The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 30, Number 12December, 1998

was logo State of the Warren Astronomical Society
by Dave D'onofrio

Well its that time of the year again, every October at the business meeting the president and the officers are required to give a report summarizing the state of the club over the past year. Before I get into the clubs [continued]

astro chatter Astro Chatter
by Larry Kalinowski

Only one person has qualified for the new Wilson comet award, so far. That $20,000 award, to be shared with all amateur comet discoverers in 1998, may end up in the hands of an Australian amateur, Peter Williams [continued]

icon One Man's Thoughts
by John Herrgott

Our society's officers for 1999 are now known. As usual, the society chose wisely. But how could we not do so? All the candidates were top-notch! Congratulations and good luck in 1999.

Are you a meteor freak? Kiloton blasts? Showers of stone and iron? Astronomy [continued]

focus on

Larry Kalinowski
by Ceil Bondono

There is a lot more to know about Larry than 'astro chatter'. Read on for the details!

Larry first became interested in astronomy while a student at Detroit's Pershing High School back in 1955 or so. He brought up the subject during [continued]

icon Congratulations
Congratulations are in order! Doug Goudie and his wife have a new baby boy. More information on their new son will be forthcoming. Fred Judd and his betrothed, Jamie, are the proud parents of a new daughter named Destinie Marie Judd. She was born on 10/27/98. Keep up the good work! We're always glad to welcome new Astronomers to the club!

icon Minutes of Meetings
by Bob Watt

1998 Awards Banquet

was logo State of the Warren Astronomical Society, continued

condition, I would like to congratulate the new officers that were elected at the last business meeting. As a result of our elections, are new officers are as follows: I would like to thank Blaine McCullough and Frank Spiezck for running in the elections, I believe they are all winners. I feel the club is in very good hands as we get ready for 1999 and on their behalf ask for your continued support as we go into an exciting year for 1999. A special thanks to both Jeff Bondono for publishing both the WASP and the WAS Home Page and Lou Namee for operating the club library. Both of these gentlemen have donated their time and effort to help make the WAS run. Finally I would like to thank my present officers Chris Mehling (1st VP), Blaine McCullough (2nd VP), Bob Watt (Secretary) and Steve Green (Treasurer). They have done a splendid job as we tackled the issues of 1998.

The following is a summary of the business activity for the W.A.S. for 1998.

Members and Financials

As of Oct. 15,1998, the Warren Astronomical Society (W.A.S.) has 109 members. The club treasury has a balance of $5879.00. Due to a personal situation that demanded John Herrgott's personal attention, John could not continue the duties of the 1st Vice President. A vote was taken between Chris Mehling and Bill Bernauer for the position. Chris Mehling was voted in to replace John on May 12 ,98. (Thanks to both gentlemen for stepping up to the challenge.)

Policy Changes

Thanks to the hard work of the club treasurer, Steve Green, the WAS policy has changed as follows:
  1. There is now a common due dated that applies to all members. This makes the collection process easier and allows the officer to better determine the budget for the upcoming year.
  2. Treasurers spending limit is increased up to $100.00. This will allow for a more efficient handling of club business.
  3. Mailing of the WASP news letter. The main reason for this is to get more information to our members in a more timely manner.
  4. The age for senior discount has been changed from 65 to 60 years of age.
Stargate Observatory

  1. New locks have been placed on the observatory for security reasons
  2. The 12" telescope has severe mechanical problems. It will either be upgraded mechanically or be replaced with the Meade 16' SCT computer control scope.
  3. There has been increased presence of our members at Stargate on almost a weekly basis.
Cranbrook Institute of Science

  1. Cranbrook meeting date has been changed from the first Thursday of the month to the first Monday of the month. Should a holiday fall on the first Monday of the month, then the meeting will be on the following Monday. This is due to the fact that Cranbrook is in the process of upgrading and restructuring it's business. As a result, our monthly fee has increased from $10 per month to $30. 00 a month. We still will have access to the observatory and to the planetarium. I believe it is in the best interest of the WAS to maintain it's professional relationship with such an institute.
  2. Cranbrook has a new astronomer on staff: Mike Narlock.
WAS Events

