In this Issue
our monthly meeting on Friday, March 1, at 7:45PM, in 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. Rodger Morrison will be bringing the new
loaner scope to show so we’ll need to leave this month at 6:00
to allow time to help with the set-up.
this month will be a presentation and demonstration of the club's recently
donated CEGM 1100 telescope.
Our new moon
party this month will be on Saturday, March 9, at
Mar. 01, Monthly
meeting in room 215 of Davis Hall
Mar. 09, Dark-sky
star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
Mar. 10, Begin
Daylight Saving Time
Mar. 16, Stargaze
for Wetumpka Scouts
Apr. 20, Astronomy
Day, W. A. Gayle Planetarium
May 18, Tuskegee
Airmen National Historic Stargaze
July 24 –
27, Astronomical League Convention
memberships ($20.00/$10.00 for full-time students) were due in January.
Families are covered with a single membership. 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
If you don’t
see your name below, please make your check payable to “Auburn Astronomical
Society”. If you’re unable to attend the meeting, mail your
If you have a
question about your dues, e-mail John at : firstname.lastname@example.org
c/o John B.
|1. Joe Albree
& Vicki Morrison
|2. Glynn Alexander
|4. Andy Camerio
||15. Wes Schwarz
|5. Scott &
||16. Gail Smitherman
|6. Alan Cook
|7. Scott Cook
||18. John Tatarchuk
|9. Rhon &
||21. John Wingard
||22. John B.
Thanks to all
for your support.
Just a few
hours before our February meeting, I received this message:
discovered the Auburn Astronomical Society on the web while searching for
a connection to Auburn University 's Astronomy Department. I could not
find the proper e-mail address to contact the society. Then I found your
name and e-mail as a member. Please do me the favor of delivering
the following letter to the appropriate person or contact me and tell me
how to proceed.
December of 2011 I received a gift of a Celestron Telescope CGEM 1100 and
many of the accoutrements that support it.
Grandson Cyrus Barker and I had grand plans to explore the Cosmos together.
Three weeks after Christmas he died suddenly.
have neither the skills nor the knowledge to do justice to the telescope.
I would like to give the telescope to your organization or to some one
who would appreciate it and share it with others.
spent several years as a student at Auburn. He always loved the school.
I know he would support this offer.
First let me
say that we are very sorry for the loss of your grandson.
We are indeed
grateful for your generous offer. I have forwarded your offer to
Dr. Rhonald Jenkins, president of the Auburn Astronomical Society who also
serves as the steward of our Loaner
that while the Auburn Astronomical Society has several members who are
affiliated with Auburn University and we enjoy a cordial relationship with
students and faculty, our organization is not directly affiliated with
the University. Auburn University has no astronomy program so we try to
fill that void for local amateur astronomers.
We hope to
have an answer for you very soon.
Society Webmaster and Astrofiles editor
hope in giving the telescope is for it to be used and appreciated. I think
the Astronomical Society is the ideal place. Perhaps many Auburn students
to leave the meeting before I arrived to make this announcement, but I
presented the offer to those attending the February meeting. The
consensus was that of overwhelming approval. Rodger Morrison
even volunteered to drive to New Orleans to pick it up and deliver it to
you at no expense to the club.
you for your attention .
I sent the
correspondence from Ms. Brupbacher to Rhon. He replied that he wanted
to proceed with getting the donated CGEM 1100, but didn't have room to
has room and offered to be the scope steward for this telescope.
Frank suggested we should consider placing a small plaque or inscription
on the scope in memory of the donor's grandson. It was also suggested that
we at least pick up the tab for Rodger’s gas bill.
with both of those suggestions and contacted Ms. Brupbacher to acknowledge
her wonderful gesture and express our appreciation of it. He also
contacted Rodger to get the arrangements for picking it up started.
name is Rhon Jenkins and I am president of the Auburn Astronomical Society
(AAS). First, I want to express condolences to you from myself and
on behalf of all the members of the AAS on hearing of the death of your
Grandson Cyrus Barker. I have grandchildren and I cannot begin to
imagine what you have gone through.
would be happy to accept your generous offer of the Celestron CGEM 1100
Telescope and the accoutrements that support it. This equipment would
become part of our "Loaner Scope Program", and would support the primary
purpose of our club which is to introduce others, primarily students and
children, to the wonders of the night sky. We do this through public
"star parties" and visits to schools and other civic organizations within
a wide area of central and east-central Alabama. Our last public
outing, about 3 weeks ago, brought out about 150 adults and children.
