Newsletter of the China Lake Astronomical Society
Volume 37 No. 10
September 20, 2000
NEXT MEETING 7:30 p.m., Monday, October 2, 2000
Maturango Museum, 100 East Las Flores Avenue, Ridgecrest
PROGRAM FOR THE OCTOBER 2 MEETING
CLAS member and professional artist, Joe Bergeron, will give a slide show of
his astronomical artwork in "A Quick Survey of the Universe." Joe is an
artist, an amateur astronomer, a writer, and a science fiction fan. Joe
worked in planetariums for years and has had a lot of space art publications.
He has produced artwork for publications such as Time-Life Books
(Voyage Through the Universe), Astronomy Magazine, Tor Books, and Sky &
Telescope Magazine, to name just a few. Much more information about Joe
and his artwork can be found on his web site www.joebergeron.com
DATES TO KEEP IN MIND
Friday, September 29, 2000: Star Party, see schedule below.
Saturday, September 30, 2000: KRP Vulture Festival Astronomy Program, see write-up below.
Monday, October 2, 2000: Regular CLAS Meeting at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 25, 2000: Deadline for next Skywatchers Newsletter
Friday, October 27, 2000: Star Party, see schedule below.
Monday, November 6, 2000: Regular CLAS Meeting at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 17, 2000: Star Party.
STAR PARTY SCHEDULE FOR THE 2000 SEASON:
Star Parties will be held on the dates listed below. Star Parties are an
activity where members and guests join together to share views of the skies.
If you have a telescope, bring it. If not, come and look through someone
else's. Star parties are held at a site in the open desert south of
Ridgecrest. To reach the star party site from Ridgecrest, go south on China
Lake Boulevard 6.5 miles from its intersection with Ridgecrest Boulevard.
Continue straight across Highway 395 and you will be on Brown Road
(Old Highway 395). Follow Brown Road as it curves to the right and goes west.
After 2.3 miles there will be a 30-inch orange cone on the left. Turn left
and follow the dirt road marked by 12-inch cones. The CLAS Star party is
0.5 miles along this road. Watch for signs and cones, which will be put out
about a half hour before viewing starts. Call Carroll Evans 760-375-5681,
or Bruce Churchill 760-375-7247, for more information.
Friday, September 29--Signs out at 7:00 p.m., Star viewing at 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 27--Signs out at 6:30 p.m., Star viewing at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 17--Signs out at 6:30 p.m., Star viewing at 7:00 p.m.
STAR PARTY REPORT FOR AUGUST 2000 (by Bruce Churchill)
Our August star party was held on Friday the 25th. We had an enthusiastic
turnout of observers, including members of Ken Pringle's Astronomy class at
Cerro Coso College. Alas, the skies were not cooperative. Patches of clouds
blocked out portions of the sky and the areas where stars were visible were
not very clear. Still, it was a good opportunity for newcomers to learn the
constellations and bright stars. There were also a few artificial satellites
flying over and some meteors left over from the Perseids. Cal Clayson brought
the club 12.5" telescope and found some deep sky objects for us. These
included M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy) in Canes Venatici, the M13 Cluster in
Hercules, M57 (Ring Nebula) in Lyra, and M4 in Scorpius. The images were far
from their best however, and we are hoping for better skies in September.
TELESCOPES NEEDED FOR SEPTEMBER 30th VULTURE FESTIVAL STARGAZING
The next scheduled outreach program is at the Kern Valley Turkey Vulture
Festival on Saturday, September 30, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the South Fork
School in Weldon. See the following web page address to view the Official
Program for the Sep 29-Oct 2 Kern Valley Turkey Vulture Festival,
Kern River Preserve, Weldon, California.
We expect about 50 to 75 people. David Hollingsworth will present a slide
show between 7:30 and 8:15 p.m. Stargazing through members' telescopes will
follow. David will also try to set up his telescope for solar observing at
the Kern River Preserve headquarters Saturday afternoon between 1 and 5 p.m.
Anyone else with a solar-filter-equipped telescope is welcome to participate
in the afternoon solar observing. Please contact David Hollingsworth
(446-1005) if you would like to bring a telescope for the Saturday evening
BRIEF ASTRONOMICAL CALENDAR FOR OCTOBER
Oct 5 First quarter moon; Mercury reaches greatest elongation this
evening, 26 deg east of the Sun
Oct 13 Full moon
Oct 15 The still nearly full moon lies just 2 deg south of Saturn,
while Jupiter and Saturn bracket the Pleiades and the Hyades
in Taurus around 9:00 p.m.
