Astronomy day at Camp Rotary turned out superb. With a nearly fifth magnitude sky and over one thousand public participants, the camp became a beehive of astronomer wanabies. At least a dozen telescopes, including the clubs 22 inch, were set up to watch the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and various Messier objects. Bob Watt wowed the public again, with his video camera hook-up to the obsevatory's twelve and a half inch Cassagrain. Inside the activity center, club members provided the best displays yet seen at any of our past star parties. Mike Simonsen and Joe VanPouker of the variable star group had two displays, a grand three section display from the AAVSO and another from our own sub-group. Steve Greene's mirror grinding display captured a lot of attention, as did Frank Spisak's asteroid display, Clay Kessler's astrophotography display and Dave D'Onofrio's CCD video integration system. Our star speakers for the evening were Randy Rubis and Kenneth Bertin. Both alternated with various talks about space probes and basic astronomy, with some fascinating highlights thrown in about the life of Galileo Galilei. Their lectures continued for the entire evening.
Comet watchers can get updated observing information about Linear C/2001 A2, or any other recently observed comets, by going to http:/encke.jpl .nasa.gov/for the latest magnitude estimates. This web site is run by an old Detroit Astronomical Society member named Charles Morris. He works at The Jet Propulsion Laboratory and handles comet observation data and updates, for professionals and amateurs. His data shows that the comet hasn't dimmed, as reported at the April Macomb mmeeting. The comet is still around sixth magnitude and is expected to brighten further as it gets closer to the Earth.
The May computer meeting, on the 24th, will be at Gary Gathen's home in Pleasant Ridge, MI. He's located at 21 Elm Park, three blocks south of I-696 and about half a block west of Woodward Ave. The June meeting will be on the 28th. New visitors will recieve a free planetarium program at the computer meeting. All meetings occur on the fourth Thursday of the month. Exceptions will be announced at the regular WAS meetings or passed along via the Boonhill.net WAS e-mail link.