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The Nova

Newsletter of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society

Volume 33 No. 4 – July/August 2003



Luna Emerges from the ‘Dark Side’

From the editor

The mood of the crowd that gathered at Harmons in
Brickyard Plaza was like any other star party and rather quiet while anticipating the start of the show. That show, however, would be this year’s first lunar eclipse (May 15th) and the first in some time measured by amateur astronomer’s clocks.


News crews were busy positioning themselves for the best view. Meanwhile, club members were busy showing views of Jupiter and Saturn and answering questions about celestial objects as astronomical twilight began to set in. Over two dozen scopes of all kinds and binoculars were at the ready.


Then, as if the running Utes had scored a touch-down against their rivals down south, the crowd came to life. It was just shortly after 10 p.m. when cheers of joy welcomed the faint, ghostly glimmer of our nearest neighbor as it emerged from the shadow Mount Olympus and totality. Talk about a moment for Sarah Brightman’s music video version of  A Whiter Shade of Pale,” this was it!


Like everyone else, I swung my 6-inch reflector around and brought the orb into focus as quickly as possible. Truly, the view was impressive. A slim stretch of the eastern rim of our Moon had finally revealed itself seemingly out of nowhere. As excited individuals waited for their turn at the eyepiece, I made a basic explanation how this eclipse occurred.


There was no doubt that this one was somewhat less colorful in that there was just a small area with a visible shade of red-orange that quickly disappeared into the blackness of Mother Earth’s shadow. Despite the fact we didn’t get to see the entire eclipse, the weather made up for it with a nice mild evening.


While there were no reports of the eclipse from the membership, see here for photos.



Click on picture for a larger image
KUTV –2’s news and weather crew aired live.


Click on picture for a larger image
ADA telescope was well received by everyone.



Photos by the editor


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SLAS supports UCAN

By the editor


SLAS’s public education support didn’t end after the evening of the lunar eclipse. The editor volunteered to attend the Utah Cancer Action Network’s (UCAN) Skin Cancer Press Conference the next day.


UCAN’s awareness campaign calls for parents to protect their children’s skin on a daily basis while they’re enjoying outdoor activities. The Hogle Zoo was an ideal setting with school children all around on field trips on a clear and sunny day. No doubt many club members have seen the campaign ads on television and in the newspapers.


The editor made a unexpected presentation on the physical properties of the Sun and how the recent solar max affected wildlife using the example that some bird species (pigeons in particular) had become disorientated in their direction of flight.


Janet Heins, UDOH comprehensive cancer program coordinator and a UCAN member, then followed with introductions to KUTV –2 weather man Sterling Poulson and then Rich Bonaduce from WB -30. Jeff James of KTVX –4 followed with a live weather forecast and the UV index for the day. Dr. Glen Bowen, assistant professor of dermatology for the University of Utah Hospital/Huntsman Cancer Institute closed the program with emphasis on skin protection and safety tips for parents.


While news crews packed up their gear, the editor stayed an extra hour -plus to show many children and their parents/teachers white light views of the sun’s spots and granulation through a 6-inch reflector.


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SPOC II Update


SLAS member Mark Bloomenthal is now a qualified Ealing Telescope instructor and will be conducting Level 2 ‘Hands On’ classes to SLAS members who have taken the Level 1 ‘introductory class.’ Times for Level 1 and 2 classes will be posted on the members only Calendar on the SLAS web site.


The yearly SPOC User’s Fee has been established by the SLAS Board of Directors as $25 for 2003. Un-fortunately we have not adequately conveyed this to the membership and there has been much confusion on this issue with many members thinking that their $25 covered both SLAS membership fee and the SPOC User’s Fee which was $10 through calendar year 2002.


The SLAS membership fee is $15 payable annually on the anniversary of when you join.


The SPOC User’s Fee is $25 payable at the begin-ning of each SPOC observing season which will normally be 1 March – 30 November.


