January - Popular Astronomy Club

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January - Popular Astronomy Club
Reflections
Newsletter of the Popular Astronomy Club
THE PRESIDENTS CORNER
Wayland Bauer
I find myself writing my
first President’s Corner
article with much fear and
trepidation.
My biggest
concern is that I will
become
your
personal
example of “the Peter
Principle.” The concept of
the Peter Principle is that people that function with some
degree of success at one level get promoted to another level.
This continues until they reach a level that exceeds their
level of expertise. Dr. Laurence J. Peter, who first wrote of
this concept in the 1960s summarized in simple terms by
saying “The cream rises until it sours.” I’m afraid in my
case that I have reached that level.
The Popular Astronomy Club has a very rich history of
people that have held the office of President. Not only did
these people exhibit strong background knowledge of
astronomy, but they were great leaders in promoting
astronomy and growing the Popular Astronomy Club. May
I suggest that you take some time to view our web page at
http://www.pacastronomy.50megs.com and view our club’s
history.
It is when I find my name on a list that starts with Carl
Gamble and includes Paul Castle and Roy Gustafson that I
feel totally out of place. I will attempt to follow the basic
rule of First Aid, “Do No Harm” but I WILL BE CALLING
ON ALL OF YOU FOR HELP!
We all owe a great deal of thanks and gratitude to Roy
Gustafson for helping the Popular Astronomy Club move
on from the tragic death of Paul Castle. I know for a few
months all of us were trying to imagine a club without Paul.
Now we have to imagine a club without Roy leading us. I
hope all of you join me in encouraging Roy to continue
with his enthusiastic and “spirited” support for astronomy.
January 2010
One challenge for PAC will be to evaluate how we are
doing at meeting the mission statement which reads:
The Popular Astronomy Club is designed to secure
the pleasures and benefits of an association of
persons interested in amateur astronomy; to
promote the science of Astronomy; to promote
astronomical work and craftsmanship in its various
fields; to correlate amateur activities; and to act as
interpreter of astronomical developments and
events to the public.
Our association is thus
organized exclusively for such educational and
scientific purposes.
Where we find ourselves doing well we will need to
continue, but where we fall short we will need to make
improvements. We should be striving to make Popular
Astronomy Club meetings and activities a place where
people want to be. I WILL BE CALLING ON ALL OF
YOU FOR IDEAS, SUPPORT, AND WORK!
2010-2011 PAC BOARD OF DIRECTORS
PRESIDENT - Wayland Bauer
3256 Pleasant Drive, Bettendorf, IA., 52722
Phone: (563) 332-4032; Email: [email protected]
VICE PRESIDENT - Alan Sheidler
3528 56th Street Court, Moline IL, 61265
Phone: (309) 797-3120; Email: [email protected]
SECRETARY - Cindy Springer
3532 12th Street, Rock Island, IL, 61201
Phone: (309) 787-3559; Email: [email protected]
TREASURER - Frank Stonestreet
317 30th Avenue Court, Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 764-6069; Email: [email protected]
ALCOR / NEWSLETTER EDITOR - Lee M. Farrar
Illinois - 2232 24th Street, Rock Island, IL, 61201
Phone: (309) 768-6844; Email: [email protected]
Arizona - 808 N. 82nd Street, Townhouse F-2, Scottsdale, AZ, 85257
Phone (480) 429-3548
PACMO DIRECTOR - Gerry Pearson
1304 Ripley Ct, Muscatine, IA., 52761
Phone: (563) 264-1528; Email: [email protected]
PAUL R. CASTLE MEMORIAL OBSERVATORY DIRECTORS:
I will always remember Roy sitting in the back of the
planetarium and helping new members like me feel
welcome. Roy, I hope that when I’m up front you will
continue with that kind of activity when potential new
members attend their first meetings.
