Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
September, 2005

In this Issue

September Events Upcoming Events
AAS 25-year Anniversary Loaner Scopes
September Star Party Yerkes Observatory
DSRSG 2005? Venus and Jupiter Conjunction
AAS History Page  

September Events

There will be no first Friday meeting.  The 25 year anniversary banquet will be this monthís meeting will be on Saturday, September 10, at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery.  (See details below.)

Our dark-sky star party this month will be on the Saturday before Ė this Saturday, September 3, at Cliff Hillís farm, clouds permitting of course. 

Upcoming Events 

September 2, NO first Friday meeting.  The banquet will be the meeting.
September 3, Star Party at Cliff Hillís farm
September 10, AAS 25-year Anniversary Celebration 
October 1, Star Party at Cliff Hillís farm
October 7, October meeting

AAS 25-year Anniversary

Our 25-year anniversary banquet will be on Saturday, September 10, and will serve as our September meeting.  Our speaker, Dr. David T. King Jr., will give a presentation on the latest findings at the Wetumpka meteor craterRick Evans is graciously allowing us to use the facilities at the  W. A. Gayle Planetarium for the banquet and presentation.  This date falls within two days of the actual first AAS meeting, 25 years ago.  :-)

Arrangements have been made with Capitol Grill , in Montgomery, to cater the event.  The meal will be buffet style, offering your choice of grilled chicken or roast beef; sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, and a cauliflower etc. mix; bread; salad; and bread pudding for dessert.  The drink will be water or unsweetened tea with sugar or diet sweetener; for $10.00 per person

We will begin eating at 6:00PM with Davidís presentation beginning at around 7:00PM.   Friends and families are encouraged to attend.  Dress will be casual.  Wear your AAS shirt if you have one.

I gave an estimate of 40 people with a specific number as we receive commitments from the membership.  As you can see below, weíre only about half way there.  AAS treasurer, John Zachry has sent the owner a $150.00 deposit with the balance to be paid on the night of the banquet. 

So far, the following members have sent their payments for the banquet:

Glynn Alexander 2
Alan Cook 2
Rhon Jenkins 2
Charles Lewis 2
Allen Screws 1
Russell Whigham 2
John B. Zachry 1
Jeff Graves 1
Mike Holley 1
Gail Smitherman 2
Jim McLaughlin 3
Total as of  08/31/05 19

Note:  Our treasury is depleted.  Please donít wait until you arrive to pay, unless youíve made prior arrangements with our treasurer.   Send your checks to John immediately to ensure your place at the table!  Iíll need to give a final head count to the caterer by next Tuesday, September 6, so please let me know as well.

  Send $10.00 per person to: 

Auburn Astronomical Society 
c/o John B. Zachry, Treasurer 
501 Summerfield Road 
West Point, GA 31833 

Loaner Scopes

Dave McConnell has the PST, and Ryan Dowdy has the 8-inch.  Let Rhon know if youíd like to reserve your time with either.

September Star Party

Sent: Saturday, August 27, 2005 8:27 PM
Subject: AAS Sept 3rd Observing Session Query

Dear Russell,

I came upon your email and name from the FAQ section of the AAS web site.  I am emailing about the AAS Saturday, September 3 planned observing session at Cliff Hill Farm. I am not an AAS member, but am interested if weather and my personal plans allow in visiting the observing site that evening.

As a non-member, would it be appropriate for me to attend?  I do not live in this area and am visiting relatives in Alexander City through Sept 4.  I am always looking for new places to observe while down here.

I would like to drop by the Cliff Hill Farm location Saturday, however.  Just wanted to make sure it is OK.


Mike Lewis
Northern Virginia Astronomy Club

Hello Mike,

Thanks for your note.

You are quite welcome to attend our star party next weekend.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend, as I will be in Atlanta for the weekend.  I trust that you've already found the map and directions.  It's a pretty long drive from Alex City.  If the weather is marginal, you might want to check out the Russell Amphitheater.  It's bee quite a while since we visited there, but the last time we were there it offered quite a scenic view of the lake and sky.  Maps to both are under the "Star Party" link on the navigational menu of the AAS Web page.

If you do opt for the Cliff Hill site there should be others eager to join you, since we haven't had decent weather for a star party weekend for several months.  If you're familiar with Alabama skies in the summer, you'll know what I mean.

I hope you have clear skies, and look us up when you're down this way again.


Observatory For Sale

Have you been wanting to have your own observatory?  Because itís of little use as a research facility due to the light pollution, Yerkes Observatory, the home of the world's largest refractor about an hour north of Chicago, is under threat of sale and possible demolition.  You can help save it.


The Deep South Regional Star Gaze, which from its inception in 1986, has been at the Percy Quin State Park in McComb MS, is/was to have a new home beginning next month.  That was before Hurricane Katrina passed through.  We wonít know if there will be a DSRSG this year, or if anything remains at Camp Ruth Lee, its putative new location.  Keep up with the changing events at:  and 

Venus And Jupiter Reach Conjunction

Look very low in the west-southwest as twilight fades to pick up Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest planets. As of Tuesday the 30th they're just 2.2 degrees apart. On Thursday, September 1st, they're in conjunction 1.2 degrees from each other. That's hardly the width of your finger at arm's length. Venus is the brighter of the two. Much fainter Spica is off to their left:

AAS History Page

The AAS History Page is still a work in progress (up through 1997, now), you may enjoy looking back to see where weíve been.  If you have photoís or memories to contribute, please send them to me. 

Hoping to see everyone at the banquet,