Patrick Wiggins’ 200mm Brandt refractor is up and running on the Big Scope mount and will be used for public star parties throughout the Mars Opposition. Special Mars viewing days for SLAS members will be announced on Patrick’s email newsletter and will be posted on the Members Only Calendar on the SPOC web site. Because Mars is currently a morning object in the sky these viewing sessions will be for early birds, 4 – 6 a.m., for the next month or so. Mars will be 16 – 20 sec of arc diameter through June and surface detail is becoming more distinct as it grows larger. Observing fine planetary detail becomes easier with practice and it is recommended that observers view Mars now in order to see maximum detail at opposition.

Bruce Grim

SPOC Coordinator


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Lowell trip Update

(editor’s note; I’ve included this email from Siegfried Jachmann in case some email addresses have changed or are no longer used.)


For all going to Lowell:


I have arranged rooms for us at the Embassy Suites at the discounted price of $72.00 per night. This is where we stayed last time. It’s a great hotel with beautiful rooms and a free breakfast every morning. This discount is available to us on a first come basis. I already have my reservations.


If you want one of these rooms you must call Embassy Suites at (928) 774-4333. You must identify yourself as being a part of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society group. They will ask you if you want a King size or two double beds, also if you want smoking or non-smoking. The hotel is located very conveniently at the bottom of Mars Hill, just about as close as you can get.


This place has just undergone a major renovation. I don’t know if their web site is up-to-date. You can see typical rooms at or search Embassy Suites in Arizona.


Embassy Suites Hotel

706 South Milton Road

Flagstaff, AZ 86001


Any questions, email me. Call now to make your reservations. Please email me when you have done it in case I need to block more rooms.




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New Telescope Curator

By Patrick Wiggins


Long time loaner scope curator Roger Butz has decided to relinquish his duties. Over the past 6 years Roger has spent countless hours maintaining, repairing, improving and handling the many Dobsonian scopes the club owns and loans to members.


We all, as members, owe Roger a great deal of “Thanks” for his years of service.


So now what? For now at least, the loaner program is being run by Patrick Wiggins (Gulp!). If you have been a member of SLAS for at least 30 days and would like to borrow one of the club’s scopes email your request to


Borrowers are guaranteed at least 2 weeks with the scope. After that borrowers will be allowed to keep the scope until someone else wants it. There is no charge to borrow these scopes.


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Net at SPOC

By Patrick Wiggins


Thanks to a very generous donation by Trilo BYTE ( the observatory in now wired for wireless internet services. And talk about fast, it really screams!  In addition to the equipment and installation, Neil Lawrence, Trilo BYTE’s owner, has also agreed to donate the monthly service.


Click on the picture for a larger image

Patrick Wiggins sits at the anonymously donated computer for the new SPOC observatory and which boasts fast internet service.  Photo by Ron Ford


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Thanks to Donors

By Patrick Wiggins


“Thanks” to SLAS members Jim Gallagher for donating a microwave oven and to Ken Harris for his donation of a refrigerator!


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☼☼☼ Don’t Forget! ☼☼☼


The meeting for August has been moved to September 2nd due to the Mars opposition viewing!


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In Memory

Our “Condolences” to fellow SLAS member Nate Goodman and his sisters, Kathryn Reynolds and Jean Bailard, who lost their father, Jack Goodman, on June 4th of this year. Jack was a newspaperman, television news director and artist. Wife and mother, Marjorie, died in 1998.


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Dark Sky Committee Proposal

(forwarded from Patrick’s News)

Footnote: SLAS President Ken Harris passes along the following proposal he received yesterday from the Dark Sky Committee. Ken suggests that News readers should be advised that the proposal arrived after the deadline but can still be considered at the next SLAS Board meeting (July 22nd) as a proposal for the former Dark Sky funds that now reside in the club’s general account.


SLAS Board Members, June 30, 2003


The following is the response to your request for an acceptable proposal concerning the future of the Dark Sky Committee and the money in its savings account. We feel this proposal is in the best interest of the club and all SLAS members supporting dark sky observing.


We request that the Dark Sky Savings monies remain intact in the existing account and not incorporated into the General account. As you can tell by the new mission statement, our goal will be not only to find a permanent dark sky location, but also, to support all club members in dark sky activities. This support might be finding a way to provide much needed temporary toilet facilities at scheduled private star sites. Also, to help get members transportation who otherwise can not travel to the sites.