  1. Kensington Star party May 1998. This event was sponsored by the Great Lakes Amateur Astronomy Clubs (GLAAC) and featured key note speaker David Levy.
  2. WAS picnic was held in June which featured a great barbecue, rocket launches and observing.
  3. Family night Oct. 17, featuring comet making demonstration, tour of the planets, astronomy videos, solar observing and all night observing.
WAS Activities

  1. Kensington Star Party 1999. Sponsored by the Great Lakes Amateur Astronomy Clubs. Main theme will be "meteors" This event will either be on April 23, 24 (Lyrid Meteor shower) or in August for the Perseids.
  2. The Great Lakes Amateur Astronomy Clubs will try to form an astronomy organization located at Kensington. If an agreement can be accomplished with the Kensington metro Parks authority, the WAS would be a comember of this organization and entitled to use the observing site.
  3. Stargate: A plan is being developed to present to the metro Park authority which would request funds to upgrade the Star Gate Observatory. The plan would include language to up grade or replace the observatory, provide for an activities center and possibly; provide for new equipment.
  4. Light pollution: The WAS members have become activists by writing, or e-mailing their state representatives urging them to pass H.B. 4254. The WAS was successful in urging the GLAAC to sponsor a talk on light pollution at the Kensington Star Party and has taken the responsibility of drafting a letter that will urge our state senators to pass HB 4254 which will be signed by all participating clubs. The WAS also drafted a letter showing our support, signed by all the officers and sent to Senators David Jay George Hart, Loren Bennet, Matt Dunaskiss and Arthur Miller. The WAS (through the contact of Chris Mehling) has received approval from the fire department located near the Stargate Observatory to allow us to shield there outside lighting fixtures.
Star Parties

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astro chatter Astro Chatter, continued

of Heathcote, New South Wales. The 13th magnitude comet he discovered has been designated C/1998 PI. The Edgar Wilson award is the result of an amateur astronomer that lived in Lexington Kentucky. He wanted to leave something significant that would spur other amateurs into more serious observing. 1998 will be the first year of the award. A comet discovery team would only receive one share of the award. All comet discoveries must be reported to The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT). The presentation will take place in July 1999.

Ion propulsion used to be the subject of science fiction. Not any more. NASA has launched a space probe with just such a propulsion system and is going to examine an asteroid and a couple of comets with the new probe. Since ions are relatively low in mass, the probe will not be moving very fast after launch. There is only going to be about a 20 mile per hour per day acceleration. However, the acceleration will continue for hundreds of days, for maybe a year or longer. By that time, the vehicle will be traveling thousands of miles per hour. Fast enough to travel anywhere in the solar system in reasonable time. A specially designed solar array will keep the ion engine operating.

Bob Watt turned out to be one happy camper at October's computer group meeting. He was able to see his new Rainbow Optics spectroscope finally produce absorption lines on a Schmidt-Cass in the Gathen observatory. Bob had gotten frustrated trying to get the spectroscope working on his own Schmidt-Cass and decided to bring it to the meeting. The computer group voted to make another attempt and everyone moved outside into the observatory. After everyone took a quick look at Jupiter, the spectroscope was mounted and pointed at Altair in Aquila. After ten minutes of focusing and adjusting, we finally spotted a dark line at the blue-green portion of the spectrum. Then someone saw a line in the violet end and another one saw a faint line at the red end. Three absorption lines that probably represented hydrogen. Bob was grinning from ear to ear by then.

Don't forget the 1998 Awards Banquet at The Warren Chateau on Ten Mile Road just east of Mound Road in Warren. That's December 17th, and the tickets are $22.00 per head. This years event promises to be quite an evening with David Levy our speaker. If you didn't make the Kensington spectacular last fall, you get a chance to see it all over again because the talk was recorded on video tape. David Levy is quite a speaker. He's going to make you leave The Chateau with a brand new outlook, I guarantee it. There's also the usual raffle, door prizes, awards and delicious food. See you there.