Wayland Bauer
3256 Pleasant Drive, Bettendorf, IA., 52722
Phone: (563) 332-4032; Email: [email protected]
Roy Gustafson
11 Deer Run Road, Orion, IL, 61273
Phone: (309) 526-3592; Email: [email protected]
THE VICE PRESIDENTS REPORT
Wayland Bauer
IN MEMORIUM
SUZANNE KLEONE SARLETTE
It is with a great deal of pleasure and relief that I write that
the Paul Castle Memorial Observatory is complete. There
are a few amenities to put in place and some guidelines
developed before club-wide use of the observatory is
possible, but those days are just a few months away.
The dedication of this facility will mark the
accomplishment of one of Paul Castle’s long held dreams
of the club having a permanent observatory. It will also
mean that Frank Stonestreet, the club treasurer, will not
keep reporting on the club’s depleting financial reserves
since we are no longer paying $70 per month in storage
fees.
This achievement could not have occurred without the
efforts of many people. First of all I would like to thank my
wife Anne, for making contact with the Nordick family,
and keeping after me to follow-up on her efforts.
Secondly, the club owes a huge THANK YOU to Gary and
Christina Nordick and family for being willing to host the
observatory. They have more ideas planned to make use of
the observatory more convenient for all of us. We can show
our thanks by following the guidelines being established for
the use of the facility.
Third, I want to thank a group of people that contributed
money to help stabilize the club’s financial situation and
make possible the reconstruction of the observatory. The
contributions were made by the following listed in
alphabetical order: Robert Buss, Joel Carter, Marrietta
Castle, Martin Cosentine, Robert Custer, Lee Farrar, John
Hendley, Gerald Pearson, John Schaub, Gail Sederquist,
Alan Sheidler, Frank Stonestreet, Dwayne Trautman, John
Weber and Wayland Bauer.
Another very important group donated materials and
provided a labor of love to see the project completed. The
following people were willing to show up anytime they
were called, and some called with offers to do even more
work. I want to thank each of you: Gary and Christina
Nordick, Roy Gustafson, Al Sheidler and his son Eric, Mel
Schroeder, Gerry Pearson, Rusty Case and his son Steven,
and Frank Stonestreet. Marty Cosentine even came out to
make sure we were doing everything properly. All of these
made it easy job for me to coordinate the reconstruction
process.
I also want to include Lee Farrar for his great job with the
telling the story of the observatory’s reconstruction in our
newsletter. He was always pursuing the details and asking
for photographs.
The first meeting of 2010 (Jan. 11) will be a slide show of
the construction progress from the setting of the pier on
August 15th to the attachment of the equatorial mount and
telescope to the pier on December 5th.
Other programs already planned are:
February 8: The Journey to Palomar – Roy Gustafson
March 8: Business Meeting & Swap/ Sale Meet
Suzanne
Kleone
Sarlette,
59,
of
Muscatine,
Iowa,
passed
away on
October 12, 2009, at
the University of
Iowa Hospital in
Iowa City. She had
been
suddenly
stricken
with
a
stroke-like condition,
Sunday, Oct. 4 and
flown
to
the
University of Iowa
Hospital in Iowa City where she underwent a 5-hour
surgery for a brain bleed. She never awakened from a deep
coma.
Suzanne graduated from Morris Minnesota High School as
the valedictorian of the class of 1968. Sue attended the
University of Minnesota, Morris, and graduated with High
Distinction in 1972 with a double major in math and
physics. She did post-graduate studies at St. Olaf College in
Northfield, Minnesota, and later received her Master’s
Degree in Computer Science from St. Ambrose University,
Davenport, Iowa.
Sue was employed as a computer programmer/computer
specialist for the U.S. Department of Defense, stationed at
Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, IL, starting in 1974.
She made her home in Davenport, Iowa.
She married Gerald Pearson in 1989, and the couple moved
to Muscatine at that time. Suzanne continued to work at
the Rock Island Arsenal until her retirement in 2000.
Suzanne was a member of many organizations, including:
the Aliner Owners Club, Iowa City Bird Club, Quad City
Audubon Society, and the Popular Astronomy Club.