Chairman: Scott Crosby

Co-chairman: Nate Goodman

Secretary: Charles Green



Item # 1:  Mission Statement

Support SLAS club members planning to do astronomy activities in a dark sky environment. The ultimate goal will be the existence of a secure and permanent dark sky site that can be used by all SLAS members.


Item # 2:  Savings Account

Savings account will be maintained to hold monies to be used for dark sky activity.  Source of money will be from donations.  Money can be accessed by a written request to the SLAS Board and Dark Sky Committee. The request must include; amount requested, how the money is to be used, benefit to the club, description of the dark sky environment where the activity will take place.


Item # 3  Committee

Consists of a chairman, co-chairman and secretary. All SLAS members will be encouraged to lend their ideas and support. Most meetings will occur by electronic methods. A committee member will report to the SLAS Board at the monthly meeting.


The Dark Sky Committee agenda for July 2003:

1- Contact all current members to confirm committee, and wording of mission statement.

2- Investigate Dwight Ball’s proposal and Scott Crosby’s proposal of sharing a dark sky site.

3- Make contact at U of U, it is rumored they are also looking for a dark site.

4- Give update report to SLAS board.


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In the news…….


Articles by SLAS member and Deseret News writer Joe Bauman include “Telescopes & Mars,” Thursday, 26 June, 2003 and “Exploring heavens is a trip” Monday, 30 June, 2003.


Patrick Wiggins related a story about preserving old astronomical photographs and the sad outcome upon receiving some shattered plates from a observatory in California. See letters, page 14, in the August issue of Sky & Telescope.


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Observer’s Handbook/Calendar ’04

From the editor


This is to announce to the membership that the editor received order forms from The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for the infamous ‘Observer’s Handbook’ and ‘Observer’s Calendar’ for 2004. These forms will be presented at the July, August and September meetings and a sign-up sheet will be available for those who want the “Bible” of amateur astronomy and a beautiful wall calendar.


The forms with money orders will be mailed into RASC after the Sept. meeting. For those unfamiliar with these items, the editor will bring this year’s handbook and calendar for viewing. Again, there will be no collection for taxes or shipping – this is a non-profit task to help get information out to the membership. The more orders we can send in, the lower the cost to the individual(s). These make great Christmas gifts!


If you cannot make any of the meetings mentioned above, contact the editor at (801) 262-6557 or send a email to:


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Have a telescope, mount or accessories you want to sell or swap? List your items in the NOVA!  It’s easy and best of all…it’s a free service to the membership!


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General Elections Coming October 28th!


Considering of running for office? If so, in accordance with the Constitution’s by-laws, those eligible members need to file their candidacy by the end of the August general meeting, which has been moved to September 2nd.


New members are encouraged to run as well as long as they’re at least 18 years of age, are presently a member and be willing to maintain that status throughout the term of their office.


Additionally, no more than one person per membership may run for office for any given term and no more than one person per membership may serve on the Board during any given term.


Candidates will be announced near the end of the September 2nd general meeting. If necessary, primary elections will be held during the September 23rd general meeting by the memberships present for the purpose of narrowing the number of candidates to two for each office.


The President shall appoint three non-candidate members to the election committee during the Sept. meeting. Final candidates will be announced in the Sept-Oct issue of the NOVA and be given 1/4 of a page therein to make their campaign statement which will be due to the editor NLT September 7th.


To be filled are the offices of; President, Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer and two Board Members at Large. To register, contact present Secretary/Treasurer Ron Ford at 969-3666 or email him at


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From John Houser


The SLAS Star-B-Que Potluck party will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 2, 2003 at SPOC.  SLAS will supply the utensils, paper plates and etc. along with cold canned sodas. You bring your own meat to barbecue, a chair to sit on, your family and a potluck item to share.


We need people to bring gas grills so we can cook the meat and so far no one has signed up to bring one. We need 4 more to bring a vegetable plate, dip or pickles. In addition, 4 more to bring chips or chip dips. Bottom line is just bring your favorite potluck item to share, your family, a chair and enjoy the company of other amateur astronomers.


