The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 32, Number 12 December, 2000

icon Henden/ Sumner sequence charts
by Mike Simonsen

We would like to announce the availability of comparison sequence charts based on the Henden/ Sumner sequences at joevp.20m.com/charts/hscharts/index.html. They may also be accessed through the Warren Astronomical Society Variable [continued]

astro chatter Astro Chatter
by Larry Kalinowski

As bad as the weather was on Saturday, October 7, the Island Lake Star Party still pulled about four-hundred people to the observing site and lectures. The sky teased all attendees most of the night because large [continued]

icon The Swap Shop
by Larry Kalinowski

icon Partial Solar Eclipse
by Joe Van Poucker

According to the December Sky & Telescope there is going to be a partial solar eclipse on Christmas Day (12-25-2000). This event will be visible from nearly all parts of North America. Although no one will see a "Total" [continued]

icon Annual Business Meeting Minutes
by John Herrgott

The club held its annual business meeting on October 19, 2000 at the Macomb meeting site. The meeting was led by the club's president Blaine McCullough introducing guests and prospective new members to those in attendance.

Mike Simonsen reported the on-going activity at Stargate. For the uninformed [continued]

icon Members
by Joe Van Poucker

icon Henden/ Sumner sequence charts, continued

Star Observers website at home.earthlink.net/~joevp/index.html.

The sequences used on these charts are the result of a professional/amateur collaboration between Dr. Arne Henden and Bruce Sumner. Arne has been responsible for obtaining the raw photometry and Bruce has created sequences suitable for visual and photometric observers.

Arne is a professional astronomer working at the US Naval Observatory Field Station in Flagstaff, Arizona. Throughout a diverse career he has maintained his involvement in high precision photometry, and is now one of the worlds leading authorities (probably the leading authority) in this field. He is currently working on his second book on astronomical photometry.

Bruce apparently likes to look at the sky. By day, he is a meteorologist in Melbourne, Australia. At night, astronomy is his passion. He made his first variable star observation in 1967 and CV's quickly became his favorite targets. Although not currently actively observing, Bruce sustains his CV interests with chart making, identifications and sequences. He is a co-author of the latest series of charts issued by the VSS, RASNZ.

It is our intention to update this chart page with many more charts based on the Henden/Sumner sequences. Most of these stars do not currently have corresponding AAVSO charts. Any chart sequence included here that does have an equivalent 'Standard AAVSO chart' sequence should be used with extreme caution. HQ does not like to mix sequences, and wants observers to use the AAVSO chart sequences even if they have errors or are incomplete. For preliminary chart fields, the situation is less certain (ask HQ). For fields that the AAVSO has not yet generated charts, the Henden/Sumner sequences should be preferred.

There are two sets of charts. "South Up" charts are for use with telescopes that show the standard astronomical orientation, south at the top and east to the right. "Reversed" charts are for use with telescopes that show a mirror-reversed image, north at the top and east to the right.

The charts are drawn over scanned images of POSS plates that have been digitally oriented, enhanced and made to appear as negatives (black stars on white background). The field size is 14.1'.

[back to page 1]

astro chatter Astro Chatter, continued

holes in the clouds allowed observing every now and then. The nine day old Moon made some interesting appearances for the public. It finally succumbed to some rain around 10:00 PM, just about the time when the raffle started and all attendees gathered under the protection of the roof in the vending machine area. I didn't get a chance to see all the lectures presented that evening but I was pleasantly surprised at Barry Craig's comet building presentation and how it kept the attention of the many youngsters who came out to see it. Considering the weather, the star party was certainly a success in my book. If four hundred can be attracted even in sloppy elements, fair weather attendance would have been fabulous, to say the least. No one had to worry about remote parking and shuttle buses this time...but next year?

Telescope makers, please stand at attention. The pages of Sky And Telescope (November, 2000, Pages 131 thru 140) have revealed something about mirror making that could revolutionize the amateur side of telescope making. It's an article by Alan Adler, that quite literally explains how to build a special mirror cell that will change the shape of a spherical mirror into a paraboloid, that could reach a wavefront error of 1/20 wave and better, depending on the type of material that is used to construct the cell. Basically it envolves pulling on the center of the mirror, from behind, with a threaded screw assembly, increasing tension on the mirror. That changes the sphereoid depth to a paraboloid. The adjustment is made while examining a star image, thereby producing an image based on the observer's definition of quality. The explanation I've given is over simplified, of course, but the possibilities of creating a revolution in telescopes becomes apparent. Manufacturers of telescopes and mirrors would only be required to produce sphereoids instead of parabaloids, much easier to accomplish and would gaurantee lowering the cost of telescope mirrors. The mirror cells that come with the telescope would be of the Adler design, allowing the user to create his own quality mirror. Amazingly, the process works better on thin mirrors because less tension is required to produce the correct parabaloid depth. However, it is more difficult to accomplish on mirrors larger than 12.5 inches in diameter because of the requirements to keep the mirror from bending more in one direction, causing astigmatism. Mr. Adler claims that the figure of the mirror, once adjusted, will remain defraction limited for periods of up to a month at a time. How quickly the mirror begins to deform back to a sphere depends on how well the cell is constructed. The possibilities are quite thought provoking. Mr Adler's computer program, which helps design the required mirror cell, is available from the computer group library.