As Russell Whigham has explained in a previous email to you, the AAS is
not associated with Auburn University; we do, however, attempt to fill
a void since Auburn University has no astronomy program available to the
will certainly go about the transfer in a manner which is most convenient
for you, but we offer two possibilities for your consideration:
Mr. Rodger Morrison, one of our members, has volunteered to pick up the
scope and other equipment in New Orleans at a mutually convenient place
If you'd rather not do this, the AAS will be happy to pay all expenses
associated with shipment of this equipment to us.
we are honored to have you consider us. With your permission, we
will have a small plaque attached to the scope in memory of your grandson.
look forward to hearing from you.
Jenkins, President, Auburn Astronomical Society
followed up with:
truly believe that, as you wished, many others will be inspired by
your wonderful gift. I am copying Rodger Morrison on this email so
that he will have your contact information. I'm sure that he will
be contacting you shortly to make arrangements. Again, thank you
so much. We will sent you photos of the scope when it makes its debut
at its first public outing, which I anticipate will be National Astronomy
Day, April 20 (weather permitting).
Saturday, February 16, Rodger made a whirlwind trip to New Orleans.
On his return he wrote:
just got back from New Orleans with the telescope and accessories.
There were more accessories than I expected. Here is a list.
mount, and tripod were as expected (plus cables, 2 counterweights, keypad,
etc.). OTA has a finder attached and is in the box, the rest are
vinyl dew shield.
A set of Zhummel
1.25” eyepieces, filters, Barlow, all in a small metal carrying case.
GPS unit for the mount (unopened box)
Power Tank battery/flashlight unit to power the mount (unopened box)
E-Lux 40mm eyepiece
They are a
nice couple. Their grandson got the telescope and accessories for
Christmas and set it up outside only once to get a look at the moon.
Shortly after, he had an asthma attack, which took his life. The
mount was still attached to the tripod in his bedroom, and the OTA was
in the box nearby on the floor. Ms. Brupbacher asked if we would
keep her posted about the telescope, and I said we would. I told
her it would be used as a teaching tool and we would send her a picture
of it in use. I also conveyed deepest condolences on behalf of all
of us before I left.
I had originally
planned to go for a few days with my wife, but at the last minute she could
not go. So instead, I just drove straight there and back, which only
took about 10 hours or so. I was at the Brupbacher’s home for less
than a half hour.
Frank and asked him to get with Rodger to pick up the scope and wrote:
you have any suggestions about the plaque? I was thinking about a
small one with the inscription the same as what you have on the loaner
We’ll bring the
telescope and accessories to have on display at our meeting, Friday.
Thanks to Rhon, Rodger, and Frank for making this
happen for AAS and special thanks to Ms Brupbacher for considering
us for the honor of accepting the fine instrument.
CGEM - 1100
memory of Cyrus Barker
by his grandmother,
I assume that
it would be placed somewhere on the scope tube. If you want, I'll
see if I can have it made up here in Auburn (unless you have a source already
Our next stargaze
is for the Wetumpka Boy Scouts on March 16, at a location
between Wetumpka and Eclectic, just off of AL 170. Comet
Pan-STARRS, should it live up to the hype, should be a primary target.
Sunset will be just before 7:00PM, so comet watching can begin at 7:30
or 8:00 followed by deep-sky object viewing. This will be after we
return to Daylight Saving Time. Please
let me know of you think you’ll be able to help with your telescope.
for the scouts, Randy Smithson, has written with directions and
what they need for their badges:
have permission to use the large pasture of Ron and Melissa Welch, 5275
Old Salem Rd Wetumpka AL [MAP].
