July 2003

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 & When

Club Star Party - July 25, 2002 at 7:30 P.M.


Club Observatory near Mounds, OK.

It is best to arrive before sundown. If you arrive after dark remember to dim your lights since some may be taking photos.

Astronomical League

2003 Mid-States Region

Astronomer Of The Year

(Click on image for larger view)

President’s Message

Denny Mishler

The MSRAL 2003 Convention has ended as a big success. Thanks to the efforts of Chairman John Land and Vice Chairman Aaron Coyner and more than a dozen helper bees from our club, we were able to carry out one of the best regional convention of the Astronomical League that I have ever attended; and I've attended quite a few. With the heaviest registration coming in the last two weeks, we pushed well above our expectations of 80 to 100, and reached 113 amateurs who came from Omaha, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Little Rock and many smaller towns in between. Both Dr. Clay Sherrod (one of our featured speakers) and vendor Rex McDaniel ( told me that this was one of the best organized Astronomy conventions that they have attended too. Congratulations to our club member and past president K.C. Lobrecht, who won the 2003 MSRAL Amateur Astronomer of the Year Award. K.C.'s dedication to our club, to our observatory, to educating others, and to gaining the achievement of "Master Observer" of the Astronomical League made her a most deserving award winner.

As things heat up in the middle of the summer, red hot Mars begins rising earlier each day. At our next Club Star Party on Friday JULY 25TH, Mars will be rising before 11pm. This will be a great time to look at Mars through many different scopes and judge for yourself who has the best views. Remember, if it's a 100 degree day it will cool off at RMCC once the sun sets, and if there is any kind of breeze it will be quite comfortable during darkness. If June's Star Party is any indication, come early as the observatory grounds fills up fast with overflow parking available at the AT&T building next door.

Clear skies,

Denny Mishler
Club President


Tentatively scheduled dates below are bracketed with question marks. The number of persons expected is in parenthesis.



04 Fri 08:00 Family Group (6)
25 Fri 08:00 Club Star Party
26 Sat 08:00 Glenpool Boy Scout Troop188 (20)


02 Sat 08:00 Cub Scout Troop 177 w/Vince Moore (35)
08 Fri 07:45 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman (30)
? 09 Sat 07:45 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman (30) ?
22 Fri 07:30 Club Star Party



? 05 Fri 07:00 Public Star Party (200-500)
at location to be determined ?
? 12 Fri 07:00 Back up for 09/05 ?
30 Tue 07:00 Sperry Library (100?) at the library


? 02 Wed 07:00 Back Up for 09/30 ?

Gerry Andries
Observatory Manager
Astronomy Club of Tulsa

By David Stine

Mars continues approaching the Earth and it is a really nice object in backyard telescopes now. The first few days in July there was a large dust storm going on in the Hellas Basin that was easily seen in a six-inch scope as an oval disk over the area. Since then the dust storm has subsided and the Hellas Basin is clear. The south polar cap has been melting and it changes in appearance every few days. The best time to view the planet is still between Midnight and dawn, but by the middle of August it should be up by 10p.m. It's not hard to locate as it is the brightest object in the sky now, close to -2 Mg. and it has an orange-red glow to it. On the morning of July 17, the planet came within 10 minutes of the moon, a beautiful view with both objects in the same telescopic view. This was a great photo opportunity and hopefully some of our members were able to get some great pictures from the event. The Astronomy Club of Tulsa will be holding a Mars Watch for the public on September 5 with a rain date of September 6th. This could be a huge event and we will need every member's scope available. Start making plans for this event. The location has not been determined as of this writing but the site committee has visited several good sites and hopefully details can be worked out soon.

Mars rise times for Tulsa through August 27:

July 29

Distance from earth-39 million miles Mg. -2.3 Rises-10:23p.m.

Aug 12

Distance from earth-36 million miles Mg. -2.6 Rises -9:27p.m.

Aug 27

Distance from earth-34 million miles Mg. -2.9 Rises -8:20p.m.

