The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 30, Number 3, March, 1998
Table of Contents
by John Herrgott
Yes, its true, another year has come and I'm happy to help out again. There is a problem, though.
I can't perform my function without you. That's right, I need you. You are the people who make our club happen.
You are needed to come forth and tell us what you're doing with your Astronomy hobby.
Just read books? Tell us what you're reading. Got a slide collection? Show it. Went to a star party?
Give a report. Got the idea? Just be yourself and relax. Naturally, we will be keeping our eyes open
for professional speakers. Also, any tips you can give us in this regard will be much appreciated.
What else can we do for programs? I'll leave the answer to that query up to you. Bring your ideas
and suggestions to this writer anytime. Also, if possible, I will publish a program schedule in the
WASP so you know what's coming. Lastly, happy new observing year!
Our club's treasurer, Steve Greene, has proposed that
we change our club membership policy to make everyone's
renewal on the same date. This would make it easier for the Treasurer to handle membership renewals,
which is probably the most time consuming portion of the Treasurer's job under the current system.
Steve has listed below several pros and cons regarding his proposed changes. He welcomes your comments
about this proposal. Note that this proposal would not change membership dues.
WARREN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING
JANUARY 15, 1998
PROPOSAL: Use common due date for all membership dues renewals.
- Reduce the frequency of mailings.
- Enables the officers to determine the budget for the proceeding twelve months.
- Allows for the common collection of magazine subscriptions and the ability to pay the publisher with one check.
- Convenience of all members knowing when the dues are due.
- Reduces the chance that member renewal is missed
- Still allows the Treasurer time to prepare for the mailing.
- Setting of a common due date can avoid a bill during the holiday season.
- Will allow the incoming Treasurer to avoid membership renewals within
the first couple of months after taking office.
- Memberships, new and existing, will have to be prorated to the common due date.
- Prorate calculations may be difficult for the Treasurer.
- Existing members may be accustomed to their current dues due date.
- The total amount due (dues + magazine subscriptions) may be over some members monthly expenditure allowance.
by Larry Kalinowski
Bill Gates, Microsoft's head man, got a cream pie in the face before a business meeting with government officials in
Belgium. Noel Godin, a notorious prankster, who has attacked others with the same weapon in the past, let the pie fly
while Bill was distracted by an accomplice. Godin was apparently saying something about Microsoft's business position
concerning Windows 95 and its browser.
Jim Kendrick has come up with a novel idea for observers. He now sells the "OBSERVER", a tent designed to aid amateur
astronomers. The design incorporates a double room feature with one room having a removable roof for telescopic
observing. The second attached room serves as a warm-up area or a chart reading room, or both. You can even use
it as a standard double room tent when the sky gets cloudy or you decide to call it a night.
COMPAQ is buying out DEC (Digital Equipment Corp.) according to the latest business news. It wants to join in on
the mainframe world and also take advantage of DEC's large distribution system. Compaq has also beat out IBM in
the RADIO SHACK area. The Shack decided to handle the Compaq line of computers, giving Compaq an even bigger edge
The universe will expand forever, according to the latest supernovae measurements. "We only have about one fifth
the required amount of mass that we need to cause a change in expansion" says Ruth Daly of Princeton University.
As a result, expansion will continue endlessly and all the stars will eventually die out, creating a cold, dark
universe. Those conclusions were based on measurements made by hers and other teams using other types of data
for expansion measurement. Fifteen billion years is still the estimated age of the universe, not the eleven
billion previously suspected. Some astronomers cheered because it was empirical evidence that led to the conclusions,
not philosophical opinion.
According to our president (WAS), Eastern Michigan University won't be having their annual Freeze Out Convention this
year. No reason was given.
A new type of star has been proposed. A group led by Norman K. Glendenning of the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory
has proposed the existence of Q-stars. These are stars that have moved beyond the neutron star stage and have collapsed
even further into a Quark ball, causing an even denser form of star to develop. He even proposes that Q-stars might
be construed as black holes because of their high gravitational field. A high spin rate could be used to detect
such stars and he even proposes that one out of ten neutron stars could be Q-stars.
The March '98 issue of ASTRONOMY magazine devotes a lot of pages to the fascinating world of stereo 3-D. The
issue comes with two pair of red-blue glasses that are similar to the 3-D ilk of the nineteen fifties. However,
the photos that come with the magazine produce some fabulous results. Mars is well represented by deep valleys,
and mountains, as well as other photos that will leave you spellbound. SKY AND TELESCOPE subscribers should part
with a little extra money this month and join in on the 3-D show.
