January Meeting, Monday, January 4
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: A Cheapskates Guide to Starting A Totally Awesome Meteorite Collection
Rick Bryant will present a summary of practical advice for building a meteorite collection with only a small investment of money. He will talk about what makes a rock a meteorite; meteorite look-a-likes; meteorite classification; how to collect, purchase, label and store meteorites; and meteorite collection options. A selection of meteorites and meteorite look-a-likes will be available for viewing.
Part of Rick Bryant's Totally Awesome Meteorite Collection
Star Party January 16
Since our star party last month was clouded out, Mike Woods has invited club members and individuals interested in the club to attend a star party at his place on January 16. 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.
MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network
Arden Strycker recently brought to my attention the Observing With NASA program. This is a NASA outreach program, in conjunction with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with the mission to "enable youth nationwide to investigate the wonders of the deep sky from their classrooms or after-school centers." It is composed of a network of automated robotic telescopes that can be controlled remotely over the internet. The network currently includes 6" reflecting scopes with CCD cameras at Harvard College Observatory in Cambridge, MA and the Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ. Users can select the object(s) to be imaged, set exposure time, color filter selection and other parameters before submitting the image request, which will be scheduled along with other user requests. The resulting images will then be sent to the user's email address within 48 hours. I've tried this on several different objects with varying degrees of success and found it to be a simple, but very interesting activity. This could clearly serve as a bad weather activity for our Night Sky Program for Schools, with resulting images being emailed to a particular classroom, teacher or student. I encourage you to try it yourself and see what you think. The Observing With NASA web site is at http://mo-www.cfa.harvard.edu/OWN/about.html .
Since it appeared that, except for recent new members, dues had not been paid to the club in several years, we agreed to restart collecting dues. Most 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.
Dark Observing Site
Steve Plank has continued to pursue contacts 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 give a brief update on his progress.
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. We need a volunteer to serve as a liaison between our on-line communications and our off-line members. This might involve occasional phone or snail mail updates to those members who don't have email. Please contact John Grismore.
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) January 15, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
(source: Stellarium 0.10.2, see http://www.stellarium.org/ )
January Astronomical Calendar
d h d h
1 20 Moon at perigee 15 19 Mercury stationary
3 0 Earth at perihelion 17 1 Moon at apogee
4 2 Regulus 3.7N of Moon 17 20 Neptune 3.3S of Moon
4 18 Mercury inferior conjunction 18 6 Jupiter 4.2S of Moon
5 11 Mercury 3.4N of Venus 20 6 Uranus 5.4S of Moon
7 10 LAST QUARTER 23 10 FIRST QUARTER
7 23 Spica 3.2N of Moon 26 20 Moon furthest North (25.7)
11 13 Antares 1.1S of Moon Occn 27 8 Mercury greatest elong W(25)
11 21 Venus superior conjunction 27 19 Mars nearest to Earth
12 8 Moon furthest South (-25.7) 29 19 Mars at opposition
13 16 Mercury 4.5N of Moon 30 6 FULL MOON
14 18 Saturn stationary 30 8 Moon at perigee
15 7 NEW MOON Eclipse 31 13 Regulus 3.7N of Moon
15 9 Venus 1.4S of Moon
February 1 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 .