Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
September, 2000

Archived hypertext editions at:
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In this Issue

20 Year Anniversary Banquet September Star Parties
August Star Party Member News
ASS Polo Shirts Astronaut Norm Thagard at CCSSC 
New on the Web Two Regional  Star Parties

20 Year Anniversary Banquet

The twentieth anniversary of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be celebrated with a banquet on Saturday, September 9, 2000 at 5:30 PM at the Good Ol' Boys restaurant on Sandhill Road, south of Auburn.  The fare includes steak, fish and salad bar.  Dress is casual. Wear your AAS Shirts if you have one. Our after dinner speaker will be Dr. David T. King Jr. and Lucille Petruny , speaking on "The New Discoveries at Wetumpka Impact Crater." 

AAS president, Dr. Rhonald Jenkins and Joyce Jenkins have coordinated the event. The restaurant has requested a head count in order to accommodate us. Rhon is asking that if you think that you probably (or definitely) plan to attend, that you let him know.  Include your name and the number of people in your party.  To date, approximately thirty members and friends have already made their reservations, so get yours to Rhon ASAP!

This month's star party will be on Saturday, September 23, at Cliff Hills Farm. We'll have a second star party on the following weekend, Saturday September 30 (3-day old Moon) at the Frank Ellis farm at the Sandy Ridge site south of Montgomery -- the site found by Richard Birdeau and Dave Burnett.

August Star Party

On Saturday night, August 26, with only the slimmest chances of any observing because of the haze, we met at the Cliff Hill Farm. Attending were: John Clifton (8-inch SCT)and his friend Marty Alber, Mark Pratt (16X70 Fijinon binoculars), William Baugh, (12.5-inch Dobsonian), Richard Brideau (12.5-inch Dobsonian) and his daughter, Brittany, Jim McLaughlin (8-inch Meade LX200), Jacob Sloan (60mm refractor) and his sister, Nichole and your editor (11-inch SCT). The hour following Sunset was spent setting up equipment by the optimists and socializing by the club skeptic -- your editor. Shortly after 8:00 PM, the clouds began to dissipate, revealing a brilliant Milk-Way and other hidden treasures above. Delighted to be wrong, I set up the C-11. We all swapped views of the Summer and early Fall objects. It turned out to be the best night we've had in months -- which just proves that even if you think there's no chance of any clear sky you should come on out.

Member News

Please join me in welcoming Mark Brown of Prattville. Originally from Kansas, Mark comes to us via the Colorado Springs and San Antonio clubs. Mark shared his portfolio of astro-photography (done with his Celestron C-8) with us at the August meeting -- most impressive. Mark will soon begin employment at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium. Mark's wife is an instructor at Maxwell AFB's Air University. Mark is especially interested in doing some more astrophotography from our dark-sky sites.

From Winston Blackmon Well, I just finished a 3 1/2 week whirl wind tour of the U.S. in a 18 wheeler (truck). The primary purpose was delivering products, and training. This was my final phase of training. Hopefully I'll get my own truck now. In the process of this 3 1/2 week tour I visited the majority of the states. From Manchester, Ma. to El Canton Calif. From Chicago, IL. to Dallas Texas, and other places like Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Kansas. Somehow I even surfaced on top of the Hoover Dam. What a sight! I must say that I did come to favor a few places more so than others... New Mexico (Fantastic, day and night, my number 1 place to visit). Kansas (yes, Kansas... it's not as boring as one might think). And Pennsylvania, away from the big cities are the most wonderful towns one can hope to visit. I won't bore you will all the details. Just wanted to say hi. Looking forward to attending a meeting in the near future.

From Tom : My scope is not together (have parts of mirror cell being at a machinist to make more) so I would of mooched off you guys. Should have back together late Sept. Currently, working on four 20-in and two 16-in scopes. Already have the 16-in mirrors now just waiting on other parts. Should be complete with all in mid-Oct. Mark Moe wants a 16-in , hope to meet with him at end of Oct. 

From David King : ...thought you'd be interested in this story [on observing a newly discovered near Earth asteroid]

Nichole Long has a new address: kenyettan@yahoo.comas does Ricky Wood

Rhon and Joyce Jenkins became grandparents for the first time last week. I'm sure they'll spoil their new granddaughter, as all good grandparents should.

ASS Polo Shirts

Ricky Wood writes:  The shirts look great. They made the emblem just a little smaller and it looks better to me. Prices are as follows: $25.00 shirt w emblem; $ 2.00 extra to have your first name embroidered (really nice for our public events). If you supply the shirt, jacket or cap it's $10.00 to have the AAS logo embroidered.

Astronaut Norm Thagard at Coca-Cola Space Science Center's
From: Everett Leonard

On visiting the Coca-Cola Space Science Center's web site , I recently learned that Astronaut Norm Thagard will be speaking at their planetarium on Thursday, September 7 at 6:00 p.m. EDT.  Even though the start time might make it difficult for some of the AAS members to attend, I thought you might want to mention the event in the next issue of Astrofiles.  The information is on the Special Events page of the CCSSC web site.

I have been to a couple of their 'special events' this year, the ISS presentation by Barry Waddell and the astronaut survival training presentation by Morgan Smith.  The presentations were very interesting, but the audiences for both events were quite small.  I hope that more people will attend future events so that they will continue to hold them.

Everett Leonard

New on the Web

Check out this site to take a 3-D tour of the universe:

The September issue of Mobile Astronomical Society's newsletter, Skywatch, is now available for download at . This issue includes:

State Line, Our New Club Dark Site--Rod Mollise
Bob's Knobs, A New SCT Collimation Tool--Rod Mollise
Why Amateur Astronomers Are Like Salmon--Pat Rochford

Two Regional Star Parties

Tennessee Star Party -- A Brand New Star Party
Mike Benson
Via the Mail List

Hi guys and gals! Just in....I hear there's a great place to go to see the leaves turning at a state ark in the middle-Tennessee area in late October. There's a Falls located there that people drive many miles just to see! There's cabins next to an open field that could be utilized for viewing! "Holy Moly", it's located a couple of hours southeast of Nashville out in the middle of nowhere so the lights are non-existent too!! What an outstanding place to take some telescopes and begin the 1st Annual Tennessee Star Party!!!

Most of the guest speakers will be professionals in the field of Astronomy from Vanderbilt University. Plan now to attend! Please pass this on to as many in your club as possible!

Please feel free to bring any 36" or larger scopes with you! Everyone with a 50" or larger scope is free! If however you haven't won the lottery yet, just bring a scope, any scope (or view through one of ours)!

See our Web site for a description, program, and registration information: (Home Page) (Star Party)

Deep South Regional Star Gaze 2000
Barry Simon, Managing Director

The 18th Annual Deep South Regional Stargaze will be held from Wednesday, October 25th to Sunday, October 29that Percy Quinn State Park, in McComb Mississippi. Registration forms and other information for DSRSG 2000 can be found at Please note the increase in registration. This has been done primarily as we are eliminating raffle ticket sales and giving everyone an equal chance on the big door prizes which we purchase.

If there are any questions, I can be reached at

Please note that I will only be snail mailing registration information to those that request it and to past attendees without e-mail. Anything that you can do to "spread the word" will be most appreciated.

Hope to see everyone at the banquet,