. Following Jennifer Lolley’s presentation at the pavilion, the Forest Preserve guests came out to view through the telescopes, AAS vice president, Allen Screws, gave the visitors some basic information on AAS and outlined the expected decorum around the telescopes. For the first time at this venue, we had the 6-day old Moon high enough above the tree line to have some excellent views. Visitors were also treated to views of Saturn with the rings opening again nicely now, as well as a variety of star clusters, nebulae, galaxies, and binary stars. Volunteering their time and telescopes were:
Hope to see everyone at the planetarium,