May 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.


The Astronomy Club of Tulsa Club


Friday, 16 May, 2003 at 7:30 PM


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.

*Note: If Tulsa Public Schools are closed due to weather, the ACT meeting will also be cancelled.

President’s Message

Denny Mishler

Our Friday, May 16th meeting will feature Mr. Wayne Wyrick, the Director and Staff Astronomer of the Kirkpatrick Planetarium in Oklahoma City. Kirkpatrick Planetarium is the largest planetarium in Oklahoma and is part of the Omniplex Science and Air Space Museum. Wayne graduated from Putnam City High School in OKC and received a degree in Astrophysics from Case Western Reserve University. Wayne writes an astronomy column for the Daily Oklahoman, has written scripts for the popular astronomy radio program "Stardate" produced by McDonald Observatory, and has also produced a number of planetarium reports and programs. When Wayne visited us 2 years ago he demonstrated his wide range of knowledge of Astronomy with his presentation of the best observations of the Hubble Space Telescope. This month Wayne will have a very different program. Put to the challenge by the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club to develop an observing list, Wayne has developed a list very different from the popular "object" lists of the Astronomical League. The "Wyrick List" teaches the observable processes that occur in the universe and is a list of "phenomena" mostly rather than objects. The Wyrick List cannot be done in a year and you'll have to get out of Oklahoma to complete all the observations. And that's all we're going to tell about it you right now, but everyone who attends the meeting will get a copy of the list and information on how to observe the phenomena.

Once again we will have dinner with our speaker at the Village Inn, 27th and Harvard, at 5:30 PM. The separate room worked out nicely so now I'll work with the restaurant to have some pre-meal snacks and to get our meals to the table more quickly. At the end of our meeting at TU we will open a refreshment table, so please feel free to contribute your best brownies, cookies and other treats.

John Land, Club Officer and Chairman of this June's MSRAL (Mid States Region of the Astronomical League) convention has been hard at work preparing an outstanding convention, lining up three Astronomy Professionals to give presentations along with briefer talks from fellow members of the Astronomical League. Aaron Coyner has worked equally hard with convention preparations while he works at his main job, graduating from the University of Tulsa in Astrophysics. By the time of our meeting Aaron will have graduated and will be preparing for graduate school at Rice University. K. C. Lobrecht has been busy on two fronts using her artistic talent to design our convention's T-shirt and rebuilding and painting the RMCC Observatory sign. Vince Moore has supplied materials that will make the new sign much sturdier with better weatherproofing. While these activities have been going on Gerry Andries and Steve Chapman have been making improvements to the observatory nearly every weekend. Tony White recently replaced and fixed the front and rear door locks at RMCC. Thanks to all for your valuable contributions. These are just some of the people that make this club so enjoyable to belong too.

Clear skies,

Denny Mishler

There will be a Total Lunar Eclipse on the evening of Thursday, May 15th. We are perfectly situated here in Oklahoma for an eclipse that begins at 9:03 PM, with totality beginning at 10:14 and ending at 11:06 PM. These times are for the darker umbra phases. The best place to observe this perfectly timed eclipse? RMCC, weather permitting.



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



15 Thu 07:45 BA Home School Group 2 (30)
24 Sat 08:00 Boy Scout Troop 168
30 Fri 07:45 Club Star Party
? 31 Sat 07:45 Back up for 05/30 ?


20-21 08:00 Fri & Sat MRSAL Convention Star Parties
27 Fri 08:00 Club Star Party
? 28 Sat 08:00 Back up for 06/27 ?


08 Fri 07:45 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman (30)
? 09 Sat 07:45 Tulsa Bicycle Club w/ Ed Kirkman (30) ?



