# Volume 30, Number 4, April, 1998

## Proposals

by Steve Greene

These three proposals, along with the proposal to switch to a common membership due date which was published in the March 1998 WASP, will be voted on at the May Macomb meeting.
1. PROPOSAL WARREN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING FEBRUARY 19, 1998
• CURRENTLY: Article III Membership, Section 3.01 Members of the Corporation, Senior Citizen states: A person sixty-five (65) years or older upon payment of dues.
• PROPOSAL: Amend Article III Membership, Section 3.01 Members of the Corporation, Senior Citizen to read: A person who is sixty (60) years of age or older or a person and their spouse either of whom are sixty (60) years of age or older, upon payment of dues.
• ADVANTAGES: Allows the members who have carried a family membership in prior years to gain the benefit of the SENIOR CITIZEN membership. Allows new SENIOR CITIZEN members to include their spouse in their membership and to enhance the social aspect of the club. Possible increase in dues due to the inclusion of the spouse in the SENIOR membership. Possible increase in dues due to the reduction in age that a member reaches SENIOR CITIZEN membership status, enhances the affordability factor. Reduces the age requirement to be closer to AARP recommendations.
• DISADVANTAGES: Possible loss in dues.
2. PROPOSAL WARREN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING FEBRUARY 19, 1998
• CURRENT SITUATION: Article V Officers, Section 5.06 The Treasurer Line J. states: All expenditures over $25.00 must be approved by the President and Article VII Financial Procedures and Restrictions on Transactions, Section 7.02 Deposits and Withdrawals of Funds states: All funds of the Corporation not otherwise employed shall be deposited in such banks, trust companies of other reliable depositories as the Board of Directors may direct. Any withdrawals of funds must be made and checks must be signed by one of the following officers : The President or Treasurer. No payment in excess of$25.00 may be made without specific authorization of the President.
• PROPOSAL: Amend Article V Officers, Section 5.06 The Treasurer Line J. to read: All expenditures over $100.00 must be approved by the President and Amend Article VII Financial Procedures and Restrictions on Transactions, Section 7.02 Deposits and Withdrawals of Funds to read: All funds of the Corporation not otherwise employed shall be deposited in such banks, trust companies of other reliable depositories as the Board of Directors may direct. Any withdrawals of funds must be made and checks must be signed by one of the following officers : The President or Treasurer. No payment in excess of$100.00 may be made without specific authorization of the President.
• JUSTIFICATION: For calendar year 1997, there were 69 checks written ranging from $5.00 to$1000.00. These checks are written for such expenditures such as the WASP publication, postage stamps, stationary, repairs or projects for Stargate Observatory, cost of goods for sales, magazine subscriptions for members, annual banquet and other expenses incurred by the Corporation. To determine a target check amount that should be cleared by the President, the amounts of the checks for 1997 were ranked from the highest to lowest. The highest five and the lowest five check amounts were eliminated to remove the outlying amounts. The average was then calculated to be $49.78 and the standard deviation was calculated to be$43.38. Adding the average and one standard deviation together totals $93.16. This was rounded to$100.00 for the amount that approximately 85 percent of all checks could be written by the Treasurer without the consent of the President and greatly reduce the burden placed upon the President for payment approvals. This would still leave approximately 15 percent of all checks needing the secondary approval.
3. PROPOSAL WARREN ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING FEBRUARY 19, 1998
• CURRENT SITUATION: The WASP, a publication by the Warren Astronomical Society, has a subscription rate of Five Dollars over and above the cost of membership. Every member is entitled to a copy of the WASP but take the chances of receiving a copy if they miss a meeting, move to Florida for the winter, work second shift or just fail to pick up a copy at the Society meeting. About 17 percent of the members pay the subscription rate to have the convenience of delivery to their home.
• PROPOSAL: Deliver the WASP to every members' home as a portion of the cost of membership without raising the current membership rates and dropping the current five dollar surcharge for the subscription.
