The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 30, Number 8, August, 1998
Table of Contents
Focus On: Jeff Bondono
by Ceil Bondono
Jeff Bondono's long-standing interest in astronomy was inspired by the United States' race to the moon in the early
sixties. Watching the televised space shots took Jeff's imagination where it had never been. Astronomy books given
him by his parents further spurred his interest. He found himself reading the books over and over again.
Reading about the objects in the sky led to observing when Jeff was 10. It was at that time that his parents bought
him a 60mm Tasco telescope. The Tasco did have its limits, but with it, he was able to see the Moon, Jupiter,
Saturn, Albireo, and Mizar and Alcor. Jeff recalls feeling much pride in being able to show his family and friends
the objects he'd found in the sky.
After purchasing a 4-inch cardboard tube reflector telescope at Toys R Us and being disappointed by its performance,
Jeff decided to get serious about his equipment. He bought an 8" Meade (Newtonian) telescope with some of the money
he earned moonlighting as a contract programmer. He remembers taking delivery of it right after the Tigers won the
World Series in 1984. He used it each and every clear night for several years. It was during this period that Jeff
was finally able to see some of the objects he'd always read about but was never able to locate.
Jeff realized his desire to share his observing experiences with others after several years of independent work.
Jeff joined the Warren Astronomical Society in 1987. That was also the year he began traveling to better (darker)
skies which made it easier for him to find the last few Messier Objects he needed to receive his Messier Certificate
at the club's awards banquet in 1988.
Afterwards, Jeff was ready to begin work on the Herschel list. His home in Shelby Township did not provide the dark
skies he needed, so he took a drive out M-53 past Imlay City and located the spot which then became his favorite
observing spot for the past 10 years. He earned his Herschel Certificate (#70) after about 4 years of observation.
Over the past twelve years he held the posts of Treasurer, 2nd Vice-President, 1st Vice-President, and President.
He assisted in refurbishing the 12" telescope at Stargate and pitched in 'a little' to build the club's 22".
Jeff has been editing the club's newsletter, the WASP, for about two years now. He is newly married and has
two daughters, Brandi who is headed to MSU, and Wendi who will be in fifth grade in the fall. He is employed
as a computer programmer.
Jeff is happy to offer assistance to members wanting help with observing, cosmology, galaxies, and telescope making.
When it comes to telescope making, he knows what he is talking about. He finished a 14.5" Dobsonian named Felicity
in 1994. Interestingly enough, he used his original 60mm Tasco as the finder scope for it. I bet Jeff's parents
never would have imagined the mileage he's gotten from that gift!
by Larry Kalinowski
Those of you who would like to follow the antics of the Iridium satellites can buy a
copy of IRIDFLAR from the clubs shareware library. You'll need an updated .TLE file to
keep up with the latest orbit changes. You can download a .TLE file from a NASA satellite
webb page or get one from me or Randall Rubis at one of the club's monthly meetings.
Those Iridium satellites are noted for extreme brightness under certain conditions.
The program IRIDFLAR calculates when those extra bright periods occur and prints out
a list of dates, times and directions. There's more than one satellite and they're
noted for getting brighter than the planet Venus. The program is a DOS program capable
of running under WIN95 or 98 if loaded manually.
The '98 club picnic was quite a success. A fifth magnitude, cloudless sky at camp Rotary
had about thirty people, members and new visitors, in attendance. It was warm, but the
warmth was nothing near the sweltering heat we had last year. We even saw what we think
was one of those Iridium satellites. Traveling from north to south, it grew from dimmest
to greatest brilliance in about ten seconds, then was abruptly extinguished by the Earths
shadow. It peaked at something even more brilliant than Venus appears when its at greatest
Microsoft is off the hook, temporarily anyway. An appeals court decided in favor of removing
the ruling that says Microsoft couldn't sell their browser along with Windows 98. However,
it isn't for the reason you might think. The appeals court decided Microsoft wasn't given
enough time to develop a defense.
More evidence for life existing elsewhere in the solar system was found when colonies of
bacteria were found in polar ice that seldom rises above thirty-two degrees. Such ice is
termed "perpetual ice". Perpetual ice on other bodies of the solar system like Mars and
Europa could possibly be harboring some kind of life forms, according to Brian D. Lanoli,
of Oregon State University.
