Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 20:01:33 -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), (William Baugh), (Scott Thompson), (Ricky Wood), (Luther Richardson), (Michael Bozack), (Jean-Marie Wersinger), (Carole Rutland), (Jim Wert), (Bob Howell - Channel 12)
From: (Russell Whigham)
Subject: ASTROFILES, February '97

Greetings Astrophiles,

*** FEBRUARY MEETING (!!! Please note different date and location !!!) ***

In lieu of our regular "first Friday" meeting, we will have our eagerly
anticipated tour of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center and Mead Observatory, 
( ) in Columbus GA, on SATURDAY, February 8.
The program will begin at 6:30PM CST  (7:30PM EST).  A detailed itinerary is
listed below.  See the attached file "ccssc.gif" for a map to CCSSC.  If for
some reason you can't view this file, you can also see it on our web page
under "Members and Friends", go down to "CCSSC" and click on (Map to CCSSC).
The address is: 
701 Front Avenue 
Columbus, GA 31901 
(706) 649-1470.  
(See the attached file for a map.)

Montgomery area car poolers, meet at my house (518 Seminole Dr.).  Let's
plan to head out for Columbus at 3:30PM so we'll have time to eat after we
arrive in Columbus.

Because this is the new moon weekend for February, our visit to the
observatory, observing with the 16 inch Meade SCT, will be our monthly star
party.  It should be a little warmer in the Mead Observatory than at
Holley's field but you'll still need to dress warmly.  

Luther Richardson is coordinating this event and will be our host for the

Luther writes:

>I have a few suggestions for places to eat for you.  First, here are some 
>general directions to the CSSC.  From Auburn, take 85 to Opelika (the 3rd 
>exit or so for Opelika, it is the exit that connects 85 to highway 280).  
>Take 280 to Phenix City (about 20 miles or so).  Stay on 280 through 
>Phenix City.  The first place I've heard suggested to eat is a Mexican 
>restaurant called El Vaquero.  It is visible off of 280 inside of Phenix 
>City, about 1 mile passed the Wal-Mart (on the left).  Continue on 280 
>and you will cross the Victory Drive bridge (this bridge is still the 
>same road you got on in Opelika).  You will pass the Columbus Red Stix 
>baseball stadium (on the right).  Soon after you will come to a traffic 
>light at the intersection of 280 (Victory Drive) and Veteran's Pkwy (US 27).
>The Columbus Civic Center will be on your right.  Turn left at this light on 
>to Veteran's Pkwy (show as Fourth Ave. on the map).  Drive down Veteran's Pkwy 
>for about a mile or so, and turn left on 10th street.  Drive about another
> through several lights, until you are almost to the river, and turn left
on Front 
>Avenue.  You will be right next to the Trade and Convention Center (on 
>the right) and the Hilton (on the left).  There is a nice restaurant 
>inside the Hilton ( a bit pricey, but good).  Drive past the trade 
>center, and the adjoining parking deck.  The CSSC is immediately passed 
>the parking deck, and has a replica (to scale!) of the first 40 feet of a 
>space shuttle in view through the glass wall at the front of the building.
>I will be around that Saturday afternoon, so I could arrange to meet the 
>group somewhere convenient to guide you to a restaurant and to the space 
>science center.  There is a great Japanese steak house called Shogun and 
>a decent sit down place called B. Merrills that might be nice, but giving 
>directions would be messy!  
Excuse me for interrupting here, Luther.  Jim Wert also has a couple of
suggestions as to restaurants:

>As far as restaurants go near the CCSCC, it depends in part on what time the
>crew would assemble.  The Center is in downtown (or "Uptown", per the
>natives) Columbus, and mostly the restaurants in that area do a lunch trade.
> Rankin's Deli is a good option.  There's one pretty good restaurant that
>Carol Rutland and I frequent called The Olive Branch. It's a little more
>upscale pricewise, but I know they're open for dinner.  It's number is (706)
>322-7410, and the address is 1032 Broadway, just north of and a block over
>from the CCSSC. 