Oct 20 Last quarter moon
Oct 21 Orionids peak this morning, but may be easier to spot on the
23rd through 25th (less glare from moonlight)
Oct 27 New moon
Oct 29 Thin crescent moon hangs one binocular field to the upper right of
Venus just after sunset
WHAT'S UP FOR CLAS STAR PARTY ON OCTOBER 27
18:00 Sun sets
18:06 Mercury sets
18:40 Moon sets
19:18 Saturn rises
19:26 End of astronomical twilight
19:50 Venus sets
19:50 Jupiter rises
Look for Venus above the western horizon soon after sunset. Early in the
evening, Lyra will be high in the west, so good views of the Ring Nebula may
be had. Cygnus will be nearly directly overhead. Time to get out the O-III
or UHC filter and spend some time studying the Veil Nebula. The North
American Nebula should be visible through binoculars. Capricorn and Aquarius
will be at their highest in the south, making available good views of globular
clusters M2 and M30 and the planetary nebulae NGC 7293 (the Helix N.) and
NGC 7009 (the Saturn N.). You might even try to find the two dim Messiers,
M72 and M73, in southwestern Aquarius, just 2 deg southwest of the Saturn
The Great Square of Pegasus passes through the meridian high in the
south 10:00 p.m. Look for globular cluster M15 and, if ambitious, Stephan's
Quintet, near galaxy NGC 7331). High in the southeast are M74 in Pisces
and M77 in Cetus. This is a also a good time to view Jupiter, Saturn, the
Pleiades, and the Hyades, which will all be about 30 deg high in the east.
Don't forget to look at the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) the Triangulum Galaxy (M33),
which will 2 deg to 30 deg above the Jupiter/Saturn group.
FIRST LIGHT OBSERVATORY
Jim Leonard will hold monthly public lectures and viewing at his home
observatory. These events will be held on the Saturday evenings following
the CLAS Friday evening Brown Road Star Parties. Call Jim at 760-377-3474
to check on the date and to get directions. Jim has an observatory building
with a roll off roof.
CONSIDER BECOMING A CLAS OFFICER (A Plea from CLAS Pres., David Hollingsworth)
Have a little extra time and energy? Interested in making things happen?
Have an interest in helping to promote astronomy? It's time to consider
becoming a CLAS officer. Elections are held each year in December. That's
only a little over 2 months away. And I've noticed that we always seem to
have a shortage of nominees. So the same tireless folks agree to hold these
positions yet another year. It's time to give them a break and see some new
faces and new ideas! Start thinking about it now. By December it would be
nice to have several people interested in each position (President,
Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Newsletter Editor). That way we can
actually have a vote instead of a reluctant nod to serve yet again. Please
COST OF NEWSLETTER MAILINGS EXCEEDS DUES REVENUES
NON-DUES-PAYING RECIPIENTS' RESPONSE REQUESTED (Another Plea from CLAS
Pres., David Hollingsworth)
The cost of mailing out the monthly Skywatchers newsletter exceeds the CLAS
membership dues revenues. Increasing the dues is being considered. However,
in order to reduce these monthly costs immediately, we would like to cut down
on the number of newsletters mailed out, both to dues-paying members and to
non-dues-paying recipients. If you would like to help CLAS save the cost of
printing out and mailing the newsletter to you each month, and you would
instead like to have the newsletter e-mailed to you, please let our Newsletter
Editor, Carroll Evans, know by e-mail (so he will have your correct e-mail
address). Carroll's e-mail address is email@example.com. Meanwhile, in
particular, we would like to hear from the non-dues paying newsletter
recipients. Do you still want to receive the CLAS monthly newsletter? Are
you willing to pay our current low annual membership dues to cover the cost of
receiving the hard copy mailings? (We intend to try to continue the
club-to-club newsletter exchange program, whereby we exchange newsletters
with other astronomy clubs at no charge to either club.) Are you willing to
receive it by e-mail instead of hard copy mail? Or would you rather just
check it out when the spirit moves you by visiting the CLAS web site and
reading it on-line? (Please be aware that the current newsletter, as well as
several years' back issues, is available on the CLAS web site,
Please let us know, by standard mail or by e-mail. You could save us quite a
bit of money, and allow us to stay with a low annual membership dues. Thank you.
Basic CLAS dues are $8.00 per year, which includes the Skywatchers Newsletter.
As a benefit of membership you may receive Astronomy Magazine and/or Sky and
Telescope Magazine. The fee schedule is as follows:
Basic membership $8.00 per year
Membership with Astronomy magazine $32.00 per year
Membership with Sky and Telescope magazine $38.00 per year
Membership with both S & T and Astronomy $62.00 per year
Send your check to:
Carroll Evans, Treasurer, China Lake Astronomical Society,
P.O. Box 1783, Ridgecrest, CA 93556.
PRESIDENT - David Hollingsworth - 760-446-1005 (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
VICE-PRESIDENT - Roger Brower - 760-375-1181 (email email@example.com)
SECRETARY - Bruce Churchill - 760-375-7247
TREASURER - Carroll Evans (email firstname.lastname@example.org)
NEWSLETTER EDITOR - Carroll Evans Jr. - 760-375-5681 (email email@example.com)
CLAS home page http://www1.iwvisp.com/brower/clas.html
Meetings of the China Lake Astronomical Society are held at the Maturango Museum at 7:30 p.m. on the first Monday evening of each month, except when the first Monday is a holiday.
Newsletter of the
CHINA LAKE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
POST OFFICE BOX 1783
RIDGECREST, CA 93556-1783
OCTOBER MEETING: 7:30 p.m. MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2000
GUEST SPEAKER: JOE BERGERON, ARTIST & ILLUSTRATOR
AT THE MATURANGO MUSEUM, 100 EAST LAS FLORES AVE.