The November computer meeting will be held at Gary Gathen's home on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the 24th, since the forth Thursday will be Thanksgiving Day. His address is 21 Elm Park. Three blocks south of the 696 expressway and about half a block west of Woodward in Pleasant Ridge. You can reach him at 248-543-3366 for further information.

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icon One Man's Thoughts, continued

is another word for destruction? If you answered yup, that's it, then rush out to your nearest newsstand and buy a copy of the November "Scientific American". In this month's issue you will find not one, but two articles to satisfy your most destructive appetite. Seriously, the articles are not only informative but tell a tale of high adventure in two of the most forbidding places on earth. I'll resist the temptation to tell you more here. However, I can't resist telling you that these two articles should be read by anyone who values being au currant on the subject. Read them and enjoy!

Disturbing news on Stargate's telescope drive. It appears the drive is not up to par for serious astrophotography or CCD imaging. We are told the telescope drive was only intended for casual viewing. We have a problem, or, perhaps an opportunity. Rumor has it that our new president has a solution. From what this writer has heard, the club is going to like what the next administration has in mind for the future at Stargate.

Speaking of the future, 1999 marks the thirtieth anniversary of what I think is mankind's most astounding feat to date, Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, July 20, 1969. Is a public star party on order at Stargate with the Moon as the theme? Don't know, but there are possibilities here. If the anniversary is reflected in the popular media perhaps an event of some kind could be arranged.

I've got a secret to share with you: I've been observing the Moon. Yup, you read it right! When nobody was looking I went out and looked at the Moon. I even used expensive telescopic equipment to do it. I looked at night and I looked at day. In fact I looked every chance I got. What started this astronomical abomination, this misuse of fine optics, this attempt to ruin my reputation. A book called "The Once and Future Moon" by Paul D. Spudis, a lunar and planetary scientist of some note. Well, I know if an object is not a zillion light years away, you're not interested. But I'm going to tell you anyways. The author's love of his subject is infectious and certainly rubbed off on this writer. So off I am to get my lunar observing certificate. I am near completion and hope to have a talk ready sometime this winter. In this talk we'll skip the elementary and get right down to the interesting stuff. Stuff like what the Moon does to the worlds great particle accelerators, Clementine findings and the current "Big Whack" theory of lunar origin that explains nothing. And just for fun, we can look at how the mass of the Moon may be calculated. And yes, all that water on the Moon, how thoughtful of mother nature! Clear Skies.

John Herrgott

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focus on

Larry Kalinowski, continued

in his physics class and afterwards a young man by the name of Bill Whitney introduced himself to Larry. Larry made a trip to Bill's house where he got his first close-up view of the moon. That view 'absolutely amazed' him and began the start of his lifelong love of astronomy.

Bill Whitney invited Larry to a meeting at the Detroit Astronomical Society. He took advantage of DAS meetings to learn to build his own telescope, a 6" reflector. Larry recalls it taking about one year to build. For 10 years Larry used it as his primary observing tool and says that it still works beautifully. He remained a member of the DAS until about 1962 at which point he joined the Warren Astronomical Society. For a time he belonged to both clubs.

Back in the late 50s and 60s when you wanted to stargaze, you didn't have to travel so far to escape the city lights. Larry recalls his favorite observing spot being a place north of Pontiac called Bald Mountain. I forgot to ask about Larry's favorite observing spots these days, but he did admit that over the years, he has turned into a warm-weather observer and 'goes into a cocoon' once temperatures dip below freezing. It has something to do with the fact his feet freeze first!

Larry's astronomical interests moved from the moon to comets. He recalls a couple of really special ones that turned up in the 70's, Comet Bennett and Comet West, with a few years between the two. He says that the comets, from head to tail, took up as much as a third of the night sky. He remembers them being very brilliant and compares them to the recent Comet Hale-Bopp.

