ASTRONOMY CLUB OF TULSA

OBSERVER

April 2001

http://www.b-its.com/astroclub

ACT, Inc. has been meeting continuously since 1937 and was incorporated in 1986. It is a nonprofit; tax deductible organization dedicated to promoting, to the public, the art of viewing and the scientific aspect of astronomy.

What

Astronomy Club of Tulsa Meeting

When

Friday, April 6, 2001 at 7:30 PM

Where

Room M1 inside Keplinger Hall, the Science & Engineering Building at TU.

Enter the parking lot on the East Side of Keplinger Hall from

Harvard and 5th Street. This will take you directly toward the

staircase to enter the building. Room M1 is the first room on the left.

   

Notes from the President

John Land

Wayne Wyrick will present Hubble's Finest Images. Wayne Wyrick is Director and Staff Astronomer of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium in Oklahoma City. Wayne will bring us several of the latest stunning images from the Hubble Space telescope. Wayne has visited our club several times and always brings with him an unbounded enthusiasm for the universe and the study of astronomy. So don't miss out. You can learn more about the HST and can preview of some of the best of Hubble's images at http://hubble.stsci.edu/ The Omniplex is a great place to take your family. For more information go to http://www.omniplex.org/

   

Other future meetings for your calendar are May 4 and June 8

Up coming Club meetings and events

As Spring arrives many groups are wanting to learn more about Astronomy. Volunteers are needed to help with events. Below are tentative dates for our club meetings and star parties. Unless noted otherwise Events are at the Observatory. Note: Poor Road Conditions are still a major concern. It is advisable to call before planning any trips to the observatory

APR
04-02-01 Mon ?:00 Collinsville (At Collinsville) ?
04-05-01 Thu 18:30 Dove Science Academy (43)
04-07-01 Sat 19:15 Brassfield Elementary School (10)
04-16-01 Mon 19:30 Jenks HS Sci Fi Group 1 (50)
04-19-01 Thu 19:30 Jenks HS Sci Fi Group 2 (50)
04-20-01 Fri 19:30 Jennifer Wolf's grade school class w/ Chris Brown
04-21-01 Sat 19:45 Club Star Party
04-24-01 Tue ?:00 Collinsville (At Collinsville)
04-25-01 Wed 19:30 Carver Middle School ?
04-27-01 Fri 19:30 Holland Hall (At the school)
MAY
05-01-01 Tue 19:45 Monte Cassino 8th Grade Grp1 (30)
05-03-01 Thu 19:45 Back up for 05-01-01
05-04-01 Fri Girl Scouts (at Zink Ranch) (80 to100)
05-05-01 Sat 19:45 Monte Cassino 8th Grade Grp2 (30)
05-05-01 Sat Girl Scouts (at Zink Ranch) (80 to100)
05-26-01 Sat 19:45 Webelo Pack 188 (will also camp)
JUN
06-19-01 Tue 20:00 Tulsa Math Equity Academy (35)
AUG
08-10-01 Fri ACT Club Picnic and Camp Out (Location to be determined)
08-11-01 Sat ACT Club Picnic and Camp Out
08-12-01 Sun ACT Club Picnic and Camp Out
? 08-17-01 Fri Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman ?
? 08-18-01 Sat Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman ?

To help Contact Gerry Andries - 369 - 3320 < Gerry Andries e-mail >

   

Observing Manuals Available

You can get started in astronomy with one to the Astronomical League Observing Projects. We have several of the "Universe Sampler" booklets to get you started learning the night sky. We also have a few of the "Messier Observer's" and "Herschel I " manuals for the more advanced or ambitious observers. These are available for $8.00 each. Plus we also have a list of the features to be observed to earn your Lunar Certificate for only $1.00. For a look at these and other programs, check out the Astronomical League. Contact < John Land e-mail > at astroland@juno.com or call. http://www.astroleague.org./al/obsclubs/obsclub.html 

   

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is the largest, most complex, most sensitive observatory ever deployed in space. At over $3 billion (including the cost of two missions to service and refurbish the system), it is also the most expensive scientific instrument ever constructed. Built jointly by NASA and the European Space Agency, HST is designed to allow astronomers to probe the universe with at least 10 times finer resolution and with some 30 times greater sensitivity to light than existing Earth-based devices. HST is operated remotely from the ground; there are no astronauts aboard the telescope, which orbits Earth about once every 95 minutes, at an altitude of about 600 km (380 miles).

The telescope's overall dimensions approximate those of a city bus or railroad tank car-13 m (43 feet) long, 12 m (39 feet) across with solar arrays extended, and 11,000 kg (12.5 tons when weighed on the ground). The heart of HST is a 2.4-m (94.5-inch) diameter mirror designed to capture optical, ultraviolet, and infrared radiation before it reaches Earth's murky atmosphere. The telescope was lifted out of the cargo bay of the space shuttle Discovery in the spring of 1990.

The optical system and scientific instruments aboard HST are compact and pioneering. The telescope reflects light from its large mirror back to a smaller, 0.3-m (12-inch), secondary mirror, which in turn sends the light through a hole in the doughnut-shaped main mirror and into the aft bay of the spacecraft. There, any of five major scientific instruments wait to analyze the incoming radiation. Most of these instruments are about the size of a telephone booth. They include two cameras to image (or electronically photograph) various regions of the sky, two spectrographs to split the radiation into its component wavelengths, and a group of fine guidance sensors to measure the positions of stars in the sky. Most of these instruments have been upgraded or replaced by NASA astronauts since the telescope's launch.

