The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on Saturday, August 10, 2013 at NMR-DSO for our annual summer picnic and observation. Seventeen members and one guest attended.
We started the evening with a feast that included: White House Barbeque, Potato and Broccoli and Tomato salads, Cole Slaw, Seafood and Vegetable grills, Biscuits and Corn pudding, Mac&Chez, Relishes, Onions, Baked Beans, and Pickles, with Banana Pudding, Honey Jalebi and Maple Cupcake treats for desert, and assorted beverages. Everyone brought their specialty and somewhere during the evening we wondered whether we were more of a “gastronomical” society than an “astronomical” club. A tribute to the multiple talents of those attending - thank you all for your contributions to make a memorable feast!
As we dined, some of our Lunar Group practiced their 1 minute talks: Cleomedes and Picard (Ray), Palus Somni and Drake Equation Interactive (Stan), Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina (Ken) and Langrenus and Petavius (Mike Mc.). They shared lots of great information and received feedback from the group to help fine tune their presentations for OMN on September 14.
Before we headed out for observing Tedda recognized Kay McCoy and presented Mike with a certificate in remembrance of his Mom. Kay was an active and supportive member of the club. We are all grateful for her contributions and for the time she graced our meetings.
Tedda also announced our next speaker Dr.
Monique C. Aller, who will speak on “Super Massive Black Holes: The Hidden Hearts
of Galaxies” on August 23rd, Friday, 7pm, at GRU.
By 9pm we were headed for the field and for the first time all summer clear skies prevailed, although it was still quite hot and very humid. Thrilled at the opportunity to finally get in some observing, the scopes and binoculars were set up in a flash: Pat – 8 inch Celestron Edge, and 16 x 70 binoculars, Stan – Genesis Fluorite 500 mm F5 Refractor, David – Meade LX 200 12 inch, Mike Mc. - Orion Star Max Cassegrain Maksutov, Ken – Celestron Advanced VX, and Juan – Orange Tube Celestron C8 in Advanced GT mount. We focused on the setting waxing crescent moon and honed in on some of the items at the terminator and around M. Crisium: Palus Somni, Cleomedes and Picard. We also checked on Saturn, its rings and moons. As the night progressed the Milky Way magically filled the sky. We each headed in our own directions focusing first on the stars and clusters in and around Sagittarius and Scorpius as they progressed through the night. Using Pegasus and Cassiopeia as our guides (and Stan’s laser) we identified the Andromeda Galaxy.
Most headed out by midnight in anticipation of meteor counting on Sunday and Monday nights.
Sunday was a lovely clear day and night. Pat arrived at NMR-DSO about 8PM to set up his scope for our Star Gaze and Perseid Meteor Count. Wes arrived soon after. We talked astronomy in the house until dark. Kenneth and Ray came around 11PM. Stan, Kenneth and Ray watched until dawn, counting 289! meteors, telling stories and jokes. Tedda came out at 4:30AM for the last 70 meteors and lots more jokes. We came in for waffle breakfast. Kenneth made enough coffee to get him and Ray home. It was a good time.