• ADVANTAGES: Provides a copy of the WASP to every member every month. Members can stay current with all changes that happen within the WAS, i.e. officer elections, bylaw revisions, additions or deletions of subcommittees etc. Members will have a handy reference for upcoming events. New members will find delivery of the WASP a benefit at no extra charge. New members may feel more connected with the WAS receiving the WASP. A few years ago, a letter that was sent to the Treasurer asking for their membership dues to be returned. Their reasoning was "I never heard from you [the WAS] after paying my dues." May help reduce member turnover. Provides a service that the Society can afford to give without causing undo harm to the cash balance. Eliminates tracking of paid subscriptions by the Treasurer and Secretary.
• DISADVANTAGE: Loss of revenue for WASP subscriptions. Immediate cost of current subscription refunds (prorated from the month of implementation.) Additional cost of $3.84 per member per year at current first class postage rates. Causes some additional workload by the secretary. May cause loss of meeting attendance due to those members who show up at meetings only to receive the newsletter. ## Computer Chatter by Larry Kalinowski You hear everyone talking about the Millennium Bug. It really isn't a "bug" as programers usually refer to them but a past attempt to save programming space by asking computer users to input the last two digits of a dates year. The number 75 would represent 1975, 81 would be 1981, etc. Now that we're approaching the year 2000, the last two digits (00) would be interpreted as 1900 instead of 2000. You can check your computer's ability to recognize the year 2000 by turning the built in clock, in your computer, to 11:59 PM, December 31, 1999 and just waiting to see what happens after a minute or so. You should do this in DOS mode. If the date goes to January 1, 2000, turn off your computer, then on again and see what the new date and time returns as. If you're not into the new millennium, you've got a problem with your system. If the computer refuses to change to 2000, when you manually change it, that will also show you that the system is not 2000 compatible. It would also be a good idea to bring up some of your programs that require dated inputs and see if they'll accept any new date you might enter in the year 2000. Try a sorting routine, with a date that includes something in the 2000 year, in one of your data base or spread sheet programs, if 2000 shows up first in the list, that'll indicate a millennium bug. In a year and a half, many businesses will have purchased a newer batch of computers and also have tackled their system networks, correcting the "bug". In any case, you should be prepared for the headaches that may occur because of it. If your credit cards bounce on you for that 2000 bug, you can ask for another corrected card from your source. New software will fix any program problems you'll have, but system problems may mean shelling out for an upgrade or a new computer. Twenty-one billion dollars is what it will cost to put the international space station in low Earth orbit. That's the present state of our bill and it's probably going to get larger. In fact, you can count on it. Once in operation, there will be a constant price to pay for maintaining it and keeping the station filled with supplies. In 1984, president Reagan okayed an eight billion target cost to be completed by 1992. In 1993, it was given a cost-cap of seventeen point four billion dollars. With the delays caused by poor funding by the Russians, it looks like the new launch goal will be sometime in 1999. Computers costing less than one thousand dollars have spurred Intel to generate a brand new microprocessor dubbed the "CELERON". It's the product of a brand new division, code named Covington. The Celeron will be based on the Pentium II design and specially formulated to take advantage of lower cost production. This is a move in a new direction that usually meant higher cost, higher performance chips, to keep ahead of the chip competition. Look for the Celeron in a push to make "Intel Inside" a little less costly. The Lunar Prospector spacecraft has verified what some scientists believed all along, that there is water on the Moon. Not in liquid form, but in the form of ice, beneath the Moon's surface. The water was probably deposited there during the early formation of the solar system when comets and meteors were much more abundant than they are today. The constant bombardment of those bodies on the Moon's surface gradually built up a significant amount of ice, enough to possibly supply future lunar explorers with a source of drinking water, Oxygen and Hydrogen fuel. The military is hunting a computer "hacker" named the "Analyzer". He's well known among computer users and has even given a public interview with an online magazine, on the net. Evidently, he knows his number is coming up because he's boasted about training two other cohorts and is content to settle back and teach other organizations some of his tips and