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December 2010

December 6, 2010 Meeting

Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room 

   6:45 p.m.    Setup and casual conversation
   7:00 p.m.    Club Business
   7:15 p.m.    Intro to . . . 
   7:30 p.m.    Program

Observing Asteroid Occultations
John Grismore

There are over 400,000 known asteroids orbiting the sun, with diameters ranging from nearly 500 miles to just a few yards across.  Occasionally, one of these faint objects will pass directly in front of a star, momentarily eclipsing it and blocking the light.  Besides the dramatic impact of seeing a star suddenly disappear and then reappear a few seconds later, there is much that can be learned from careful observations of such events.  In this month's program we'll explore the circumstances of asteroid occultations, how amateur astronomers can observe them very precisely, and the important scientific results that can be acquired through such observations.

The Stellar Magnitude System

by Alan M. MacRobert

Sky & Telescope

  (article continued at

Logo Contest Winner

We now have a winner for our BAS Logo Contest.  Apryl Dawn Kaylor was presented with a certificate and one year of free membership to BAS, as well as a copy of the book "Totality: Eclipses of the Sun", coauthored by Ken Willcox, past president of BAS.  The new logo will appear soon on our public website.

Observing Schedule
Arden Strycker and Steve Plank have devoted considerable time during the past year scouting for club observing sites.  We now have access to several, from an easily accessible site at Sooner Park for casual observing, to one of the darkest sites in our region at Hulah Lake, for more serious observing and imaging.  Arden reviewed the schedule during the meeting and discussed plans for a possible public star party near the end of the month.  The tentative schedule for observing events and club meetings can be viewed on our club calendar at <>.

Oak Park Star Party
Joyce Ritchie has been in contact with Oak Park School, which would like to have BAS provide a school star party for them, similar to the two we did for Wayside School last spring. We weren't able to work out a date for the Oak Park Star Party this month, so Joyce and Arden have agreed that this should be postponed until next spring, when the weather will be better.

December 5 - New Moon
December 13, 14 - Geminids Meteor Shower. Considered by many to be the best meteor shower in the heavens, the Geminids are known for producing up to 60 multicolored meteors per hour at their peak. The peak of the shower this year should occur on the night of December 13 and morning of the 14th, although some meteors should be visible from December 6 - 19. Some estimates say there could be as many as 120 meteors an hour visible from dark-sky locations. The radiant point for this shower will be in the constellation Gemini. The Moon will set early in the evening setting the sky up for a spectacular show. Best viewing is usually to the east after midnight.
December 21 - Full Moon
December 21 - Total Lunar Eclipse. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific Ocean, the Americas, and Europe. The eclipse will be visible after midnight in North and South America. Since the Moon will be almost directly overhead from these locations, this should be an excellent chance to view a rare total lunar eclipse.
(NASA Eclipse Information)

December 21 - The Winter Solstice occurs in the northern hemisphere at 23:38 UT. The Sun is at its lowest point in the sky and it will be the shortest day of the year. This is also the first day of winter.


2010 Programs






 Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge Requirements

 David Tobola


 Constructing a Backyard Observatory

Daryl Doughty


Demo Night



August Star Party




 Arden Strycker


 The Astronomical League

 John Land


 Tour of Observatories ?



 Observing Asteroid Occultations

 John Grismore


BAS Officers

President: John Grismore
Program Chair & Vice President: Daryl Doughty
Information Officer (Newsletter): Mike Woods
[Treasurer, non-balloted]: Milt & Vicky Enderlin

Nominations:  Arden Strycker
Publicity/Newspaper:  Carroll Ritchie
Publicity/Public Website: Steve Plank & John Grismore
Member Observing Program: Steve Plank & Arden Strycker
ByLaws: Arden Strycker
Meeting Room Arrangements: Steve Plank, acting
Membership:   open
Yahoo Group:   open
Astronomical League:   open
Publicity/Public  Events:   open
(Joyce Ritchie has provided support with the educational community)

Membership Dues (due each November)
$20 for adults and $10 for students.

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 Mike Woods or to  .

For Sale

Celestron NexStar 130 SLT GoTo Reflector Telescope.  Includes Soft Case, manual, etc…  Can be powered by 8 internal AA batteries or included 12V power cord.  Asking $250.  Contact Duane Perkins, phone: 336-5096 or email: .

BAS Resource Checkout

 <> .  Feel free to give it a try and offer your feedback to John Grismor

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