The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 31, Number 8August, 1999

icon My 2 Cents
by Joe Van Poucker

Ever need a gift for the person that has everything??

Or want a unique gift for that special friend on that odd holiday???

How about giving them a membership to the Warren Astronomical Society?

This great idea was brought to me by our newest members the Leinhos Family. [continued]

Astro Chatter
by Larry Kalinowski

Mars seems to be making a lot of news lately. It's probably because that planet will be our next space travel goal. There's nothing like priming the public for another space adventure. Some scientists have duplicated what they believe is the martian environment in a laboratory and introduced microorganisms from the Earth's environment into their Mars experiment. The organisms thrived in the Mars atmosphere.

Barry Craig gave us an interesting presentation at the June MCCC meeting. His video camera shots of the Moon and Mars were interesting and spectacular [continued]

icon The W.A.S. 25 Years Ago
by LoriAnn Skonieczny

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of "The W.A.S. 25 Years Ago..." in last month's WASP. It is interesting to read the back issues of our club newsletter and to see familiar names who are still members today as well as to find out what our club was up to back then. With this second installment I have read over the August 1974 issue and summarized some of its noteworthycontents. You will see many familiar names mentioned.

"Final public notice was given that the organization known as the WAS will host the 1974 National Convention of the Astro League at Holmes Hall [continued]

icon Minutes of Meetings
by LoriAnn Skonieczny

icon New Members
by Joe Van Poucker

icon My 2 Cents, continued

Kristin recently wrote to me wanting to purchase a family membership for her father James. I contacted Kristin and invited her out to the club's Summer Picnic where she was able to present James with his Father's Day gift. It's my understanding that James had no idea where he was going when his daughter took him out for a Saturday afternoon ride. Now not only will James receive a monthly copy of the society's newsletter, The WASP, he's also a member of the Astronomical League and will receive their newsletter, The Reflector. Also even though James owns his own scope his family now has the privilege of using and borrowing the clubs equipment. Best of all James is now a member of a group of special people that share his interests in a hobby he can enjoy for years to come.

Plus not only does a membership to the Warren Astronomical Society make a great gift it also helps to build the club in more ways than one. So if you wish to purchase someone you know a membership as a gift feel free to contact me. My address and phone number are listed every month on page two of the WASP, or you can e-mail me at joevp01@aol.com.

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Astro Chatter, continued

respectively. It's surprising how much detail the camera captured in the Mars shots and the size of the image produced. The observing tent he demonstrated was erected in less than a minute and was large enough to hold a ten inch Newtonian and observer's table.

I've mentioned this before in a previous chatter column, but it's worth mentioning again. If you're just about to plunk down some money for a new computer and can't decide whether to get an Apple or an IBM type of system, ask yourself these three untechnical questions. What kind of computer do my friends use?....what kind of computer does my son or daughter use in school?, and......what kind of computer do I use at work? If you answer two out of three questions with the same answer, that's the type of computer to buy. If you answer all three questions with the same answer, you better NOT buy the other computer or you'll be awful sorry you did.

More and more of us are getting to see those Iridium satellites flash in the sky as we do our observing. If you'd like to see one too, you can get a list of predicted passages at the next WAS meeting.

If you'd really like to make a statement on someone else's web page, you may be interested in the program THIRD VOICE, available off the web. It allows the user to paste a sticky note to the other persons web page which is readable by all those that go to that web page. You can imagine how this possibility is affecting the owners of commercial web pages. They're crying foul ball and want legislation against such shenanigans.

Comet Lee is a new comet visible only with a telescope, low in the western, evening sky. During early and middle July, it'll be about visual magnitude 6.5. If you have the program to handle the orbital elements, you can display the comet's position, near Pollux and Castor, with your computer. The comet is rapidly approaching the Sun and will become a morning object during late July. I have a few maps still available with an attached ephemeris showing the comet's position at one day intervals from June 23 through July 27. If you'd like a copy, call me at 810-776-9720.

Time Of Perihelion (T).....1999 Jul 11.16520000
Eccentricity (e).....1.00000000
Perihelion distance (q).....0.70829400 (AU)
Perihelion Position (Peri).....40.67330000 (degrees)
Ascending Node (Node).....162.64170000 (degrees)
Inclination (i).....149.35450000 (degrees)
Absolute Magnitude.....6.76
Magnitude Coefficient.....10.00
equinox 2000.0

On the light side, if you're a lightening bug affectionado, like I am, try this little experiment. The next time you're out at Stargate or any country field, if you see one of those fireflies forty or fifty feet away, point your red LED flashlight at it and give your flashlight five quick flashes. Be sure you flash the bug after he (or she, I don't really know) finishes flashing. You'll notice the interested bugs coming closer to you and some will finally land on your light if you keep enticing them with your flashing.