Detroiters will have difficulty seeing the reappearance of Jupiter from behind the Moon, in the morning, on March
26 because of the low angle the pair makes with the horizon. However, even in bright twilight, the pair should
make a spectacular view for the casual observer, even after twilight begins. With Venus farther to the west, it
could be quite a show.
IN MY OPINION, the reason professional astronomers seem to be detecting so many of those close, massive, "Jupiter"
type planets next to their suns is because those close, massive planet systems are the easiest to detect.
Even though the computer group meetings are being discontinued at my place, there will be additional meetings in the
future. Gary Gathen will continue to hold meetings in the months of May through October. Other meetings will be
scheduled at other places throughout the year. Keep your eyes on this column for announcements. You can reach me
at 810-776-9720 if you have any other questions related to astronomy and computers.
Minutes of Meetings
by Bob Watt
Macomb, January 15, 1998
- Dave opened the meeting at 7:40 PM to 29 members and one guest.
- There was a meeting held on January 11,1998 with the Metropolitan parks people to discuss the upcoming star
party to be held at Kensington Park on the first & second of May, 1998. The star party will be hosted by GLAAC,
The Great Lakes Amateur Astronomical clubs. This star party is designed for the public to enhance awareness of
astronomy and related sciences. There will be ten astronomy clubs co-hosting this event WARREN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,
FORD AMATEUR ASTRONOMY CLUB, OAKLAND ASTRONOMY CLUB, UNIVERSITY LOWBROW ASTRONOMERS, GENESEE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY,
DETROIT ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY, EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY ASTRONOMY CLUB, ROYAL ASTRONOMY SOCIETY OF WINDSOR,
THE SUNSET ASTRONOMY CLUB, and THE SEVEN PONDS ASTRONOMY CLUB. The sponsors for this get together will be Riders
Hobby Shop and the Nature Center.
- There will be six lectures given both nights on astronomy related subjects as follows:
- Meteorites: Mike Burnett (Oakland Club)
- Moon Sites: Mark Deprest (Lowbrows) and Barry Craig (Detroit Club)
- Comet Making: Mike Broughton (Nature Center)
- Astronomy 101: Greg Bennet (Ford Club)
- Light Pollution: Norbert Vance (EMU)
- Basic Equipment: (Warren Astronomical Society)
- Added to these lectures will be five events going on during the evening as follows:
- "PORTHOLE TO THE MOON", Sponsored by Barry Craig of Detroit Astronomical Society, Barry will have a telescope
and TV monitor set up to show the public different points on the moon (including landing spots) on a monitor with
a round shield around it.
- "TOUR OF THE CONSTELLATIONS" Sponsored by Keven Dehne who will take the public on a tour of constellations
with added mythology three times throughout the evening.
- "VIEW THE SUN" There will be telescopes set up during the daylight hours to view activity on the sun.
- "COMET VIDEO" A short version of the "COMET ODYSSEY" video will be shown in the trailer
featuring Comet Hyakataki.
- "SKY TOUR" Selected telescopes will be set up to look at specific objects in the sky.
- Food vendors will be present to sell food and drink.
- Transportation will be furnished by park employees to move your telescopes and equipment
from the parking areas to the viewing sites.
- We are expecting about 5000 people to come out during the two day event.
- LIGHT POLLUTION: Discussion by the six astronomy clubs attending the meeting on light
pollution brought forth the following recommendations:
- Have our members actively contact (write, phone, e-mail & in person) our state Senators
to support the light pollution bill, Michigan House Bill 4254.
- To make a joint statement in support of the bill signed by the presidents of the participating
- To send representatives to Lansing in support of Norb Vance who will speak in our behalf when
the bill comes up in the state senate.
- Bring this issue to the publics attention at public events such as the Kensington Star Party.
- The Detroit Astronomical Society will host a get together for all clubs in the South Eastern
Michigan area with the hope of more interaction and cooperation. This social event will include
a swap table and a photo contest. This an is opportunity for members to discuss astronomy related subjects.
- Agenda Item: Officers reports- 2ND Vice President, Blaine reports all is well with Stargate.
Some minor work needs to be done on the 22". Security at Stargate will be improved, all outstanding
keys are to be returned, locks will be changed & new keys will be issued. A change in the log book
will be made, there will be double log books, one at Stargate, one at Blaines home.
- Treasurer: Steve Green reports a solid financial foundation. Steve has a proposal to change the
method for collecting club dues.
