Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, June 9, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering Building. Our program this month will be a presentation by AAS president, Rhon Jenkins, on the construction of his recently completed personal observatory. Rhon suggests trying the on-street parking on Wright St., the first street (north) off of W. Magnolia from Toomer’s Corner. Riders from the Montgomery area are welcome to meet at the home of Russell Whigham, 518 Seminole Dr., and carpool over to Auburn. Plan to be ready to leave for Auburn at 7:00PM.
Our dark-sky star
this month will be on Saturday, June 24, at Cliff
Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
June 9, June meeting
June 11, Full Moon
June 18, Third quarter Moon
June 20, Mercury greatest eastern elongation (western sky)
June 21, Summer Solstice
June 24, star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
June 25, New Moon
July 7, July meeting
July 22, star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
August 4, August meeting
August 19, star party at Cliff Hill’s farm
Rick Evans had called our attention to the fact that Richard Blondheim had expressed interest in having a facility for Montgomery that would be home to a state-of-the-art planetarium and/or observatory. On May 4, we had a star gaze for the Blondheim's and their guests at their home.
We arrived just before sunset. Rick was already there and suggested a couple of locations for our telescopes. Following the set-up, we were invited back up to the house for refreshments while we waited for dark. After Rick introduced the society members who were there and gave an overview of what we would be seeing. We then returned to the telescopes. With storm clouds just to the north of us, we managed to have views of the first quarter Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter, and pointed out constellations to the gathered guests.
Thanks to the AAS
for this event: Ben Wouters, Russell Whigham, Patrick Moylan,
Aaron Wilson, Jim McLaughlin, Wayne Martin and Jean Hafer.
Rick writes about Mr. Blondheim’s project:
The initial conversation was about getting a bond issue, or possibly some other investors involved with that. I know that they (he and his wife) had pursued talking with someone connected with the ASF about locating a planetarium out there, but there was something about the kids of the Blount family not wanting to have a facility out there. They did say they were going to continue to explore that avenue.The impression I had from them was they were very interested in pursuing this idea.I think too that another issue is the Mayor's comments about wanting to build a new planetarium down at the Riverfront sometime in the future. The impression I got from Mr. Blondhiem is that he didn't want it to be a competition of sorts over this, but one way or the other we should have a new(er) facility. I think the issue is still alive and I am going to continue to foster a relationship with them to see where it will go.
Please join me in welcoming Shane Bledsoe, of Opelika. Shane has recently acquired a classic 8-inch Coulter Odyssey I (blue) Dobsonian and is anxious to discover the universe for himself. We look forward to many evenings under the stars with Shane.
We are fortunate to have amateur astronomers affiliate with AAS each year who are stationed at Maxwell AFB for training. Each one brings their unique astronomical perspective from across the country and the world. Aaron Wilson has been a wonderful asset to our society by hosting and participating in outreach events. Aaron is also coming along very well with his astro-imaging. You’ll be missed, Aaron.Stay in touch. Aaron writes:
Date: Friday, May 26
Location: Cliff Hill’s Farm
Attending: Russell Whigham, C-11; Don and Kim Cluck, 120ST refractor; and Shane Bledsole.
The skies were, with the exception of some cirrus clouds, mostly cloud free, but with transparency less than ideal. We began observing at deep twilight with Jupiter and Saturn – awesome as always. We stepped away from the telescopes at the predicted time for a -6 Iridium flare. Although, dimmed somewhat by its low altitude and some lingering clouds, it was nonetheless, quite impressive.
Once it was as dark,
an unusually clear view of the glorious globular, Omega Centauri, as it
culminated just 11.5 degrees above the southern horizon. We went
on to see many other, though somewhat less spectacular, summer globular
and open clusters, as well as several galaxies and planetary and
nebulae until 1:00AM.
Many of you may have heard of the legendary observing skills of the Houston Astronomical Society’s, Barbara Wilson. We can now boast of our own keen-eyed observer. After Kim had called our attention to about the seventh or eighth faint satellite passage (without the benefit of predictions), and asking if there was a star in Corvus (zeta Corvi, at magnitude 5.2), I presented her with a couple of visual acuity challenges. She immediately saw M-13 naked-eye. Guessing that she could see fainter objects, I asked if she saw anything in the “Lozenge” of Draco. Without hesitation, she saw the 5.75 magnitude star in the center. When I asked her to describe Epsilon Lyrae (using the laser pointer), Kim reported “two elongated stars”!
scope steward, Rhon
Jenkins, reports that the PST solar scope and the 8-inch Dob will
available at this Friday’s meeting. Let Rhon
know ASAP if you (members only) would like have your name added to the
list to borrow either of these telescopes for the month of June.
June 4, 2006 - Official start of Venus Express observations
June 4 - Venus Express’ nominal science phase begins <http://www2.jpl.nasa.gov/calendar/>
June 4 - National Geographic Channel "Space Race: The Untold Story" 8 p.m. CDT
June 13 - Science Channel "Most of Our Universe is Lost" 8 p.m. CDT
June 21 - Mercury greatest eastern elongation
After our annual
League dues payment of $175.00, our bank balance is $427.37.
Calling all Meade LX200 owners.See if you can help Jim with this problem:
From: "Jim McLaughlin" <email@example.com>
If you have knowledge about the Tasco 11TR’s equatorial mount, Peggy could use some help. Her declination slow-motion control doesn’t seem to be working:
From: “Peggy Russell” <Peggy.Russell@gmail.com>
… it is clear that my telescope is in need of repair! I'd like to ask the members of the group at the next meeting if they know someone who may be able to repair it. If not, I'll start researching a new one.Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,