It will be in Aquarius.

The MSRAL/Summer ACT Observing Challenge list is now on the website. You have until the end of September to complete to qualify for the Observing Certificate. I also have a few copies of the list that have charts showing the location of each deep sky object that will be available at the next star party.

Congratulations to Tom McDonough who recently received his Double Star Club certificate. He was the 206th person to achieve the feat. There are several members that are working on various observing clubs. The newest club is the Comet Observers Club and the first recipient is actually the initiator of the club, Dr. Eric Fleischer from the Astronomical Society of Kansas City. I know this is one I will achieve eventually. How about you? Get out there and observe.

On a bleak note, my truck was broken into and my Orion 8x56 binoculars were stolen and my Sky Catalogue 2000 sky charts which were in a blue carrying case. If anyone tries to sell you these or you see them in a pawnshop please let me know.

I am also selling my 6-inch reflector with mount, solar filter, led sight finder, and 2 eyepieces and a Barlow lens, and collimator for $200.00 or best offer for any interested. I will have the scope at the star party. It makes a great sunspot scope as well as planets and deep sky viewing. The outside of the scope is worn but the optics are great.

Here is a little ditty to think about. It has something to do with astronomy:

"Star clusters and celestial volcanoes can race planets advancement backwards."

Hint: The first letter of each word represents something. Let me know if you can figure it out.

That's it for my corner this month. Mars is moving in closer, don't miss it


By Wayne Wyrick


Select the letter of the correct astronomical entity next to the number of its identifying description.

A.     telecsope 
B.     diffraction grating 
C.     ionosphere 
D.     mean solar day 
E.     Deimos 
F.     vernal equinox 
G.     gibbous moon 
H.     refraction 
I.     Balmer lines 
J.     limb darkening 
K.     Europa 
L.     bolometer 
M.     Sirius 
N.     chondrule 
O.     sunspot 
P.     eclipse 
Q.     deferent 
R.     aurora 
S.     Phobos 
T.     libration 
U.     ellipse 
V.     planet 
W.     Hertz 
X.     Roche limit 
Y.     logarithm 
Z.     Io 
AA.    Star 
BB.    meteor 
 1. What's that on the street? 
 2. What the enemy shoots his arrows with. 
 3. Rows of B-1's 
 4. Go ahead, we don't mind being insulted! 
 5. Free at last, free at last! 
 6. RAID! 
 7. Prisoner's spit 
 8. Astronomonocle Unit 
 9. I'm really on the ball! 
10. That boy's a real smart-mouth! 
11. 3/6 = 1/2 
12. Sound made by an Italian lion 
13. Job description for an Italian cowboy 
14. Ernest bangs on ALL the windows! 
15. Summer phenomenon 
16. Injuries 
17. Beat those wooden drums! 
18. Opposite of the minimum amount 
19. Automatically count strikes and spares 
20. Kid's stash 
21. Proper astronomical attitude 
22. 75 right out of 100 gives you a "C". 
23. This one's got more beef! 
24. Barber's job 
25. Temperature = 95, Humidity = 98% 
26. An alternate view 
27. I'll pay later! 
28. You walk on them 
29. You should do this before you go on a skywatching expedition 

Answers to Wayne Wyrick’s Astronomical Vocabulary Test

A-8, B-22, C-9, D-25, E-18, F-14, G-4, H-11, I-3, J-15, K-13, L-19,
M-21, N-7, O-20, P-24, Q-26, R-12, S-2, T-5, U-10, V-29, W-16,
X-6, Y-17, Z-27, AA-1, BB-23, CC-28


Astroland Tidbits

By John Land

Our MidStates Convention was a great success. I would like to extend my thanks once again to all those you gave of their time and talents to make it a success. We had 113 people who registered for the convention and attended one or both days. We had many emails congratulating us on such a great convention. The League's Selection for the Astronomer of the Year was our own K.C. Lobrecht! Our club's share of the profits was $ 578.65 Next year's convention will be nearby in Springfield, Missouri so set aside a weekend in June to be a part of that. Our Webmaster Tom McDonough has posted several pictures of the convention happenings at the MSRAL website. Also you can download the official group picture if you didn't get your copy. John Land also has printed versions of the group picture available.