Siegfried has signed up to bring a pot of his famous Red Cabbage. I have heard rumors that it is called infamous, but do not tell Siegfried. We need more than Red Cabbage so if you want to sign up for a specific potluck item or can bring a grill, contact John Houser at (801) – 250 – 9371 evenings or email me at:


There will be an unofficial swap meet so bring any astronomical items you want to sell.


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Is it lights out for the Dark Sky fund?

From Charles Green


A dark sky observing site is a location for from city lights where the Milky Way appears bright enough you can almost see your shadow. A place where one can see so many stars that is it difficult out make out many constellations and obscure faint fuzzy objects are radiant in your eyepiece.


Every month around the time of dark moon many of our club members pack up their telescope, leave home and travel from 60 to 200 miles to enjoy a dark sky. After several hours at the dark site they start to miss some common home comforts such as the bathroom, the kitchen and just a warm area in general. It is the home comforts that are available in a permanent dark sky observing site.


Many club members would like to enjoy what a dark sky offers but avoid the adventure. Astronomy clubs in Boise, Tucson, Denver and San Diego have a permanent, secure, comfortable building at a dark sky site to serve their members.


The idea for a dark site for SLAS has been around for a long time. In late 1995 SLAS club members agreed to start saving and planning for a dark site. It was estimated a minimum of $10,000 was needed to make the dream a reality. An interest bearing savings fund was opened where money from donations could accrue. A committee, chaired by Dave Chamberlain, was organized from more than a dozen SLAS members to support the idea. Money was acquired from club member donations. Money was collected in jars at club functions and there were school star party donations. Money from the sale of items as planisphere and light wands at star parties and other money raising projects started the fund growing.


The dark sky project investigated several possible locations. Sites at a sod farm near Tooele, property near Skull Valley, and Park City were investigated. All were declined due to possible future light pollution. Other locations were also looked at, but nothing encouraging was found.


After four years a decision was made to stop donations from school star parties from going into the dark sky find. Realizing the minimum goal of $10,000 would be very difficult to acquire. Many dark sky site supporters became very discouraged. With the club focusing on SPOC II and ALCON 2002, planning the dark sky site was unintentionally put aside. At the end of 2002 a proposal was advanced that, “If an acceptable plan of action for a dark sky site was not put forward by the end of March 2003, then the existing dark sky fund would be transferred to the SLAS general account.”


Scott Crosby volunteered to take on the task. In March the deadline was extended to June 30, 2003.


Under Scott, a new committee was formed from SLAS members interested in dark skies. A new mission statement was drafted which benefits all individuals who enjoy dark skies.


To join the effort or give your ideas, both pro and con, you need only send an email to the committee secretary ( stating your intentions or ideas. Most meetings and communication will be done by email.


On the committee’s current agenda is the evaluation of three possible dark site locations. Also, looking into finding group transportation to dark sky parties and the possibility of providing adequate sanitary facilities at dark sky parties.


It is the committee’s de-sire that the current funds remain in a Dark Sky Saving Fund where future donations can keep the fund growing and the club can support all members who enjoy a dark sky.

Charles Green


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monthly photo contest

Congratulations to

Tom Watson & Mark waegner


For their winning entries in the May Monthly Photo Contest with their lunar eclipse photos. Their efforts were rewarded with a $5.00 bill each and will receive a certificate from the Camera Den for a free enlargement. Ken Warner is the photo contest coordinator and all entries are voted upon by the membership.


July’s contest will be Globular star clusters. August’s contest will be Mars.


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From the Belly of an Airplane: Galaxies

By Dr. Tony Phillips


On April 28th a NASA spacecraft named GALEX left Earth. Its mission: to learn how galaxies are born, how they grow, and how they die.




Click on the picture for a larger image

L-1011 “Stargazer” takes off to carry a Pegasus rocket on the first 39,000 feet of its climb to deliver a spacecraft to orbit.

