The Warren Astronomical Society Paper
Volume 31, Number 11November, 1999

Field Photo Processing - A Simple Alternative
by Clay Kessler

I feel a little like Andy Rooney: "Have you ever gotten your negatives back from processing and found lots of scratches? Don't you just hate that?? What do they do with them - drop them on the floor and dance the Fandango?"

Well, I cannot type in that nasal voice for very long - it makes my fingers ache. I have, however, had an increasing number of problems getting my negatives processed. I am not talking about odd color balance, I can correct that after the negatives are scanned. In fact, I am probably one of the easiest customers that any one hour photo shop could have. [continued]

WAS Annual Winter Banquet
by Joe Van Poucker

I wanted to remind everyone that it is almost time once again for the W.A.S. Annual Winter Banquet. The invitation/reservation forms will be in the mail to all the members soon. The banquet is on Thursday, December 16th at the Stephenson Haus Banquet Center in Hazel Park. We have decided to try a different hall this year in hopes of bringing the ticket cost down. The cost this year will be $20 per person. The one draw back to [continued]

astro chatter Astro Chatter
by Larry Kalinowski

November, 1999 could be the month to remember, the month the sky fell, ala Chicken Little. It happened thirty-three years ago in '66 and based on the orbit of comet Temple-Tuttle, 1999 is the next great happening. It could "rain stars" on this third rock from the Sun and many amateurs and professionals are licking their chops, drooling for this great visual and photographic event to occur. With all the new electronic equipment now available to the public like cam-corders, CCD cameras and world wide television, this could be the most photographed astronomical event the world has ever witnessed. The magic date is the night-morning of the 17th and 18th. The most likely time will be 11:15 PM, EST. It's not the most favorable time for eastern U.S. observers because the constellation Leo (the radiant) will not have risen in the eastern sky. However, a radiant [continued]

How To Convince A Reluctant Scientist
by John Timpane

The WASP 25 Years Ago
by LoriAnn Skonieczny

This is an excerpt from the November 1974 issue of the WASP.
  • that there's no such thing as "centrifugal" force
  • that planetary nebulae do not originate from novae or supernovae
  • that Stargate Observatory is the first and only observatory in Macomb County
  • that Jupiter has a satellite (Ganymede) that is larger than the planet Mercury
  • that some people can see eighteen stars in the Pleiades with their naked eyes
  • that some people can see the four Galilean satellites of Jupiter with their naked eyes

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 members who joined during September of 1999. Please extend them a warm welcome.
  • Len Nowak, Madison Heights
  • Mark Kropinski & Family, Troy
WAS Anniversaries for November
  • 5 Yrs
    • Gerald & Maryann Greuling, Sterling Heights
    • Paul J. Mikula, Roseville
  • 3 Yrs
    • Christopher W. Mehling, Royal Oak
    • Richard Kovari, Milford
    • Richard & Eleanor David, Waterford
  • 2 Yrs
    • Mark Gottlieb, Royal Oak
  • 1 Year
    • Nancy Rowe, Ferndale
(Corrections should be submitted to Joe Van Poucker)

The Swap Shop
by Larry Kalinowski

This is a new column for those who are interested in buying, trading or selling items. Call 810-776-9720 if you want to put an item for sale or trade in this section of the WASP. The ad will run for six months.
The month and year the ad will be removed, is also shown.
  • FOR SALE. Exposure guide for the Sun, Moon, Planets, solar and lunar eclipses. Extinction tables. Calculating prime focus, afocal, negative and positive projection F ratios. ISO's from 4 to 3200. Seventy-eight pages. $5.00, postpaid. 810-776-9720. (5-00).
  • FOR SALE. Flint optical glass. 7 x 6.25 x 1.375 inches. $25. 810-757-4741. (3-00).
  • FOR SALE. Plexiglass, 9 x 7.75 x 2 inches. $10. 810-757-4741. (3-00).
  • FOR SALE. Four 4.25 inch mirror blanks. $12 each, shipping and handling included. 810-757-4741. (3-00).
  • FOR SALE. Ten inch mirror, F5.5, 55 inch focal length, fully polished, not yet parabolized. $170. 810-757-4741. (3-00).
  • FOR SALE. Folded, six inch, F15 refractor, Jaegers objective, with or without mount. 734-462-3255. (2-00).
  • FOR SALE. Diamond Stealth II, G460, 2X AGP video card. Landmark DOS data transfer rate is 17,000 bits/msec. Eight megabytes of video memory, with CD installation disk. $45. 810-776-9720. (2-00).
  • FOR SALE. Eighty millimeter Apochromatic refractor, F 6.25, 500 mm focal length, with 35mm Praktica camera body, adaptor, solar filter and carrying case for all items. $450. 734-462-3255. (2-00).
  • FOR SALE. PCI card that supports 2 IDE hard drives and two floppy drives, with hard and floppy drive cables. $10. 810-776-9720. (2-00).
  • WANTED. Newtonian elliptical diagonal, 2.5 inches minor axis, or larger, with or without holder and spider. 810-776-9720. (2-00).

