Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
In this Issue
We’ll hold our November meeting on Friday,
November 5, at 7:45PM, in room
215 of Davis Hall, the Aerospace Engineering Building.
The doors to the building automatically lock at 8:00PM, so if you’re running
late, rap on the door nearest our meeting room and we’ll let you in.
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 6:45PM.
Because it’s home coming football game weekend,
and available parking space for the meeting will be an issue, Rhon
suggests trying the on-street parking on Wright St., the first street (north)
off of W. Magnolia from Toomer’s Corner. John Zachry reports
having success telling the guard at the barrier to our regular parking
area, that he’s attending a meeting and will be leaving immediately after.
Our new moon star party this month will
be on the following Saturday, November 6, at Cliff
November 5, Monthly meeting 7:45PM, in room 215
of Davis Hall.
November 6, Star Party at Cliff
December 4, ? Forest
Ecology Preserve stargaze in Auburn
December 11, Cloud/game date for the Forest Ecology
December 20/21, Total eclipse of the Moon
AAS 30 Year Anniversary
On October 9, the Auburn Astronomical Society’s
celebrated its 30-year
anniversary at Good
Ol’ Boy’s restaurant, in Auburn. In attendance were: Rhon
and Joyce Jenkins, Russell and Cathy Whigham, Frank and
Teresa Ward, Alan Cook, Allen and Christi Screws, August and
Debra Johnson, John Zachry, Robert and Gloria Rock, Elliot Errera,
and Everett Leonard.
Special thanks to Joyce and Rhon Jenkins
for making the arrangements. And again to Rhon for the PowerPoint presentation
that he produced, summarizing the previous thirty-years of the Auburn Astronomical
Tom McGowan (eight-inch Dob), Frank
Ward (12-inch Dob) and your editor (11-inch SCT), met outside
Prattville, on Friday evening, October 15, for our long awaited American
Heritage Girls stargaze. Troop leader, Terri Klose, had
asked that we help the girls with their Space Exploration badge, with emphasis
on observing the Moon. We met at the BP station at US 31 N and CR
40 at 6:00PM and caravanned the circuitous route to our destination.
As soon as Tom had finished setting up his scope,
he began an excellent introduction of the night sky for the girls.
Following Tom’s talk, even with the light of the eight-day old Moon, we
were able to point out the Big Dipper and North Star, a few constellations,
Jupiter and of course the Moon.
feedback about American Heritage Girl's Stargaze already circulating our
group site. We appreciate all you did for us. It was truly
an incredible experience.
Jennifer Lolley and the members of
her Forest Ecology Preserve
group have rescheduled the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest stargaze
for December 4, with December 11 as a cloud date. The December
4 date was chosen before it seemed possible that Auburn might be at the
SEC Championship game in Atlanta, so we’ll just wait and see, but I wouldn’t
expect a big turn-out on the 4th, if that, in fact, is the case.
John B. Zachry
AAS discount subscriptions/renewals to Sky
& Telescope and Astronomy magazine are due in
November. Sky & Telescope discount rate is $ 32.95 (Regular
$ 42.95), and Astronomy magazine is $34.00 for AAS members
(Regular $ 42.95). Subscriptions for to both will be $66.95.
Make checks payable to Auburn Astronomical Society.
Only members of Auburn Astronomical Society are entitled to club subscription
rates. If you are unable to attend our November meeting, mail checks to:
Auburn Astronomical Society
c/o John B. Zachry
501 Summerfield Road
West Point, GA 31833
note: Last call. Club scrimptions to Sky & Telescope and
Astronomy magazine were sent in last month. John has written that
if you missed the initial offer, he’ll still submit your discount subscription.
Thanks to John for doing this for us. RDW
Protostar has come up with a new method using
plastic back sheets; no adhesive necessary. It is called FlockBoard:
SkyandTelescope.com - News Blog - Mike
Lynch's "Exploding" Telescope
Space Camp Outreach
Rhon had a call from Melissa Snider, Camp
Education Programs Manager, with Space
Camp in Huntsville. She explained that she and her team would
be at the school in Notasulga for three days, and wanted to know if we
could loan them a telescope for the students there, for some telescopic
viewing. Rhon suggested the AAS
12.5-inch loaner scope. Melissa is a member of the Von Braun
Astronomical Society and is knowledgeable about telescopes. Rhon
emphasized that the scope was large and heavy, but Melissa said they would
have help setting it up, and that they could handle the telescope.
