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May 2010

May MeetingMonday,  May 3
Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room

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.  - Boy Scout Astronomy Merit Badge Requirements
David Tobola has been the Astronomy Merit Badge counselor for the Cherokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts for five years.  His presentation will explain current classroom requirements, such as observing safely, the planets, constellations, observing equipment and more.  In addition he will explain the outside, self directed requirements, such as plotting planet motion and tracking moon phases.  Finally, David will discuss potential opportunities for our club to assist with these merit badge requirements.

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

Night Sky for Schools Program
We had our second very successful night sky program at Wayside Elementary School the evening of April 20.  Including students and parents, attendance was between 80 and 100.  Intermittent patchy clouds occasionally interfered, but with seven telescopes and a pair of tripod-mounted binoculars, all viewing the Moon, Mars, Saturn or Venus, there was always something for our visitors to see.  You can read more about this event in the Notes section of our BAS web site, at <> .

Meteor Watch   by Jeremiah Thennis
With a continuous stream of meteor showers beginning from Apr. 19 to July 2, spring time is a rather busy time for meteor enthusiasts. The Eta Aquarids start off the show on April 19th and continue on until May 28th.  Named for the constellation in which the radiant lies (Aquarius), the Eta Aquarids are the first of two meteor showers caused by the Earth passing through the debris trail of Halley’s comet. The other, being the Orionids, occurs in October.  A few meteors can be seen now, however, the show really begins to kick into gear around May 3rd, reaching its peak on the night of May 5th/6th. The Etas are definitely an “early bird” special. The best times to view these are between the hours of 4-7 in the morning. However, you may catch some Earthgrazers earlier in the night; around 2-3 am as the radiant breaks the horizon.

Earthgrazers are caused by meteors skimming horizontally across the atmosphere, producing longer lasting and occasionally, more spectacular displays.

I have two sources on the quantity of meteors for the Etas.  <> predicts roughly 10 meteors per hour at its peak. However, <> gives it a higher number of 30 per hour.  So, if you have nothing better to do early in the morning, or if you’re up early for work, the Eta Aquarids may be worth your while, and give you a good start to your day.

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

May Astronomical Calendar (Universal Time)
 d  h                                  d  h
 1 14  Moon furthest South (-25.1)    20  8  Mars 4.8N of Moon
 2 20  Pluto 5.9N of Moon             20  8  Moon at perigee
 6  4  LAST QUARTER                   20 23  FIRST QUARTER
 6 22  Moon at apogee                 20 23  Regulus 4.2N of Moon
 7  6  Neptune 4.0S of Moon           24 19  Spica 3.0N of Moon
 9 12  Jupiter 5.9S of Moon           26  3  Mercury greatest elong W(25)
 9 20  Uranus 5.6S of Moon            27 23  FULL MOON
11  0  Mercury stationary             28  5  Antares 1.8S of Moon
14  1  NEW MOON                       28 22  Moon furthest South (-25.0)
15 23  Moon furthest North (25.1)     30  3  Pluto 5.9N of Moon
16 10  Venus 0.1S of Moon      Occn   31 16  Saturn stationary

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
June 7 in the Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room (tentative).  Daryl Doughty will present "Constructing a Backyard Observatory".

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 .

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 .