Minutes of Meetings
by LoriAnn Skonieczny

Field Photo Processing - A Simple Alternative, continued

I always give very precise instructions on negative handling and I don't care how the prints look. I never argue about "I don't like this print so I won't pay for it". You would think that these places would be overjoyed to see me wouldn't you? Why is it then that my simple instructions are not followed?

Maybe I am just getting pickier as I do this more but it seems that I have suffered increasing negative damage over the last 8 months or so. It came to a head after the Texas Star Party. None of the prints looked scratched but when I got out the negatives to scan them there was a huge amount of scratches on some of them. Some negatives were rendered unusable! It actually looked as though some were dropped on the floor and walked on - and I paid a "premium" because these were astrophotos and required "extra handling". Thanks a bunch!

Even my regular one hour photo at the local Meijers has given me problems lately. Several times I have picked up a "wad" of negatives and received the explanation that "nothing came out". When I straightened out the wad and pointed out the Swan and Dumbell nebulas I got a blank look and a "Oh! Is that why you didn't want us to roll the negatives - I forgot!"

So - what do you do about all this? Start taking CCD images maybe? Nothing that drastic I hope. I started to get some ideas on this while at the TSP. Our neighbor would hand process his negatives in the sink of his camper every day. I always thought that there were very precise timing and temperature requirements for color negative processing. These are open enough to allow processing under fairly primitive field conditions. After a couple of conversations with this gentlemen I found that he loaded his negatives onto reels in a changing bag. Once the reels were loaded into a tank and the tank sealed the rest of the process could be carried out in daylight. Hmmmm...... Temperature control? He filled his sink with warm water and had a thermometer in his developer fluid. When the thermometer hit 100 degrees he poured into the tank. HMMMMMM!!!

Well - when I decided to do this I went to a local photo equipment shop. Adrays seemed to have a large array of equipment - a confusingly large array! I talked to the "Processing Expert", a young fellow named Justin. Justin explained how the process worked and just what equipment was necessary for a small system. "Of course," he told me "what you really want is a Jobo!" I asked "What the heck is a Jobo?" He showed me a semi-automated processing machine that is designed to handle the temperature control and the agitation. This is the exact setup that Justin uses in the field to process his nature photographs. "$650.00 !!!! I don't want to spend that kind of money! Heck, that is two or three Nagler eyepieces!" "No! no!" Justin told me - "you don't want to buy a NEW Jobo - get a USED one!" "Just where do I find a used Jobo?" Justin said "Try eBay!"

Nope - not going to spend that much just to process negatives. I will just get a hand process tank, a changing bag, a thermometer and some chemicals. I can hand agitate and keep the temperature fairly constant in the sink. Yep, that's what I'll do....... Well it probably wouldn't hurt just to LOOK up on eBay - just to see what is available you understand - not to buy anything. Well, to make a long story short, I was the high bidder on the second Jobo that I bid on, a Jobo CPE-2 to be exact.

For those of you who have not been to eBay, this is an on-line auction service. For a fee you can list an item that you want to sell. People that want to buy the item bid on it. High bidder wins and everyone goes away happy. I found eBay an interesting new way to spend money and I now check it regularly to see what else I cannot live without.

I obtained the correct chemistry and a tank and gave the system a tryout after the Kensington Metropark Star Party. By golly, it seemed to work well! It took less than a half hour to process two rolls of film and in the end I had clean, scratch free negatives to scan and print. Of course, doing this in my kitchen is not much of a challenge, the real test will be in the "field". I carried the system down to Harry Kindt's home in northwest Ohio for a Labor Day star party weekend he was having. We processed five rolls of film that weekend with no problems at all! I think that this just might work out very well!

Cost you ask? Well consider that I did not get the Jobo to save money but rather to save negatives. The cost for the chemicals involved is about $2.50 per roll. Probably about what a photo process service would charge to develop the negatives. The real savings is in time! For example, at the TSP the photo process place was in Alpine, a 60 mile round trip - and you had to return hours later to get your photos. Most good observing locations are not very close to a one hour photo so an hour or more of driving and a one to two hour wait for photos is not unusual. This Jobo seems to work very well and can be done at the observing site, as long as you have electricity.