Thanks to Bob Watt and Cleveland Woodworking, Bob has turned his telescope making classes into some revenue for the WAS. Along with helping to build more than forty telescopes for UAW members, he has sold over $90 in WAS shareware to those new telescope owners. Bob is presently running four different classes and hopes to add twenty-nine telescopes to the total amount he now has to his credit.

Looks like today's theories of how planets develop, need quite a bit of modification now that eight proto-planets have been discovered in the constellation of Orion. The not-yet planets don't have anything to orbit around. They're moving aimlessly through space, as a group, and defy all present day explanations. All the objects are gasseous and still contracting.

At about 7:52pm, on Saturday, Oct. 21, I was able to catch both the ISS and the Space Shuttle crossing the northern sky, about fifteen degrees above the horizon. The shuttle had already separated from the ISS, and had pulled in front of it by about twenty degrees. That means the shuttle had dipped into a lower orbit in order to increase its speed.

Gary Ross, of The Grand Rapids Amatuer Astronomical Asscociation, Michigan's second most prolific variable star gazer (guess who's first), came to visit the computer group on 10-26. After discussing the various problems involved with living with a double domed observatory and a research grade sixteen inch Meade telescope, the Gathen library made quite an impression on him. He was soon lost in the astronomical section, copying notes of past astronomical obsevations. Ross is a long past member of the DAS. He recalled giving lectures to the Warren club in the early sixties.

Kogayaki III. Does the name sound familiar to you? I downloaded a shareware copy of the program and found it to be another planetarium program. However, this one is unique, in that it contains no help file or status bar to click on. Why? Because it's so easy to operate. In some respects it's similar to Redshift or Distant Suns but without the numerous side icons. It's actually fun to operate! There is one problem though. The shareware version keeps popping up a little window to register your name, every 10 seconds When it does, all functions cease until you tell the window to go away. You have to learn to use the program in ten second bytes, unless, you buy the registered version for twenty-five dollars, which, of course, doesn't have the problem.

December marks the end of the ninth year I've been writing these chatter articles. Time really flies when you're having fun. I hope I've given all of you something to enjoy or absorb while you've recieved this newsletter. I'm looking forward to the tenth year.

I would like to apologize to the readers of the printed edition of the WASP. For some reason, some of my articles have been printed without any paragraphs. That's happened three times during the last year. They look like one big column all jumbled up with many subjects. I assure you that that's not the way I write my column. Hopefully, the problem will be solved so that I'm presented with a little more respect than that and you'll be able to read my column a little easier.

The computer meeting date for November will be one day earlier, on Wednesday, the 22nd, at Gary Gathen's home. The December meeting, on the 28th, will also 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.

[back to page 1]

icon The Swap Shop

This column is for those who are interested in buying, trading or selling items. Call 810-776-9720 (larrykalinowski@yahoo.com) if you want to put an item for sale or trade in this section of the WASP. The ad will run for six months. The month and year the ad will be removed, is also shown.
[back to page 1]

icon Partial Solar Eclipse, continued

or "Annular" eclipse almost half of the Sun's diameter could become blocked by the Moon. This event will last for just over three hours. First Contact for the Detroit area will be at 10:52 am. EST with the maximum eclipse to be at 12.27 pm. EST and last contact to arrive at 2:03 pm. EST.

Anyone wishing to view the eclipse should use a small telescope with the proper solar filters. Or for naked eye viewing a pair of "Eclipse/Solar Shade" sun glasses can be worn. The WAS still has about 25 pair of these eclipse glasses for sale. They are selling for $3.00 each and can be purchased at the Macomb Meetings or by sending a check payable to the Warren Astronomical Society to my home address.

For more detailed information about the eclipse visit www.skypub.com or see the December Sky & Telescope Magazine. WAS members can purchase Sky & Telescope and/or Astronomy magazines through the club at discount prices. Sky & Telescope is $29.95 per year and Astronomy magazine is $29.00 per year.

[back to page 1]

icon Annual Business Meeting Minutes, continued

Mike reiterated the procedure for accessing the observatory and utilizing the telescopes. Joe Van Poucker gave the treasury report indicating funds of $3362 in the bank.

Blaine announced a halt to meetings and efforts to design and build a shelter at Stargate for the club's 22" telescope. A lack of interest was cited as the main reason for Blaine's action. Perhaps another day this much needed project can be accomplished.

The evening's main event ensued with the election of officers for 2001. Mike Simonsen will be the club's new president for next year. Marty Kunz will remain first vice president and Steve Green will take over the second vice president spot. Our new treasurer will be Mark Femminineo. There were no nominations for secretary and the position will go vacant unless someone decides to volunteer. Congratulations to the new officers and a thank you to the departing. And lest once again we forget, thank you to Louis Namee, the club's devoted keeper of the library for many years. Lou will continue in that position.

Many members gave announcements ranging from space station sightings, variable star sub-group observations, satellite observing data web site, next computer meeting, events at Northern Cross and the next Boon star party. Rick Gossett gave an invitation to join him in the formation of a new sub-group, solar system observing.and study. With the addition of the recently discovered 10'th planet, the group will have its work cut out for them.

Fred Judd announced the addition to the club of a very special new member, his and Jamie's newborn son. Welcome!

[back to page 1]

icon Members

[back to page 1]

Return to WASP page Return to WAS Home page
This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on November 11, 2000. Modified by Doug Bock on February 18, 2001