- PROPOSAL: Use common due date for all membership dues renewals.
- ADVANTAGES: Reduce the frequency of mailings. Enable officers to make up the budget for the
preceding year. Common collection of magazine subscriptions and the ability to pay the publisher
with one check. Convenience of knowing dues date. Reduces missed renewals. Allows Treasurer time
for mailings. Avoids holiday billing. Will make officer transitions smoother.
- DISADVANTAGES: Prorating dues to a common date, both new and existing memberships. Members
accustomed to current dues date.
- Doug Bock related to the membership that many of the clubs he belongs to handle dues in this
way & it works very well.
- SECRETARY: No minutes for 12/18 or 1/1.
- Ben Tolbert made an overview of his two years as treasurer, good job, bottom line, we are in
good shape financially.
- Meeting closed at 10:05.
Cranbrook, Feb 5, 1998
- Dave D'Onofrio opened the meeting at 7:50 PM with 29 members and 6 guests.
- John Herrgott (1st VP report): John reviewed the board meeting held on 1/22/98 at Blaine
McCullough's home. Those in attendance were John Herrgott, Blaine McCullough, Steve Green & Bob Watt.
- Items discussed were treasurers report, removal of electronic equipment from Stargate,
security at Stargate, WASP mailings-( send copies to each member by mail), family night in Oct,
tune up of the 22" scope & the club picnic.
- John went over the future programs, February 19 (Macomb) will be on pollution, March 5 is open.
The 22" telescope is in need of minor repairs and some cleaning up which will be done in the near future.
- The rumor that SMURFS was not going to be on this year turned out to be not true, Kurt Kemp
(president of Genessee Astronomical Society) had made that threat because he was not getting
any help to clean up the site. The SMURFS outing is getting bigger each year, three years ago
there were about 60 telescopes, two years ago there was about 80 scopes and last year there was
close to 100 scopes on site. If you are looking for good dark skies, friendly folks and fun activities
SMURFS is the place to be, JULY 23-24&25.
- John went over topics that need attention such as Family Night, the Club Picnic & Stargate security.
To improve security at Stargate, the locks are to be changed, all outstanding keys are to be returned
and reissued to officers and presenters. There will now be double log books for Stargate, one at Stargate
and one at Blaine McCullough's home.
- Steve Green (Treasurer's report): Steve went over the proposal to make needed changes in the way dues
are collected. His proposal would have dues collected on one day per year. He mentioned that a method for
prorating each members dues date to comply with the single collecting date is in the works. Steve related
that many improvements can be accomplished and that many clubs have this method of dues collecting and
have no problems with it.
- Doug Bock (Deep Sky Chairman report): Doug said there will be no star parties in February due to his
trip to Aruba for the solar eclipse. There will be a star party at Doug's observatory in Cadillac on May
22-26. Doug will be clearing some trees to improve viewing conditions on Friday morning.
Doug will host a Solstice Party on June 26 & 27. The 15th annual EMU-FISH LAKE STAR PARTY will be held on
March 20-22. Doug will be going to the NEBRASKA STAR PARTY on July 18-26. The MESSIER books are not in yet
but should be on hand for the next meeting, Doug hopes to get 15 copies. Cost per book is $5.00. A photo
album was passed around with pictures of the Orion Nebula taken by Clayton Kessler, who was in attendance,
very well done.
- STARGATE outings: February 20 & 21 rain or shine starting at 5PM, March 27 & 28 at 6PM rain or shine
- Doug Goudie introduced Mike Narlock who is with Cranbrook. Mike is asking for telescopes for ASTRONOMY
DAY at Cranbrook to be set up inside and or outside for public display and viewing on May 2nd, 1PM to 4:30PM.
Doug Goudie tells us there will be a soft opening of some of the new additions at Cranbrook.
- SHOW AND TELL ITEMS: Riyad Matti (Lunar/Planetary) has down loaded Mars Surveyor images. He will pass them
around for member use. Marty Kunz showed a tripod slow motion control he will be taking to Aruba to use at the
- President Dave D'Onofrio introduced Marty Kunz who will present the program for this evening which will be
"HOW TO READ THE SKY WITH RIGHT ASCENSION AND DECLINATION COORDINATES" The program was well done and very interesting.
- The meeting ended at 10:14 PM.
- STARGATE NOTE: On Saturday Feb. 7, ten club members and friends were set up at Stargate with six telescopes.
A good time was had in spite of a 3/4 moon and low temperatures.
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This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on
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