In addition to his participation with WAS activities, Larry was the Astronomical League's Treasurer for a couple of years. Even then, Larry was involved with computers. He encouraged people who wrote free astronomical software to share their written code with him. He in turn would distribute it to other league members who desired a copy. Later on, the Astronomical League decided to use an Internet BBS to post that type of information.

He also took a stab at programming and wrote the DOS-based 'Messier Observer's Guide'. A trial version of that program is still available to members through the Club. He created that program about ten years ago.

I asked Larry about his original memories of the WAS. He said that at the time, the Warren Club was both a telescope-making and observing group. Over time, the telescope-making group disappeared slowly, probably he speculates, because of the availability of reasonably priced commercial telescopes.

WAS membership back then hovered around the 20-25 member range. Over the years, Larry has seen the club membership swell to over 100 members. Larry has also noticed that the number of female members has increased of late.

Larry has made many contributions to WAS over the years. He served as club president in the 1960's. He has been seen at many Stargate Observatory cleanup days over the years. He worked on the club's 22" "a little bit but not as much as some of the other members". He regularly contributes 'Astro Chatter' to the Club's newsletter. He was responsible for forming the WAS Computer Group so that members who had an interest in both astronomy and computing would have their own forum. From my standpoint, one of Larry's most important contributions is that of being a regular meeting attendee. You can always count on Larry to be at WAS meetings and Stargate Star Parties. I referred to him at first as 'Old Faithful' but after a little conversation, Larry said he preferred to be known as 'Young Faithful'.

Larry is happy to discuss computers with any member. When asked what he'd most like to see the WAS focus on during the next year, he said he'd like to see a greater emphasis on helping new members learn more about this exciting hobby.

Larry's favorite objects of the 1990's include the planets Jupiter and Saturn. Naturally, he still enjoys viewing the spectacular moon. "It is one of the few objects you can show a newcomer that really impresses them."

Larry is married to his wife (of course!) Joann. They live in Roseville, MI. They have two sons, Keith who is 24 and Mark who is 28. He has no grandchildren (yet).

In August of this year, Larry retired. He has spent his leisure (?) time overseeing a big project in his back yard. He and Joann had an in-ground pool removed this past summer and they have since updated the landscaping and added sod and a new patio. I suggested that perhaps he and Joann would be ready to host a star party next summer and he thought it was worth mentioning. (Don't worry Joann, we'll all pitch in on the dishes to pass, right guys?)

I couldn't help but wonder what Larry planned on doing with all the newfound time since retirement. He admitted that he started building a 10" reflector scope (he won't admit how long ago that was). He'd like to finish that. It will be the third telescope that Larry will have completed. Larry is a talented musician and spent a number of years playing the accordion in a band before he married Joann. Larry would like to refresh his skills on the accordion although at this point he is not sure whether that instrument, packed away in storage for about 30 years, would still play as it had.

Regardless of exactly how Larry plans to spend his leisure time, I am sure all club members will continue to look forward to, and enjoy the positive things that Larry brings to the Warren Astronomical Society.

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icon Minutes of Meetings

Macomb, October 15, 1998

Cranbrook, November 2, 1998

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1998 Awards Banquet
Plan to attend the Warren Astronomical Society's 1998 Awards Banquet, featuring award presentations, a raffle, and time for socializing. The price of admission includes breaded wing-ding appetizers, dinner and door prizes. There will be a cash bar.
When:Thursday, December 17, 1998
Social and cocktail hour 6:30
Dinner 8:00
Meals:Sliced beef tenerloin with au jus
Gourmet chicken with special sauce
Vegetable plate
Where:Warren Chateau
6016 E. 10 Mile Rd
(Just east of Mound)
$22.00 Payment:
Steve Greene
23844 Settlers Dr.
Macomb Twp, MI 48042
Please pay before the end of the Cranbrook Meeting on December 7th

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This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on November 5, 1998.