The November meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering building, on the main campus of Auburn University, Friday, November 1st, at 8:00PM. Among the items to be discussed, will be the date for our field trip to CCSSC. Montgomery area car poolers, meet at my house (518 Seminole Dr.). As usual, we head for Auburn at 7:00PM sharp. If you've never been to my house, you can get a map from our web site: Select "Members and Friends" from the main menu, find my name, and click on [Map to my house].
NOVEMBER STAR PARTY
November 9 is the nearest Saturday to the new moon. Let's hope for clear skies and Indian Summer temperatures at Holley's Field.
Dave Halupowski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael D. Sandras (email@example.com)
"Thanks for the information you have been sending. I have
Michael D. Sandras
Dennis Grantham (DENGRATH@aol.com)
"I have had my computer at home for only a week and a half, so I am
As far as my line of work, I am a mechanical engineer at von Gal in
My current telescope is a fine model from the Sears & Roebuck catalog
Well, I have taken up enough of your time, and the kids want to "play
P.S. Four dogs and a hamster. Antique tractors."
(The P.S. was in response to my question about "any pets and other hobbies?")
I always get a little nervous when we have perfect, deep blue skies the first part of a week before a star party. This usually guarantees clouds by the weekend. But, the weather gods were smiling on us this time. We're just not accustomed to weather patterns like this any other time of the year, here in the southeast, but it happened the week of the annual Deep South Regional Star Gaze last month.
The drive to McComb was pleasant. Because of the somewhat earlier than usual date of the DSRSG this year, the hardwood foliage color was not at its peak, but the cotton fields were ripe for harvest. The new speed limits for divided highways and interstates put me in McComb almost an hour earlier than in past years.
I staked out my spot on the "Alabama" area on the observing field at Percy Quinn State Park. Moments later, Dave Halupowski, then the members of the Moblie Astronomical Society arrived. After everyone had set-up their gear, we all adjourned to "Mr. Whiskers", the all-you-can-eat catfish restaurant just down the road from the park, for what has become a Thursday evening tradition at DSRSG. Later in the evening, Robert Rock arrived, followed the next evening by Mike Fulmer. Ken Poshedley (AAC) and Dave Halupowski (EAAA) were absorbed into our little group as the sole representatives from the states of Georgia and Floridia, respectively.
We had a pretty full observing agenda for the first part of the evening. During twilight, we were treated to passes of Mir and HST within minutes of each other. We had re-runs of this show on Friday and Saturday nights as well. Next, we wanted to catch comet Hale-Bopp before it slipped behind the trees. We did, and it still seems to be living up to expectations. Jupiter had a Io's shadow transiting its disk. Later, I picked up where I left off last year on my Herschel List, but found myself lost in Camelopardolis with no naked-eye stars within ten degrees of my targets. "To heck with this, I'm here to have fun", I thought to myself, and began revisiting some of the objects which I had written "good" next to, on my charts. Eventually, Rod Mollise (MAS), and I began comparing views of the "Helix" nebula. The Helix is the nearest planetary nebula to us, but has very low surface brightness. We found the best combination to be with a 26mm Plossl eyepiece and the O-III filter, using his 8 inch Celestron Ulitma and my C-11. We decided to see if it looked any better in Pat Rochford's (MAS) 24 inch. It did! The last object observed on Saturday night/Sunday morning was NGC 246, another planetary nebula, in Cetus, which appears as a broken ring in my scope, but in Pat's, it was a perfect disk. A perfect ending to a perfect weekend.
We'll have some pictures of the folks and their scopes at DSRSG to post
on our web page as soon as I get them from Robert. If you think you
might like to go next year, the dates are October 30 through November 2.
Check out the following newly listed web pages, listed under "Our Favorite Astronomy Web Sites", on the AAS homepage:
Amateur Astronomy Online, Celestial WWW (orbital elements), Fernbank Science Center, New Star Gazers, Northern Cross Observatory News, Star Facts, The ASTRONOMY Cafe, LightSpeed, STARTIMES, and The Astronomer Magazine.