A memorial service for Suzanne Kleone Sarlette was held
at the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City, IA, on
November 14, 2009.
ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR OF EVENTS
(PAC Activities in Bold print)
PLANETARY PATHS DURING 1st QUARTER 2010
 Cancer
July
Jan 2, 2010 – Earth is at perihelion today.
Jan 3-4, 2010 – Quadrantids meteor shower. The radiant
will be from the constellation Bootes.
Jan 4, 2010 – Mercury is at inferior conjunction.
Jan 4, 2010 – Latest Sunrise of the year at 40° North.
Jan 7, 2010 – Last Quarter Moon.
Jan 11, 2010 – Venus is at superior conjunction.
Jan 11, 2010 – PAC Monthly Meeting - Augustana
Planetarium, 7:30 p.m. Program: “Slide show of the
Reconstruction of the Paul Castle Memorial
Observatory.”
Jan 15, 2010 – New Moon.
Jan 23, 2010 – First Quarter Moon.
Jan 27, 2010 - Mercury is at greatest western elongation.
Jan 29, 2010 – Mars is at opposition.
Jan 30, 2010 – Full Moon, called the Wolf Moon.
Feb 5, 2010 – Last Quarter Moon.
Feb 8, 2010 – PAC Monthly Meeting - Augustana
Planetarium, 7:30 p.m. Program by Roy Gustafson,
“The Journey to Palomar”.
Feb 13, 2010 – New Moon.
Feb 14, 2010 – Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun.
Feb 21, 2010 – First Quarter Moon.
Feb 27, 2010 – Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.
Feb 28, 2010 – Full Moon, called the Snow Moon.
Mar 7, 2010 – Last Quarter Moon.
Mar 8, 2010 - PAC Business Meeting - Augustana
Planetarium, 7:30 p.m. Our Program will be “Swap
Meet”. Bing any astronomy related item that you
would like to trade or sell to someone else in the club.
Mar 14, 2010 – Mercury is at superior conjunction.
Mar 15, 2010 – New Moon.
Mar 16, 2010 – Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.
Mar 20, 2010 - Vernal Equinox. The Sun is positioned
directly above the Equator. Spring begins in the northern
hemisphere, and autumn begins in the southern
hemisphere.
Mar 21, 2010 – Saturn is at opposition.
Mar 23, 2010 – First Quarter Moon.
Mar 29, 2010 – Full Moon, called the Worm Moon.
Apr 4, 2010 – Mercury and Venus appear very close to
each other in the western sky around sunset.
Apr 6, 2010 – Last Quarter Moon.
Apr 8, 2010 - Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation.
Apr 14, 2010 – New Moon.
Apr 15-18, 2010 – Mars passes very close to the Beehive
Cluster, M44.
Apr 21, 2010 – First Quarter Moon.
Apr 25, 2010 – Venus is visible very close to the Pleiades,
M45, low in the west at sunset.
Apr 28, 2010 - Mercury is at inferior conjunction.
II
o
Gemini
June
90 o
 Taurus
May
o
135
45


Jan 1
Leo
Aug
Aires
Apr
Jan 1
Apr 1
Apr 1


Jan 1
Virgo
Sept
Pisces
0 Mar
o
o
180
Apr 1
Apr 1
Apr 1
Jan 1

Jan 1

Aquarius
Feb
Libra
Oct
o
o
225
315
o
Scorpio
Nov

270
Sagittarius 
Dec
Capricorn
Jan

Mercury: makes another complete orbit plus four Earth
days around the Sun during the period, hence the slightly
overlapping circles on the chart shown above. Refer to
the calendar at the left to view the major orbital events
for Mercury during the period.
Venus: On March 31st, Venus and Mercury are
approaching each other in the western sky around sunset.
They will be closest on April 4 th, and are joined by a
waxing 1-day old crescent moon on April 15 th. This will
be a very challenging trio to observe in the evening
twilight.
