May Meeting, Monday, May 3We 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 <http://sites.google.com/site/bartlesvilleastronomyclub/notes/april-2010-wayside-night-sky-program> .
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.
After the program there will be a brief business meeting.
Night Sky for Schools Program
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. <www.Seasky.org> predicts roughly 10 meteors per hour at its peak. However, <www.Meteorblog.com> 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 http://www.stellarium.org/ )
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
BAS Public Website: http://sites.google.com/site/bartlesvilleastronomyclub/
BAS Yahoo Group: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BvilleAstro/
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 email@example.com .