20130105ACATHMin    ACA Star Gaze


The Astronomy Club of Augusta began the new year with its monthly Star Gaze on January 5, 2013, 6PM at NMR-DSO.  The winter skies were totally overcast.  Even so, seven (7) attended.


We started by reading, catching up on, and discussing interesting astronomy magazines, books, and articles in the news.   We settled down to hot chili, snacks, and sodas.  John W. brought up an email from a hacker, which has not caused any real problem so far, and we hope has been resolved.   


Stan brought in the 8" Meade Reflector and our new club collimator, and John W. led the collimation procedure.  We all learned more about the value of this procedure to our better viewing, and how to do it.  It really helps to have two people helping each other.  Thank you both.


Everyone was also interested for the club to caravan to ALCON 2013, which will be held in Atlanta this year.  We looked around and online for info about it.  We must be ahead of the game, as we found the most info on the back cover of our AL Reflector magazine, and there are no details or prices available as yet.  We have listed the event on our Calendar of Events page for July 24-27, 2013, and you can sign up there if you would like to participate.  We had a wonderful trip to Roper Mountain last year, and we expect this to be different, but very interesting and just as much fun.  The more the merrier! 

Stan got out the Roper Mountain Most Excellent Adventure movie, which made Lisa even more enthusiastic about participating in a club trip. 


Mark M. showed us his laminated, detailed map of the Moon and talked about its usefulness, and encouraged everyone to work on their AL Lunar award.  Tedda showed Lisa how to use our club password to access our list of ACA officers and staff, bylaws, and other member information.  They also looked at Virtual Moon Atlas, using the ephemeris to set the date & time, and information to gain interesting details about lunar locations.  Tedda made a copy of the AL Lunar award observing list, and showed Lisa how she and Elizabeth could organize their viewing set up, and keep a good record of their lunar observations, night to night and after our meetings.  She is looking forward to being a part of the ACA lunar group that is currently working toward the AL Lunar Award goal.  This includes Kenneth, Dot, Mike B. and some others.  We hope that all of you will demonstrate what you can do with your scopes so far at our Lunar Observing after our meeting on January 18.   Who will be the first to complete the award this year?


Meanwhile, December's ping pong athletes decided on a mental strategy this time.  Stan was asked to host a chess class, and Kenneth and Elizabeth sparred off  to see if they could apply the principles learned.  With friendly advice, and some sidelines kibitzing from the rest of us, they were motivated to focus on the task.  It was a close match, and the back and forth mental repartee allowed  both to experience basic principles in real time.


Respectfully submitted,

Tedda Howard



PS. Please check out the Globe at Night website. Please email us if you have some interest to organize our club for an Adopt-a-Street Program.







The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on January 18, 2013 at 7PM at the New Science Center, Augusta State University (ASU) for the annual ACA Astronomy Jeopardy game night, snacks, and lunar observing. Fifteen members and three guests attended, Curtis enjoyed observing.


The evening began with the President's welcome. We assembled into 3 teams, each choosing a captain and response buzzers. Tedda set the rules of play and provided the answers. Stan ran the computer board. Board topics tested members' knowledge of the Sun, Planets, Moons, Constellations & Stars, Galaxies, and some related NASA programs. Competition was spirited, and the scores varied throughout the evening.

Team members cooperatively discussed topics with one another, and with few exceptions, the questions were presented correctly by one team or the other. Team 3 held the lead through most of the game, but in the end Team 1 was the winner with 1,400 points, Prizes were awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Everyone enjoyed the game immensely and vowed to study hard throughout the year to be even better prepared for our next game night. Many thanks to our team captains: Mark M. ,: Lisa, and co-captains, Roger and Elizabeth.

After the game we moved to the classroom for light snacks and beverages with thanks to Tedda, Lalit (Happy Pongal sweets), and Anna.


As we snacked Tedda noted the club’s interest to attend the ALCON 2013 event, July 24-27 (Wed.-Sat.) at the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta. This event is hosted by the Atlanta Astronomy Club and the Astronomical League, partnering with the Association of Lunar & Planetary Observers (ALPO).


The club is planning to caravan to Atlanta for this event. Tedda asked for a volunteer to keep us informed, help coordinate our activities, and hopefully find low cost housing for us. Tedda suggested that we check www.astroleague.org for more information as it becomes available and be sure to sign up if you would like to participate.


John, Stan, Elizabeth, Mike and Dot set up their telescopes and binoculars for a cold, cold evening of lunar observing. The moon was in first quarter and most of us were able to identify Aristoteles, Eudoxus, Cassini, Mare Serenitatis, Mare Vaporum and Mare Tranquillitatis. The sky was somewhat cloudy, but we were able to see the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter, and the Pleiades.


Many thanks to our ASU hosts for the use of the auditorium, and for turning out the parking lot lights for us. Side lights at the steps and across the road still caused considerable glare, so we will ask about this for the future.


Many thanks to Virginia, who volunteered to bring snacks for our February 15 meeting at ASU/GRU.

We adjourned shortly after 10pm to warm up.

Respectfully submitted,

Dot Valentine