Venus is heading for its greatest eastern elongation on
August 20 th, and until its conjunction with the Sun on
October 29th, will be a rather poor evening observing
object all summer.
Earth travels ¼ of its yearly twelve month orbital period
around the Sun during this three month period, and
arrives at our Spring Equinox on March 20 th.
Mars: After chasing Mars all last year, the Earth has
finally caught up and will overtake Mars on the “inside
track”. Mars comes to opposition on January 29th when it
will be near the full moon, and M44, the Beehive Cluster.
Jupiter: On January 1 st, Jupiter appears very low in the
western sky at sunset. It arrives in conjunction with the
Sun on February 27 th.
Saturn: rises about 8:00 pm at the end of February, and
comes to opposition on March 21st. Saturn is a good allnight observing object for the remainder of the spring
and summer months.
THE PAUL R. CASTLE MEMORIAL OBSERVATORY
Project Recap: By the end of September 2009, after 1 ½
months of weekend work by PAC members, the telescope
pier was secured into the ground and the observatory substructure and deck were completed awaiting the arrival of
the wall sections.
OCTOBER 9, 2009 – OBSERVATORY MOVING DAY
On Friday, October 9th, 2009, the main structural sections
of Paul Castle's observatory were moved from storage to the
observatory site at the Nordicks. Many thanks are owed to
new club member Keith Wilson for the use of his pick-up
truck and his flat-bed trailer. It was great for safely moving
the dome. Gary Nordick also provided a truck for hauling
the walls of the observatory. Al Scheidler and Wayland
Bauer joined in by providing lifting power.
THE WALLSECTIONS ARRIVE ON THE OBSERVATORY DECK
OCTOBER 10, 2009 – THE RE-ASSEMBLY BEGINS
On Saturday, October 10th, new PAC member Rusty Case
and his son Steven, joined Gary and Wayland in repairing
parts of the wall sections that had been water damaged.
ASSEMBLING THE OBSERVATORY WALL SECTIONS
The remainder of the day was spent assembling the wall
sections into the proper order.
A DAMAGED WALL SECTION AWAITS TO BE REPAIRED
IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK LIKE AN OBSERVATORY
SHOP REPAIRS OF AN OBSERVATORY WALL SECTION
They then moved the wall sections out to the observatory
site and began to solve the puzzle of getting the walls into
the proper sequence for reassembly.
The October 10th work day was cut short by cold
temperatures and the arrival of snow flurries that fell in the
afternoon!! The string of cold and rainy weather in the
QCA continued the following week and no work could be
scheduled for October 17th.
OCTOBER 24, 2009
OCTOBER 31, 2009
It was decided that the original exterior walls were in such
bad shape that they ALL needed to be replaced. Al & Eric
Sheidler, Gary Nordick and Wayland Bauer worked to
remove the old exterior paneling and to install new
paneling.
On Halloween day, Al & Eric Sheidler, and Roy Gustafson
attached wall flashing before the dome base rings were
bolted into place.
WALL FLASHING BEING ATTACHED TO THE OBSERVATORY
OLD WALL PANELS REMOVED DOWN TO THE WALL STUDS
After placing the flashing, the same team is shown below
bolting the dome base rings into place.
THE DOME BASE RINGS ARE BEING BOLTED TOGETHER
NEW OBSERVATORY WALL PANELS ARE BEING INSTALLED
Gary Nordick is shown below working on the door of the
observatory.
OUR “NEW” OBSERVATORY AWAITS THE DOME BASE RINGS
EXTERIOR VIEW OF THE OBSERVATORY ON HALOWEEN DAY
NOVEMBER 7, 2009
November 7th was a sunny and mild “Indian Summer” day
in the QCA. The base rings were in place and the project
was ready for the observatory dome and shutter assembly to
be lifted into place.
The last item accomplished on November 7th was to attach
Paul Castle's name plate to the observatory.
