December Meeting, Monday, December 7
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. - Program: Amateur astronomer, Art Lucas of Stillwater, will present “The Footprint of Pluto”.
Art will discuss the creation of his observing complex, Bluebird Observatories, which includes two observatories and a control room, his plans to search for occultations of faint stars caused by known or unknown moons around Pluto, and the instrument preparation for his project. Art will also include some of his early Pluto observations, as well as a collection of images of Messier objects.
After the program we'll have a brief business meeting. The discussion will include the search for a dark observing site, the need for non-email club communications and a call for club photo uploads.
Star Party December 12
Mike Woods has invited club members and individuals interested in the club to attend a star party at his place on December 12. Mike suggests arriving 30 minutes prior to twilight to allow setup time, or earlier if necessary. The "go/no go" decision is left to each individual. Even if the weather is questionable, there may be some optimistic members set up in anticipation of good luck, clearing skies and warmer than normal temperatures for this time of year.For a map to the observing site contact John Grismore. See you there.
Arden Strycker, who has dual membership and the Astronomy Club of Tulsa and the Bartlesville Astronomical Society, will present certificates on behalf of ACT, to BAS members who participated in the joint Woolaroc Astronomy Event in September.
Since it appears that, except for recent new members, dues have not been paid to the club in several years, we agreed at the last meeting to restart collecting dues. Many members are now paid up, but if you're uncertain of your current status, check the member list in the Database section of our Yahoo Group Forum at <http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BvilleAstro/database?method=reportRows&tbl=4> , or contact John Grismore.
Lions Club Program
Joyce Ritchie recently gave a presentation to the Downtown Lions Club about astronomy activities and the International Year of Astronomy. Joyce will give a report on her talk, which was covered by the local newspaper last Sunday.
Dark Observing Site
Steve Plank has recently made contact with the Army Corps of Engineers at Copan Lake and Hulah Lake, as well as Osage Hills State Park and the Boy Scout camp, about the possibility of our club establishing a dark observing site on their property. Steve will discuss these preliminary efforts and ask for input from club members about the level of interest in a dark site and opinions on the most practical dark site locations.
Unless we are able to find a sustainable source of income to cover the cost of liability insurance, BAS, its members and officers may be vulnerable to legal action in the unfortunate event of any unforeseen accident. Members need to discuss the level of concern we should attach to this, and what alternatives are most appropriate for us.
Most of our club communication is now by email. This saves us quite a bit of money on printing and mailing costs, as well as increasing the frequency and ease of member to member communications. However a few BAS members don't have access to email. We need to find a practical and efficient way to keep our non-email members in the communication loop. If anyone is willing to serve as a liaison between our on-line communications and our off-line members, please contact John Grismore. This might involve occasional phone or snail mail updates to those members who don't have email.
We're always eager to see astrophotos taken by any of our members, but it's also nice to see photos of members, their astronomical activities and equipment, and club events. In the past, some astronomy clubs had a specific member who volunteered to serve as the "club photographer" to document club activities. But now that digital cameras are relatively cheap and common, and cell phone cameras are everywhere, most of our members have the ability to help capture those interesting moments during club events. Not only will these photos help preserve some of the history and memories of BAS, they may also help publicize the club if included in newspaper articles. Our on-line BvilleAstro Yahoo Group has a section specifically for storing and organizing photos. All members are encouraged to upload photos of BAS activities at <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BvilleAstro/photos/album/0/list> .
Bartlesville Sky (looking south) December 15, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. (source: Voyager 4 by Carina Software)
December Astronomical Calendar
d h d h
2 4 Uranus stationary 18 9 Mercury greatest elong E(20)
2 7 FULL MOON 20 14 Moon at apogee
2 23 Moon furthest North (25.8) 21 8 Jupiter 0.5S of Neptune
4 14 Moon at perigee 21 12 Jupiter 3.8S of Moon
6 23 Mars 5.0N of Moon 21 12 Neptune 3.2S of Moon
7 19 Regulus 3.6N of Moon 21 15 Mars stationary
9 0 LAST QUARTER 21 17 Solstice
9 19 Venus 5.0N of Antares 23 21 Uranus 5.4S of Moon
11 17 Spica 3.1N of Moon 24 17 FIRST QUARTER
15 7 Antares 1.2S of Moon Occn 24 17 Pluto at conjunction
15 22 Venus 3.1N of Moon 26 6 Mercury stationary
16 2 Moon furthest South (-25.7) 28 6 Venus 5.4S of Pluto
16 12 NEW MOON 30 10 Moon furthest North (25.7)
18 7 Mercury 1.3S of Moon 31 19 FULL MOON Eclipse
January 4 in the Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room (tentative). Program to be determined (volunteers appreciated).
BAS Public Website: http://sites.google.com/site/bartlesvilleastronomyclub/
BAS Yahoo Group: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BvilleAstro/
If you want to have your email address removed from the Bartlesville Astronomical Society mailing list, please send an email requesting removal to firstname.lastname@example.org .