Date: Thu, 05 Dec 1996 18:04:29 -0500
To: (Rhon & Joyce Jenkins), (Larry Owsley), (Allen Screws), (Christy Screws), (Gerald Marfoe), (Ferenc Fodor), (John Shaw), (Rich Hammett), (John Whigham), (Scott Enebak), (David Stanbury), (Randy Russell-AUM), (Ward Knockemus-Huntingdon), (Marc Schrier), (Jeff Clark), (Robert Rock), (Jim Chesnutt), (Furman Smith), (Russell Whigham), (Mike Fulmer), (David & Raye Newton), (Ron Hatherley), (Tony Miller), (Neal Murphree), (Gerald Roberts), (Dennis Grantham), (Luther Richardson), (Michael Bozack), (Jean-Marie Wersinger), (Carole Rutland), (Jim Wert), (Bob Howell - Channel 12)
From: (Russell Whigham)
Subject: ASTROFILES, December '96

Seasons Greetings Astrophiles,

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  We've had several things going on,
astronomically; Mars missions, shuttle launch and a stubborn hatch, almost
daily news from Galileo about Jupiter's moons, water on our Moon's south
pole, and new discoveries about quasars by HST.  It's an exciting time for
amateur astronomy.

This month's meeting will be this Friday, December 6, at 8:00 PM in room 215
of the Aerospace Building on the main campus of Auburn University.  Those of
you living in the greater Montgomery area are welcome to car pool.  We'll
meet here at my house (518 Seminole Drive), and head for Auburn at 7:00 PM,
sharp.  We've not been able to firm up plans to visit the Cocoa-Cola Space
Science Center, in Columbus for this month... still trying for sometime in
the near future.

Marc Schrier has made it official.  Marc's work schedule as an air traffic
controller, makes it difficult to attend our meetings in Auburn, but he's a
regular at our star parties.  See Marc's smiling face on our website under
"Members and Friends" and click on (photo).  While you're there, have a look
at some of our friends from the Mobile Astronomical Society, under
"Neighboring Societies", find MAS, and click on (photo).

Scott Enebak is an AAS member now, but was unable to attend his first
meeting.  When asked to tell us a little about himself, Scott wrote:

>I am between a expert and a beginner.  I have always been interested in the
>stars, etc. and have been a subscriber to either Sky & Telescope or Astronomy
>since the late 1970's.   Can find my way around the sky,  wait for
>eclipses', meteor showers, nice bright comets, etc.   Was disappointed last
>month when the clouds came in just a few hours before the moon came up.
>Don't own a telescope, but have a list of possibles if ever I get around to
>saving some money.   There are always other more pressing "needs" with the
>family other than a telescope.
>Originally from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, spent 5 years in West Virginia and
>just took an  appointment in the School of Forestry.    I have lived in
>Auburn  for just over a year now.   The first thing I noticed was that the
>southern latitude here has a remarkable affect on the sky for what I am used
>to seeing.  The RA are so much higher.   Also, the effect of the sun in the
>summer months (day light is shorter) and winter months (the nights are no
>where near as long) has taken some getting used to.   
>My family is somewhat interested in astronomy as well.   On clear nights
>they will accompany me to the woods and watch for satellites or wait for
>"falling stars".   I might add that winters here in Alabama are much more
>conducive to star gazing than in Minnesota. 
>Look forward to meeting with you and the rest of the club. 

Looking forward to meeting you as well, Scott.

Visiting last month was David Stanbury.  If memory serves, David has a six
inch f/8 Newtonian.  They should fit in nicely on the knoll out at Holley's
Field.  Hope to be seeing you on a regular basis now, David.

New on our list of e-mail contacts for area clubs is Walt Cooney, with the
Baton Rouge Astronomical Society.  Walt is a regular at the Deep South
Regional Star Gaze, very active in his club, and can be found in the dark
there by seeking out the longest queue to an eyepiece, where observers wait
to have a look through Walt's 25 inch Dob.  We're now linked to BRAS's
homepage under "Favorite Web Sites" / "Neighboring Societies".  

If you have your own bookmark for the Birmingham Astronomical Society's home
page, Bob Braeunig wrote to let us know that there's been a slight change in
the address.  The new
URL is...

Our link to BAS's site has already been corrected.

Also added is Dr. Wayne Wooten with EAAA in Pensacola. Wayne and his wife
Merry, have been the driving force at EAAA since its inception.  Welcome
aboard, Wayne. 

If you haven't already renewed for 1997, it's that time again.  Make checks
payable to:
Auburn Astronomical Society.  $15.00 for regular membership; $7.50 for
students.  If you can't make it to the meeting, you can send a check to:

John Zachry, AAS Treasurer
Hillcrest Rd., Box 113
West Point GA  31833

Our November star party was pretty much clouded out.  I was there from
sundown until about 9:00 PM.  Sorry if you came later and found no one
there.  Hale-Bopp is looking better and better!  After about four hours, it
was becoming obvious that the clouds were there to stay.  Once a clear spot
opened up, it was obscured by clouds again before finding the right
combination of eyepieces and filters.  Maybe the weather will be better for
the December star party.  Let's try for Saturday, December the 7th.  The
moon will be right for the Geminids the following weekend.  We can talk
about it at the meeting.  Anyone started watching Mars yet?  

After a long absence, sunspots are returning!  Be sure to observe all safety
precautions when checking them out.

Looking forward to seeing everyone Friday,


Russell Whigham
Montgomery AL

Auburn Astronomical Society