THE PAUL R. CASTLE OBSERVATORY WITH NAMEPLATE
NOVEMBER 9, 2009
Al Sheidler and Rusty Case are shown above assembling
the dome before it was lifted onto the observatory walls.
Rusty Case and Wayland Bauer worked on the observatory
this morning (Monday). Rusty wired the observatory and
will bring his generator next Saturday to test it out. He also
got 11 lag screws through the base of the observatory walls
and 6 of them went into the joists, so the observatory walls
should be well secured. Rusty also placed the plastic filler
pieces at the base of the rear shutter which should help
keep the birds out.
RUSTY CASE INSTALLS WIRING TO THE OBSERVATORY
Wayland Bauer also painted the inside walls black, so they
now look like they did when the observatory was in Paul’s
backyard.
The picture above shows the “muscle power” that lifted the
completed dome into position. Shown left to right are
Wayland Bauer, Eric Sheidler, Steve Case (in back), Alan
Sheidler, Gary Nordick, and Rusty Case.
Christina
Nordick took the picture and she also helped with lifting
the dome onto the base rings.
NOVEMBER 14, 2009
On another clear and sunny autumn day, Rusty Case
checked out the observatory electrical wiring.
Mel
Schroeder built and installed the steps for the observatory.
Railings will be added later. Al and Eric Sheidler are
shown attaching the final strip of vertical flashing to the
observatory wall.
Today, the telescope and equatorial mount were temporarily
placed onto the pier and checked for final clearance within
the observatory interior walls.
THE TELESCOPE ASSEMBLY IS CHECKED FOR CLEARANCE
During this inspection the desired final pier height was
determined, and the pier was trimmed accordingly.
NOVEMBER 21, 2009
On this date, the off-site commercial storage unit rented by
PAC since August of 2005 was vacated and all of the
remaining material was taken either out to the observatory
site or to a shed at the Nordick’s residence.
THE TELESCOPE PIER IS CUT TO THE DESIRED HEIGHT
THE RENTED PAC STORAGE UNIT SINCE 2005 IS NOW EMPTY
Your PAC Board of Directors was very glad to see this day
arrive. For the past four years, we have paid $70.00 per
month, for a total of over $3,000, to store Paul’s
observatory material and telescope equipment until the
current observatory relocation project could be undertaken.
PAC owes a great deal of thanks to the Gary Nordick
family for providing a local, dark sky observing site for the
relocation of the Paul R. Castle Memorial Observatory.
GARY NORDICK MAKES A FINAL CHECK OF THE TELESCOPE
NOVEMBER 28, 2009
No work was
Thanksgiving.
scheduled
DECEMBER 5, 2009
for
the
weekend
after
The next detail of this project will be to fabricate a metal
plate onto which the telescope equatorial mount will be
secured to the pier. With the approaching onset of winter
in the QCA, the completion of a few final telescope
mounting details may mark the conclusion of field work on
the observatory project for 2009.
Alan and Eric Sheidler, and Wayland Bauer braved the
cold weather and approaching winter storm this morning to
mount the telescope and its equatorial mount onto the pier.
They visited our new storage area, found, and connected
the controls for the drive motors and motorized focuser.
After connecting power to these components, they were
able to verify that the tracking motors were operational to
drive the telescope.
DECEMBER 1, 2009
Rusty Case and Wayland Bauer took advantage of what
may be one of the last nice days of 2009 to work on the
pier. Gary Nordick shaped and sanded the top of the pier to
provide a tapered surface. A metal plate was then attached
to the pier to provide a sturdy base for the equatorial
mount.
THE TAPERED PIER TOP AND MOUNTING BASE PLATE
THE “BUSINESS” END OF OUR TELESCOPE AND MOUNTING
An evening observing test session was hampered due to the
cold, and clouds from an approaching winter snow storm.
In spite of the weather, the telescope optics appear to be in
very good shape, but polar alignment was not possible
tonight due to the clouds to the north.
