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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.
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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.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Dot Valentine

 

 

 

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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.

 




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The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on Friday August 23, 2013 at GRU a program and observation. Eighteen 18 members, three 3 new members, and twelve 12 guests attended, totalling 33. We welcomed back Mark M. after his recovery from surgery.

Prior to the meeting (around 6pm) several members and their guests dined with the speaker and her parents. Tedda provided a beef roast and fruit compot for the group and the evening was off to an enjoyable start. Thank you Tedda!

By 7pm many club members and guests had arrived and Ken introduced Dr. Monique C. Aller, our speaker for the evening. Dr Aller is a third generation professional astronomer who earned a PhD in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Michigan in 2007. Her program was about “Super Massive Black Holes: The Hidden Hearts of Galaxies” which provided an overview of the evidence for the existence” of super massive black holes throughout the universe. She addressed the possible origins of these giant black holes and their influence on the evolution and growth of galaxies. .

Dr. Aller’s presentation was very well received and an active question and answer period followed. Stan recorded her presentation and also offered more "Astronomy the Works" and other DVD’s to the club members. A very enjoyable evening was had by all – thank you Dr. Aller and Ken!

Club business: Tedda invited new and re-newing members to pay their dues to John with an especially prepared information sheet attached to either cash or check. This will make it easier for our Treasurer to keep track of dues received, and for us to get information out to new members promptly.

By 8:15, snacks and beverages, provided by Ray, were offered “tail gate” style outside under cloudy skies but pleasant weather. (Sorry I missed the Guacamole – it’s the best!!)). Thank you Ray!

As they munched the group gathered around for 1 minute lunar talks by: Mark D (Tycho, Clavius), Stan (Pulsars), John W. (the origin of the Blue Moon), KenB (Mare Nubium: Bullialdus, Pitatus) and Tedda (Mare Imbrium: Archimedes, Montes Archimedes, Palus Putredinis), and general conversation.

The meeting wrapped up around 10:30 – an enjoyable and educational event for everyone.

Respectfully submitted,
Dot Valentine, with input from Ray O (Thanks for your help Ray.)