Auburn Astronomical Society E-Newsletter
January, 1999

Seasons Greetings Astrophiles,

In This Issue
January Meeting
 December Meeting
New on the List 
New on the Web Site
Member News
 Membership Dues
Wetumpka Crater Tour
Dark Sky Site Alternatives
Blue Moons
January Meeting

The January meeting of the Auburn Astronomical Society will be on  Friday, January 8,  in room 215 of the Aerospace Engineering building, at 8:00 PM.  Dr. Sarma Mukkamala, will be our speaker for the January 8 meeting. Dr. Mukkamala is the retired Director of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Hyderabad (India). The subject of his lecture will be "Binary Systems".  Special thanks to Jim McLaughlin for arranging to have Dr. Mukkamala visit.

As usual, Montgomery area car poolers, meet at my house (518 Seminole Drive).  Weíll head for Auburn at 7:00 PM.

Our January star party will be at Holley's field on Saturday, January 16.

December Meeting

Our December 1998 meeting was at the W.A. Gayle Planetarium , located in Oak Park, in Montogmery .  There was no admission charge for the show.  This was planetarium director, Rick Evans', way of showing his appreciation for our groupís assistance with the  Astronomy Day event at the planetarium.  As Rick wrote,  "We hope to forge a long lasting working relationship with your organization, something that should have happened years ago."   Attending were:  Neal Murphree, Michael Crouse, Scott Thompson, Ricky Wood. Ron Hatherley, Rhon & Joyce Jenkins, Russell Whigham, Max and Alan Cook, Allen and Christy Screws, Tom McGowan, Julie Ross, Jim Mclaughlin and his colleague, Dr. Raghu Mukkamala, Marty and Duane Skelton, Buzz Harter and family, Jack McDaniel, Jesse Cole and family.  Apologies to others who attended that I didn't have a chance to meet.     Here's my correspondence to Rick:

New On the List

Timothy Hornsby   of Montgomery  has just started exploring the night sky with his new 4.5-inch Celestron reflector

Eddie Kirkland  and his 15 year-old son, of Auburn have written to express interest in attending a star party and learning more about telescopes.

Please join me in welcoming new member, Phillip Hosey  ,of  LaGrange GA.  Phillip owns a 6-inch Orion DSE Dobsonian.  Get to know Phillip at his vita page .

New on the AAS Web Site

I've taken advantage of a few of the cloudy nights recently to spruce up the AAS web site a little.  "Astronomical Web Sites" now has a linked Table of Contents to make finding topics easier.  There are also two more "Field Trips":  The Christmas Program at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium and, as a testament to how long a latent image will survive in a camera,  the David Malin Lecture at CCSSC that we attended last summer.

Member News

Perhaps you caught the letter to the editor in November,1998 issue of The Reflector by BAS member Brooks Lide, congratulating AAS friend, Dr. Robert Haas,  on completion of observing all of the objects in the Uranometria 2000.0, down to -50 degrees, declination.  I would guess that if there's an Uranometria 2000.0 Club, it only has 1 member.  Congratulations, Bob!

Scott Thompson reports:  Ricky (Wood) got a new wedge mount and it is suppose to fit on my pier so I think we will be trying to hook it all up and really get down to business with the ST7 and the GOTO LX200.

Jim McLaughlin must have been a good boy this year.  Santa brought him a new 8-inch LX-200 for Christmas.  We look forward to having Jim back at the star parties.

Nancy Coburn has graduated from the fax list to e-mail. Welcome to the wired world, Nancy.

Membership Renewal Time

AAS treasurer, John Zachry, reports that the following members have ALREADY have paid their dues for 1999:  William Baugh, Tom McGowan, Dr. James T. McLaughlin, Dr. David S. Newton, Robert Rock, Jeffrey Schaub, John B. Zachry, Allen Screws, Neal Murphee, Charles Boyd, Ricky Wood, Scott Thompson, Russell Whigham, and  Phillip Hosey.  If you don't see your name here, it's time to renew.  The benefits of membership in the society include the magazine subscription discounts, and quarterly issues of the Astronomical League's newsletter, The Reflector.  Rates for membership are $15.00 per year.  Half rates for full-time students apply.

Wetumpka Meteor Crater Tour

From David T King Jr. / Professor / Dept Of Geology / Auburn University:
There will be a lecture and trail hike at Wetumpka crater on Sunday Feb 28 130-500PM sponsored by a group called ďTrails of Legends.Ē  Their contact number is 334 514-1992.  There will be a small charge.

Dark Sky Site Alternatives to Holley's Field

While overcast skies precluded our star party and Geminid watch last month, we do have leads on a couple of  locations as back-ups, should we lose our access to Holley's Field:

Snipes Farm:

I wrote:

And Rhon replied: Russell Amphitheater

As mentioned in the December '98 Astrofiles, Scott Thompson wrote:

And I replied: To which, Scott answered:
Blue Moons

January 1999 has two full moons.  The second full moon that falls in a calendar month is known as a "Blue Moon".  Blue Moons occur about once every two and a half years.  This first three months of 1999 are an aberration.  Not only will January have a Blue Moon, but February will have NO full Moon and March does an encore with another Blue Moon.

Hope to see everyone at the meeting,