July 2002

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
Star Party and Picnic


Friday, July 12, 2002 at 7:30 PM


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.


Presidentís Message

Denny Mishler

A perfect June evening greeted our members and guests (numbering about 75) for the club's Star Party and Picnic on Friday June 14th. Unusually clear weather with temperatures starting in the 70's and then dropping into the 60's made for a comfortable evening. As cars lined the grassy field, members setup an array of astronomical equipment including large binoculars, Dobsonian and Newtonian telescopes and Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes from 90mm to 12 inches. Curtis James brought his new 12" LX-200 Meade GPS telescope which proved to be a challenge to setup. David Stine provided us with predictions for viewing the International Space Station and two Iridium Flares. The first Iridium flare occurred at 9:10pm and was not spectacular. However, 4 minutes later the ISS passed low in the West and brought the Star Party to a standstill, as everyone was able to observe the -1 Magnitude International Space Station. Next up was the 10:51pm pass of the ISS that reached a visibility exceeding Venus! With a buzz still in the air, the crowd was treated to the grand finale 7 minutes later, an Iridium Flare that was estimated to reach Magnitude -6.

Once again on Friday July 12th (rain date July 13th) we will hold our 2nd Summer Star Party and Club Picnic. You can bring food and drink if you like and the club will have a grill, ice, plates and cups available. This would be an ideal time to bring a neighbor, or a friend from work, or a church friend or relative. They should be able to see Jupiter low in the West, globular cluster M13, the Ring Nebula M57, and the beautiful double star Albireo. You can explore Scorpio and Sagittarius and see globular clusters M4 and M22 (M22 is the brightest globular visible from northern skies), open cluster M11, the Lagoon Nebula M8, and the Trifid Nebula M20. View 2 galaxies in the same field such as M65 and 66 in Leo and M81 and M82 in Ursa Major. And then there is the challenge of the "Realm of the Galaxies" in Virgo. By walking the grounds you will be able to view some objects through many telescopes, which is fun for comparison purposes. Or view many objects through just one telescope by hanging around with one of the more experienced amateurs.

Even a hot day can turn pleasant up on our hilltop observatory after the sunsets and there is a breeze in the air. Gates will open by 7pm with sunset coming around 8:30pm, as a beautiful slim crescent Moon hangs in the West. See you there!

Check your membership status

This month we are trying new mailing labels which show the expiration date of your membership. The date is based on 1 Year since you last paid your dues. Since this is the first year we have used a computer spreadsheet to keep membership records there are most likely some small errors. For example, I paid my 2002 dues in Nov 2001 so the label shows my membership expires in Nov 2003. Since we only meet once a month we try to give members a bit of leeway to get their membership current. If your membership expired during the first half of 2002, it would be a good idea to contact, John Land, our membership chairman about getting your dues up to date. Renewal forms have run in several of the newsletters this spring and there is a form available on the club website Also check your mailing labels on Magazine subscriptions. You can get a club discount of about $10 per year on these by renewing through the club. Additional club discounts are available if you order items from Sky & Telescopes catalogues.

MidStates Astronomical Convention - Six of our Tulsa Club went to the MidStates Astronomical convention in Siloam Springs in June. They have a new roll off roof observatory featuring a 16-inch reflector. They had just completed the construction phase so there was some finish work to be done. We had a barbeque buffet on the grounds and there were several telescopes for viewing including a pair of 150 mm binoculars. About 55 to 60 attended the lectures on topics ranging from tracking near earth asteroids to building spectroscopes for amateur telescopes. Vendors were present with plenty of new and used astronomy equipment to examine and lighten your wallet. The dorm rooms were superb! They were brand new and in the same building as the lecture halls. On Saturday night a professor for Univ. of Arkansas shared with us some of there experiments on creating Mars type environments in a giant cooled vacuum chamber. They are also testing "scoop and run" probes to collect and store rock samples from three asteroids and return them to Earth with a single mission. The plan is for the main satellite to fly close to the asteroid. Drop a tether probe to scoop up samples. Retrieve it and fly on to the next asteroid using Ion drive rockets. The Ion Rockets have already proven themselves on the recent Deep Space probe.

Next June our Tulsa Club will be hosting the MidStates convention. We'll have lots of work to do to make ours a memorable event and will be counting on lots of members to help out. Set June 20 - 22, 2003 on your calendars as a must see event. John Land and Steve Chapman were elected this year as Chairman and Vice-chairman for the MidStates for 2002 - 2003.