Thanks for the suggestions, Jim.  Getting together for a meal seems like a
great idea.  But, as you can see, there are almost as many restaurant
choices as there are people attending.  Sooo, rather than try to guess what
everyone likes to eat and how much they want to pay, I propose meeting at
CCSSC an hour and a half before the program starts , say 5:00PM CST, see how
many we have, then see if we can agree on a place to go.  

Excuse me, Luther.  You were saying...

>The show I recommended has been pulled back into the regular schedule, 
>and is shown on Saturdays at 8pm, EST, 7pm, CST.  We can still do the
'bonus' tour by 
>just letting the regular crowd leave while the group stays behind.  The 
>Space Science Center will charge $5 per person, 

[Editor's note:  AAS will be paying the admission for official AAS members
and one guest each.  See the official list below.] 

>Schedule wise, we can do this:
>CST     EST
>6:30	7:30   Arrive at the Space Science Center -- brief tour of 
>	       Shuttle/Space station simulator
>6:50	7:50   Begin sitting for 'Journey to Infinity' in the Omnisphere Theater
>7:00	8:00   Journey to Infinity
>7:42	8:42   Digistar demonstration
>8:00	9:00   Mead Observatory (16 inch Meade SCT)

Thanks for getting this together for us, Luther.


The following names have been sent to the Astronomical League as official
members of the Auburn Astronomical Society by our Treasurer and ALCOR, John

Scott Enebak
Mike Fulmer 
Ron Hatherley 
Rhonald M. Jenkins
Jim McLaughlin
David Newton
Robert Rock
Marc Schrier
Allen Screws
Marty Skelton
Scott Thompson
Russell Whigham 
Ricky Wood
John Zachry 

If your name is not on the list, and you have paid your dues, please let me
know ASAP.  If you've been planning to join or renew, but just haven't
gotten around to it, remember that you'll have your admission to the CCSSC
paid for you if you're a member.  You can bring your dues to CCSSC for the
meeting, or sent a check to our treasurer:

John Zachry
P.O. Box 778
West Point GA 31833-0778

Dues for one year are $15.00.  Make checks payable to Auburn Astronomical
Society.  You'll also receive the Astronomical League's quarterly, "THE


Scott Thompson

Scott lives in Alex City and is the proud owner of a seven inch
Astro-Physics refractor.  He found us on the Internet and decided to join.
Scott writes:

>I have made myself a goal to get involved more in astronomy especially 
>astrophotography. So far I have used my scope mostly for regular viewing. 
>I have done some moon, planet, and sun photography. Practically no deep sky
>because I do not have a guidescope. However I am in the process of
purchasing one.
>Q.  Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby?
>A.  I am by no means seasoned but I have dabbled off and on for four
>    years. I had a sears refractor ever since I was 10 years old. However I
>    never used it much.
>Q.  What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy?
>A.  A planetarium experience when I was younger and then looking at
>    Saturn's rings through that Sears Refractor. 
>Q.  How about your family members; spouse? kids? significant other?
>A.  My wife says that it is an expensive hobby but enjoys the views through
>    the scope every now and then. No children except our 20 lbs. cat.
>Q.  Do you have a .JPG or .GIF image of yourself, or you and your 
>    telescope for us to post on the web page?
>A.  I think Ricky has one of both of us and our scopes for you.
>    Ricky Wood whom I forced to join with me so he would get his scope out
>    He has a Meade 8" ... I trying to get him to buy a Losmandy Mount so he can
>    take pictures. 
>Q.  Can you tell us a little about your formal education?
>A.   College: ACJC in Alex. City, AS in Law Enforcement
>     College: Auburn University, Degree in Marketing and Transportation
>     I took Astronomy when I was at Auburn. It was fun. That was at the
>     time of Halley's Comet. 
>Q.  Do you have any pets?
>A.  Thai our cat who is Siamese and sometimes will help keep my lap warm
>    while scoping.
>Q.  Where do you work?  If you're retired, what was your occupation?
>A.  SACS / Scott Accounting and Computer Services. Service Technician / Sales
>    We sell Public Housing Software and install networks for housing
>Q.  What are your other hobbies?
>A.  Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) my call sign is KA4JFN. That is all the
>    hobbies I can afford, so my wife says.
>Q. Have you ever lived in some other part of the country?
>A. I was in the Air Force Reserve for 8 years and I was a Loadmaster on
>   the  Hercules C-130 Transport. So I have traveled a great deal in the US
and some
>   abroad.

