Astronomy Day 2006

This year, we observed Astronomy Day in conjunction with NASA's "Vision for Space Exploration Experience" exhibit at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium on Saturday, April 15th.  The sky was clear most of the afternoon, but unseasonably warm, with temperatures approching 90 degrees at mid-afternoon.  Our day began at 3:00 PM with solar viewing provided to the public with the planetarium's and AAS's Hydrogen alpha filtered telescopes as well as a few scopes with traditional white light filters.  While relatively quiet, the Sun did show one promenience and a lone tiny sunspot. 

The Telescope Clinic was open, but we had no "patients" this year.  Normally members from the Auburn Astronomical Society host a telescope clinic to answer questions about different types of telescopes as well as doing minor repairs and cleaning. 

Guest speaker, Mitzi Adams, gave her talk in the auditorium at 6:00 PM.  Her presentation was followed by remarks from Auburn Astronomical Society President, Dr. Rhon Jenkins, telling the visitors of the purpose and activities of the society.

At 7:00 PM , visitors were treated to a "Tour of the Night Sky" with the Spitz STP projector  in the auditorium  set to display the stars as they would be seen outside.  A brief  tour of the simulated night sky was conducted to point out the constellations visible from inside the planetarium.

8:00 PM - Telescopic celestial viewing:  The Auburn Astronomical Society brought telescopes for the public to view the wonders of the night sky. 

Here is the list of telescope folks & scopes who made this possible:

  • Rhon & Joyce Jenkins  -- AAS PST solar scope 
  • Mike Holley – AAS 8-inch Dob 
  • Russell Whigham – Celestron C-11, SCT 
  • Ray Kunert -- Meade LXD55 Refractor & Takahashi Sky90
  • Taylor Jernigan -- Meade ETX 125 Maksutov 
  • Alan Cook -- 10-inch Meade LX-50 
  • Wayne Martin and Jean Hafer – 5-inch reflector and ETX-70 
  • Ben Wouters -- Celestron 11 CPC 
  • Greg Glasscock -- 12.5” Starmaster 
  • Patrick Moylan -- Meade ETX-125 
  • John Tatarchuk -- 18-inch Obsession 
  • Paul Williamson -- 120 ST rich field refractor 
  • John Zachry
Thanks to all who volunteered -- especially those who drove from out of town. 

NASA's "Vision for Space Exploration Experience"

Rhon & Joyce Jenkins with the AAS PST

Joyce assisting a young solar observer

Ray Kunert setting up the planetarium's H-a solar scope

Rick and his daughter get a preview before the visitors arrive

Visitors looking at the solar feature display

Ray had his white light solar filtered Takahashi Sky 90 available also

Rick answered visitors questions in front of  Paul's filtered f/5 120ST

As shadows lengthened, Ray switched to his 5-inch refractor

Old friend John Crawford checking out John Tatarchuk's 18-inch Obsession

Alan chats with a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser covering the event

Ray touches up his finder alignment befor the guests exit the auditorium

Mike readies the society's 8-inch Dob loaner scope


John Tatarchuk -- 18-inch Obsession
Greg Glasscock -- 12.5” StarMaster
Patrick Moylan -- Meade ETX-125 
Ben Wouters -- Celestron 11 CPC