13 Tue 07:30 Collinsville Elementary at location near Collinsville (200)
16 Fri 07:30 Regular Meeting at TU Keplinger Hall


20 Fri & Sat MRSAL Convention at TU


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




"The Moon, A Comet and Mars"

By David Stine

The first total lunar eclipse in three years for Tulsans will take place Thursday night May 15. This will be a great opportunity to show this astronomical event to all your friends and neighbors. The moon rises in Tulsa at 8:11 PM and enters the penumbra at 8:46 PM. This portion of the eclipse will be very hard to detect, as it will show as a faint smudge on the left part of the moons disk. Your real first clue that anything is happening will be at 9:02 PM when the moon enters the umbra or the dark shadow of the earth. You will see a dark niche taken out of the moons left edge, and then you will know the eclipse is under way. Totality will come at 10:13 PM and last about 53 minutes. During totality the moon will not completely disappear but will turn a coppery red color. This is caused by Earth's atmosphere bending the sunlight into the shadow. Since the earth's shadow is cone-shaped and extends out into space, sunlight will be strained through a sort of double sunset, all around the rim of the Earth, into its shadow and then onto the moon. The middle of totality comes at 10:40 PM and the moon starts to leave totality at 11:06 PM. The moon then leaves the umbra at 12:17 AM and the eclipse is basically over. During this time the only disadvantage for us is that the moon never reaches more than 30 degrees in altitude in the south, so you do need to have a fairly clear southern horizon. It will be in the constellation Libra above Scorpius in the SE. The advantage of a lunar eclipse is you don't have to drive to a dark location to enjoy it. Your back or front yard is your best location. You also don't need any optical aid just your eyes, however binoculars will give you a better view. Telescopically you can watch and time the earth's shadow as it moves across various craters. This is an event you don't want to miss. If the weather doesn't cooperate and we get clouded out, don't fear we will have another chance as the 2nd total lunar eclipse of the year takes place November 9.

Comet Viewing in May - Your best bet for comets in May is Comet 116P/Wild 4 which is now around 11th or 12th Mg. and is visible in a 6-inch scope from a dark site. It is well placed in Libra. The latter part of the month will be better for viewing as the moon will be out of the picture by then and it will be viewable between 9 PM -3 AM. There are actually 14 comets that are viewable in the sky at various locations, but 116P/Wild 4 is going to be you're best bet this month.

Mars is now like a beacon in the sky in the SE and is large enough to make out surface features. The dilemma that most people have when viewing Mars is which area of the planet am I viewing. Well now this is no longer a problem. You can go to the Sky and Telescopes website and they have a link that will take you to Mars observing. At this link you can click on to Tulsa and it will show you the features and side of Mars for any time of the night or date. The site is

That's it from my corner this month.

Astroland Tidbits

By John Land

Time is running out for early registration to the MidStates Astronomical League convention here in Tulsa on Friday June 20 to Sunday June 22. We have a great line of guest speakers already signed up you’ll not want to miss. Several vendors have already agreed to support our event by sending some great door prizes. Enclosed in your newsletter you will find a greatly simplified - easy to fill out registration form registration form. Fill it out and bring to the May 16 meeting or mail it in.

Note: Prices go up after June 10th. Feel free to make copies and give them to your friends Craig Davis, our vice president, will be handling the registration forms. Keep an eye on our convention website at You can also reach the MSRAL web page from our club page.

Volunteers needed: Well over 200 man hours have already gone into having a successful convention but the real work starts when our guest begin to arrive. We will have a volunteer sign up sheet to help with all the tasks of running a convention. Sign up May 16 or call or email us.

< John Land e-mail > Phone

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 $30 / yrr

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


2003 MidStates Convention June 20 to 22, 2003

Sponsored by the Astronomy Club of Tulsa at the University of Tulsa,  Tulsa, Oklahoma

For additional registration information access and events schedule see our Web page at:          Email < Information e-mail >

or call 918-688-MARS and leave us a message how to contact you


Please PRINT all information clearly


Primary Registrant’s Name __________________________________________________     Adult  or Student 

Address __________________________________________________________________ 

City / St / Zip  ______________________________________________________________

E-mail ____________________________________________________ 

Phone ( __________ ) _______________________________________

Astronomy Club __________________________________________________________       CIRCLE ONE BELOW 

Registrant 2 Name _______________________________________________________         Adult – Student - Guest 

Registrant 3 Name _______________________________________________________         Adult – Student - Guest 

Types of registration:  At least one person should hold a full  registration

Full Registration entitles you to a free group picture and entry into all door prize drawings

 Adult $ 35    Student $ 25 < High school or college students

Guest Registration $7.50 each –not entitled to picture or door prizes but

 Guests may attend all lectures and observing sessions

Children under 7 free with adult supervision. 