With the rapidly approaching onset of the winter season,
with snow forecast for the Quad City area, today’s activities
bring an end to our 2009 activities to rebuild Paul Castle’s
observatory. All major reconstruction activities have been
completed. The observatory, the telescope, and its control
and drive components are operational.
OUR 6-INCH TELESCOPE EQUATORIAL MOUNTING BASE
The telescope equatorial mounting base is shown above
fastened to the pier top mounting plate.
The next step will be to attach the telescope equatorial
mount and to align the equatorial mount polar axis.
A date will be scheduled for next spring to dedicate our
new Paul R. Castle Memorial Observatory, and to celebrate
“first light” through our 6” Astro-Physics refractor
telescope.
THE OUTER PLANETS DURING 2010
Gemini
June
90 o
Cancer
July
o
OPPOSITIONS OF MARS FROM 2010 - 2018
Lee M. Farrar
Taurus
May
o
135
45
Leo
Aug
Aires
Apr
Mars became visible in the night sky last month
(December), and during the first half of 2010 appears near
the constellations of Cancer and Leo. It appears in the
night sky until it approaches the western horizon around
sunset toward the end of July 2010.
Jan 1
Oct 1
Virgo
o
Sept 180
o
0
Pisces
Mar
Apr 1
Jul 1
Aquarius
Feb
Libra
Oct
o
o
315
225
o
Scorpio
Nov
270
P
Sagittarius
Dec
Capricorn
Jan
The 2010 opposition of Mars comes later this month on
January 29 th, but as shown in the following chart, it is not a
very favorable one, as the distance between Mars and Earth
at this opposition will be about as great as it can ever be.
It won’t be until July 27, 2018 that Mars and Earth will
once again be just about as close as they can be at
opposition time. During the time of this 2018 opposition,
our two planets will actually be closest to each other on July
31st, 2018, four days after the opposition date.
 Cancer
July
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are presently spread almost
equidistant around the third heliocentric quadrant during
2010. This quadrant is also shared with Jupiter, which
moves from HL 334° on January 1st to 7.0° on December
31st. Uranus moves from HL 355° on January 1 st to HL
359° on December 31st. Only Uranus is in a heliocentric
position to appear close to any planets during the hours of
darkness in 2010.
II
o
 Taurus
May
Gemini
June
90 o
o
135
45


Opposition 2010
Leo
Aug
Aires
Apr
+
= 49.58 
I = 1.85 
Jan 1
+
Opposition 2012


Oct 1
Virgo
Sept
o
0o
180
Pisces
Mar
 = 336.04 
Apr 1
+
Opposition 2014
e = 0.0934
Jul 1
Uranus moves eastward under the head of Pisces during
2010. It comes to Superior conjunction with the Sun on
March 17th, 2010, and Opposition on September 21 st, 2010.
Uranus and Jupiter appear very close around 3:00 am in the
dark eastern morning sky before dawn for several mornings
on either side of June 8th, 2010; they appear close all night
on September 14th-15th, 2010; and will appear again, even
closer to each other, on January 4th, 2011 in the western sky
from around 7:00 pm until they set around 10:30 pm.
+
Opposition 2018

+
Opposition 2016

Aquarius
Feb
Libra
Oct
o
o
225
315
o
Scorpio
Nov

270
Sagittarius 
Dec
Capricorn
Jan

MARS OPPOSITIONS BETWEEN THE YEARS 2010-2018
Neptune is in the constellation Capricornus during the
early months of 2010, entering Aquarius later in the year.
It comes to Superior conjunction with the Sun on February
14th, 2010, and Opposition on August 20 th, 2010. Neptune
and Venus will appear very close on February 7th, 2010, but
this event will not be visible in the bright glare of the Sun.
Pluto is in the northern part of our galactic dark rift in the
constellation of Sagittarius, and is almost directly north of
our galactic center. Pluto comes to Opposition on June
25th, 2010, and Superior conjunction with the Sun on
December 27th 2010.