tricks. He wants to "retire" in his notorious profession. One sore spot the government faces is a retaliation by friends of the Analyzer if the military or government decides to "punish" him. Last month I reported that evidence has shown that the universe is expanding and will continue to expand indefinitely. A part of that evidence was culled from measurements of supernova type stars. Further data also shows that the rate of expansion is increasing. In other words, galaxies near to us are moving away faster today than they did during the early life of the universe. Just why that's happening is of great concern. Early on in Einstein's theories of the universe, he postulated a force that helped the universe to expand. At that time, the universe's expansion wasn't known and Einstein dropped his mysterious force because he couldn't explain why it showed up as a by-product of his famous theory. Now, it seems that we may have to revive his mysterious force to explain why the expansion rate is increasing. It's been determined that the Greenland meteor that reportedly fell last year was seen to be breaking up before it hit the Earth. There are reports of five or six major pieces illuminating the sky before impact. 1997 XFII, the mysterious, mile wide, asteroid that recently made everyone's eyebrows raise, has been relegated to just another piece of space rock. It made news a little while ago when it was announced that it would make a very close approach (30,000 miles) to our planet in the year 2028. Right now, it's out beyond the orbit of Mars and new information, along with new calculations, show the close approach will really be 600,000 miles, according to Donald K. Yeomans of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 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, February 19, 1998 • Dave D'Onofrio opened the meeting at 7:43 PM with 33 members and 4 guests. • There was a meeting Sunday February 15 at Kensington Metro Park to cover details of the upcoming Spring Festival/GLAAC Star Party on May 1&2 1998. The list of astronomy clubs that are participating has grown, the JACKSON AMATEUR ASTRONOMY CLUB will join in the two day affair. This makes a total of eleven clubs so far, 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, THE SEVEN PONDS ASTRONOMY CLUB AND THE JACKSON CLUB. Sponsors for the event will be Riders Hobby Shop and The Nature Center. • There will be a special guest in attendance at the get together at Kensington, DAVID LEVY- of COMET SHOEMAKER LEVY fame. • Volunteers were called for to cover the WAS portion of the six lectures, our lecture will be on BASIC EQUIPMENT, those offering to help were Dale Partin, Bob Johnson, Blaine McCullough and Bob Watt. The lectures are, Meteorites, Moon Sites, Comet Making, Astronomy 101, Light Pollution, and Basic Equipment. • There will be telescopes set up during this event that will be locked onto items of interest that people will be told where to go to see what. Rick Gossett and Michael O'Dowd volunteered to handle the details for this set up. • Michael O'Dowd will bring the video "POWERS OF TEN" for public showing. • There is much to be done to make the Kensington Star Party a success, your help will be appreciated. • Officer Reports: • Blaine McCullough 2nd VP, reports that all is well at STARGATE, the locks have been changed and new key exchanges will be done by FEB 20. The 22" scope has been worked on and should be in working order. STARGATE NOTE: On Friday and Saturday (Feb 20 & 21) 36 grade schoolers and parents came to STARGATE. The weather did not work in our favor so they were shown how we use the equipment in STARGATE. The highlight of the evening was put on by Jeff Bondono who took the group for a solar system walk. A bowling ball represented the sun and everyone was asked how many paces Mercury was away in scale, when the right steps were made a peppercorn was dropped to represent Mercury. Different sized items, in scale, were used for each of the other planets. When Pluto was reached the group was asked how many paces to the nearest star, would you believe a bowling ball would have to be deposited in the Hawaiian Islands!! The walk proved very popular with the students and parents alike. Dale Partin set up his scope and showed ground items. A visitor was asking questions on scopes as he is moving to the dark skies of Colorado so Chris Mehling set up his scope and showed the visitor all of the scopes functions, it was much appreciated. The members that came out for the event were, Jeff Bondono, Rick Gossett, Steve Green, Blaine McCullough, Chris Mehling, Dale Partin, Joe VanPoucher and Bob Watt. • Steve Green , Treasurer, Steve made three proposals, 1. Amend our by-laws to change the age of senior citizens from 65 to 60 and to include the spouse. 2. Amend article 5 of our by-laws to increase the spending limits of the treasurer from$25.00 to \$100.00 with out co-signers. 3. To send the WASP newsletter to each members address with no increases to the membership. These proposals will be brought before the membership for discussion and/or votes.
