Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 19:24:47 -0400
To: (Rhon & Joyce Jenkins), (Larry Owsley @ Home),
        OWSLEY@ALUMNI.AUBURN.EDU (Larry Owsley), (Allen Screws), (Allen Screws @ Home), (Christy Screws), (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), (Jim Burns), (David & Raye Newton), (Ron Hatherley), (Neal Murphree), (Dennis Grantham), (William Baugh), (Scott Thompson), (Ricky Wood), (Paul McKee), (Yen-Ming Cheng), (Mike & Adam Roberts), (Jim Locke), (Tim & David Rich), (DAVID E. GREGORY), (Dacia Marshall), (Chris Talley), (Margie Brand), (Marcus and Susan Howell), (Vince Cammarata), (Luther Richardson), (J. D. Perez), (Michael Bozack), (Jean-Marie Wersinger), (Jason Ramsey), (Christian Nelson), (Thad Phillips), (Rick Evans -- W A Gayle Planetarium), (Alisha Vila), (David T King Jr ), (Ted Kicklighter), (Jason & Claudia Glasgow), (Lee Cook), (Carole Rutland), (Jim Wert), (Astronomy)
From: (Russell Whigham)
Subject: ASTROFILES, October '97

Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
October, 1997

Greetings Astrophiles,


The October meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be on Friday,
October 3, at 8:00 PM in room 215 in the Aerospace Engineering building on
the campus of Auburn University.  Montgomery area car poolers can meet at my
house (518 Seminole Drive).  We'll leave for Auburn at 7:00 PM.  

New Moon will be on the weekend of  Saturday, November 1.  Those not
attending the Deep South Regional Star Gaze, should meet at Holley's Field
for this month's star party.


John Zachry will be taking orders for discount subscriptions to Sky &
Telescope and Astronomy magazines at this month's meeting. Bring the
checkbook with you. 


Make plans now to attend a very special November meeting.  Dr. David King
will give the Friday, November 7 program on "The Wetumpka Meteor Crater" at
our regular November meeting time and place.  The following Saturday,
November 8, Dr. King will lead a field trip at the site of the crater in


Please welcome new member, Norman B. Cranford.  Norman graduated from Auburn
in 1979, with a degree in geology.  Now retired, Norman worked as an
environmental scientist.  Glad to have you with us Norman.

Visiting with us for the first time was Seth Adkins, of Montgomery.  Seth is
12 years old, in the seventh grade, and has special interests in
paleontology (fossil hunting); science; math.  Along with Seth was triennial
visitor and erstwhile member, Larry Owsley.  Good to see you again, Larry.

New to the mailing list is Montgomerian, Lee Cook.  Looking forward to
meeting you soon, Lee.


>From the better late than never department:  Someone finally told the folks
at Celestron International about the world wide web.  They now have a web
presence that's quite comprehensive.  I was somewhat surprised that their
product images were, for the most part, in black & white?!  Our Astronomy
Links page is updated to include this and several other new links.  You may
also notice that our Main Menu page has been gussied up a bit.
Field Trips/Dark Parks:  At the suggestion of Allen Screws, we now have a
page devoted to astronomically favorable public places for those who like to
mix their astronomy and camping.  We also have several requests each year
from the public wanting to know, "Where can I go to see the comet?".  Now,
thanks to Allen, we have some suggestions.  Allen has also found an
interesting web site about Arp objects (inter-acting galaxies) that he came
across the other day that is linked under our Miscellaneous links. 

Field Trips/Wetumpka Astrobleme :  For those of you who are looking forward
to our November lecture and field trip of the Wetumpka meteor crater, you
can have a "virtual" preview tour, by following the link to David King's web
page on the crater.  Having a look here before we go on the "actual" field
trip will, no doubt, have a better understanding of the feature when we do
get there.

Robert Burnham Jr.:  Anyone who has Robert Burnham Jr.'s Three volume set of
Celestial Handbooks will want to visit the URL mentioned below.  The
following message was gleaned from the ASTRO mail list:

A very pertinent posting was placed on the ATM list.  A feature story about
Robert Burnham Jr. was printed in the Phoenix New Times and can be found at:

It tells the story of the writer of my most valuable astronomy books, and
I'm sure his Celestial Handbook is also the favorite of many of you.  His
life and death (yes he died un-noticed in 1993) provides a tragic tale worth
reading. Just keep clicking the "next" key.

Here's to you Robert, thanks and may you rest in peace among the stars.

Tony Cecce
Corning NY


Final reminder.  This is the month some of us have been waiting for since
this time last year.  I'll have some of the registration forms at the
meeting.  You can also get them download information and registration forms
from: or e-mail Barry Simon at:


Sherri Martin (Mobile Astronomical Society) has invited us down for a
weekend of stargazing at a very dark sky site.  See the AAS web page
Trips/Millry Dark-Sky Site for a map and Robert Rock's impressions.  You can
e-mail Sherri if you have any questions.

