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September 2010

September 7, 2010 Meeting


Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room

Note!   The Library will be closed Monday, September 6 for the Labor Day weekend, so our meeting will be Tuesday, September 7.


   6:45 p.m.   Setup and casual conversation
   7:00 p.m.   Club Business
   7:15 p.m. Intro to Autumn Constellations (if time permits)
   7:30 p.m.

Winter Solstice 2012:

Celestial Cycles, Hype, and Intrigue

By Arden Strycker


21 December 2012 has become the next target date of doomsday prophecies, this time with much attention and a sense that galactic convergence is about to bring wrath upon planet Earth. But why the Winter Solstice of 2012? The answers and the underlying celestial cycles are quite interesting, and this talk will explore some of these cycles and how we “sync up” with them. Is there any credibility to these prophecies? None at all. This talk will clear up any confusion about the 2012 Apocalypse.


BAS Logo Update

The BAS Logo at the top of this newsletter, and on most of our other communications, has served us well for many years (decades actually).  The logo is now used predominantly in club emails and on club webpages, as well as on paper handouts and meeting announcements.  With advances in computer technology and on-line communications, perhaps it's time to consider a redesign.  Therefore, we proudly announce... 


The Bartlesville Astronomical Society Logo Design Contest!

Yes, there will be a prize for the winning entry, so enter early and enter often.  The goal will be a logo that is aesthetically pleasing and appealing without being overstated, representative of our interests, and simple and convenient to use in all our on-line and hardcopy communications.  The winner will be determined by a vote of club members.  The preliminary deadline for entries is September 7, 2010.  Send your entries to John Grismore or .

August 2010 Star Party Notes

With the Bartlesville Public Library closed, and our usual meeting room out of commission during several weeks of remodeling, our August meeting was replaced by a members-only star party.  Thanks to the efforts of David Tobola, we were able to arrange a night of dark site observing at the Boy Scouts' Camp McClintock on Saturday, August 7.  Since we reserved the "Cub Cabin" for both Friday and Saturday night, we began the week with plans to have the event on Friday, then switch at mid-week to Saturday, based on weather forecasts.  This turned out to be a good decision, since Friday night was overcast to partly cloudy.

Some photos have now been uploaded to the BvilleAstro Yahoo Group and can be viewed in the Photo section at 

The sky was dark, the viewing was steady and the stars were bright, but the clouds were persistent.  We had several good hours of viewing before the low clouds in the west had advanced beyond the zenith and crowded our viewing into Sagittarius and Scorpius.  With all there is to see in that part of the sky, this really wasn't a problem until eventually, the clouds reached even there.  


October Election of Officers

Discussion of preparations for elections began by noting that it has been many years since BAS has conducted formal election of officers.  We reviewed the existing club bylaws to make sure we understood the election procedure.  They specify staggered two year election terms, with President and Information/Publicity Officer being elected in even numbered years and Vice President and Treasurer/Secretary being elected in odd numbered years.  Since it has been so long since our last elections, we discussed the possibility of electing all four offices this October to restart the process, but eventually concluded that it would be best to stick with the original procedure and elect only President and Information/Publicity this year.  It was also agreed that nominations should be submitted to Arden Strycker (nominations committee) by September 15.


Volunteers for Club Responsibilities

The next issue discussed was the current imbalance of club responsibilities.  Too few members are overloaded doing too much of the work involved in keeping the club active.  A list of club responsibilities were reviewed and ideas were discussed for ways to enlist BAS members to help more.  Mike Woods volunteered to become the BAS newsletter editor and Steve Plank has agreed to handle meeting room scheduling and set up.  There is still a need for additional volunteers.  A list of responsibilities has been added to our public website at <> .


Liability Insurance and Public Outreach

Our lack of liability insurance continues to prevent us from participating in public activities.  At a recent BAS Board of Directors meeting we discussed this issue and resolved to acquire some liability insurance, at least for one year, with the hope of establishing a permanent, sustainable way to fund the insurance in future years.  One way to remedy this would be to increase club dues.  This would probably mean raising yearly dues to about $30 per member.  If you have any concerns about raising the dues, please speak up.  This issue will be addressed at our September meeting.


BAS Resource Checkout

Our discussion opened up several promising ideas.  One of the most interesting is the realization that between existing club resources, such as club telescopes, and personal resources that some members are willing to lend, such as books, we could expand access for all our members.  What's needed is a convenient on-line resource checkout system that makes it easy to record and track on-loan club and member resources.  We may find that for some resources, a checkout system will work best if coupled with a "late fee" or "user fee" to encourage timely return of loaned items.  While it's not yet fully functional, a prototype checkout system has been added to our BvilleAstro Yahoo Group at <> .  Feel free to give it a try and offer your feedback to John Grismore.

How to Start Right in Astronomy

by Alan M. MacRobert

(Please read the full article online from Sky and Telescope)



  1. Learn the sky with the unaided eye.
  2. Ransack your public library.
  3. Thinking telescope? Start with binoculars.
  4. Dive into maps and guidebooks.
  5. Keep an astronomy diary.
  6. Seek out other amateurs.
  7. When it's time for a telescope, plunge in deep.
  8. Lose your ego.
  9. Relax and have fun.

 September 8 - New Moon
 September 16 - Final Space Shuttle Flight.
 September 21 - Jupiter at Opposition.
 September 22 - Uranus at Opposition.
 September 23 - The Autumnal Equinox occurs in the northern hemisphere at 03:09 UT.
 September 23 - Full 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 / Vicky Travaglini


Additional club positions:

Member at Large

Joyce Gray - Education Coordinator

Program Chairman

James Vogh

Astronomical League

John Grismore


Mike Woods


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.



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 ?






Next Meeting

Oct 4th, Monday. Bartlesville Public Library Meeting Room

“The Astronomical League,”  John Land (Astronomy Club of  Tulsa)


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 Public Website:

BAS Yahoo Group:


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