Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
This month’s meeting will be on Friday, August
3, at 8:00PM in room 215 of the Aerospace
Engineering Building. The parking lot behind the AE building
has reopened. 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 party this month, will be on
Saturday, August 11, at Cliff
Hill’s farm, clouds permitting of course.
August 3, August meeting
Loaner Scope Progress Report
August 11, August star party/Perseid meteor shower
at Cliff Hill’s farm
August 28, Total Lunar Eclipse
September 7, September meeting
September 8, September star party at Cliff
October 5, October meeting
October 13, October star party at Cliff
October 7-14, Peach
State Star Gaze
November 6-11, Deep
South Regional Stargaze
The Atlanta Astronomy Club presents the 14th Peach
State Star Gaze, a week long event from October 7 through October 14.
The PSSG will be held for the first time at the Deerlick
form and other
25th Annual Deep
South Regional Stargaze Camp Ruth Lee – November 6th through November
If the sky is clear, those of us living in the
Montgomery - Auburn - West Point area will have an excellent opportunity
to see the 509,098 pound International Space Station with its crew of three
pass almost directly over our area on Wednesday, August 1 between 9:08
p.m. - 9:12 p.m. CDT (10:08 p.m. - 10:12 p.m. EDT) and again on Friday,
August 3 between 8:19 p.m. - 8:24 p.m. CDT (9:19 and 9:25 p.m. EDT [sic]).
Both times the I.S.S. can be seen in the night sky traveling from the Southwest
to Northeast approximately 207 miles above the Earth at a speed in excess
of 17,000 mph. The I.S.S. will have the appearance of a very bright
fast moving star easily seen without binoculars or a telescope.
John B. Zachry,
Auburn Astronomical Society
“The International Space Station (ISS) is a research
facility currently being assembled in space. The station is in a low
Earth orbit and can
be seen from earth with the naked
eye: its altitude varies from 319.6 km to 346.9 km above the surface
of the Earth (approximately
199 miles to 215 miles). It travels at an average
speed of 27,744 km (17,240 miles) per hour, completing 15.7 orbits
per day.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_Station
July 27, 2007
International Space Station “RealTime Data”
“Weight (LBS) : 509098.1”
Other Space News:
Mars Phoenix Lander launch date Friday, August
3 at 4:35 a.m. CDT (5:35 a.m. EDT).
Space Shuttle Endeavour (STS - 118) launch date
Tuesday, August 7 at 6:02 p.m. CDT (7:02 p.m. EDT).
Carries S5 Truss segment.
--- John Zachry
Shane Bledsoe, Don & Kim Cluck, Mike Holley,
Ray Kunert, Trey Lee, Erika Lefever, Jeff Logue, John Tatarchuk, and Frank
Ward’s requests for new AAS shirts have been sent to Scott Thompson.
Scott is checking to see if the same (or similar) style is still available,
and what the cost will be. We’ll let you know as information becomes
We’ve made significant progress since the report
in last month’s Astrofiles. At this writing, Tom McGowan
has completed his work on the OTA and rocker box. Ray Kunert
has volunteered to pick up the finished scope from Tom when we can find
a mutually convenient time -- perhaps this weekend if not before.
that we ordered from OPT has come in and is ready to be mounted.
We had two offers of eyepiece donations from members
-- exact size and focal length to be determined later. We also need
a small accessory case for the eyepieces and the Telrad.
We have a check ($200.00) to cover the cost of
materials used in Tom's construction of the rocker box and OTA cage.
Tom has donated his considerable time and know-how. Thanks, Tom!
I'll need to have the scope to see what size the
lettering for the "peel-n-stick" lettering of “Auburn Astronomical Society”
and "www.auburnastro.org" from the printer.
I also just bought two shower caps to use as dust
covers until we can come up with a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.
They used to be all over the astro mags, but are hard to find now.
Below is what I was able to Google. Let me know if you can find a
better deal, or if we should avoid any of these vendors:
Telescope Dust Caps
#1 (This looks like a shower cap to me.)
Soft water resistant nylon cap with sewn-in
elastic band that makes a tight seal to keep out dirt and moisture. A must
for all telescopes . The caps listed below are for the dobs
outer diameter and are not the mirror size. If you are not sure please
measure your o.d. and contact us by email before ordering.
