Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
IN THIS ISSUE
The November meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be on Friday,
November 6, in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering
Building at 8:00 PM. Montgomery area car poolers, should meet at my
house (518 Seminole Drive). Weíll head for Auburn at 7:00 PM. If youíve
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].
Our normal new moon weekend for a star party will be on Saturday, November
14. The Leonid meteor storm should be best on Tuesday, Nov. 17. We can
decide which or both at the meeting.
OCTOBER 10 STAR PARTY
Due to exceptional weather, and because several of us would be in Mississippi
for the DSRSG at the time of the normal New Moon weekend star party, we
had an unscheduled star party on Saturday October 10, at Holley's Field.
Attending were: Bob Haas with his 20-inch Obsession, yours truly
with the C-11, Alan and Max Cook with their 10-inch Meade
LX50, Jim Burns and son Jonathan, Paul McKee, Nick
Nicholson and his wife, and Brandon Wright. We enjoyed sharing
(Bob did most of the sharing) views of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus,
and many deep-sky show pieces. It was my first time to observe Stephan's
Paul McKee, firstname.lastname@example.org
, after years of shopping, is the proud owner of a new Celestron, 8-inch
Celestar, computerized SCT. We look forward to seeing more of Paul at the
star parties now.
William Baugh, email@example.com
(work), & wbaugh@mindspring
( home), has made it official, and is now a member of AAS. William does
his astronomy with his 12.5-inch Meade Dobsonian. Welcome aboard, William.
Please join me in welcoming new member, Tom McGowan, who
owns a 8-inch f/4.5 and a 20-inch f/5 home built Dobs. A native of Massachusetts,
Tom now works for the U.S. Postal Service in Montgomery, and has been an
amateur astronomer for about 13 years. An avid observer, Tom has just returned
from the Oki-Tex Star Party. Tom found out about our group from the feature
article in the Montgomery Advertiser last
Also affiliating with the AAS is Jeffrey Schaub, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Jeffrey gives a Montgomery address but divides his time between here
and his fishing lodge in Canada, www.canadafish.com
where he lives during the summer months. Jeffrey owns a Televue 102 and
a Celestron 11" Dobsonian. See Jeffrey's thumbnail bio at : http://www.mindspring.com/~rwhigham/vita/j_schaub.htm
Charles A. Boyd , IceIgloo@aol.com
, also of Montgomery, has found us. Charles has been using his small reflector
for several years and is now thinking about upgrading to something a little
Subject: Pictures of Home from Space
I am interested in beginning a 35mm slide show on the environment with
some pictures of earth from space. I found a set of 26 slides in a catalog
from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, but the actual images are
I would like to start with a slide (I saw quite some time ago) of earth
as a point of light. This was taken from a satellite headed to one or more
of the outer planets; I donít recall which satellite made the picture.
Probably would follow this with a shot of earth from the moon, and then
go to progressively smaller land areas of the earth, e.g., North America
(both day and night), Southeast U.S., Alabama, and maybe parts of Alabama.
Any thoughts on possible sources of images such as these? I should add
that we probably will make more than one set of the final product; therefore,
copyright restrictions will have to be considered.
PS: I got a Bogen tripod and head for my scope. Stability is much improved.
I havenít been out much, but I was at DeSoto State Park over the week-end,
and got rather good (for me) views of Jupiter w/ 4 moons and Saturn, which
sort looked like one of those UFOs we see on those goofy TV shows. One
other observation: Just about everyone who asked what I was looking at
thought Jupiter (in the Eastern sky at about 9:00 p.m.) was Venus. We have
a lot of work to do.
Subject: Solar Filter
I'm looking for a Solar Filter for my Meade 8" LX-200. It will be used
for public viewing at the planetarium so I want a real good one so we don't
NEW ON THE MAIL LIST
Michael Crouse email@example.com
, has joined the world of the wired. Michael has been a member since last
year, but has been unable to attend meetings and star parties because of
job hours. That has changed now and we look forward to seeing him often.
(I met Michael, who works for the U.S. Postal Service, while mailing a
package. He recognized my name on the parcel, and introduced himself.)
Everett Leonard, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Everett drove up from Phenix City to attend our October meeting.
