Hello Fellow Astrophiles,

The June meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be this Friday,
June 7, at the usual time of 8:00 P.M., in room 302 of the aerospace
building on the Auburn University campus.  Rhon is back from Italy, the home
of telescopic observations of the heavens.  Welcome back Rhon!  At last
month's meeting, seasoned observers, John Shaw and Ferenc Fodor came by for
a visit.  We look forward to having them back as regulars.  Check out some
of John's astrophotography at:


The Montgomery delegation will depart from my house at 7:00 P.M.


As the sole attendee of last month's star party, I get to give the report.
:-)  The rest of you showed better judgment or had other plans.  Robert Rock
did drop by with frequent visitor and mutual friend, Larry Adams, about
10:00 P.M. on their way to rescue an ailing computer.  As feared, the summer
doldrums arrived early this year.  The sky was that hazy, murky sky we've
come to expect during the summer months here in the southeast.  Despite the
lack of transparency, the night did have a couple of high points.  

While waiting for dark, I had a look at Venus -- as much to align the finder
scope and get a good focus, as to do any serious observing.  To my surprise,
our sister planet revealed a very slender crescent where a "half-Venus" was
just a few weeks ago.  The image was huge and stood all of the magnification
I wanted to use.  This was my first chance to try out my new Shorty Barlow
from Orion. It did somewhat better than I had anticipated, based on images
through other full-sized barlows. If you missed it, you'll have to wait a
Venusian year to see it like this again.  

Another surprise was a very young Moon.  Checking my calendar when I arrived
home, I found that the Moon was a mere 36 hours old.  And while this is
about a day later that the record, it's one of the youngest I've seen.
Through the nearly horizontal telescope, the image was quite steady and
inspite of the dense atmosphere, was visible all the down to the horizon!

Aside from these two events, the evening was spent revisiting the brighest
summer Messier objects.  Omega Centauri was just a blur and forget anything
subtle.  I didn't wait up for Jupiter.  Maybe this month.  Let's plan a June
star party for Saturday, June 15.  


After mentioning to Robert that I was having some problems with GIF images
to be used on a Web Page that I've been working on for the society, he came
over to my house to see what I was doing.  We worked for a while, exchanged
some ideas and then I sent him home with a homework assignment:  Fix the AAS
logo with the radial lettering and fix the map to Holley's Field by getting
it down to a manageable size.  The next day I had greatly improved  images,
sent as attached files to some e-mail from Robert, but still with some
problems.  An e-mail to Robert was sent detailing the fine points of what I
wanted.  Less than a week later, Robert is now on his way to being an
advanced HTML programmer.  We aren't too far from uploading the whole thing
to my host.  I'll bring a disk of our efforts to date to the meeting, and if
we can get access to a PC with Netscape, we'll give it a trial run.  So far,
we have a link to a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the AAS, a link
to the story behind the AAS logo, a link to a map to Holley's Field, a link
to another FAQ on telescopes, a link to a membership application, and a
directory of members and friends of AAS.  Under construction is a page of
astrophotos taken by AAS members and links to web pages of neighboring
astronomy clubs.  Let us know what you think.  Constructive suggestions will
be welcomed.  I've also thought about photos (group or individual) along
with a brief biographical sketch (occupation, family, telescopes,other
hobbies, and areas of special interest.)  What do you think?

By some coincidence, the Birmingham Astronomical Society has just this week
posted their web page.  They've incorporated many of the same features we
have but in a very professional looking site.  Check it out at:



Barnes and Noble have recently opened in Montgomery on the Eastern Bypass
next to Office Max.  They have the largest astronomy section in town.  I
think you'll be impressed.

Hope to see everyone Friday night,


Russell Whigham
Auburn Astronomical Society
Montgomery AL