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April 2010

April MeetingMonday,  April 5
Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room A

7:00 p.m.  - Casual Conversation and Informal Discussion:  This will be a good time to talk with other members, share observing experiences and ideas, show your favorite astrophotos or astronomical equipment, and ask questions.

7:30 p.m.  - OSU's Mendenhall Observatory
OSU's astronomical observatory is the home of the state's main research telescope.   This telescope, which entered service in 2009, is the most powerful and advanced telescope in Oklahoma, and one of the largest in the Big 12.  Dr. Peter Shull, OSU Associate Professor of Physics, will discuss and illustrate the observatory and its history, observational methods, current plans and goals, and efficient outdoor lighting practices.

Club Business
After the program there will be a brief business meeting.

Night Sky Program for Schools
We had a very successful night sky program at Wayside Elementary School the evening of March 23.  The sky was a bit hazy, but we had eight or nine club volunteers with scopes and binoculars, showing the sky to about 50 elementary students and their parents.  You can read more about this event in the Notes section of our BAS web site, at <> .

A second Wayside star party has been confirmed with Todd Rhoades for Tuesday, April 20.  We will again need volunteers, not only to provide and operate telescopes and binoculars, but also to help with basic sky orientation, fundamental astronomical concepts and constellation familiarization.  Please contact Joyce Gray-Ritchie or John Grismore about volunteering.

Dark Site Search   by Steve Plank
The search for a club dark site continues, with many ups and downs.  The latest site, which was visited by myself, John and Arden in mid March is probably the best site we are likely to find.  Known as Skull Creek Dark Site, it is located on road CR 3225, near the northeast part of Hulah Lake.    Take hwy 10 from Copan, turn right on road CR 3225 just before you get to the East end of the Hulah dam.  Approximately 40 minutes from Bartlesville.  The owner of this land has been identified.  My phone numbers were furnished to the owner and I should hear from him soon.
BAS Planning Session   by Arden Strycker
Date: Feb. 19, 2010
Participants: John Grismore, Steve Planck, Joyce Ritchie, Arden Strycker (program coordinators)
Purpose: Identify 1-2 primary goals for 2010, Bartlesville Astronomy Society

Phase 1: Where are we now? Review the current membership and summarize similar and dissimilar interests for participating in BAS activities.

There were 2 parts to this exercise. In the first part, the planning participants articulated their own specific interests in the group. The second part was to review the other members of the BAS and make some assessment of common interests. Once identified, goals identified in the second phase of the planning exercise can be prioritized according to current membership interests.

Interests of the planning coordinators varied and included the opportunity to learn more about astronomy from others, take what is learned and share with the local community, including science classes in schools, to have access to a viewing site with better and darker skies, and to bring together more people with similar interests in astronomy.

A cursory review of the broader membership determined that a majority of the current members have significant knowledge and experience in one or more specific areas of astronomy. About half of these members are currently active contributors to BAS discussions and activities. Not surprisingly, some of the newer members and many of the other visitors do not fit this profile and are likely interested in what the more experienced members could share. The challenge is how to engage the other half of our experienced membership and to increase the involvement of the active contributors.

Phase 2: Where do we want to go?  Brainstorm a list of goals and prioritize for 1-2 primary goals to focus on in 2010.

A number of goals were identified, in a brainstorming session. Some of the goals were interrelated, some were more detailed than others, and all were considered relevant to current interests. However, the purpose of this planning exercise was to identify 1 or 2 goals that would be given increased emphasis and focus in 2010. Once identified, the goals were prioritized. The outcome can be summarized as follows.

A: Expand BAS activities to include non-meeting functions
B: Create a sustainable Club Program
C: Expand the club social environment to encourage a broader exchange between experienced and novice members in the different areas of astronomy, and within the capacity of the membership, an extended audience, e.g. interested science students in local schools.

Phase 3: Further Delineate Primary Goals.

A: Expand BAS activities to include non-meeting functions
Coordinators: Arden Strycker & Steve Planck

Individual tasks to work on in 2010 include:
A1: Identify and obtain a viewing dark site(s) for club functions. This includes evaluation of different possible sites against desirable attributes.
A2: Create a viewing schedule and network for members to informally coordinate member participation
A3: Establish work/maintenance schedule to maintain the viewing site(s)
A4: Obtain needed funding to cover the incidental expenses for site maintenance and use.