The July computer meeting will be at Gary Gathen's home, on Thursday the 23rd. The August
meeting on the 27th, as well as the rest of the fourth Thursday meetings through, and
including, October. All new visitors will receive a free Windows planetarium program.
Gary lives in Pleasant Ridge, at 21 Elm Park, three blocks south of I-696 and a half
block west of Woodward Ave. His number is 248-543-3366.
I'm still looking for someone to take my place as Computer Group chairman. If you're
interested, give me a phone call at 810-776-9720.
Minutes of Meetings
by Bob Watt
Macomb, June 18, 1998
- PRESIDENT DAVE D'Onofrio opened the meeting at 7:46PM with 27 members & 1 guest.
- OFFICERS REPORTS:
- PRESIDENT- Dave went over plans for the third annual club picnic to be held Saturday,
June 20. The picnic will begin at 2:00PM with a tent & tables set up, swap tables, rocket
launching, telescopes set up for solar viewing, all are welcome to stay over night, the
club has rented the activity center for anyone wanting to nap, food & drink will be made
available by the club, the weather is expected to be about 88 degrees. Kensington Metro
Parks is considering starting an astronomy club at the park, more details to follow. Dave
tells of the need for speakers for our meetings, contact Chris Mehling to set up dates &
details. Dave gave best wishes & congratulations to Ceil Brooks & Jeff Bondono who were
- 1ST VP- Chris Mehling- Up coming program speakers, July 16, Randy Rubis, "IRIDIUM
FLARES", August, Mike Cyrek, "RED SHIFT ANOMOLY", July 7, Riyad Matti, "LENS COATINGS",
Date to be announced, Dale Partin, "MEASURING ORBITS OF PLANETS".
- 2nd VP-Blaine McCoullough- On last Friday 50 Scouts went to Stargate, poor skies.
All scopes except the 8" are available for use. Blaine will be on vacation the month of July.
- TREASURER- Steve Greene- Expenditures, Insurance, Astro League. Income in $229.00,
outgoing $626.00, starting balance $6120.00 ending balance $5723.00.
- COMPUTER GROUP- Larry Kalinowski- There will be no computer meeting for the month
of June. This fall there will be new computers installed at the Macomb meeting room.
- NOTES: The Messier log books are in, see Steve Greene. Marty Kunz has offered to
help with the WASP if needed. Check the activities area of the WASP, a very active
- The break was at 8:50PM
- The program for tonight will be by Steve Greene on Messier Objects & Constellations.
- The meeting ended at 9:50PM
Cranbrook, July 2, 1998
- President Dave D'Onofrio opened the meeting at 7:50PM with 30 members, no guests.
- OFFICER REPORTS:
- PRESIDENT- Dave went over the results from the club picnic, 25 members & some scouts
were in attendance, good food, good time was had by all, many scopes, poor skies. Dave
sends the clubs thanks for a job well done by Nancy & Steve Greene for the work done
in preparing the food & drink for the picnic. There is some thought being given to
having a star party at Stargate along the lines of Fish Lake, we have sleeping
accommodations, observatory, the river, lots of room, food preparation equipment.
This could become an annual event, lets have ideas & input on this idea. A
gentleman contacted Dave looking for a used 6" or 8" Dob, if interested
contact Dave D'Onofrio.
- 1st VP- Chris Mehling- To nights program will be on lens coatings,
put on by Riyad Matti.
- 2nd VP-Blaine McCullough- The 12-inch is working well for normal use,
CCD use is questionable. We are looking to purchase a solar prominence
filter in the near future, this will be a very useful item, more details
will follow. Anyone using Stargate is asked to please sign in the log
book, this is important, your co-operation is appreciated. Fans to control
air movements & heat in the 12" are to be installed soon.
- Doug Goudie, flex video cameras are being installed in the Cranbrook Observatory.
- Does WAS have the ability to put on a cable access astronomy program,
input & ideas are welcome.
- Mort Sterling reports that the light pollution bill is stalled in Lansing.
Jack Kennedy let it be known that E-Mail is ineffective in contacting Lansing,
use snail mail instead.
- Marty Kunz found some nice sun spots on last Monday.
- Doug Bocks star party had good skies Friday night till about 3:30AM, Sat
AM rain, good skies Sunday AM & Pm, 36 attendees on Friday night.
- The break was at 9:05PM.
- The program was by Riyad Matti on lens coatings.
- The meeting ended at 10:10PM
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