Regional Star Parties coming up.

July 27 to Aug 1 - Nebraska Star Party held in western Nebraska on Lake Merritt Reservoir located at 420 N and 1000 W. In addition to night time skies dark enough to see 7.5 magnitude stars, day time activities include boating, fishing, swimming and hiking. RV hookups are available. Registration is $25 for Adults. Due to the late date you can print off the registration forms online and call their hotline for information to reserve your registration. Doug Bell at 402-489-8197. See their excellent website including a 180 degree panorama at

Sept 21 to Sept 28 - Okie-Tex Star Party. Nearly 300 astronomers make the annual trek to the remote Black Mesa at the far tip of the Oklahoma panhandle area making it one of the leading astronomy gatherings in the nation. You'll marvel at the vast expanse of the Milky Way stretching from horizon to horizon. . You'll need to be prepared of the extremes of temperatures that can occur in the dry air climate from searing daytime highs to frosty nights beneath the stars. As many as 30 Tulsans this Starlight pilgrimage 410 miles to the west so ask around if you need to carpool. Registration is $40 adults. Get you registration in early as they may have to put a limit on the numbers that may attend.

Congratulations to Gary Buckmaster for completing his Lunar Observing Certificate.

Address corrections: Every month we get several newsletters returned due to faulty addresses. Check your address label to see if it needs changes and send us an address change if you move. Also on your address label you will see the month that your membership dues expire.

Email Addresses. Each month the club newsletter is posted on the web and the highlights of the newsletter sent out over email. During the past month fast breaking news about sunspots, observing Mars and dust storms on Mars have been sent out. If you have not been receiving these we do not have a valid email address for you. If you would like to added to our email list send us your NAME - and Email address with subject - Astronomy Club email list to membership e-mail. Astronomy club mass emails are sent out as Blind copy so that your email address does not appear on the receiver's copy. This is done to help minimize SPAM mail. While I'm on the subject of Preventing Spam Email - The astronomy club gets dozens of emails each month many from people we do not know. If I don't see a SUBJECT LINE that tells me it's about astronomy club you may get deleted as potential SPAM mail. If you send an Email tell us in the Subject Line - Topic - and Your Name. An unsigned - no subject email from is sure to be deleted even if you had a serious question. On the subject of SPAM mail, this month's consumer reports reviews the best products for decreasing the amount of junk email you receive.

PRICES are going up for Sky & Telescope The annual subscription price for Sky & Telescope is going up to $ 33.00 per year. If you still have your notification for the old rate of $30 send it in with your check ASAP to save $ 3 on next year's subscription if not you will need to pay the higher rate. In my opinion

S&T is still a great buy even at the higher rate.

Our membership chairman, John Land, is keeping our membership records on a computer spreadsheet. If you see errors or make any changes in your address or E-mail please keep us informed. Contact John Land, < John Land e-mail >, or Phone.

You may make Renewals and changes at any club meeting or mail a check to

Astronomy Club of Tulsa
25209 E 62nd St
Broken Arrow, OK 74014

Note: Sending your check to the club mailbox may delay processing several weeks.

Club Membership: Adults $25 and Students $15 per year.

Check your mailing label to see when your club dues expire. Renewal forms are available on the club Internet site.

Magazine Subscriptions: You can get substantial discounts for Sky & Telescope and Astronomy magazine by ordering thorough the Astronomy Club. If your magazines are coming up for renewal, try to save the mailing label or renewal form you get in the mail.

Sky & Telescope is $33 / yr

Astronomy is $29 for 1 year or $55 for 2 years.


(Names changed by request)

Hi Dad,

Guess what I got to do tonight? Edmund and the Friday night gang decided to take me up on an off-the-cuff offer and go see the telescopes at Dark-Sky observatory! We walked up and there were the 3 domes and the usual sprinkling of guys with scopes in the courtyard. I turned to my friends and said "Welcome to my world, this is how I grew up!"