“GALEX - short for Galaxy Evolution Explorer - is like a time machine,” says Caltech astronomer Peter Friedman. It can see galaxies as far away as 10 billion light years, which is like looking 10 billion years into the past. The key to the mission is GALEX’s ultraviolet (UV) telescope. UV rays are a telltale sign of hot young stars, newly formed, and also of galaxies crashing together. By studying the ultraviolet light emitted by galaxies, Friedman and colleagues hope to trace their evolution spanning billions of years.


This kind of work can’t be done from the ground because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs the most energetic UV rays. GALEX would have to go to space. To get it there, mission planners turned to Orbital Science Corporation’s Pegasus rocket.


“Pegasus rockets are unusual because of the way they’re launched-from the belly of an airplane,” says GALEX Project Engineer Frank Surber of JPL.


It works like this: a modified L-1011 air-liner nicknamed Stargazer carries the rocket to an altitude of 39,000 feet. The pilot push-es a button and the Pegasus drops free. For 5 seconds it plunges toward Earth, unpowered, which gives the Stargazer time to get away. Then the rocket ignites its engines and surges skyward. The travel time to space: only 11 minutes.


“The aircraft eliminates the need for a large first stage on the rocket,” explains Surber. “Because Stargazer can be used for many missions, it becomes a re-useable first stage and makes the launch system cheaper in the long run.” (To take advantage of this inexpensive launch system, GALEX design-ers had to make their spacecraft weigh less than 1000 lbs-the most a Pegasus can carry).


A Pegasus has three stages-not counting the aircraft. “Its three solid rocket engines are similar to the black powder rockets used by amateurs. The main difference is that the fuel is cast into a solid chunk called a ‘grain’ –about the consistency of tire rubber. Like black powder rockets, once the grain is lit it burns to completion. There’s no turning back.”


In this case, turning back was not required. The rocket carried GALEX to Earth orbit and deployed the spacecraft flawlessly. On May 22nd, the UV telescope opened its cover and began observing galaxies-“first light” for GALEX and another success story for Pegasus.


For adults, find out more about the GALEX mission at: Kids can read and see a video about Pegasus at:


The Space Place is a web site for children with fun and educational activities and facts related to many of NASA’s space missions. This article was provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, managed by Caltech in Pasadena.


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Astro Brief

The Space Shuttle Columbia faced its first encounter with debonding External Tank insulation during  propellant loading tests on 22 and 24 January 1981.

SPACE SHUTTLE: The History of the National Transportation System.  The First 100 Missions. By Dennis R. Jenkins


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Please Welcome These Newcomers for May and June


David C. Bailey, Scott B. Oransky, Thomas B. Henchy, David A. Hubert, Natalie S. Bjorge, Jennifer Morgan, Jennifer A. Fisher, Clayton D. Killpack, Aaron Lambert and Rosemary Cundiff.


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 Pictures: Click on a picture below for a larger image



Tom Watson was voted
1 of 2 winners for the May
photo contest with this
fine shot of the Moon in
eclipse rising over a
mountain range.  Automatic
settings were used on a
digital camera


voted a winner for the May
monthly photo contest with
this shot taken from
just before totality. He used a
Nikon Coolpix 4500 camera
using a focal length of 32mm.
Using a Mulitpattern metering
mode, his exposure was 1 second
at f/5.1. Mark used Auto Focus and
Auto Sensitivity/ISO setting. The
digital zoom ratio was 1.00.

JOE BAUMAN used a Deseret News digital camera and his Celestron 8" with a focal reducer for this lunar eclipse shot in May. He shot a series of views on automatic exposure and various ISO (formerly ASA) settings. Joe employed the “hat trick” method by holding the lens cap above the end of the telescope when the exposure started then moved it away, so that vibrations would have dampened out and not ruin the photo. The pin-point star to the left is believed to be HR 5762 in the constellation Libra. Joe is a science/military writer for the Deseret News and has recently published several articles of astronomical interest (see page 4, In the News…for his most recent). YOUNGSTERS couldn’t wait to get to the eye-pieces of SLAS scopes set up for May’s lunar eclipse party held at Harmons.         Photo by the editor




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Minutes of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society

Board Meeting for May 27, 2003


The Board meeting was opened at 6:41 p.m. by President Ken Harris with all officers present. Kim Hyatt started with  the idea of dedicating the ADA to a previous SLAS member.