However, for those observers who love a very difficult
observing challenge, Pluto appears at 14th magnitude, very,
very close to the left shoulder of M24, surrounded by M25,
M23, M16, the Eagle Nebula, M17, the Omega Nebula,
and M8, the Lagoon Nebula, in the Constellation
Sagittarius at midnight on Wednesday, June 9th, 2010. On
that date, Pluto’s coordinates are RA 18h, 18m, 51.69 s;
Dec -18°, 13’, 07.8”.
Relative to the above chart, the orbital parameters for Mars
are:
Longitude of Ascending Node = 49.58°
Longitude of Perihelion = 336.04084°
Orbital eccentricity = .09341233
Orbital inclination = 1.85°
Mars appears above the ecliptic along the red arc; Mars
appears below the ecliptic along the black arc.
During our lifetime, the absolute closest approaches
between Mars and the Earth occur during the month of
August. The last three occurred on August 22, 1924,
August 12, 1971 and August 27, 2003. The next one will
occur on August 14, 2050. The separation distance
between Mars and Earth for all these events is .372 au.
So, folks, if you receive the usual plethora of misinformed
email messages about Mars appearing in the sky as large as
the full moon at opposition times from your uninformed,
non-astronomical friends, don’t be misled. These folks
don’t know what they’re talking about.
ASTRONOMICAL LEAGUE NEWS
PACMO NEWS
The PACMO was not taken to
Ben Butterworth Parkway for the
final scheduled observing session
last October 17th due to overcast
conditions. 2009 turned out to be
a generally poor year for
observing opportunities in the
QCA.
ALCON 2010
The 2010 Astronomical League
Convention will be hosted by the
Tucson
Amateur
Astronomy
Association at the Tucson Hilton East,
Tucson, Arizona on June 24 -26,
2010.
Further information and registration will be
available soon on the official ALCon web site at
www.alconexpo.com.
NCRAL NEWS
Winter maintenance will include the cleaning of parts of
the telescope optics, replacement of a keypad connector,
and the acquisition of another weight bag to secure the
tripod.
2010 NCRAL CONVENTION
PAC TELESCOPES/BINOCULARS FOR RENT
The 2010 NCRAL Convention will
be held on April 16 and 17 at the
Holiday Inn Suites-Airport, 3202
East Empire Street, Bloomington,
Illinois. The convention will be
hosted by the Twin City Amateur
Astronomers who will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of
the founding of their club. They already have a web site set
up for the event.
The Popular Astronomy Club has four telescopes and one
pair of binoculars for rent to members. The equipment in
our rental inventory is:
1.) 90mm Meade ETX on a homemade mount and tripod
2.) 8" Orion Dobsonian.
3.) 6" Newtonian Reflector, Criterion Dynascope, RV-6.
4.) 6-inch Maksutov on a motor driven equatorial mount.
Visit the NCRAL web site at http://www.ncral.net/ and
follow the links to the convention web pages.
2009 NCRAL REGION AWARD
It was a tie, so two awards were given! Congratulations to
Ray Stonecipher of the Door Peninsula Astronomical
Society and Don DeWitt of the Neville Public Museum
Astronomical Society.
5) Zhumell 20 X 80 Binoculars with an integrated tripod
mount for a standard photographic tripod.
The rental rate is $5.00 per month. Contact Wayland Bauer
at 563-332-4032.
PAC COMMITTEES
INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY 2009
- Roy E.