Their son was in our Troop when he was in high school. There is a
huge cell phone tower right at Old Salem Road where you turn right and
arrive at the first house on the right (Welch's long white home w/barn
Also see the Merit
A three hour
observation session is just one of many requirements (mostly scout study
or research). Here are some for the astronomers to be mindful of
while at our session.
light pollution is and how it and air pollution affect astronomy.
Observe a planet
and describe what you saw.
List the names
of the five most visible planets. Explain which ones can appear in phases
similar to lunar phases and which ones cannot, and explain why.
With the aid
of diagrams (or real telescopes if available), do each of the following:
Explain why binoculars and telescopes are important astronomical tools.
Demonstrate or explain how these tools are used.
Describe the similarities and differences of several types of astronomical
Explain the purposes of at least three instruments used with astronomical
Describe the proper care and storage of telescopes and binoculars both
at home and in the field.
in the sky at least 10 constellations, at least four of which are in the
least eight conspicuous stars, five of which are of magnitude I or brighter.
Some of these
would be amenable to the boys observing or possibly helping with setup
and discussing equipment during daylight. Let's hope we have a rain
break that Fri/Sat.
are our stargazes, for May 18, Tuskegee Airmen NHS, and Jennifer
Lolley is already planning for the next Forest Preserve fall
stargaze. Jennifer wrote:
wanted to thank all AAS members who participated in Astronomy Night in
Auburn. It was a big success even though we did have clouds. We had a total
of around 125 show up for the event. Nice showing considering the cold
and clouds. I do think I want to move it to Kiesel park for the next one
and compare visibility and light pollution. The guy with the really big
scope [John Tatarchuk] stayed a little longer and the skies became perfect,
of course. I enjoyed a spectacular view of Orion’s nebulae.
interested in setting a fall date. I now have access to the city
calendars because they are helping to fund us now, but have to have dates
in early to make their print deadlines. Do we have anything astronomically
spectacular to view this year? We have no game on September 28th and November
23rd . Would be great if ya’ll could come up with a date for me.
ISON could peak at magnitude –10 or brighter at perihelion (when it will
be just 1° from the Sun), and that it could remain visible to the unaided
eye from early November to the first weeks of 2014. "
So, let’s plan
to shoot for November 23rd.
Beauty: As much art as science, and probably you’ve seen it before,
but still very nice to watch.
I, Postcard from the Edge
enjoyed the [February] meeting . After I got home, I looked up which
horizon PANSTARRS should be on and found the following website: http://waitingforison.wordpress.com/comet-panstarrs/
It looks like
the western horizon will be the one to look toward, but the comet will
rise quickly after its solar pass and will be very high in the sky shortly
a little later.
2 weeks until comet
PanSTARRS will sit next to the thin crescent moon in the evening sky.
Attached is a projection for finding it about 45 minutes to an hour after
sunset locally. However, Sky&Telescope warns it may not be quite
this bright in this latest update perhaps only peaking at 3rd magnitude.
remember someone asking where I saw the 2” color filters, but can’t remember
who it was. I think it was John Tatarchuk, but not sure. Anyway,
I made a note and looked it up. Here are a few of the links:
has a set of LRGB
has a set available on eBay for $20.95, but the quality may be an issue.
Also, a search
on eBay returns quite a long list of 2” filters of various types, including
a link to a press release has details that are simply amazing about the
Dung Beetle using the Milky Way to navigate at night
like a promo for the revised “Cosmos:
A Personal Voyage in 2013” series Neil is doing with Carl Sagan’s widow,
Ann, for FOX network. Don’t know when it will the coming out, perhaps
this fall? The
Most Astounding Fact excerpt.
a fresh interactive take on the earlier the Powers of 10 video: Scale
of the Universe 2.
Rodger Morrison, has hit ground running. Here’s his Member
Hope to see
everyone at the meeting,