August 2001

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.


The Astronomy Club of Tulsa Club

Solar Eclipse Report and Perseid Meteor Watch


August 10 & 11, 2001 at 8:15 P.M.


Club Observatory near Mounds, OK.

Notes from the President

John Land

Solar Eclipse talk, Perseid Meteor Shower and Mars.

Our regular meeting will be Friday Aug 10 at the Mounds Observatory. We will meet Friday clear or cloudy. We have a guest speaker Friday only, so unless its raining or severe weather we will come Friday. We hope its is clear both nights for meteor watching and you are welcome to come both nights until moonlight ends our observing.

Check our message line 688.MARS(6277) for updates.

Plan to be on time!! Just after sunset (8:15 PM) Dean Salmon will give a presentation of his trip to the June 21, 2001 Solar Eclipse in Southern Africa. You won't want to miss this.

Perseid Meteor Shower: The annual Perseid Meteor shower peaks this weekend. On good years, 60 or more meteors per hour can be counted. This year a waning gibbous moon rises around midnight, which will decrease the number of meteors visible. The peak of the shower is predicted Sunday morning, so you are welcome to return Saturday night for viewing until moonrise. Meteor showers are best enjoyed from a comfortable lawn chair leaning back to watch the sky above. Since meteors can appear all over the sky, your eyes are the best observing instruments. You need to plan to observe for at least a half hour period. This will let you get well dark adapted and skilled at catching the faint meteors as well as the brighter ones. The Perseid shower originates in the NE from the constellation of Perseus. Facing east will probably give you the best chance of seeing the most meteors. Perseus lies just below the "W" shaped constellation of Cassiopeia located on the opposite side of the northern sky from the Big Dipper. Perseid meteors can be seen from about Aug 8 through Aug 15 so take time out to enjoy the show. As an added bonus the planet Mars is putting on a fine display this summer and Comet Linear A2 should still be a nice sight.

As usual you are welcome to bring desserts or snacks to share with others. During the warmer months, many club members and their guests enjoy gathering at the club's observatory for an evening of observing and visiting with friends. For the new comers to astronomy this is a great chance to see different types of telescopes and enjoy a variety of celestial objects. Arrive early and bring materials for a picnic before sundown. We have plenty of tables and chairs and even an outdoor grill. All you need to bring is plenty of food and drinks and some snack food or dessert to SHARE with others. We need to clean up our eating sights by 9:30 PM so that Gerry doesn't have to do our house cleaning for us. If you bring food return it to you car when you leave or by 9:30. Thanks! It's summer time so remember to bring your insect repellent. The observatory does have a single access restroom.

Families are welcome but Children MUST be supervised. You can see more about the observatory at our website. The Observatory is ONLY open at club star parties and other scheduled events. Contact us via email or at 688-MARS for directions or information.

OKIE-TEX STAR PARTY - Oct 14 to Oct 20

This premiere week of stargazing is held a Camp Billy Joe in the Black Mesa at the far edge of the Oklahoma panhandle. Several of our members have attended and say it is some of the most spectacular sky on the planet. Registration is $35 before Sept 15 then $50. Meals are $7 for lunch and $10 for dinner. Both have to be prepaid, no end of the line buying this year. Sleeping quarters are available on the grounds. K.C. Lobrecht of our club can give you a review of her experiences at Okie-Tex. For complete information contact: Okie-Tex Star Party - Box 128 Mustang, OK 73064 - Phone 405-350-3108 or 405-722-1678. Registration on the web at http://www.OKIE-TEX.COM



FRI. SEPT 7 - 7:30 pm

We will resume our regular meetings at TU this fall. We have gained many new members this summer and will look forward to a good group.

CLUB OFFICER ELECTIONS are coming up this fall. We are in need of several new enthusiastic people to help plan club activities. It is difficult for just a few people to continue to come up with new ideas for the club each month. You don't have to be an astronomy expert to be an officer - just willing to give it your best.

NEWSLETTER ARTICLES - If you want to write up a project you've done, a special observing interest, science topic - we'd love to see them included. Send us a few paragraphs or up to a page. If possible we'd like to have it sent e-mail. Be sure you've done your research well and grammar check before you send it in. We would also like to have a few paragraphs relating a to personal observing experience like the letter from Hugh below. If anyone would like to take on a Monthly article - I'd like to see an Observing Challenges article featuring a constellation or type of objects and say a top ten targets for you to find this month. I've seen these in some other club letters and they make up a contest to see who can find them.

CLUB DOOR PRIZES - We have found that a door prize or two helps keep our audience around until the end of the program. If you have some good quality but extra astronomy pictures - posters - eyepieces or other astronomy products you'd like to donate they would be greatly appreciated.

CLUB SIGN PAINTER - I have a 2' by 3' metal plate to make a nice sign off of 241st St. If you can help paint and letter it contact me.