Jack McDaniel, email@example.com
: We first met Jack back in the early 90's when Shel Finkle attempted to
start an astronomy club in Montgomery. And while the Montgomery club never
really caught on, Jack's interest in astronomy has not waned over the years
and he is now considering purchase of a telescope. You may have seen Jack's
letter to the editor of the Wetumpka Herald, advocating "full-cut-off"
outdoor lighting fixtures.
Randy Farmer , firstname.lastname@example.org
. Randy wrote:
Hi, my name is Randy Farmer, a senior
in MIS at Auburn University. A childhood interest in astronomy has recently
been rekindled. I found the Auburn Astronomical Society's web pages through
some FAQ or another I stumbled upon in sci.astro.amateur. Myself and a
good friend of mine with similar interests have been going out over the
past few nights, taking advantage of the clear skies. He owns a 3-inch
refractor, and I have a 3-inch short tube. Nothing spectacular, but they're
old scopes we both owned in JR High. :) I've also got a passing interest
Dr. Robert Haas, email@example.com
: Bob has recently returned to his hometown of Montgomery and has established
his family medical practice here. Bob has an acute case of amateur astronomy.
In addition to the 20-inch mentioned above, he has a 36-inch that he uses
in search of supernovae among other things. A very active observer, Bob
has found a site near Weogulfka, where he goes to observe. You can see
a photo of Bob in the October issue of Sky & Telescope, page 71. Bob
and his 36-inch are in the middle.
Mark "Buzz" Harter, BLY2001@aol.com,
of Montgomery writes:
I recently moved here from Guam, and am currently a student at Air
Command & Staff College, Maxwell AFB. I am interested in learning
more about the Auburn Astronomical Society. I am just a beginner
in astronomy, and recently bought a used Schmidt-Cassergain Celestron 8"
telescope. I have hopes to do astrophotography, but will need to
modify it with a motor and some other equipment.
We must bid farewell to Seth Adkins who has moved to the Atlanta
DEEP SOUTH REGIONAL
STAR GAZE '98
If the 1997 DSRSG was the year of El Niño RAIN, then
1998 will be remembered as the year that it was so HOT. Only the first
night required even a sweatshirt. All of the other nights were given to
short sleeve observing. We had cloudless skies for most of the four-day
event, but the temperatures were more reminiscent of early September. We
all know what high humidity and warm temperatures do for transparency,
but the lack of inky-black skies not withstanding, we shared many hours
of good observing. Representing the AAS on our annual trek to McComb Mississippi
were: Scott Thompson, Ricky Wood, Robert Rock, Mike Fulmer, Jack McDaniel
and Russell Whigham. In addition to the usual fall deep-sky show
pieces we observed comet Giacobini-Zinner, incredible views of the Veil
supernova remnant (in Pat Rochford's 24-inch), NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula
(in Rod Mollise's 12.5-inch), and Io's disk superimposed on the darkened
limb of Jupiter, followed by it's shadow transiting the planet. And during
the daylight hours, we renewed our friendships with the members of the
Mobile, Jackson, Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Pensacola clubs, and
all die-hard observers from years past. Barry Simon, DSRSG Founder/Organizer/
& Host , writes:
I hope to have a preliminary report out re the stargaze this year,
within a few weeks. Looks like we will try to add a bit more to the
DSRSG next year what with ASTRONOMY magazine involvement. With
our bank account in good shape I am toying with the idea of bringing in
a nationally recognized amateur astronomy personality, i.e. - Peter Cerravalo,
David Levy or Donald Parker. Let me know what you think, and pass this
along to others. I would appreciate their feedback.
Many thanks to Barry for making this year's DSRSG another huge success!
ON THE WEB
Satellites and skywatching:
Iridium satellites spark skywatching http://www.flatoday.com/space/today/092898f.htm
Web sites for satellite watchers http://www.flatoday.com/space/today/092898q.htm
List of some other visible satellites http://www.flatoday.com/space/today/092898p.htm
From: Wordsmith firstname.lastname@example.org
orrery (OR-uh-ree) noun
A mechanical model of the solar system.