Ken mentioned that Gary Vardon was schedule to give a presentation on the exposure consequence of a large meteor impact on Earth. He also expressed concern about the promotion and advertising for the star parties. Patrick Wiggins joined in with the fact that SPOC star parties should be pushed. Siegfried Jachmann said the club should get as much publicity as it can despite the new large scope in not ready. He also mentioned that there has been great support from the members. During the lunar eclipse he counted 24 scopes and at least 30 were present by eclipse time that he counted.


Siegfried added that the 8-inch would be in place for the Mars opposition as the optics for the large (36-inch)scope would not be ready. It was felt that the dedication of the new scope would have to wait for next year. Kim then went over making contact with the various media with Patrick.


Ron Ford asked Kim to talk about a 11-inch Celestron. Kim talked to a representative from  the company and learned that Celestron refurbishes scopes that come back and then sells them at a discount or donates them.


Roger Ockey has been looking into lap top computers and found some used ones for less than $500. Ken felt that such a refurbished unit would be adequate for the club’s needs. Roger is building a wiring harness at the observatory that will allow one CCD camera to be used on either telescope.


Ken then addressed the Star-B-Que and asked for directions in getting it organized. John Houser volunteered to chair the event, to be held August 2nd.


Siegfried then updated the Lowell trip which he said was half filled. He has over 40 reservations.


Patrick then proposed nightly Mars watches at SPOC on August 23 – 29 for the public. A motion was made to present the proposal before the member-ship and seconded. Motion carried.


Kim concluded the meeting by mentioning that many of the RTMC attendees were awed by the SPOC II project and by the size of its optics when completed. Meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.


General Meeting

President Harris opened the general meeting at 7:30 p.m. with an introduction of the Board members and asked for new members to introduce themselves. Jim Cobb was first to take the floor followed by Jennifer Morgan who joined SLAS during the lunar eclipse. In all there were 6 visitors out of 45 attendees.


Ron Ford gave the secretary-treasurer’s report as follows: General fund, $7,037.68; Printing & Postage, $280.22; Entertainment, $261.91; Astronomical League, $799.75; SPOC, $6.653.82; Hydrogen-Alpha, $527.50 and Insurance -$229.50 for a balance of $15,671.19 with $4,114.04 in the Dark Sky Fund.


Ken then had Patrick take the floor to talk about the Mars watches at SPOC for those not traveling to Lowell Observatory during opposition. He then gave a SPOC update by first thanking Siegfried for donating wooden walls to be called the “Walls of Fame.” Patrick then mentioned that Level 1 classes were coming up soon for those wanting to use the Ealing telescope. The 8-inch Brandt was replaced on the Big Mount and extra weights were added so that the eyepiece is now located higher off the floor than last year when pointed towards the zenith. In addition, the 8-inch is now computer controlled through The Sky software, making it an awesome “go to” scope. He closed by stating that the optics for the big scope were designated to arrive at the end of June. Hardware pieces are still to be fabricated.


Ken introduce John Houser as the Star-B-Que chairman, who spoke about the party.


Don Colton then announced about a change in location for that weekend’s private star party, perhaps at the gravel pit near Kamas.


President Harris then introduced Kim Hyatt who gave a presentation on the RTMC which was his 12th year in attending. He spoke of the grant made avail-able through the RTMC committee for an ADA scope. Celestron may make a donation of a 11-inch GPS telescope for that purpose. Kim then gave a power-point presentation of the program he gave at RTMC. He then proposed that the mount that Bruce built be dedicated to Jay Losee. Motion was tabled.


Guess speaker Gary Vardon gave his presentation on the exposure consequences of a large meteor impact on Earth. He had calculated the air exposure in milligrams per cubic meter assuming a 10 kilometer meteor struck North America. The toxicological effects would be devastating and gives support to the idea that meteor impacts caused global extinctions. His web address is:


Meeting adjourned at 9:09 p.m.


Minutes of the Salt Lake Astronomical Society

Board Meeting for June 24, 2003


President Ken Harris opened the Board meeting at 6:36 p.m. with all members present. The status of a laptop computer was questioned by Ken and Roger Ockey responded that one was acquired through an anonymous donor and was in his possession.


