Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
December 2011

In this Issue

Events Calendar Web Links
Visiting Lecture
Member News

Events Calendar

Weíll hold this month's meeting on Friday, December 2, at 7:45PM, in room 215 of Davis Hall, the Aerospace Engineering Building on the AU campus.   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. 

The December dark-sky Saturday falls on Christmas Eve.  If youíre just itching to try out that new astro-gear in your stocking, you can have a dark-sky star party at Cliff Hillís farm, but donít expect much company.

Dec. 02,  Monthly meeting in room 215 of Davis Hall, Aerospace Engineering Bldg.
Dec. 24,  Dark-sky star party at Cliff Hillís farm.

AAS Visiting Lecture

On WEDNESDAY, November 16, we were honored to have  Dr. Jonathan P Gardner from the Goddard Space Flight Center give a talk on "A Scientific Revolution: the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes" at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium. The presentation was free and open to the public including several of our AAS members: Tom & Julie McGowan, Allen Screws, Ray Kunert, Alan Cook, Chad Ellington, Everett Leonard, Frank Ward and your editor, as well as visitors from the University of Montevallo astronomy club, Annie Chester and Dr. Michael Sterner, and Dr. Randy Russell, professor of astronomy at AUM among the 40-50 visitors. 

We had planned to have telescopic viewing outside the planetarium following the lecture, but clouds got in the way.

Special thanks to Chad Ellington and Auburn University Montgomery for securing our speaker, and to Rick Evans and Troy University Montgomery and the City of Montgomery, for making the planetarium available to us .

Web Links

From John Zachry:

Lots of great full "NASA Science Briefings" on Youtube many of which we all have missed. Everybody know this?   [Also] found great web site. PBS NOVA Full Episodes. Some on astronomy but lots on science. My favorite right now is "Absolute Zero" .

Kitt Peak programs may fall victim to the budget deficit axe.

Member News

From Phil Hosey

Just wanted to share some new images with AAS.  I finally managed to get that H-alpha filter and learned out to blend the H-alpha data into the RGB image.  IĎve also begun using a different site to host my images.  The new site is designed specifically for astronomical images and makes it very easy to include data about the image as well as search for images based on data.  It also automatically plate-solves the images!  The link to my page is

As far s the H-alpha filter goes, I managed to get out and grab about 24 minutes of H-alpha data to add to a normal stack of IC 1848 I shot last month. The RGB stack was difficult to process and pulling any detail out of the nebula caused the stars to be very oversaturated. One thing I really like about adding H-alpha data to this is that the nebula really pops out without blowing the stars out. The RGB data is composed of 81 x 60 seconds lights at ISO800 and the H-alpha data is 8 x 180 seconds at ISO1600. All subs obtained with the C11 Hyperstar and Canon 450D, the H-alpha was obtained with a 2" Astronomik 12nm Ha filter. I ran the RGB an H-alpha stacks through DeepSkyStacker using one light frame from the Ha stack as a reference frame so that they would all be registered together, this way I didn't have to fool with aligning the layers in Photoshop. These stacks were shot about a month apart so camera orientation was different and I had to crop off the non overlapping area. Here's a link to the image with details:
IC 1848 - Soul Nebula

I havenít promoted this image to my public area yet so you will only be able to see it through this link for now.  I have several new images posted since the last star party, several of them taken with a monochrome CCD with the H-alpha filter and a couple of DSLR shots as well.  Check them out and let me know what you think!


Wow, Phil!  Great work.  Thanks for sharing these with us.

Hope to see everyone at this special meeting,