[After Charles Boyle, Fourth Earl of Orrery (1676-1731), for whom one
"In 1774, the largest orrery ever built into the ceiling of a house
was installed in the Netherlands. Itís still in operation today and shows
the planets moving around the sun at their actual rate of speed." Mike
Best, Modern-day Planetariums Like Down-to-earth Devices, Gannett News
Service, 10 May 1994.
You may have seen them in science museums or observatories and now you
know what they are called.
It is strange that an orrery is called an orrery and not a graham considering
that George Graham was the person who invented it, circa 1700. Instrument-maker
John Rowley made a copy for the Earl of Orrery and named it in honor of
his client. And that name has stuck ever since.
To see a picture of Rowley's creation, visit: http://www.nmsi.ac.uk/on-line/treasure/objects/1952-73.HTML
THE FUTURE OF HOLLEY'S FIELD
As most of you know "our" dark sky site is for sale. That's the BAD news.
The GOOD news is that it's been for sale since comet Hale-Bopp was in the
I called the number on the "For Sale" sign (Lester Holley Jr.) about
the Holley's Field property. I spoke with Ms Holley. Their asking price
is $3,500.00 per acre. The entire parcel is 30 acres. If my calculator
is working right, that comes out to $105,000.00. BUT, Ms. Holley was quick
to say that the price was negotiable. I've never negotiated land deals
before, but the asking price does seem rather high. Maybe that's why it
hasn't sold yet. All it would take to spoil the site is just one home with
obligatory "security" lights.
We discussed the matter at our October meeting. Allen Screws suggested
that we might think about trying to buy or lease some property (assuming
that we lose this site, and that we could find something reasonable). Allen
said that we should look for property that couldn't pass a "perc" test
and had no power lines or other utilities run to it. Paved roads would
Bob Haas has suggested a site near Weogulfka up in Coosa County, that
he and other members of the Birmingham club use. I'm eager to try it out,
but it would be over a 2-hour drive both directions for folks in the Auburn
area. I think we've considered a site in the Tuskegee National Forest,
but have never really persued it.
If you know of any property fitting our needs within a reasonable driving
distance for most of our members, please send your information to Rhon
Celestron Super Polaris C8 (SPC8) Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
The SPC8 combines the qualities of the Celestron C8 with the super Polaris
drive base. A hand-held microcomputer can be attached. The Schmidt-Cassegrain
optical design enables serious deepsky observing and astrophotography,
and is portable for field-work. The system is capable of immense light-gathering,
satisfying fully the needs of the serious amateur astronomer and photographer.
diameter: 203mm (8")
observable: 14th magnitude
photographable: 16th magnitude
visible objects: moon, planets, all Messier objects, most NGC objects
F/10 focal ratio
1. equatorial mount
2. 26mm Plossl
3. 6 x 30 finder
4. 8 x 50 right angle finder scope
5. polar finder - illuminator
This scope is in mint-condition. It has been appraised by C. Treadwell
(Mgr., Rivers, Dover, NH) at $900.00: that is the price (firm). E-Mail
From The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
Under the right circumstances light from two separated telescopes can
be combined to create a signal whose spatial resolution is better than
that for either of the single telescopes. This interferometry technique
can also be used in reverse: the light paths for the two beams can be adjusted
to create not a maximum but a minimum. Thus the starís light can be nulled
out. Astronomers have demonstrated this principle by canceling the image
of the star Betelgeuse, leaving behind the faint glow of a surrounding
dust nebula. The researchers expect that with adaptive optics, a ground-based
nulling system could be used to image Jupiter-sized planets around nearby
stars beyond the sun by subtracting the distracting stellar glare. (Hinz
et al., Nature, 17 September 1998.)
The father of Dr. Raghu Mukkamala, collegue of Jim Mclaughlin, will be
our speaker for the January 8 meeting. The senior Dr. Mukkamala's specialty
is binary stars.
MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION UPDATE
Special thanks to AAS treasurer, John Zachry, for all of his time
spent working on getting our magazine subscriptions ordered. If you didn't
get your renewal information in to John at the October meeting, you still
can take advantage of the offer. John writes:
"Remind members if they want club subscription to SKY & Telescope
or Astronomy magazine I will still send it in for them."
For rates etc., see: http://www.mindspring.com/~rwhigham/astrofil/aas_9810.htm#discount
Hope to see everyone at the meeting,