12.5"Scope Cap $13.00 add $4 for Shipping
16"Scope Cap $16.00 add $6 for Shipping
#2 (This looks like what I had in mind,
but the dimensions are not given.)
Dust Cap f/12.5" Starfinder
Shutan Code: 595-2866
Shipping Weight: 1.00 pounds
#3 (The description looks like the one
above, but no image is shown.)
Vinyl Dust Cover for 12.5" Equatorial and Dobsonian Starfinders
Mfr# 07486 B&H# MEDCSFD12.5 B&H Photo&Video:
In Stock: $32.00
Apparent Disk of Solar System Objects
Fun with the Moon and M31
While looking out the window at the moon I was
curious how it's size compared to M31. I took a stab using TheSky
to gauge distance and thus to scale some full moon images I took earlier.
I estimated the edges of M31 by using a more stretched version of this
image. It really is amazing to me how big this galaxy really is.
Closeout pricing on Meade CCD Camera
From: "Astronomics" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Date: 2007/07/18 Wed PM 06:15:59 EDT
Meade is closing out their DSI
Pro Monochome cameras at fantastic prices. The Meade DSI is priced
at $99, a saving of $200. The DSI Pro is priced at $129 a saving of $270.
We have a large shipment in route, so don’t worry if the product shows
as backorder, and the sale lasts until Meade is out of inventory. We have
no idea how long until that actually occurs, so you better act fast if
you want one. Thank you for your time and happy imaging.
Mike / Astronomics
New information on the status of Meade.
From: "Syd Spain" <email@example.com>
See if you can solve this poser from a cousin,
Ed Sproles, who lives in NJ and shares our interest in astronomy:
… yesterday I was listening to NPR and there was discussion of Harry Potter
books with the 'accuracy editor' of the publisher. Someone called
up and commented that there was an error when Harry's astronomy class was
said to be observing Venus at midnight. So, here is a puzzle for
your astronomy club, would it be possible for Harry to observe Venus at
midnight? It stumped the editor being interviewed, I think that she
is an English major. My first impression was the caller was right, however
we don't know the latitude of the observer do we?
think you're right -- unless Hogwarts is near (or north of) the Arctic
Circle. Venus' orbital inclination is 3.4 degrees and has a maximum
angular separation from the Sun of about 47 degrees.
The northern most islands of Scotland are
just below 60 degrees latitude, but I don’t think trains go there.
Edinburgh is at latitude 55.57N.
The Arctic Circle (latitude 66 degrees, 32 minutes
North), so perhaps it could be. Were the young wizards observing
Daylight Savings Time?
Here is sunrise and sunset for July 1 of this year in Glasgow, Scotland.
looks like with the benefit of daylite saving time, one could possibly
see Venus at midnight in the summer.
the way, I remember hearing that at some time and place there was double
daylite saving time, where the clock was advanced 2 hours. That would
also help the argument. Sunrise: 4:33am, Sunset: 10:05pm
Here's another bit of information from my
son-in-law, Eric Cheek:
Where is Hogwarts? A number of facts
from the books point to Scotland, a bit north of Edinburgh, and possibly
closer to Aberdeen. The primary routes to Scotland from London depart from
King's Cross. You cannot go more than five hours from London on a steam
train in a consistent direction, and stay on dry land, without going into
Scotland. At Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party, JKR described some
of the rotten food as haggis, which is a traditional Scottish dish. A member
looked up latitude, longitude and sunset times on Sept 1st and on June
6th, 1993, the days of major events in PoA, and this information suggests
Scotland for the likely locale as well.
Thanks for the figures on Venus. It would seem, in the simplest analysis,
Venus could set almost 3 hrs after sunset, if it were at maximum angular
separation from the sun. (3 hrs would be 45 degrees) That assumes
that Venus follows the ecliptic, which you point out isn't quite right.
I lived in Ohio, it didn't get good and dark for July 4 fireworks until
10 pm. Columbus is near the western edge of the time zone, another
factor that could help explain the observation. It would seem that
they could see Venus at midnight some ways below the Arctic circle, probably
at 60 degree latitude..
do wizards go to summer school? I read the first book and I had the
impression that they followed a pretty conventional school year.
That would seem to blow the idea that it could all work out for the author???
So, what do you think?
Hoping to see everyone at the meeting,