B: Create a sustainable Club Program
Coordinator: John Grismore

B1: Delegate key tasks to other active members
B2: In conjunction with B1, improve format of monthly meetings
B3: In conjunction with B1 and C, increase the lead time of future feature speakers.
B4: Promote cooperation with other nearby astronomy clubs.

C: Expand the club social environment
Coordinators: John Grismore (someone else?) & Joyce Ritchie

C1: Identify the highest priority activities that new and novice members want from the club.
C2: Identify the primary knowledge and expertise that experienced members have to offer.
C3: Establish specific activities to bring C1 and C2 together.

Comments, suggestions and ideas are requested.

Astronomy Technology Today Club Discount
Our club members can now receive a discount for subscriptions to Astronomy Technology Today magazine.  The normal subscription is $18 per year, and includes six issues of the print magazine, as well as full on-line access to the current issue and all back issues.  Cost to BAS members is $14 per year.  ATT "is the world's leading astronomy equipment journal offering equipment reviews, new product and industry news announcements, how-to projects, observing tips, and much more."  You can find out more about ATT by visiting the website at <> .
There will also be several sample issues to browse at the April meeting.

You can subscribe on-line or by mail.  Details for subscribing can be found at <> . 
To get the club discount, contact John Grismore or send an email to .

April is Global Astronomy Month
Astronomers Without Borders has developed a series of programs for Global Astronomy Month, including star parties, meteor watching, events involving the Moon, the Sun and Saturn, dark sky events, virtual meetings with famous astronomers, remote exoplanet observations and more.  For more information about participating in Global Astronomy Month, visit the AWB GAM web site at <> .

Newsletter Contributions Needed
Our club newsletter is reaching more people each month, and member contributions in the form of short articles, interesting news items, alerts of upcoming astronomical events or activities, descriptions of personal observations or useful equipment and observing tips are encouraged.  Recurring columns or multipart articles are also welcome.  Please submit your contributions to John Grismore or to .

Bartlesville Sky (looking south) April 15, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. (source: Stellarium 0.10.2,  see )

April Astronomical Calendar (Universal Time)
 d  h                                  d  h
 3 11  Antares 1.5S of Moon           16 10  Venus 4.0S of Moon
 4  5  Moon furthest South (-25.3)    18 13  Mercury stationary
 6  9  LAST QUARTER                   18 17  Moon furthest North (25.2)
 7  0  Pluto stationary               21 18  FIRST QUARTER
 8 23  Mercury greatest elong E(19)   22  7  Mars 4.4N of Moon
 9  3  Moon at apogee                 23 18  Regulus 4.1N of Moon
 9 21  Neptune 3.8S of Moon           24 20  Moon at perigee
11 17  Jupiter 5.5S of Moon           27 12  Spica 2.9N of Moon
12  9  Uranus 5.4S of Moon            28 12  FULL MOON
14 12  NEW MOON                       28 16  Mercury inferior conjunction
15 21  Mercury 1.5S of Moon           30 20  Antares 1.7S of Moon

Bartlesville Astronomical Society - Membership

B.A.S. is an organization of people interested in Astronomy and related fields of science.
The current officers are:

John Grismore
Vice President
Mike Woods
Fred Frey
Milt Enderlin (acting)
Member at Large
Joyce Gray - Education Coordinator
Program Chairman
James Vogh
Astronomical League
John Grismore
James Vogh (acting)

Membership is open to everyone interested in any aspects of astronomy. 
Adult. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $12.00
Students (through 12th grade) . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  $ 5.00
Magazine Subscription (reduced rate for members)
Sky & Telescope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . .  $32.95

B.A.S. is a registered, non-profit organization.

Next Meeting
May 3 in the Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room (tentative).  David Tobola will present "Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge Requirements".

For Sale
Stellarvue F50B2 9X50 Wide Angle Field Deluxe Finder with rotating back, 90 degree erecting prism, 23 mm multicoated eyepiece with glass crosshair reticle (illuminator not included).  Used twice.  Originally $119.00, now $139.00 at OPT.  Asking $100.00.  Contact John Grismore.

If you want to have your email address removed from the Bartlesville Astronomical Society mailing list, please send an email requesting removal to .