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March 2010

March MeetingMonday,  March 1
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.  - Teaching Methods for Upper Elementary Astronomy
Joyce Ritchie will present a show and tell of astronomy concepts that can be taught using hands on materials, to students in an age appropriate and tested manner.  On March 1st, advanced concepts for students in grades 5 - 8 will be demonstrated.

Club Business
After the program there will be a brief business meeting to discuss several club items, including plans for our Night Sky for Schools program, an update on our dark site search, a request for ideas for in-town observing locations and an update on our effort to define and act on one or two high priority club goals.  Members are encouraged to come with ideas to share.

Night Sky Program for Schools
Joyce Ritchie reported at the last meeting that Todd Rhodes, of Wayside Elementary School, would like to have us present our Night Sky Program on the Wayside playground sometime between March 22 and April 9.  Joyce will update us on current plans, possible dates and what we need to do to prepare for this event.  We need to try to make as many telescopes and binoculars as possible available for viewing by the students.  In addition, we need to prepare some indoor astronomy activities in case of bad weather.
Observing Site Report
On the evening of February 12, Arden Strycker and Steve Plank took their scopes to the Wah-Shah-She Campground entrance at Hulah Lake, a possible dark observing site discussed at previous meetings, and spent the evening observing.  Arden's assessment of this dark site follows.

Nearly perfect view. Unobstructed 360. No trees to get in your way. No traffic (car lights) to bother you.

Perfect accessibility. You could get there in just about any weather conditions. Note that the Tulsa site has been closed for awhile and members were trying to reverse that for last night. Dirt road and wet ground has made their site inaccessible in Jan. and Feb.
I clocked it at 30 min (speed limit driving) from Tuxedo-75 highway intersection. Fairly close. Note that my friend in OK City drives 60-70 minutes to get to theirs.
Not a permanent site. That is, when the park is open (summer), this is not likely a good spot. Is there a good spot in the park for the summer?
Light polution is still a problem. The lights from Bartlesville dominate the S sky. Lights from Copan are evident, but not objectionable.
Planning Future Programs
Recently, planning programs for our club meetings has been a month-by-month effort.  The resulting programs have all been very good, but the short term nature of this approach can make preparation by the presenters more difficult.  Furthermore, the low volunteer rate has put additional burden on a few presenters who have given multiple presentations in just a few months.  To reduce these problems, we will begin a longer term planning effort for our monthly programs.  A signup sheet will be circulated at the March meeting to establish a list of future programs.  If necessary, this will be followed by a campaign of personal telephone calls to add needed volunteers.  Programs need not be elaborate or extensive.  Keeping programs simple and informal will prevent preparation from becoming a burden.  Please volunteer.

BAS Goals and Directions
Several BAS members met informally about a week ago to discuss club directions and goals.  Arden Strycker will present the results at this month's meeting.

ACT Adams Ranch Summer Star Party
The Astronomy Club of Tulsa is in the process of finalizing plans for their Adams Ranch Summer Star Party in a joint event with Kansas observers.  The Adams Ranch site is north of Foraker, roughly midway between Bartlesville and Ponca City, but only a few mile south of the Kansas border.  It has some of the darkest skies in this part of the country.  Members of the Bartlesville Astronomical Society are welcome to participate in this event.  As soon as I have additional details, I'll pass them along.

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) February 15, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.
(source: Stellarium 0.10.2,  see )

March Astronomical Calendar (Universal Time)
 d  h                                  d  h
 3 16  Spica 3.0N of Moon             15 21  NEW MOON
 4  4  Venus 0.6S of Uranus           15 23  Uranus 5.4S of Moon
 7  2  Antares 1.3S of Moon           17  6  Uranus at conjunction
 7 15  LAST QUARTER                   20 17  Equinox
 7 21  Moon furthest South (-25.6)    22  0  Saturn at opposition
 8  1  Mercury 1.1S of Jupiter        22 11  Moon furthest North (25.4)
11  9  Mars stationary                23 10  FIRST QUARTER
12 10  Moon at apogee                 25 12  Mars 4.4N of Moon
13 12  Neptune 3.6S of Moon           27 10  Regulus 3.9N of Moon
14 12  Mercury superior conjunction   28  4  Moon at perigee
14 21  Jupiter 5.0S of Moon           30  2  FULL MOON
15 21  Mercury 0.6S of Uranus         31  2  Spica 2.9N 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
April 5 in the Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room (tentative).  Program to be determined (volunteers appreciated).

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 .