Hello, All !

                        FEBRUARY MEETING

This month’s meeting will be on Friday February 2,  at 8:00 p.m. in room 302
of the Aerospace Building (unless the groundhog sees his shadow at 8:00
p.m.).  Hope to see all of you there.  

No star parties have been scheduled lately.  Clouds and cold have not been
conducive to pleasant evenings under the stars.  If the elements cooperate
this month , the new moon date will be Saturday, Feb. 17.  Try to be there
by 5:30 p.m.  

I hope some others of you have enjoyed the waltz between this past week’s
young Moon, Venus, and Saturn.

                        IN THE NEWS

Well, since our last meeting, we’ve had quite a bit happening
astronomically.  Hardly a week passes now without important new discoveries
from Hubble, Galileo, or even those old low-tech earth-based observations.
JPL has begun to release preliminary findings from Jupiter’s atmosphere.  As
usual, there plenty of surprises - among the more important - not as much
water as had been expected.  

I’m sure many of you have seen the latest images from Hubble, revealing
galaxies ten billion light-years distant - far more than had been predicted
at that stage of the universe’s evolution.  Estimates of the population of
the universe jumped suddenly from 10 billion to 50 billion galaxies.

Also announced at the recent annual meeting of the American Astronomical
Society (the other AAS),  seven more MACHO events were announced by a team
at The Great Melbourne Telescope.  They now predict the MACHO’s account for
half of the "dark matter" in the universe.  

And last, but not least, two more stars with evidence of planets were
announced by astronomers at San Francisco State.  It was announced that
these two are at the right distance to have liquid water and DNA.  All of
this was covered in an article in the January 29, 1996 issue of  NEWSWEEK.  
Stay tuned...

                        NEW E-NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS

You may have noticed a few new names on the mail list:  

Tony Miller is an expatriate from the Escambia Amateur Astronomers
Association in Pensacola.  Tony lives in Montgomery now, is an avid amateur,
but works the evening shift at Rheem, which puts him at somewhat of a
disadvantage.  Still, he wants to go observing some Saturday night.  Tony is
in the market now for a "previously owned" 8 inch Newtonian.  If you can
help him out, please contact him at his e-mail address above.

Dr. Wersinger is in the Physics Department at A.U., and although we’ve never
met, I have it on good authority that he knows his astronomy.  We hope
you’ll come visit with us, Dr. Wersinger.

Rod Mollise is our contact for the Mobile Astronomical Society.  We know Rod
and his wife Dorothy from our visits to the Deep South Regional Star Gaze,
down in McComb MS each fall.  Rod, if you're doing something like this there
in the MAS, please add us to your list.

Jim Chesnutt (man, that name sounds familiar) dropped me an e-note the other
day.  Jim, (a fellow Mindspringer) for those of you who haven’t had the
pleasure, goes back to the earliest days of the AAS.  He’s still interested
in astronomy and hopes to get back into the hobby when time permits.  He’s
still hanging on at Quantegy, (formally known as AMPEX) and has most of his
"free time" devoted to his wedding photography business.  Check out Jim’s
home page at:  


Jim, did you ever fix that "falling tube" problem on your 12.5" Dob?  :-)

Also, please note the change in Ron Hatherley’s address.  We hope to have
e-mail addresses for John Zachry, Jim McLaughlin, and Allen Screws soon.


The following announcement was stolen from the Deep-Sky BBS in Atlanta.  Jim
Mclaughlin and I are planning to be there.  Jim and I are still itching to
try out his new Meade LX200 8 inch SCT that Santa brought him. 
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                         THE 1996 PEACH STATE STAR GAZE

The Atlanta Astronomy Club is proud to announce that the third annual Peach
State Star Gaze will be held under the dark skies of Camp McIntosh at Indian
Springs State Park near Jackson, Georgia, south of Atlanta, Thursday through
Sunday, April 18 - 21.

View through large and small telescopes, share observing and
astrophotography techniques, participate in talks given by amateurs, and
bring your unused astronomical gadgets for the swap table.
Only an hour’s drive southeast of Atlanta, the camp offers comfortable
lodging in the beautiful foliage of Georgia’s spring woods and dark skies of
central Georgia. And the timing is right for steady skies with the humid
weather of summer still months away.
Lodging facilities are described later in this article, and are limited to
150 persons.


· Saturday afternoon talks and presentations by some of the most famous
names in amateur astronomy
· Workshops on a variety of topics throughout the event
· Open observing on a flat, open field located only a short walk from the
lodging and program facilities

Featured Speakers:

The PSSG is structured to provide the amateur and beginner with as much
practical advice as possible on observing.
With that in mind, we offer:
· Don Parker, considered by many to be the guru of amateur astrophotography.
If you don’t know of Don, you’re either new to the hobby or should get out
more often. Don is the coordinator of the Assn. of Lunar and Planetary
Observer’s CCD imaging and Mars Project. His subject will be observing the
· Julius Benton, whose presentation will be observing the Moon, is also very
active with ALPO as coordinator of the lunar selected areas observing
program, and the Venus and Saturn sections.
· James K. Rouse, astrophotographer, will talk on sunset photography. You’ll
probably remember many of Jim’s lunar and planetary images in Astronomy
magazine, Sky & Telescope magazine and other books and periodicals over the
years.  His lighthearted talks at previous star parties on “How to Build a
$500 Backyard Observatory for Under $3,000” consistently drew chuckles as he
explained how the cost of living is directly related to the increased cost
of backyard facilities.
· Dawn Jenkins of Cleveland, editor of the federation newsletter for that
area’s dozen or so astronomy clubs, will offer tips for observing with
binoculars, a much-requested subject at star parties from those who don’t
yet have scopes. Dawn’s observing history includes at least 13 years in the
hobby, a 5-inch f/5 reflector, a 6-inch f/10 reflector and a 12.5-inch f/6.6
reflector (the last two homemade), 10x50 binoculars and stand-mounted 11x80
· Paul Traufler, author of the popular shareware computer program Traksat,
will present a program on a growing interest ( observing artificial
satellites. You may have seen Paul’s program in action during one of CNN’s
“Backyard Universe” segments last summer.

Camp Facilities:

Camp McIntosh is a group camp within the bounds of Indian Springs State Park
located near Jackson in central Georgia.  The Creek Indians lived in this
area and used the spring water for medicinal purposes.
The group camp can accommodate up to 150 persons with four dormitory-style
cabins, three staff quarters buildings and the centrally-located ballfield
(which serves as the observing site) where campers may also park. That means
bunkhouse, semiprivate rooms and camping-style lodging. A general meeting
building and a dining hall fully equipped with cooking and wash-up
facilities are also on-site.  Registrants provide their own bed
linens/pillows and towels.
The observing field features a wide, low horizon (-44 degree horizon when
viewing south from the north end).

For More Information:

To request hardcopy registration materials, contact Ken Poshedly at 3440
Everson Bay Court, Snellville, GA 30278-4463; phone (770) 979-9842; Internet
e-mail to; or CompuServe e-mail to 102745,313.
An on-line registration form with all fees will be available for download by
mid-January at the Atlanta
Astronomy Club home page,
--- Maximus 3.01
· Origin: The Deep-Sky BBS * (404)321-5904 (1:133/208)

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That's all for now,


Russell Whigham