Seasons Greetings Astrophiles,
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.
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:
Thank you for the wonderful evening at the planetarium, Friday night. I know how I would feel if someone asked me to go back to work on a Friday night and do it all over again. We really do appreciate the extra effort of having the park open "after hours", the security officer present, and the extra touch of holiday refreshments. I think I counted close to twenty members/friends and their families from AAS there. It was the first meeting for some who live in the Montgomery area. I suspect that others were there that I didn't have a chance to meet.
Our program line-up for the first few months on 1999 is booked, but somewhere down the road, I'd like to do the "How to Buy a Telescope / Telescope Clinic" seminar that be discussed last spring. Maybe we can incorporate that into the Astronomy Day event.
Thanks also for the Auburn Astronomical Society Information Board. I haven't forgotten about the business cards. And again, thanks for the referrals.
Thanks again for your time and effort on this,
Timothy Hornsby firstname.lastname@example.org of Montgomery has just started exploring the night sky with his new 4.5-inch Celestron reflector
Eddie Kirkland Ekirk37@aol.com 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
,of LaGrange GA. Phillip owns a 6-inch Orion DSE Dobsonian.
Get to know Phillip at his vita page .
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.
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 email@example.com
has graduated from the fax list to e-mail. Welcome to the wired world,
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
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.
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:
Here are the directions to the Snipes Farm:
If you're down that way, would you drive by there and send me your impressions?
As mentioned in the December '98 Astrofiles, Scott Thompson wrote:
I was in the neighborhood that Sunday afternoon and drove up to see if I could find it in daylight, in case it cleared. I had no trouble finding it, but after a weekend of rain, the road was a mess! Maybe they've recently graded it there in front of the amphitheater, but I had to shift into 4WD to turn around. The cable was up across the entrance. I noticed the sprinkler system. I hope it's not timed to come on after dark. ;-)
It's a beautiful vista from the top of the raised part of the amphitheater. The level area at the bottom of the amphitheater was smaller than I had hoped. On the few star parties when we have more that 6 or 8 telescopes (with vehicles) it would be a bit crowded. I noticed a couple of houses down toward the lake. Were lights on there when you went at night?
My wife was with me and wondered if public "facilities" were in the plans. If so, we might get more of the ladies to attend star parties.
I still want to try it out at night. Thanks again for seeking out the new place.
There were no lights down at the houses below the night Ricky and I were out. I am not sure if Ben (Russell) is going to put facilities up or not. If he holds programs out there I am sure the road will get paved and some sort of facilities will be built.
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,