From: Sherri L. Martin 
Subject: It's A Go For Millry

I just spoke with the lease tenants of the grass field in Millry...they say
O.K. for us to use it for a stargaze.  How does the first weekend of Oct.
sound  (Oct.4-5)?  That will be 3 days after new moon.  

Ms. Gant said there is a pond on the adjoining 80 acres and if anyone wanted
to fish out of it they are welcome.


And speaking of  the  MAS, Rod Mollise sent me (e-mail) an image of  Saturn
about to be occulted by the Moon, that he made with his hand-held video
camera afocal projection through his 8 inch Newtonian, and grabbed with a
"Snappy" frame grabber.  It's as good as any CCD image you'll see.  Have a
look at it at his planetary images (near the bottom) at URL:


The telescope donated to the Physics Department at Auburn University for use
in the Kiesel Park observatory was put into storage in Parker hall in late
August.  The telescope had been in storage on the original owner's property,
and it was transported to Auburn by members of the physics department in the
back of a van.

Despite the size of the telescope, the tube assembly of the sixteen inch
Newtonian is about 8 feet long and 20 inches in diameter, not to mention the
6 foot long truck axle which forms the main component of the original
cross-axis mounting, a crane was _not_ needed to move the telescope. The
mirror was detached from the telescope tube and the mirror and it's cast
aluminum flotation mount were placed in a heavily padded box for the trip to
Auburn.  There was also a very big counterweight for the telescope.  A large
box of miscellaneous items was packed. 

On examination the box contained wooden forms from which the aluminum parts
of the telescope were cast, a Foucalt tester, a box of home-made eyepieces,
and in a smaller box, wrapped in cotton and a paper bag, an aluminized
diagonal.  Since I did not get a chance to look in the tube assembly, this
could be the diagonal for the  telescope or a backup mirror.  I don't know.
There were also several cast iron polishing tools and two glass disks which
were about an inch thick and 16-20 inches across.  They did not seem to be
tools and were under all the stuff described above.

The mirror is in good shape, no majors dings and the coating is dirty, but
not scratched.  It should be easy to clean if anyone has the gumption to
attempt it.  The mirror is about 
2.7 inches thick and has tape wrapped around the outer rim.  The flotation
cell attaches to the end of the tube assembly by three knurled screws so the
mirror and cell are a detachable unit.

The tube is fiberglass and has a home-made eyepiece mount.  The tube cradle
goes all the way around the tube and when the cradle is attached to the
mount, the tube rotates on bearings so the eyepiece position can be adjusted.

The mounting has a large right ascension circle at the lower, south end, of
the axle.  There is a worm gear about 8 inches in diameter and a A.C. drive
motor to drive the telescope.

That is about it.  The telescope  is going to remain in storage until some
place to put it is built.  It is a large telescope and built in the old
Porter mount style -- heavier is better, but it could be a  very nice
performer with some cleaning and repair.



>From Marcus Howell comes this update:

UPS delivered the optics for the six-inch Dobsonian this afternoon.  The
mirrors, eyepiece holder, stalk, and two eyepieces were delivered.  They
were out of the 8mm Konig I had ordered.  I need to purchase a Telrad and
everything will be set.  The company I purchased from, University Optics,
(Ann Arbor, Michigan) does not carry Telrads.  I will probably order from
Pocono Mt. Optics.  

My immediate plans are to:
1.  review the information on installing the equipment
2.  purchase the glue (to hold the mirror in place in the cell)
3.  drill a hole for the eyepiece
4.  collimate the glass 

Hopefully everything will be completed and secured by this weekend.  Nothing
would give me a greater thrill than to watch Auburn beat Central Florida
(live or pay-per-view) and then go outside and enjoy a visit with Jupiter
through a completed telescope!

I look forward to attending another meeting in the near future.  Please
continue to keep me informed.

Marcus Paul Howell

(Then this follow-up from Marcus)

Just wanted to let you know that I completed the telescope tonight at 9:00
PM and was able to observe Jupiter and the four prominent moons!  Monday
night I look forward to viewing Venus. 

Look forward to meeting with the club again soon,

Marcus Paul Howell


 Two  atoms are walking down the street and they run in to each other. One
says to  the other, "Are you all right?"  "No, I lost an electron!"  Are
you sure?"   "Yeah, I'm positive!"
 A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bartender,
 "How much for a beer?"
 The bartender replies, "For you, no charge."


Russell Whigham
Montgomery AL

Auburn Astronomical Society