The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 31, Number 6June, 1999

icon Camp Narrin Lecture
by Steve Greene

The Warren Astronomical Society was invited to lecture at Camp Narrin to 45 Girl Scouts and 15 adults on Saturday April 17. The lecture went very well even with the intense Michigan Nebulosity looming overhead and [continued]

astro chatter Astro Chatter
by Larry Kalinowski

Not one planet, but three, were found circling Upsilon Andromedae, a fourth magnitude star that can be seen with the naked eye, a third of the way between Almach and M31. One of the planets is four times heavier than [continued]

icon WASP Deadline
Due to an upcoming vacation, the deadline for submissions for the next WASP will be Tuesday, May 25th. Please have all articles, minutes, etc to me by that date.The deadline will revert back to the 1st of the month after this one-issue change.

icon New Members
by Joe Van Poucker

The thing that makes the Warren Astronomical Society a great are its members. We are very happy to announce the following new member who joined during April of 1999. Please extend him a warm welcome.
  • Mike Simonsen, Macomb, MI
WAS Anniversaries for June:
  • 8 Years
    • Gary Gathen, Pleasant Ridge
  • 6 Years
    • Blaine McCullough, Warren
    • Joseph Malburg, Warren
  • 3 Years
    • Loretta Kapa, Warren
  • 1 Year
    • Pratap Naick & Deepa Rajendran, Rochester Hills
icon Minutes of Meetings
by LoriAnn Skonieczny

icon Camp Narrin Lecture, continued

in fact falling on our head in the form of rain drops. The WAS members and Scouts in attendance persevered. We initiated plan 'B', to take our presentation indoors. The audience of Scouts ranged in ages 7 to 14 and were captivated by the telescopes, the literature, the video film and the discussion about astronomy. The scopes were placed near the windows to allow the Scouts look through at the tree tops and an active squirrel's nest high in the branches. This exercise provided a way for the girls to understand how to look through a telescope so that when they have a chance on a dark clear night, their observation of the heavens will be more fruitful. I think we have several budding astronomers among the girls, their questions show that they studied the stars, the planets and galaxies in school. It is wonderful to see such interest.

Bill and Barb Munroe provided this opportunity to talk to the Scouts by handing our business card to scout leader, Wendy Thompson. Bill and Barb did a great job getting Wendy interested and I believe that this was over the purchase of a box of Girl Scout cookies. They must have been great cookies!! I want to thank Rick Gossett, Blaine McCullough and Rick Kovari for their part in the lecture, bringing their telescopes and the interaction with the Scouts and adults. I am grateful for the support and enthusiasm from each of these members, this is what makes the Warren Astronomical Society a great club to belong to. Bill and Barb planned to be there, however, a medical emergency in their family occurred the day before, our prayers are with you.

Due to the interest that was sparked by our lecture, Rick Gossett has invited each of the Scouts, their parents and the troop leaders to the Stargate Observatory for an observing session in the near future. A date has not been established.

I want to make special mention of the generous donation from the five Scout Troops (751, 1812, 854, 2058 & 555) to the W.A.S. in the amount of $150.00. This donation will be put to good use for additional equipment for our observatory. Thank you very much.

Last but not least, I want everyone to know I did learn that Camp Narrin is near Ortonville and not in Howell, a mistake of astronomical proportions on my part.

[back to page 1]

astro chatter Astro Chatter, continued

Jupiter, the lightest about .75 times. The innermost planet has an orbit that carries it around its sun in 4.6 days. Two independent teams confirmed each others conclusions using completely different equipment. The planets very nearly occupy the same positions as Earth, Mars and Mercury, making present theories, about where giant gas planets should be from their sun, obsolete.

A new telescope system, in New Mexico, headed by Mr. Grant Stokes, has made news by finding five times more asteroids and comets than any previous system. The combination of telescope and computer, developed by scientists at MIT, started its operation in March of 1998. By the end of the year, it added 15,209 objects to the known list of asteroids and comets. All the objects were more than 100 yards in diameter. So far, none of the near Earth objects seem to pose any threat in the foreseeable future.

The Iridium #24 satellite, blossomed brighter than Venus on Sunday night, April 25, at just about 9:29 pm. If you saw a brilliant 10 second flash in the NNW sky about 30 degrees above the horizon, then you saw it too. I was in the suburb of Roseville, MI, twelve miles NE of downtown Detroit.

So far, three tools have been cast for a 12.5 and two 13 inch mirrors that are to be ground and polished by the mirror making group. First grit for Bob's 12.5 inch should occur during the week of April 25-31. Since there is only one area available for grinding and polishing, it was decided that all three mirrors would have their curves roughed in at the same time, to avoid contamination between mirrors. Then the three mirrors would be moved through each smaller grinding grade together, for the same reason, until the polishing stage is reached. Practice with the Focault tester continues each night that we meet. It's essential that all know how to interpret the shadow patterns the test provides. Jeff Bondono, was a welcome visitor at the meeting. His input about the problems he had polishing and parabolizing his fourteen inch Dobsonian mirror, were heartily absorbed by the other members. The Focault program that Jeff used to measure the wave rating of his mirror will be available from the club's program library, starting in May.

Diopters became the subject of discussion during the last computer meeting. There are a few members that have made mirrors and purchased lenses but didn't know that the number given as the diopter rating is really a way of determining the focal length of a lens. When the diopter rating is divided into a thousand millimeters (one meter) it gives you the focal length. Those close-up lens sets that you can buy at camera stores usually come in +1,+2 and +4, which will give you 1,000, 500, and 250 millimeters respectively. When you combine close-up lenses, you're adding the diopter values which further reduce the combined effective focal length.

The meeting place for the May computer group meeting is still up in the air as of April 29. As soon as a meeting place is determined, an announcement will be made at the Macomb meeting. Call me at 810-776-9720 if you won't be able to make the Macomb meeting.

[back to page 1]

icon Minutes of Meetings

Cranbrook, April 5, 1999

Macomb, April 15, 1999

[back to page 1]

Return to WASP page Return to WAS Home page
This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on April 30, 1999.