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The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at NMR-DSO for dark sky observation. Twelve 12 members and 3 guests attended, One 1 guest became a member, and another family joined on Monday. We were sorry Beth M. didn't make it.

The group started to arrive around 6:30PM and headed to the field to set up. As the cars lined up along the field, members assembled their telescopes, including Celestrons , Televue refractor, LX200, Orions, Meade, Dobsonian, Oberwerks and a variety of binoculars. . In the garage, Stan and Kenneth helped Lalit attach his digital camera to his scope with a makeshift device. There were plenty of onlookers and noisy grinding to remove the head of a steel screw. It worked!
Stan, Lalit and Dave P. helped Kenneth mount his GPS alignment device.

It was fairly clear and by 7 pm. Venus lit up the sky like an iridium flare that remained shining in place. Mark M. used his easel to draw the last of the Saggitarius teapot, tipped all the way over as if it were pouring hot steaming tea. As the night grew darker the Milky Way grew brighter, centered overhead. “Shooting stars” delighted us every few minutes, more so than other evenings. The Summer Triangle was still high in the western sky. The Pleiades in the east were very visible with the naked eye and even more spectacular when viewed through a scope or binoculars. As Venus and Saggitarius disappeared below the horizon, Capella appeared in the northeast, and we watched Aldebaran in Taurus and then Orions's belt rise in the east.

We quickly grew busy helping each other find objects. As a particular object was found we went from scope to scope to view it at different magnifications. We all learned a lot about the differences in scopes. Double stars, Alberio, Almaak, the nose of Dephinus, and double clusters were the hot items of the evening. We all located Andromeda and Lalit was able to capture an amazing picture of it. Dave helped Bruce get his scope focused in with a variety of eyepieces. Pat focused on NGC 6910 an open cluster in Cygnus as well as Algol, a bright star in the constellation Perseus. Other notable findings were: the Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), a planetary nebula in the constellation of Draco and the Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) in the constellation Sculptor.

Stan and Tedda provided refreshments, Lalit brought several Indian snacks. Thank you all.
It is time to order or renew subscriptions for the new year. Dot has a good deal for Astronomy Magazine, Tedda has a good offer for Sky & Telescope. Contact them. John received some great Astronomy Calendars, and has offered to give them as extra prizes at our holiday dinner on Dec.14 at Bobby's BBQ.

Back in the field, Stan and Ervin worked on aligning Kenneth's scope, Lalit came to help as well. The evening grew chilly and most of the group reluctantly disbursed around 10:30 pm as Altair disappeared below the horizon. Dave P. stayed to talk. After solving numerous problems with alignment and loose parts, Stan and Lalit finally got Kenneth's scope aligned and ready for use by about 12:30AM.

Unusually, Kenneth was not the last to leave, due to a early rise and a heavy day of Tai Chi. Stan finished a short video of Lalit's new skills and gave him a copy before he left around 1:30AM, just before the time change!

– it was a good night for all.

Respectfully submitted, Dot Valentine

 

 


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The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on Friday, November 15, 2013 at ASU/GRU Georgia Regents University, New Science Center Auditorium . We had a total of 21 members in attendance and 6 guests.

 

Tedda opened the meeting a little after 7:00PM and discussed upcoming events:

Dark Sky Gaze on 11/30. Anyone who attends can make the model of the DAWN spacecraft.

Annual Dinner at Bobby's BBQ 12/14. We will have a gift swap, and everyone should bring a wrapped gift, price range of $5-15, astronomy or science related.

She reminded everyone that we have a special rate with Sky & Telescope for $24 per year. Please make your check payable to her by November 30th and she will place the order.

There are a record of 12 ACA members who will be attending The Winter Star Party near Key West. All Girl Scout teepees are gone. Anyone still wishing to go will need to bring a tent or prepare to sleep in a motel. Anyone wanting to join the caravan down there should contact Tedda regarding the date and time of departure.

 

Stan told us where Comet ISON is and the best time for viewing.

 

Kenneth introduced our speaker, Louis Rubbo. He is very popular with our club, and this is the third time he has come to speak at our meetings. This time he gave a talk on "Are We Alone? Do We Want to be Alone?" He began his talk with life on Earth and how it formed, emphasizing that for most of our Earth's history we were mostly un-inhabited. He recommended a book entitled "Is There Anybody Out There" by Frank Drake. He also discussed how we look for other life in our galaxy. He ended the program with the discussion of whether or not other life out there would be friendly or not.

 

Tedda and Kenneth presented Dr. Rubbo with a framed Certificate of Appreciation.

 

The meeting was adjourned to the other conference room where we had sub-sandwiches, chips, dip, cookies, and delicious finger pastries provided by Dave Price and his mom, Anne Price. Everyone enjoyed the food and the good conversation that followed.

 

Due to the cloudy weather no telescope or other observing equipment was set up at the parking lot.

By 10:15PM the room was cleaned up and the meeting was ended.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle Maurer



20131130 The Astronomy Club of Augusta met on Saturday at 5:00PM at NMR-DSO for Spacecraft Paper Model-Making Fun. Attendance: 4 members, 2 guests.

 

The evening was lots of fun and productive. Stan and Kenneth go out the Mars Valles Marinaris 3-D model Kenneth received with his President's Award last July, and started to put it together with tacky puddy. Lalit joined in and they ended up with a very fine 3-D model. Next time they plan to make a more sturdy backing for it. As the same time Tedda started cutting out the parts to NASA's New Horizons model.

 

As it was cloudy, the dark sky star gaze was cancelled and we continued with our projects during the evening.

Kenneth came over to help Tedda, and Kate helped some while we talked about an outreach program for her 4th grade students at Byrd Elementary. Her friend, ____, enjoyed talking with us some and exploring our breezeway Gallery of the Solar System. Tedda and Kenneth folded and glued parts together until they completed the New Horizons spaceship. They set it aside to dry, cleaned up some, and we all enjoyed refreshments.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Tedda Howard