They were awe struck. I walked into the general crowd, and then they caught up to me "what do we do, how does this work?"

Well I told them; you usually walk up to a telescope and get in line. So I demonstrated. "What do you have here? " and then the regular astronomer would say, "This is M15 it is a globular cluster, a grouping of stars. It doesn't look like much, mostly a fuzzy ball, but..." and then you look through. "ooohh, ahh", they all said. Edmund was impressed with "all those little twinkly things"

Me, I usually went to, "so is this a 6 inch? What kind of filter are you using"?

I got to go along because I speak fluent astronomer.

As we were heading up the hill I told them the little story of Messier and the "100 some fuzzy objects which are not comets" so they were prepared for M this and M that, and also for the idea that most things looked like fuzzy balls.

On their own they discovered, "if you go in this dome building and stand in a long line you can see something" Apparently the length of the line is proportional to the excitement of the destination. In this case it was the Ring Nebula. I let them go thru the line while I scouted out what else was on hand tonight. When they got out I asked them, "was it green or blue this time?"

"Uh gray" Tammy said.

So they asked me what other lines they should do, "well, that other dome has the moon..."

They were excited about that! Me, I like to save a nearly full moon for last, but hey, they liked it!

The third, new dome scope is a Cassegrain classic reflector. I have never seen such a wide, squatty telescope. It was interesting to me, odd looking though. I shall have to redo my telescope classifications.

Later we sat and just looked around. Tammy and Marianne saw what I think was one of those rolly satellites. It was faint, slow, and every so often it would "explode" with a bright flash and then fade to almost invisible. I remember seeing something like that once upon a time, and you telling me it was a satellite that had solar collectors or mirrors and was spinning so that the sunlight bounced off the mirror causing it to "flash". Tammy was thrilled and I looked intelligent, even if I may not have been correct. It seemed like a logical explanation considering I didn't even see it until it was almost gone.

Later I snuck a quick look at the Ring. It has always been one of my favorites, but I wanted to let those who'd never seen it go first.

As we waited to see Alberio in a 6-inch box reflector like you made Grandma, I told Tammy the ring was a tad green. Others didn't believe I could see color on some of these things. I just told them I had "astronomer eyes". Ed said he couldn't see the colors of Alberio, but he enjoyed the "sparkly things" just as well. Tammy says she could barely. It was rather tiny, but I could tell.

A fine time was had by all. I was amazed. You will be amazed and jealous that the road to the observatory is well paved. I thought of you.

It is almost odd how every gathering of astro-folks has the same kinds of people. Almost like a stereotype, or maybe an archetype/ astrotype. There are the "intelligential" astronomers who pursue their own stuff, while letting the public join in. The "regular" types who will show you anything and tell you all about it. The "out-there" ones like (notorious Astronomer deleted) or such that is just a bit odd or obsessed. This one also had another group. "Parrots" They were young folks who worked for Dark-Sky, and ran the 16-inch scope. They explained everything to the public, but they did not really "know" it. An astronomer would come and tell them "this is a ...globular cluster, it orbits off the galaxy ring and is made up of x number of stars. It is x number years old etc." Stuff the public would be interested to know but if you asked them the name of it, they couldn't tell you. "This is a double star, made up of ... whatever system" Which star? I asked. um.. He knows- pointing to the astronomer. They are maybe like pinochole- someday maybe they will grow up and be a real astronomer, but for now it is not "theirs" They are good for public parties though.




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Astronomy Club of Tulsa, 918.688.MARS

President: Dennis Mishler

Vice President: Craig Davis

Treasurer: Nick Pottorf

Assistant Treasurer: John Land

Secretary: Jim Miller

RMCC Observatory Manager: Gerry Andries

Observing Chairman: David Stine

Web Master: Tom McDonough

New Membership: Craig Davis

Newsletter: Richie Shroff