OKIE-TEX STAR PARTY - Oct 1 to Oct 5 - This premiere week of stargazing is held a Camp Billy Joe in the Black Mesa at the far edge of the Oklahoma panhandle. The skies are fantastically black and even 2nd and 3rd magnitude stars twinkle like comic flashbulbs at the Angels All Star game. About 200 attended in 2001 with about 25 of those from Tulsa. Registration and meals must be prepaid. Sleeping quarters are available on the grounds in heated bunkhouses or bring your own tent with WARM sleeping bags. Contact members who have attended in the past about what to take and how to save some money on some of the meals. Registration on the web at http://www.OKIE-TEX.COM

John Land - Membership Chairman - < John Land e-mail > - Phone


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


07-07-02 Sun 08:15 BS Troop 970 (25)
07-12-02 Fri 07:30 Club Star Party and Picnic Meeting (50)
07-16-02 Tue 08:00 Tulsa Math Academy sponsored by TU (30)

08-08-02 Thu 07:45 Sheridan Rd Baptist Ch (20)
08-09-02 Fri 07:30 Club Star Party and Picnic Meeting (50)
08-16-02 Fri 07:45 Tulsa Bicycle Club (will camp)
08-17-02 Sat ??:?? Tulsa Bicycle Club (will camp)

Gerry Andries

2002 Calendar of events

When Where
12 July Star Party - RMCC
9 August Star Party - RMCC
6 September Star Party - RMCC
20 September Meeting at TU
4 October Star Party - RMCC
18 October Meeting at TU
1 November Star Party - RMCC
15 November Business Meeting
6 December Star Party - RMCC
13 December Meeting at TU


Summer Time Club picnic and Observing Night

Friday July 12 at our Mounds Observatory.

The meeting officially starts around 7:30 PM. We have a picnic table and small charcoal cooker and a microwave. Bring some of your favorite drinks and snacks to share with club members. But be sure dishes can be COVERED to keep Nature's critters from sharing in our feast. Speaking of Nature's best it always a good idea to bring some insect repellant along. Be careful not to spray these near the telescopes. If the seeing is good there may be several groups spend most of the night observing. You don't have to have a telescope. The club has a few that can be shared among members and guests and the dome will be open to view through the big 16" telescope. The whole family is welcome to attend, just remember that the youngsters need to be supervised for their own safety as well as the telescope's safety.

PARKING: We will open the paved parking area at the ATT tower for guests and those planning to leave early. This will make more room for those bringing telescopes and equipment to set up on the grassy area nearer the observatory.

Before heading to the Observatory you can check out all the current weather conditions by going to the Observe section on the Club Web Page.

Directions to the Club Observatory. The building is only open during club events or pre-scheduled events. You can call 688 - MARS to check about club events if the weather is doubtful

During wet weather the hill and curve can be slick and muddy. Use CAUTION and REDUCE SPEED! If you are going at another time other than announced club events it is advisable to contact Gerry Andries before heading out Phone - < Gerry Andries e-mail >

It is not advisable to go to the observatory alone. It's a long ways from any help if you have car trouble and occasionally some of the locals like to hang out in the area for a few beers on the weekend. If only a few are at the observatory we keep the lower gate locked.


Due to financial woes, I need to sell my telescope. I live in Broken Arrow and can show the scope anytime.

Jeff Chaplin

Orion XT-8 Dob
9mm and 25mm plossl eyepieces
2x barlow
collimating eyepiece
standard finderscope

Absolutely perfect condition, very little use.

Club Memberships


Astronomy Club of Tulsa Membership Application / Renewal Form

Name: ________________________ Phone: ( ) ____ _______

Address: ___________________________________________________

City / State / Zip____________________/____________/_____________


E-mail address - print clearly 

Check Lines below for YES

____ I would prefer to receive E-mail notification when club newsletter is posted to the web.

____ I choose to receive my newsletter by E-mail ONLY instead of postal mail. (Usually 3 or 4 days earlier * Must have web access )

____ Notify me by E-mail of late breaking Astronomy Events

Please check all that apply:

___ New Membership ($25) ___ Student Membership ($15)

___ Membership Renewal ($25) ___ Student Member Renewal ($15)

___ Sky & Telescope Subscription ($30) / year

also includes 10% discount on most Sky & Tel products

___ Astronomy Subscription ($29) / year ($55) / two years

* Magazine rates may change / prices available with membership only.

Please bring this application along with a check for the total amount made out to the Astronomy Club of Tulsa to the next meeting or mail the payment and application to:

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

For questions contact John Land

How did you hear of the Astronomy Club of Tulsa? ___________________________________________________________

How long have you been interested or active in astronomy? ___________

Do you have a telescope? _______ Type __________________________

Have you been a member of other astronomy clubs? ____

Where / when ________________________________________________


What astronomy club activities would you like to participate in?



Astronomy Club of Tulsa, 918.688.MARS

President: Dennis Mishler

Vice President: Teresa Kincannon

Treasurer: Nick Pottorf

Assistant Treasurer: John Land

Secretary:Aaron Coyner

RMCC Observatory Manager: Gerry Andries

Observing Chairman: David Stine

Web Master: Tom McDonough

New Membership: Dennis Mishler