Ken announced that there will be two presentations, one by Patrick Wiggins and one by James Cobb on the Mars opposition.


President Harris then inquired on the status of the engravings and Roger felt the machine shop should be able to do tests by the end of the week.


John Houser was asked for an update for the Star-B-Que. Plates and other utensils had been located. John will have people sign up for the potluck items they’ll bring. The event will be held at SPOC


Patrick asked Roger the current status of the cabling for the camera at SPOC. Roger is working with SBIG to acquire the information needed to start up the system.


Ken followed with the situation of the H-Alpha scope. He had talked to Roger Butz and he was willing to relinquish the responsibilities as the board decided. The board discussed the problems with having the scope at solar parties on time or present at all.


Siegfried Jachmann recommended that a new custodian be found. After some discussion, Ken made the motion that a new curator be appointed and Ron Ford was nominated by the show of hands. For the loaner scopes, Patrick mentioned that Roger has done an excellent job, but would take the responsibilities as curator of that program. Kim Hyatt will draft a letter of thanks to Roger for his dedication on behalf of the board. Ken made a motion to change the custodianship to Patrick Wiggins. That motion was tabled but Patrick will be handle the loaner scopes temporarily.


Kim Hyatt had not heard from Celestron on the possible donation of a 11-ich SCT and will contact them by email or telephone. Kim has also decided to withdraw the motion of dedicating the ADA mount to Jay Losee. The grant money received from RTMC could be used to build a storage facility for the ADA scope and mount.


Bill Cowles mentioned that at the last solar party at Harmons on 7th East that there was a “for sale” sign near the corner where the scopes are set up.


The editor inquired about the “Big Bang” star party and it was decided to schedule one for next year.


Ron Ford brought up the fact that the new insurance policy was not clear in some areas of coverage and it was decided to meet with the State Farm agent to clear up certain issues.


Siegfried updated the Lowell Observatory trip in that 49 out of the 80 positions were filled and will open up the remaining slots to all Utah astronomy clubs. The idea was approved by the board.


It was decided to continue the board meetings at 6:30 p.m. Meeting adjourned at 7:27 p.m.


General Meeting


The meeting was opened by the President at 7:35 p.m. with an introduction of the board members. There were 38 in attendance.


Ron Ford gave the treasurer’s report as follows: General Fund, $7,373.77; Printing & Postage, $226.63; Entertainment, $287.41; Astronomical League, $809.25; SPOC $6,693.83; H-Alpha, $527.50; Savings, $4,114.04 and Insurance -$170.00.


Don Colton gave a report on Wolf Creek and hand-ed out maps for that weekend’s star party.


Kim Hyatt announced that he has withdrawn the motion he made last meeting to dedicate the ADA mounting and scope to a former member.


Patrick told the story of how he had received a box from a major California observatory in which glass plates were broken due to the lack of proper packing. He then gave a powerpoint presentation on the construction of two-story pier for his observatory. He mentioned that a new lighting ordinance has been passed in Tooele county. Wiggins then talked about the unofficial Mars watches coming up and how a group hopes to see the shadow of Ganymede on Jupiter in the early morning hours after sunrise.


Siegfried Jachmann took the floor to clarify that besides the six months membership and attendance of three meetings, a new member must also complete the required training classes and paid their fee before being allowed to operate either telescope at SPOC. He also announced that remaining slots for the Lowell trip will be opened to other Utah astronomy clubs besides SLAS.


There were no planetary photo entries for the monthly photo contest. Ken Warner announced that the July contest will be globular star clusters and August will be Mars.


John Houser discussed the Star-B-Que scheduled for August 2nd.


President Harris then introduced SLAS member James Cobb who put together a presentation on the Mars opposition. He used the Starry Night program to watch the various phases of its closest approach in some 60,000 years. His slides showed how the inner planets would look from 2 astronomical units from Earth’s north pole. In increments, slides showed how Mars diameter grows as Earth catches up and passes.


Meeting adjourned at 8:54 p.m.

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