Gustafson, Norman Utke, Robert Custer
–Robert Custer, Mel
Schroeder, Norman Utke, Karl Allemeier
ASTRONOMY DAY COMMITTEE
CURRENT NCRAL OFFICERS
The following members were elected to North Central
Region Astronomical League offices at the May 1-2, 2009
convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
PAC BANQUET COMMITTEE
- Roy E. Gustafson, Jan
Gustafson
PAC PICNIC COMMITTEE
- Cindy Springer
NCRAL CHAIR
ADVERTISING COMMITTEE
Gerry Kocken, Neville Public Museum Astronomical
Society
NCRAL VICE-CHAIR
- Norman Utke
- Wayland Bauer, Anne
Bauer, Roy E. Gustafson, Frank Stonestreet, Karl
Allemeier, Cindy Springer
PAUL'S TELESCOPE COMMITTEE
Rebecca Setzer, Northern Cross Science Foundation
NOMINATING COMMITTEE
- Mel Schroeder, Karl
NCRAL REGION REPRESENTATIVE
Allemeier
Katrina DeWitt, Neville Public Museum Astronomical
Society
WELCOME NEW PAC MEMBERS
The following new members have recently joined the
Popular Astronomy Club. Welcome to PAC.
Ken Boquist, Rock Island, IL
The Gary Nordick family, Milan, IL
Jane Williamson Stoutenburg, Davenport, IA
2009 PAC ANNUAL BANQUET
As usual, we awarded many door prize drawings for club
members.
The annual 2009 PAC banquet was held on Thursday
evening November 5th, at O’Melia’s Supper Club in Rock
Island.
After the door prize drawings, PAC awards were presented.
Al Sheidler was named the 2009 PAC Member of the Year.
The next two photographs show the members of our
astronomy club eating supper.
AL SHEIDLER RECEIVES HIS MEMBER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Wayland Bauer's name was drawn for the PAC 2009
Attendance Award.
THE PAC BANQUET ATENDEES AT O’MELIAS SUPPER CLUB
After our banquet meal, we then adjourned downstairs for
the evening program.
The day before our banquet, President Roy Gustafson was
informed that our scheduled speaker had just been released
from the hospital and his doctor would not let him travel to
Rock Island for our banquet.
Roy used his executive powers and assigned Wayland
Bauer to come up with an evening program.
We watched part of a video "Seeing in the DarK" based on
a book of the same title by Timothy Ferris.
WAYLAND BAUER DISPLAYS HIS 2009 ATTENDANCE AWARD
FOURTH QUARTER 2009 PAC BUSINESS MEETING
Business Meeting Program
President Roy Gustafson, called the Fourth Quarter PAC
business meeting to order in the John Deere Planetarium
Lecture Hall at 7:30 p.m. local time, on Monday, December
14, 2009.
At the beginning of the meeting President Roy asked for a
moment of silence to honor the memory of Sue Sarlette who
passed away in October 2009.
The Third Quarter 2009 business meeting
minutes were read by Secretary Cindy
Springer and approved by the members
present.
Treasurer’s Report
The program for the evening was a smorgasbord with the
following presentations being made:
Roberta Wright shared information on a newspaper
article.
Ken Farrar demonstrated his new unipod for providing
stability for binocular viewing.
Al Sheidler demonstrated his new Starry Night
Planetarium software.
Roy Gustafson demonstrated his platform to be placed on
a tripod that would allow two telescopes to be mounted
side-by-side for comparison of solar viewing (hydrogenalpha vs. white light).
Treasurer Frank Stonestreet presented his
report about the financial status of the club.
Wayland Bauer shared some astronomical applications for
the Apple iTouch or iPhone.
New Business
Roy Gustafson then distributed the ballots for the election
of PAC Board of Directors for 2010-2011.
The new Popular Astronomy Club President will be
Wayland Bauer, and the new PAC Vice-President will be
Al Sheidler.
All other present Board of Director officers were re-elected
to their respective positions.
The club wants to thank all of those who shared and
reminds them that the March meeting will be a swap meet.
Bring any astronomical related item that you want to sell or
trade.
Roy Gustafson closed the meeting by thanking the club for
the opportunity of serving and asked for support of the
incoming leaders.
He also reminded the club that the January 11th meeting
will be a program on the reconstruction of the Paul Castle
Memorial Observatory.