Rhon made arrangements for them to pick up the 12.5-inch at the W.A.
Gayle Planetarium on Wednesday afternoon, October 13, and return it
the following Friday afternoon.
Rhon and Joyce drove over from Auburn and I met
them at the planetarium to help load the telescope. Planetarium director,
Rick Evans, also loaned them the planetarium’s 8-inch SCT as well.
Here is Melissa’s note that she sent after they had arrived back in Huntsville:
From: "Snider, Melissa" <MELISSAS@SPACECAMP.COM>
Joyce, Russell, Rick:
you so much for your hospitality and helpfulness! The attached pictures
will show how much the Notasulga students and community appreciated the
opportunity to view the Moon and Jupiter through your telescope.
higher-res versions available if you need them. Most of the pictures should
be fine to redistribute via websites, brochures etc. If any picture shows
an easily identifiable view of a child, we would need to check with the
school to get permission before publishing.
included pictures of the rest of our weeklong project. You were a part
of a life-changing experience for these 100 students and all their families!
again and we will have a small token of our appreciation headed your way,
either in the mail or in the van on our December trip.
Education Programs Manager
Never one to let an opportunity slip through
the cracks, Rick followed up with this proposal for a return visit on Astronomy
From: Rick Evans [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 12:22 PM
To: Snider, Melissa
Subject: Science Nights
Melissa is working
to see if she can make this happen.
would we go about having your team come down to Montgomery for a Science
Night at the Planetarium perhaps in conjunction with Astronomy Day next
Hope to see everyone at the meeting,
will be back in the area for two more Science Nights: Tuskegee Public School
November 4, and DC Wolfe (in Shorter, AL) on December 2. While we now have
our own telescope properly packed in the van and ready to travel
, you would be welcome to visit us at either of these events or send us
some flyers to distribute.
From: Snider, Melissa
To: Rick Evans
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 1:19 PM
Subject: RE: Science Nights
a fun idea!
come as a representative of VBAS for free! I have simple Dark Sky education
crafts and puzzles, solar system activities, or galaxies/black holes. Fuel
donation (about $40) would be appreciated but not required.
telling my Space Camp Education Dept director that the Notasulga equipment
loan was worth at least $300 – which, incidentally, is what I charge to
have a Space Camp rep travel for a full day’s activities. If you thought
you could arrange food and accommodations, and pay for a van rental (should
be about $150 on a weekend), I would happily send you a pair of presenters
for air/water rockets, star map construction or other learning frivolity.
The program fee itself ($600 for the two presenters) would be free, and
I am willing to discuss reducing the travel fee if we need to.
may be that our Space Camp sales team would be interested in setting up
a table (they had one at VBAS Astronomy Day this Fall). They would just
need anticipated numbers and a demonstrated “valuable market” – i.e., lots
of middle schoolers and their parents with significant disposable income.
Camp travels to Maxwell Air Force Base every year – generally the first
Friday in May – for a Space Day. If the timing works out, that might reduce/eliminate
the travel fees.
of options – we loved working with you and I want to come play at the Gayle!
is the link to] our Traveling Classroom brochure just as background.
by-the-bye, do you know Lonnie Puterbaugh of the Astronomy Channel? We
try not to have an event without him – he sets up a van with telescopes
and astronomy videos, and gives impromptu presentations all evening long.
He’s quite a crowd-pleaser! There is some info about TAC here, linked to
a page about him. I can dig up contact info if you need it. <http://theastronomychannel.bsasnashville.com/>
Education Programs Manager
I am going to run this up the flag pole (send it thru to the Chancellor)
and see what kind of response we get from the University as far as coming
up with the necessary funds. Astronomy Day for 2011 is on May 7th,
(first weekend in May) which would be in conjunction with your trip to
Maxwell. We have never charged anything for our Astronomy Day festivities,
so its not like we would be looking at this as a money raising venture.
To the end, we do have to balance out the expenses, (guest speaker, promotional
advertising, travel etc...) if that makes any sense.
say, if nothing else, lets tentatively start planning to do this, (i.e...make
sure there are no scheduling conflictions on your end) and we can start
"building" it and see what we come up with....if you agree?
also coordinate with the Auburn Astronomical Society (Russell and Rhon).
From: "Rick Evans" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fw: Science Nights
you mind looking over this and giving me your input? Astronomy Day
for 2011 is May 7th, which is the first weekend in May.
me know what you think.
good to me. I'm passing it along to Rhon for his input, but go ahead
and pencil us in for May 7.