Soon after launch, astronomers discovered that the telescope's primary mirror had been polished to the wrong shape. The mirror is too flat by 2 Ám, about 1/50 the width of a human hair. Even though it is the smoothest mirror ever made, this imperfection makes it impossible to focus light as well as expected. This optical flaw (known as spherical aberration) meant that HST was not as sensitive as designed, although it could still see many objects in the universe with unprecedented resolution. In late 1993, astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour visited HST and succeeded in repairing some of its ailing equipment. They replaced Hubble's gyroscopes to help the telescope point more accurately and installed sturdier versions of the solar arrays that power the telescope's electronics. They also partly corrected Hubble's flawed vision by inserting an intricate set of small mirrors (each about the size of a coin) to compensate for the faulty primary mirror-in much the same way we use eyeglasses or contact lenses to help humans see better.

Since the 1993 repair mission Hubble's resolution is close to the original design specifications, and the telescope has regained much of its lost sensitivity, enabling it to see very faint objects. In early 1997 a second servicing mission replaced several instruments with more sensitive models, performed maintenance on the satellite's fine-guidance system, and upgraded some of the telescope's data systems. The next service mission is scheduled for 1999.

Given that Hubble was so expensive to build, was meant to be the flagship of a whole new generation of NASA spacecraft, and was greeted with such public fanfare, it is perhaps understandable that the news media sensationalized so many aspects of the telescope's problems and of the repair mission. The bottom line, however, is that HST was never really "broken," nor is it now completely "fixed." Despite the fact that it still does not operate as originally designed, Hubble is arguably the best telescope built by humans to date.

Above from Astronomy Today by Eric Chaisson Prentice Hall 1999

   

The club welcomes our new members:

Also joining us in February are Coleta McNew and Wayne Miller. Wayne works as a mechanic for American Airlines. He recently took an Astronomy class at TCC. Quan Nguyen joined us at our March meeting. Quan is an accountant who has long wanted to study and observe Astronomy, but found little opportunity to do that in his native Vietnam. He is in the market for his first telescope. We now have 14 new members in our club since the New Year began. Please take the time to meet our new members and share your enthusiasm for our hobby.

Denny Mishler, New Member Coordinator

   

EARN A MESSIER OBSERVING CERTIFICATE

We'll be starting up an observing group of club members that want to earn a Messier Certificate by observing the famous Messier deep sky objects over the next year. This can be done by observing 1 or 2 nights a month and we'll use the regularly monthly club star parties on Friday or Saturday night as our main observing time. This is a fun activity that myself and several others in our club have done. It is a suitable activity for new members or old members that want to start observing again. We can share telescopes so that those without a telescope can also participate. See the last page of the Reflector Newsletter from the Astronomical League for additional information, and see me after the March and April meetings to sign up for this worthwhile activity.

Denny Mishler, New Member Coordinator

   

STOLEN

Stolen 25" Obsession scope + eyepieces from Dallas TX

25" f/5 Obsession telescope and large (full) eyepiece box stolen from Dallas PS storage

During the week of March 17-25 my storage building was burglarized and my 25" f/5 Obsession telescope and large wooden eyepiece box was stolen. I believe the thief to be in the astronomical community as some people had knowledge of the scopes whereabouts and left a 31" Sony Trinitron sitting right next to the scope there and closed the storage up.

The scope is new (manufactured 4/00) and has the name "Mike Benz" inscribed on the brass nameplate with serial #605 or 608 (I believe).

It has a f/5 Galaxy mirror. The serial number is SN01775. The number is diamond engraved on the back edge of the optic. The engraving reads as follows:

Galaxy Optics 25" f5 fl=125.? SN01775 Made By John A. Hudek 5/2000

It has hi-resolution digital setting circles, the truss poles are wired for 12-V and the encoder cables run through one of the poles. The secondary has an AstroSystems dew heater with the battery velcroed to the spider (Novak). It also has a Feathertouch (black) focuser and light shroud.

The eyepiece box is one of Steve Carroll's Astrocaddy's and has the following eyepieces:

35mm Panoptic, 30mm Takahashi LE, 27mm Panoptic, 24mm UO ortho, 20mm Nagler, 18mm Takahashi LE, 16mm Nagler 2, 14mm Pentax XL, 10.5mm Pentax XL, 9mm Nagler, 7mm Nagler, 4.7mm Meade UWA, TV 2" Big Barlow, 48mm O-III (Lumicon) filter and 1.25" Orion or Meade light pollution filter. There was also a red adjustable and green adjustable intensity flashlight with string to hang around your neck.

The telescope was NOT insured and I'm at a loss as to how I ever could recover such a loss. These are bad times when fellow amateurs would rip another astronomer off like this, so everybody start taking extra precautions of who you allow to see your equipment.

I would give a $2000 reward for the return of the equipment and I promise not to press charges if the thief would return it unharmed.

Thank you for all your help in recovering and watching for all my equipment at club gatherings and star parties.

Randy Rogers RRogers2@dart.org Dallas, TX (214)458.7961

 

   

FOR SALE (No, it's not a 25" f/5 Obsession)

Meade LX200 10" f/10 w/field tripod,
26mm Super Plossel,8x50 & Telrad finders

$2,500

Super wedge equatorial mount

300

CCD(416)w/201 autoguider
   and off-axis guider

1,600

Filter wheel for CCD w/filters

550

Electric focuser

125

Illuminated reticle w/cord(9mm) 

100

Total Asking

$5,175

Sincerely,
Fred Williamson (ACT member)
918/496-8808
fg.williamson@home.com

   

Astronomy Club of Tulsa, 918.688.MARS

President: John Land

Vice President: Dennis Mishler

Secretary: Teresa Kincannon

Treasurer: Nick Pottorf

RMCC Observatory Manager: Gerry Andries

Observing Chairman: David Stine

Web Master: Tom McDonough

New Membership: Dennis Mishler

Librarian: Ed Reinhart

Education Coordinator: Scott Parker