• David D'Onofrio, President, Dave put out the call for speakers and program presenters. Dave also asked for ideas on what could be done with our growing treasury.
• We do not have a program this evening , in its place Doug Bock gave his plans for his trip to Aruba for the solar eclipse next week. Doug gave his aims for the trip ,covering films, equipment, what he will be doing during the three minutes and thirty seconds of totality, and what he expects to accomplish. Other input to Doug's talk came from Lou Faix, Bob Halsall, & Marty Kunz who are also going to Aruba. There should be a wealth of program material when they all return. We wish them a safe trip and clear skies.
• Angie Judd kindly provided snacks for all present.
• Don't forget SMURFS 98 is coming , dark skies, camaraderie, and all around good time. The dates for SMURFS is July 23-26.
• The meeting ended at 10:10PM.

Cranbrook, March 5, 1998

• JOHN HERRGOTT, 1st VP, Opened the meeting at 7:42PM with 32 members & 6 guests in attendance. The program was planned for 8:15PM in the planetarium. John gave the details for the Eastern Michigan University outing at Fish Lake on March 20-22.
• OFFICER REPORTS:
• BLAINE McCULLOUGH, 2nd VP, Blaine reported that the up-graded security at Stargate is complete. There are some presenter keys yet to be exchanged for new sets. Blaine mentioned the star party at Stargate attended by 36 students & parents from STAR OF THE SEA SCHOOL. Stargate was open on Friday, February 27. The members that came out were Dale Partin, Blaine McCullough, Steve Green, Rick Gossett, David Ciali & 2 visitors, had clear skies until 2:30AM. Stargate will be open on March 27 & 28, rain or shine, starting time is 6:00PM. Blaine reported the work needed on the 22" scope is finished, a clear night is needed to check out the corrections. Telescopes at Stargate for member use include an 8", a 10", the 22" & the 12.5" under the dome. There will be a board meeting at Blaine's home on March 12, at 7:30PM.
• STEVE GREEN, TREASURER, No report this evening, will have a report at the Macomb meeting.
• DOUG BOCK, DEEP SKY CHAIRMAN, Doug related details of his eclipse trip to Aruba. He mentioned his group stayed on the northwest end of the island of Aruba, had clear skies and saw the eclipse in it's entirety. More pictures & details to follow. There were a total of more than 10 members ,families & friends on Aruba & aboard ship from the Warren Astronomical Society.
• Bob Halsall put on a video presentation showing some of his efforts on the eclipse.
• POINTS OF INTEREST: Angie & Fred Judd attended a chili cookout & night of observing with the SEVEN PONDS ASTRONOMY CLUB. The president of this club, John Lines, would like to open lines of communications between his club & ours, for outings & other functions.
• Kim Dyer told of news that the LUNAR PROSPECTOR may have found water on the moons polar regions.
• Doug Goudie would like to purchase back issues of SKY & TELESCOPE from club members to replace issues he has lost due to storm damage.
• The refreshment break was at 8:OOPM. The goodies were provided by Angie Judd and were appreciated by all. Thanks Angie.
• The program this evening was started at 8:15PM in the planetarium, put on by Jeff Bass, Director of Astronomy for Cranbrook. He covered many aspects of our interest in astronomy.
• SECRETARY NOTE: This months communications & club newsletters, ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOC. OF CANADA , TUCSON AMATEUR ASTRONOMY ASSOCIATION, MOUNT DIABLO ASTRONOMY SOC. & letters from the DETROIT PUBLIC LIBRARY & DETROIT REGIONAL CHAMBER. The newsletters will be on the front table at the next meeting, the other letters will be taken care of at the board meeting.

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