I like this very much and I think it will work well in the long run. Now all I need to do is to get out in the field and take some more astrophotos - oh, and stop spending so much time up on eBay........

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WAS Annual Winter Banquet, continued

this is the new hall requires that we pre pay for the event. This means that I need all the reservation forms and payment returned to me no later than December 4, 1999. Unfortunately we will not be able to sell tickets at the door. So please don't delay and return your reservation form as soon as possible. If you have never been to one of the banquets I highly recommend attending. There is usually good food and entertainment for all. Also if you or someone you know has something to donate for the raffle please have them contact LoriAnn or myself. Here's to making this banquet as enjoyable as the past ones. I hope to see you all there.

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astro chatter Astro Chatter, continued

near the horizon produces a situation where meteors will produce extremely long trails that could travel from the eastern to the western horizon. Last year, the U.S. was clouded out. This year, even the Moon will be favorably placed in the far western sky, two days after first quarter. Estimates predict there could be a thousand meteors per hour or more.

Mercury, that elusive planet that's usually a little difficult to see because of its proximity to the Sun, will put on an afternoon showing on Monday, November 15, starting at 4:11 PM, EST. That's when the planet will start crossing the face of the Sun and will be easily visible to observers in the eastern portion of the U.S., provided you have a solar filter to put on your 'scope. The show only lasts for fifty-nine minutes, ending at 5:10. The planet is too small to be seen without optical aid. It crosses from left to right, very near the top of the Sun's limb as seen in an optical system that shows an erect image. This event will be just the ticket for photography and recording on your VCR if you have one of those small video cameras.

Cosmic rays, those mysterious, high energy particles that have puzzled scientists for years may finally fall into the ranks of solved. There's much evidence showing that stationary particles in space are being kicked into extremely high velocities by supernova shockwaves. Charged, stationary, atomic nuclei can be accelerated to super high velocities by magnetic fields produced by supernovas. A process similar to particle accelerators in laboratories. It was previously thought that cosmic rays were particles produced within the novas but captured particles show that they were part of the original material that developed soon after the Big Bang.

The following people will share the $20,000 Wilson award for comet discoveries by amateurs in 1999: Peter Williams, Justin Tilbrook and Steven Lee, all from Australia. Michael Jager, Austria. Korado Korlevik and Mario Juric of Croatia and Roy Tucker of the USA.

The Seventh Annual Island Lake Star Party was more than successful this year. Park workers indicated a possible 2,000 visitors came to this one day event. The main parking lot filled up by seven PM, forcing park officials to block attempts to enter the main lot and steered other cars to second and third remote lots. This meant the park had to provide a shuttle service for new arrivals.

Lou Faix delivered his "What's Wrong With What's Wrong With Cosmology" lecture again at September's Cranbrook meeting and did another superb job in its delivery. The program (slide portion) is available from our club's software library. It'll run on any IBM type of computer, right from the "A" drive.

The mirror making group is still plugging along on the two 13 inch mirrors and the 12.5. Steve and Blaine have both finished with grit #320 and Bob is finishing #80, after some problems with surface bubbles. All mirrors are within 3 inches of their required focal lengths. The 12.5 is 5 inches from the final length. All are hoping that they'll be done by Christmas. The group is meeting both Tuesdays and Wednesdays, each week, at Blaine McCullough's home, to meet their goal.

Comet Lynn is a new comet discovered by an amateur astronomer. It's moving higher into the northern hemisphere and is getting very well placed by the end of September. Unfortunately, it's also getting dimmer and will only be a tenth or eleventh magnitude object during that month. Here are the preliminary elements. Plug them into your favorite planetarium program. An ephemeris for this comet will be available at our meetings.

NEW COMET LYNN C/1999 N2 An old Detroit and Warren Astronomical Society member has recently made himself shown in the pages of Sky And Telescope recently. He's Gary Boyd, now the manufacturer of Boyd Observatories, in Ray Center, Michigan. I haven't seen Gary in quite a few years. I hope I get the chance to see him and one of his observatories, soon. You can contact him at 810-749-9525 if you want to chew the fat about old times or inquire about his new business.

Computer memory prices shot up after the news story about the earthquake in Taiwan. If you were thinking about buying some memory before the quake, you can just about count on paying twice what those chips cost previously.

The October computer meeting will be held at Gary Gathen's home on Thursday, the 28th. His address is 21 Elm Park. Three blocks south of the I-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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Minutes of Meetings

Cranbrook, September 13, 1999
Macomb, September 16, 1999
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This page was created by Jeff Bondono, and last changed on October 6, 1999.