OBSERVATORY CARE & REPAIR - Gerry Andries can use help immediately with lawn care and weed control. Due to the extreme heat this summer our repair projects are still undone. We will be looking for help later this fall. If you have time and equipment contact Gerry.

If you have some fresh ideas and are willing to help please contact John Land or one of the other club officers about helping.


The following is the current schedule of star parties and public groups. Tentatively scheduled dates are bracketed with question marks. All events are at the RMCC unless noted otherwise: Contact Gerry Andries 369.3320


08-02-01 Thu 08:00 Ches Home School of Sapulpa (20) 

08-10-01 Fri 07:30 Picnic and Star Party 

08-11-01 Sat 07:30 (Backup for 8/10) 

08-17-01 Fri 08:00 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman 

08-18-01 Sat 08:00 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman 


 09-14-01 Fri 07:30 Club Star Party 

09-15-01 Sat 07:30 (Back up for 09/14) 


 10-12-01 Fri 07:30 Club Star Party 

10-13-01 Sat 07:30 (Back up for 10/12)



09-21-01 Fri 07:30 Royal Ambassadors (at Camp Lotridge near US Hwy 75 & 71st)


10-25-01 Thurs 6:30 Planet Talk and Public Viewing at Broken Arrow Library



The club now has its own domain name and a new web site. The new URL is

Tom McDonough, the webmaster, has done a great job redesigning a great site that Dean Salman originally designed. Thanks to both.



By Hugh Selman

While performing my volunteer duties at the Tall Grass Prairie Visitor Center yesterday (July 17th), I showed several folks that you could in fact see Venus in the daytime via binoculars. The view was great with the very thin crescent moon and the very bright dot of Venus exactly centered above it. We started watching about 12:30 PM until the moon hid it about 1:05 PM.

We are camping* at Birch Lake while working at TGP, and last night/early this morning; I took advantage of the dark skies to check out Linear. It was a very good view - lots brighter than what I had seen from my backyard earlier this month. One thing I noticed was that the glow extends much further from the nucleus than I was able to see at home. My best view was about 12:30AM. Thin clouds kept it from getting any better. At 2AM, I capped off the night with a nice view of M31 and M32 - in between the drifting clouds.

*"Camping" is a relative term. Our first camping experiences were classical - tents, coffee pots on the campfire, etc. We have evolved to the new form of "camping" where we sleep in a comfortable bed under air conditioning, wake up to the smell of fresh coffee from our automatic-timed coffee pot, and compose emails on the laptop while listening to Public Radio. My how things change.

* Picture from



by David Stine

Comet Linear is now just a shadow of its former self, traveling through Cygnus. It is still visible in modest telescopes and can be seen in the early evening. We will be able to watch it as it fades for most of the year. So, what's up next in the sky?

Comet Swift Tuttles debris will be falling from the sky the night of August 11th and the morning of the 12th in the form of meteors. This is the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The Perseid's actually have already begun trickling out of the sky, but the peak will be the morning of the 12th. A quarter moon will hamper this years shower, however, this is one of the more dependable showers. The best time to look will be after midnight, as we are then looking more nearly face on into the direction of the Earth's motion as it orbits the sun. The radiant where the meteors will seem to be coming from in the constellation Perseus will be higher. There are two peaks, the traditional one around 8 p.m. CST the 11th and then the second peak at 2:49 a.m. CST. The second peak has been the most productive in past years. There will be a shower watch at the RMCC Observatory on Saturday night and Sunday morning. This is the night after our club meeting at the site, so it will be an astronomical weekend.

On the morning of August 15, look to the east and you will see a very close pairing of Venus and Jupiter, one degree apart. Above them will be Saturn and the star Aldebaran, and below will be the winter constellation Orion. It will be a picture taking opportunity, one that will be worth getting up for. Later that afternoon, a crescent moon will occult Jupiter.

That's it from my corner this month.



John R. Schiller

April 6, 1931 Ė July 11, 2001

John was a long-time member of many Tulsa organizations, including Astronomy Club of Tulsa, 39 Repeater Group, Red Castle Gun Club, Genealogy Society of Tulsa, and the Tulsa Computer Society, as well as the American Radio Relay League and Leukemia Society. His father, Clarence who lived in Muskogee, was also a ham operator (W5FDP), and they spent part of every day conversing until his dadís death several years ago.

He earned his radio operatorís license (W5VTC) while in the U. S. Air Force, and then attended Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in electrical engineering. After graduation he worked full-time for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where he had been a part-time employee while at OSU. He retired from the Corps in 1987.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn, in 1968. He married Mary Margaret OíNeill Silvey in 1982. He is survived by Mary Margaret; his son, Brett, 41; a sister, Becky Jones, and brother, Clarence Jr. (Buddy) Schiller, both of Muskogee; and step-children Suzanne, Scott, Shannon and Stephen.


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