Ricky Wood

Ricky is also from Alex City.  He does his observing with his eight inch
Meade SCT and has a special interest in astrophotography.  In response to
our new member questionnaire, Ricky writes:

>Q.  Are you a seasoned amateur astronomer or just getting into the hobby?
>A.  Little of both probably 6 or 7 years but also just getting feet wet in
>    hobby.
>Q.  What was your first experience that attracted you to astronomy?
>A.  Seem to always been interested; got going when I met Scott Thompson and
>    saw Saturn through his Sears telescope. Then was hooked.
>Q.  How about your family members; spouse? kids? significant other?
>A.  Married have a 6 year son at home and a 21 year old from a former marriage
>Q.  Do you have a .JPG or .GIF image of yourself, or you and your
>    telescope for us to post on the web page?
>A.  Yes will try to scan it in and send it to you.
>Q.  Can you tell us a little about your formal education?
>A.  High school
>Q.  Do you have any pets?
>A.  At the moment just fish
>Q.  Where do you work?  If you're retired, what was your occupation?
>A.  Quality Assurance at Russell Corporation
>Q.  What are your other hobbies?
>A.  Photography and Amateur Radio (my callsign is KD4FJS)
>Q.  What was your first car?
>A.  1964 Ford Falcon
>Q.  What was your first "real" job?
>A.  Still there

We're delighted that Scott and Ricky found us and are looking forward to
meeting them in person.  Welcome aboard, guys!

*** PRESS RELEASES FROM (the other) AAS ***

The American Astronomical Society has just concluded their meeting in Toronto.
During the last week many press releases have been forwarded to the
Usenet, the newsgroups and sci.astro.

The subjects have been:

 - From stars to neutrinos: Physics offers glimpse into the universe's
   dark era
 - Gamma-Ray Bursts Thought to be from Edge of Universe
 - Hubble team reveals a stellar odd couple among thousands of suns in
   the Milky Way
 - Keck telescope spies the likely building blocks of modern galaxies
 - Keck telescopes find galaxies of normal stars surrounding quasars
 - New Signature Of Black Holes Detected?
 - Power Source Hidden in Galaxy Backs Theory on Quasars
 - Supernova 1987A Expected To Light Up The Sky Once Again
 - World's largest one-piece mirror to be cast at UA Jan. 18 - 22 

If you haven't seen these releases yet, you can find them on the Usenet.

If you don't have access to the Usenet, you can get in
digest form by sending the message "subscribe spacenws" to the address
"". It is possible to retrieve old spacenws
digest's just as it is possible to retrieve old astro-digest's.

There was also an excellent, beautifully illustrated article on The
Destruction of Circumstellar Disks In Orion's Trapezium, by Doug Johnstone
of the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA).  You can find
it in  
HST Latest Pictures also has some information on the papers given at the
meeting at:


David Stanbury writes:

>As usually seems to be the case, I was not able to attend last
>week's Auburn Astro meeting.  However, last night (Saturday) I went to
>Holley's Field for the star party.  I arrived at 5:30 and stayed 'till 6:05
>PM.  The sky's were partially overcast, the weather dry and cold, and the
>viewing in certain directions fine.

There have been too many "one man" star parties lately.  Perhaps next month
(March) we can have another "comet of the century" crowd.


If you have a good eastern horizon, you should be able to see comet
Hale-Bopp naked-eye.  It's 3rd magnitude now and appears as an enlarged,
fuzzy, bluish star, near Altair. 

Robert Rock was the only member of our group to make the trip to Atlanta to
hear the presentation my misters Hale and Bopp at the Atlanta Astronomy
Club's January meeting.