Enter Number of Registrations                                                                                        Total Registration 

Adult _______  x $ 35    Student ________  x $25  Guest _______ X $ 7. 50 = $ ______________ 

LATE REGISTRATION after June 10   - $10 EXTRA  Adult or Student  $ 5 extra Guest           $ Late Fee _________ 

2003 MSRAL T-Shirt  $10 each -  Check Sizes below                                        Total T-Shirt Cost 

______ S  ________ M  ______ L  ________ XL __________ XXL                    $ _______________ 

Meals are served on same level with Lecture and Vendor halls at TU.

Both Full and Guest must pay for meals separately or eat elsewhere   

Fri PM Bar BQ       Sat Breakfast 8 AM        Sat  Lunch  12 PM                                         Total Meals Cost 

$ 10 _________      $ 6 __________               $ 9 ____________   


Sat PM Keynote Banquet 7 PM    $ 12 _______________                                               $ ________________ 

College Dorm Suites are available for on-campus lodging

Due to the College nature of housing mixed sexes may not share a room.

You must BRING YOUR OWN PILLOW and all personal items

Double Occupancy       Single Occupancy                 Linens Optional  $ 5 / night        Total Room Cost

$ 20 per night                    $ 25 per night                     Sheets & Towels only                

                                                                                                                                             $ ________________

Fri ____  Sat _____         Fri ____  Sat _____                Fri ____  Sat _____                   


     M __  F ___                      M __  F ___      Gender of Occupant           Total Cost    $ ________ _


Make Checks to:   ASTRONOMY CLUB of TULSA         

MAIL to:                 MSRAL 2003 Convention                                                 

                   4201 W Vandalia            Broken Arrow, OK  74012



MSRAL Convention 2003

June 20-22 at TU Activity Center

Volunteers Needed Contact John Land or Aaron Coyner


Name / phone #



Registration (6)







Friday 2:30 – 6:45 pm

Sat. 7:30 am – noon


Sun Morning 7:00 AM

  to 11:00 AM

Room Check out

Help check attendees in,

And so on

Lodging Check-In (3)




Friday 3:00 – 9:00 pm


Sunday AM

Check Out

Help individuals check-in at the sorority dorms across from Activity Center.

Exhibit Area (3)




Friday 2:00 – 7:00 pm

Sat. 8:00 am – close


Prepare exhibitor layout

Greet and assist exhibitors


Audio Visual Support (2)



Sat. 9:00 am – close

Meet with TU and learn how to use their LCD, laptop, speaker system

Meals  & Breaks





Friday 6:00 pm

Sat. 8:00 am – after banquet

Be the point of contact with TU caterer for all food and break issues

Door Prizes



Sat. after 3 main speakers

Collect prizes from venders,

Make file card up for each,

Help distribute them

Group Photo

1.      Jim Miller



10 am – take it

5 pm – pass it out

Do it and Take to Office Depot for Printing

Observatory Snacks








Friday and Sat. after 8:00 pm at observatory

Determine snacks needed,

Buy / make them

Serve them at observatory

Making MSRAL ‘yard signs’


Before event

Make or purchase signs to post around TU, observatory route.  Budget = $100




Fri 2 pm around TU &

6 pm for observatory

Put 20 signs at key locations


MSRAL Convention 2003

June 20-22 at TU Activity Center

Volunteers Needed



Name / phone #



Observatory Clean-up

Mow – Clean Trash and Brush

Sweep up observatory

Set up for Evening Star Parties Fri 20th And Sat 21

Clean up afterwards. 













June 7 - 8

June 14 - 15

Do It




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: 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