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July 2000

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.


Club Star party and Picnic: Friday July 28th


Time: 7:00 PM to 6:OO AM (if you're strong enough)

Alternate Night Sat July 29.


Place: RMCC Observatory

Drive South on Highway 75 toward Okmulgee

Turn WEST (Right) on 241st ST South

Across from Duck Creek Smoke shop.

Drive 8 miles west on 241st to top of the hill.

It's a country road so watch out for potholes.


Notes from the President

John Land


July 28, 2OOO Club Picnic and Observing night

We will be having our second summer Picnic and Star Party. Plan to bring all your fixings for a grand picnic. We will have a grill full of HOT charcoal if you want to cook some hamburgers or hot dogs. Bring your telescope or use some of ours and spend the night. We have plenty of folding chairs and tables to use. Bring the whole family and enjoy the evening. Be sure to bring some games for the kids while you are observing.

Those of you who missed the June 30 picnic missed a real treat. It cleared off near sunset and we had a grand view of the stars above and fireworks displays on the ground. We saw BAZILLION of satellites, many times 2 and 3 at a time! It was like Space Invaders! In addition to many deep sky objects, most of us were able to track down Neptune, Uranus and the binocular asteroid Vesta.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is on the night of Friday, August 11, and Saturday, August 12, this year. Unfortunately the full Moon is on August 15, so the moon will be bright all night. Anyone wanting to come to the observatory is welcome to contact us about it, but it won't be much better than observing from your on area.

Come see the progress we have made on repairing and renovating the dome. We now have a waterproof skirt completely around the dome. The restroom floor and cabinet have been painted and it is a much more pleasant area. We still have some repairs to do to the stairwell but we have made significant progress. We still need to do some grass cutting work on our part of the roadway. Many thanks to Gerry Andries who has spearheaded the work. If you have a day free and want to help out contact Gerry at Phone. Thanks also to KC - David and Nathan Lobrecht, John and Jeremy Land, Hugh Selman, Howard Minor, George Brenner, Tim Wilson and Steve Chapman and all the others who have helped out. A special thanks to Butch Woodall and Dick Wollmershuaser for donating the materials for the repairs.

At our June 16th meeting we had the pleasure of hearing from our past president Kevin Manning who has spent the past year as a Wright Fellow at Tufts University in the Boston area and also worked with the Chandra X-Ray satellite data.

Our next regular club meeting is August 18th at TU. Let us know what kind of observing projects you have been working on this summer. We still have several Universe Sampler, Messier Handbooks, and Herschell club manuals for $8.00. If you want to get started contact John Land at.

Some ideas for this fall... We need several new club officers and club volunteers to head up some club projects. One thing I would like to see us do is to publish a club phone and email directory. If possible I would like to include a picture of all our members. If you are headed out with your telescope sometime this summer take a regular snapshot sized photo of yourself and you're telescope or your favorite astronomy poster. Be sure to get in close enough to see YOUR FACE. We want to see you, not necessarily your entire telescope. If you and other members of your family are active in the club include them all in the photo with names. Bring these to the August 18 meeting. We will probably have to print the photos in black and white so keep the background in mind as you take your photo. When we get the directory done we will sell if for a small price to members. Does any one have a scanner? We need your help on this!

I would also like to start featuring a short (200 to 300 words) article about a club member each month. If you want to, write up a short story of how you got interested in astronomy, how you got connected with our club and some of your favorite observing experiences. I think this would let us all see how much we all have in common with our love for astronomy. If you are new to astronomy we would especially like to hear from you and what you would like to learn. Write these up on a computer if possible and email the text to me at If you don't have email just type or write a neat copy.

Monthly Observing page

Many other clubs feature a constellation or special observing project for the month in their newsletters. We need someone to be in charge of this and the observing projects. I would like to see us make an annual habit of giving out Observing Awards at our club dinner or February speakers meeting.

New members and Visitors handout.

We need to completely redo our visitor's handout and have some to pass out at meetings, observatory groups and Public Star Parties.

Volunteers needed!!

Of course if we are going to do all these projects we need people to be in charge of each part of the project.

Club Events Schedule


07-28-00 Fri 19:00 Club Picnic and Star Party

07-29-00 Sat 19:00 Backup Night


08-04-00 Fri 20:00 Cub scouts Pack14 Den8

08-11-00 Fri Perseid Meteor Shower - by Contact only

08-18-0 Fri Club Meeting at TU

08-25-00 Fri 20:30 Club Star Party


DAVID'S ASTRO CORNER - "The Comet of 2000"

By David Stine



The Comet of 2000, Comet C/1999 S4 (Linear), continues to amaze and disappoint, depending on who you talk to. Yes, it is no Hale Bopp and it will barely be naked eye at its brightest, but it still is putting on quite a show through telescopes. I have viewed the comet twice now, and it is an impressive comet. The tail is developing nicely and instead of looking like a globular cluster like most dim comets do; it has a very distinct comet look. One of our members, Dean Salman took a photo of the comet on July 1st. One of the things that he noticed was how fast it moved. I had noticed this also. It only takes a few minutes to see movement. It will even show more movement as it gets nearer in the next two weeks. Dean said it had a tail of about 1 degree in length. Since then there have been reports on the Internet of 2-3 degrees and extending. I viewed the comet under Tulsa skies, so my view wasn't as good as Dean's, but even so I could still see detail at high powers. The latest picture on the Internet showed a very extensive tail that stretched all the way out of the pictures view. This tail is the result of exploding caverns of gas. This is also causing the comet to shift slightly in its orbit. This volatile action indicates that if it does continue, by the 23rd of July we may just be able to view it without any optical aid and see a long flowing tail under the bowl of the Big Dipper in the evening. Now don't get me wrong it won't be anything like Hale-Bopp, but it's the best we have right now so don't let it pass you by. During the prime time for viewing July 17-27 the Comet will be rapidly moving past the bowl of the Big Dipper at about 8 degrees each evening. I have included a chart if there is room in this issue produced by Gregorio Drayer. By the time you read this, the comet will be just North of the bowl of the Big Dipper. It will rapidly move past the Big Dipper arriving a few degrees South of Denebola in Leo on the 31st and past Virgo by August 12 and be gone from our view. The next club star party at the observatory at the end of July will be a prime time for viewing the comet in a dark sky. It will be an exciting and quick 2-4 weeks of viewing, so make your plans if you want to see the Comet of 2000.

The Sun continues to be an exciting object to view as it nears its maximum sunspot cycle. There isn't a day that you can't see sunspots on it surface and some days its hard to see the surface from the spots. It continues to produce large flares and coronal mass ejections directed to Earth. These result in extensive aurora activity. Keep you eyes open to the North after midnight for possible activity in the next coming weeks. Alerts are given over the Internet and I send these out to members. If you would like to be included send me your e-mail address to < David Stine e-mail >.

That's it from my ASTRO CORNER this month.



Astronomy Club of Tulsa, 918.688.MARS

President: John Land

Vice President: Grant Cole

Secretary: Teresa Kincannon

Treasurer: Nick Pottorf

RMCC Observatory Manager: Gerry Andries

Observing Chairman: David Stine

Web Master: Dean Salman

New Membership: Dennis Mishler

Librarian: Ed Reinhart

Education Coordinator: Scott Parker


That’s all folks…