Here's Robert's account of the event: 

>It had not been long just viewing Comet Hyakutake and we were 
>down  at the DSRSG in October 1996. One of the members of the 
>Mobile club and I started just talking about seeing Hale and 
>Bopp in Atlanta and after only a few more discussions about 
>it we decided that we might just could plan something in 
>advance like this. As it turns out Sherri from the Mobile 
>club and Judy had also been discussing going also. A few  
>E-mails later we had it all figured when and where. After 
>having a few small concerns about how to finalize the trip to 
>Fernbank Science Center, I find myself getting about 4 hrs of 
>sleep due to Tornado Warnings the night before. Even with this 
>Sherri and Judy drive up and off we go to the big A. I must 
>say it was a rather quick trip over , had I been driving it 
>would have taken longer. It was nice just to sit back, enjoy 
>the scenery, and get a place to stay before late after the 
>meeting. As it is when you go over to Atlanta , you had better 
>know 2 things. One is What you are going to do and the other 
>is how to find enough time.
>We were able to get down to the Science Center and actually had 
>a little time before the Atlanta club started their meeting. 
>After having been welcomed by Ken Poshedly and a few others 
>we just felt at home. After what seemed like a very short 
>introduction, both Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp told their stories 
>about the discovery of the comet.  There was only five minutes 
>between the times they found the comet and Hale described his 
>checking in with the Central Bureau as being quite easy since 
>he has a computer inside his home and just waited for the news. 
>As for Mr Bopp he had it rather rough. He said he had driven 
>many miles back to Glendale, AZ, having problems with phone and 
>telegrams, He in turn finally made it home and sent a telegram 
>to Central Bureau and was later called back of the good news. 
>For two observers living in two places and having located the 
>same object seemed to be rather unusual. To me and others 
>attending the meeting agreed that Hale and Bopp even looked 
>somewhat alike in the book , Everybody's Comet by Alan Hale. 
>But after listening to them and also having  waited around 
>long enough for a crowd of over 400 to leave, we actually go 
>to talk to both of them at length. I can say that they do not 
>have the exact same personality, but both were very nice to 
>have met and also can say that their discovery of Hale-Bopp 
>will be something for us all to remember. I can highly recommend 
>the book. It goes into just about anything you could want to know 
>about comets.
>As for later we had a late dinner at Shoney`s and met up with 
>Ken Poshedly the next morning.  Sherri wanted to see Stone 
>Mountain and we all came up with a few quick things to do before 
>going. After taking in the Gwinnette Mall we followed Ken to 
>his home in Snellville.  Where the name comes from I do not 
>know, and he does not either. It was a very pleasant day and 
>after going up on Stone Mountain, Sherri comes up with an idea. 
>She asked me what the top of the mountain looked like and I 
>told her over 7 yrs ago I said it was an asteroid.  She agrees, 
>I must say others did not but for those who have never seen this 
>big old rock just sort of sticking out of the ground and no others 
>near it , you ought to go see it. Then you decide. Who really 
>knows what happened millions of years ago. Anybody  I know was 
>not around and a crazy idea of a mile wide asteroid might not 
>be so bad after all. They are out there.
>On the way home Sherri and Judy decide they want barbecue and I 
>headed them towards Tallasee to Johnny G`s. Everyone got their 
>fill and then since we were so close I mentioned our observing 
>site. Well as it turns out we were not dressed for the rather 
>cool weather and the Star Party lasted about 10 minutes. We 
>observed Orion , the Dipper,  M45, Hyades, and a few other objects. 
>The skies were not all that great but Judy commented that the site 
>was pretty good. As for Sherri she said her Grandmother has a 
>place that will beat this one. I happen to know about where it is 
>and for those in the club who may be interested we may just have 
>a nice invite down to the Western part of the state before long.  



The Escambia Amateur Astronomers Association in Pensacola FL, is on the
World Wide Web at:

A link to their site has been added to our "Neighboring Societies" area of
"Our Favorite Astronomy Links". 

Hoping to see everyone at CCSSC,



Attachment Converted: C:\MSPRING2\DOWNLOAD\CCSSC1.gif
Russell Whigham
Montgomery AL

Auburn Astronomical Society