Join us this evening for our monthly meeting going over the workings of WAS. Our new president Dan Wright is sick tonight but star of stage and the small screen Bob Meadows will conduct the meeting. Bob is fresh from his News 12 interview from this morning and has the DVD to prove it!
We’re pouring the new concrete pad for the 25″ Obsession this week as well as installing the vault for the seismograph and Bob will fill you in on what’s new there.
Cal’s Corner returns after the picnic hiatus and Carl Lancaster will show everyone how to use Software Bisque’s fresh and new astronomy package The Sky X as well as discuss his latest upgrade to the 25″.
We’re planing another private WAS member/family/friends Star Party this Saturday July 23rd if you’d like to take a peak at the new comet and the summer sky, weather depending of course!
See you tonight at 8:00!
ASTROWEB SITE OF THE MONTH
by Cal Powell
DeepSkyPedia is a wiki project that aims to be the Wikipedia of deep-sky observing. The goal of DeepSkyPedia is to help amateur astronomers plan observing sessions by providing structured pages containing information and sketches about deep sky objects. In true wiki fashion, anyone can register at http://www.deepskypedia.com/ and contribute to the site. Although many of the contributors are not native English writers, DeepSkyPedia is quite readable and worth repeated visits as the number of contributed observations increases.
Please send e-mail on your own personal web pages, or astronomy links that you find interesting or noteworthy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Bob Meadows
Public nights will be on Wednesdays only, beginning with July. Having Thursday as a rain date was difficult to schedule and manage and confusing to the public.
We will be taking the 25 inch telescope to Stellafane in Springfield, VT, July 28-31. The keynote speaker will be Kuiper Belt expert Dr. Jane Luu. Bob Meadows and Dan Wright will be going to the Almost Heaven Star Party in Spruce Knob, West Virginia, August 26-30.
A new laser collimator was purchased from Howie Glatter Lasers. It uses a 635nm wavelength laser, which appears brighter than the standard red laser. The laser is very rugged and precise. A holographic attachment can be used to project a square grid. A two inch TuBlug has a Barlow lens to project the center mark on the primary onto a diagonal screen, which allows easy collimation from the back of the telescope.
Dan Wright bought new blinds for the warm room. A spare tire and mounting bracket were purchased for the trailer.
A star party took place at the observatory on Friday July 1. The 16 inch telescope needed some collimation adjustment, but then produced good images. With the 25 inch telescope, we viewed the Supernova in M51, Pluto, Neptune, and 10th magnitude comet Garradd C/2009 P1.
In mid July, a seismograph will be installed in an in-ground vault behind the benches. They will also pour a pad for the 25 inch telescope in the observing field. Carl Lancaster made a 4 foot octagonal form for the pad.
6 Mike Bellacosa Tom Davis
13 Bob Blasko David Ives
20 Dan Wright Nick LaRocca *Carl Lancaster
27 Franco Fellah K. Moskovitz ** loading for Stellafane **
3 Mike Bellacosa David Ives
10 Tom Davis Karl Procop
17 Bob Blasko K. Moskovitz *Franco Fellah
24 Bob Tobin David Ives *Dan Wright
31 Mike Bellacosa Nick LaRocca *Bob Meadows
7 Karl Procop Frank Cirino
14 Tom Davis K. Moskovitz
21 Bob Blasko David Ives *Franco Fellah
28 Mike Bellacosa Bob Tobin *Carl Lancaster
Please call Bob with some notice if you can’t make your shift. We’re counting on you.
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We are an all volunteer society that is financially responsible for everything at the Rolnick Observatory, and we are always short on money. Remember, there are lots of ways to help support WAS other than cash donations. Recently we teamed up with North American Power, a deregulated energy supplier in Connecticut that has significantly lower rates than all of the utilities, now with rates of just .0895 kWh. Many of our members, including the Rolnick Observatory, are now NAP customers. North American Power will donate $10 to WAS for every home or business that signs up. You’ll save a bunch off your UI or CL&P rates by switching now. The only way to get WAS the donation is to call Dan Wright at (203) 424-0001 if you’d like to lower your bill and help WAS out at the same time.
You can also help WAS by shopping at the WAS Amazon Store. We get a small percentage of the sale and every penny counts. If you want us to add something to the list, we can do that easily. You can also buy some cool gear at the WAS Wear Store that’s great for the Star Parties! Buy early and buy often!