Bill Whitney just notified me that he's interested in selling his folded, six inch, F15, refractor. It's rumored that a close friend of Bill's took a look through the 'scope and was so amazed at the quality of the image that he promptly sold his seven inch Questar. It's available with or without the mount. You can reach Bill at 734-462-3255.

I also have a Diamond Stealth II, G460, 2X AGP video card for sale. It's for a PCI slot and has eight megabytes of video memory on board. A CD-Rom disk comes with it. Asking $50. Dial 810-776-9720 for more information.

The July computer meeting will be held at Gary Gathen's home on Thursday, the 22nd. You can call Gary or Larry for further information.

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icon The WAS 25 Years Ago, continued

on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing on August 14-18. Said convention will consist of and include: many interesting amateur papers; a "night at Big Jacks;" a telescope fair; field trips to Abrams Planetarium, the MSU observatory and the U of M optical and radio observatories at Portage Lake, Wilma Cherup; a banquet; Bob Right; a DOAA slide show; Charley Johnson; and many more hits to numerous to mention." Excerpted from the August 1974 issue of the WASP, article written by Dinster Mudgrave.

The following excerpt is from the News section of the August 1974 issue. "Your roving reporter, Dave Harrington, has een making the rounds, and has interviewed many of the club members as to their current interests and projects." "Faitus Enterprises (Lous Faix and Pete Kwentus) has been very active of late. Their latest development is a "hot camera", which is designed to make the film less sensitive to light, thus making guiding errors much less noticeable. Their first model utilized outdated Kodachrome II in an Instamatic camera with a hot-water bottle taped to the back. A second-generation model utilized a hot water reservoir on the back of a Polaroid camera, but this idea was scrapped when Bill Whitney came along and dropped a tea bag in it. Lou and Pete now claim to have a third generation model with a portable butane torch which directs a flame on the film plane. It also makes a great hand warmer on cold nights says Pete. Another Faitus project is the design of a unique on-axis guiding system for astrophotography. This utilizes a half-silvered primary mirror and a peephole in the mirror cell. With this system, the observer merely sits behind the telescope and looks through the mirror. Lou is quite enthused about this project, and says, 'it's great for aligning the telescope on the pole too.' Lots of luck with these innovations boys."

"Doug Bock has been diligently working on the development of a computer program to predict the positions of all the planets. After working for over a year to complete the program, Doug couldn't figure out why his computer predictions didn't agree with observations. Then another club member pointed out that Doug had assumed that the Earth was the center of the universe. When confronted with this, Doug said, 'but I see the sun going around the Earth every day.' Oh well, it's back to the old drawing board for Doug. Doug is also working on cleaning the mirror on his square-tube telescope. It was temporarily out of service anyway, due to problems with an oversize diagonal mirror.(It seems the diagonal was larger than the primary mirror) At any rate, it seems he had his telescope standing up in the kitchen, and his mother thought it was a Trash Compactor, so she dropped a bag of garbage in it. As of this date, Doug has most of the garbage cleaned out, but commented, 'boy, those potato peelings are tough to get.'"

"Larry Kalinowski has been working closely with Jerry Persha, and has expanded the LFK exposure guide to include Neptune and Pluto. 'Planet X will also be included,' said Larry, 'as soon as Jerry discovers it.' For those of us who have been overexposing Pluto for years, this new exposure guide will be most welcome. Larry is also working on the correct exposures for that new film, 103 bo, which has an ASA that increases with exposure time. 'You might say that this film has a reciprocity success,' quipped Larry, 'and the trick here is to cut off the exposure before the ASA gets too large.'"

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icon Minutes of Meetings

Cranbrook, June 7, 1999

Macomb, June 17, 1999

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icon New Members

The thing that makes the Warren Astronomical Society a great are its members. We are very happy to announce the following new members who joined during June of 1999. Please extend them a warm welcome. WAS Anniversaries for August (If you see any mistakes in these entries, please report them to Joe Van Poucker)
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This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on July 7, 1999.