AstroNotes May 1971

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AstroNotes

The Newsletter of the Ottawa Centre, RASC

Volume 10 - No 5 - May, 1971

Editors
Addresses:
Circulation:
Tom Tothill
Howard Harris
Ted Bean

22 Delong Drive, K1J 7E6
667 Highland Ave, K2A 2K5
399 McLeod Street, K2P 1A5
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Would members kindly inform Howard Harris of their new
postal codes? Supposedly, it will speed the mail,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
EYEPIECE MOUNT
Robert Dick
Commercially bought eyepiece mounts are both expen­
sive and take a long time to order. The eyepiece can get
only two or two and a half inches from the tube requiring,
for photography, either a large diagonal or a specially-
made camera to get close enough to the tube to focus.
Also on several occasions my Edmund mount has jammed or
was stiff to operate under cold conditions.
Therefore I decided to design and build a cheap, easy
to use eyepiece mount that was also sturdy enough for
mounting a large camera close to the tube. After an hour
I had an idea.
The unit consists of a base with a 2" diameter thread­
ed hole (24 threads per inch) with another tube which is
screwed into it. Its inside diameter is about one and
three-quarter inches. The last part is another tube which
slides in and out of the threaded unit. It has an inter­
nal diameter of 11⁄4 inches - that of the standard American
eyepieces.
Its operation is the same as Dr. Lossing's but the
material of which it is made is much more easily machined
than metal. It is plastic piping that can be bought at
any plumber or hardware store. The parts are two pipe
couplings costing a total of 84¢ .
The time required to machine the parts was two hours
but this time was reduced after I became familiar with
cutting threads.
The advantage of this design is that both a roughfocus and a fine focus can be done quickly and, most
important, vibration-free. For cameras the slide is
removed and the camera fits on the threaded portion by
means of a small adapter.
The price, time required for ordering, and efficiency
surpass those sold by the old standard companies we usually
deal with. All you need is a lathe.
Tube
CENTRE MEETING - APRIL 2
Sylvia Wake
Once again the Observers Group entertained the main
Centre, and thus the attendance rose to 61.0 persons (±0.5)
After introductions from Dr. Lloyd Higgs, the President,
the meeting was chaired by Rick Lavery (who happens to be
Chairman).
Rick announced that there would be a discussion at
his house about the General Assembly (and general Centre
activities and general observing activities and things in
general, generally). This was to be held on Easter Sunday
(which it was).
John Conville spoke about plans for observing the
graze on May 3rd and the start of the new lunar drawing
program using photographs for the main outlines and putting
in further details that the eye can s
e . O
b
s
e
r
v
e
r
s a
r
eneeded for both.
Jon Buchanan, escorted by his sun, discussed March’s
solar activity and non-activity and its oddities,
Doug Beaton, Overseer of the Planets, showed two
slides of planets taken in the daytime. Fact. (Believe
it or not! ).
Next, Ken Hewitt-White gave a slide talk which covered
the history and facilities of PUORG SREVRESB O EHT. He also
gave a rundown of meteor activities, namely 543 meteors as
of Apr. 2 . The Midsummer-held-thrcugh-winter-heading-into-
springtime's Nightmarish-Dream has come true, Ken and Al's
book is ready!
Everyone should be thinking of projects for the 16".
In this light John Conville described his answer on how to
observe pulsars with the telescope.
Speaking of the Sixteen Inch, it came to the meeting
and was given a front row seat of honour. Dr. Lossing
gave a report from the Telescope Committee. Congratulations
and thanks were (and are) given to Bill Dey who did the
figuring and to Gordie Grummett who did the machining. Dr.
Lossing also showed us some of the finer mechanical points
of the design (wow!!).
Al Miller sure would like some deep-sky drawings;
maybe now that warmer weather is theoretically drawing nigh
it will be easier for people to make contributions. Al
and Ken's 10-inch is in operation and the former (i.e. Al)
offered to help anyone with mirror-making problems.
Some deep-sky Coma-Virgo and Orion slides taken by
Dr. Lossing were shown.
The meeting ended with a movie "A View of the Sky",
giving a very interesting historical view of astronomy.
June.
There are tentative plans for an instrument night in
(More details will be available at the May meeting).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED TO BUY
I'd like to buy a quality telescope. Call
me any time after 4 weekdays or on weekends.
-Bennie Schmidt, 733-5011THE-ODD-TO-SEE
"Nigel Rigel"
Once upon a time there was a place called Quiet
Siteidia from which a ship made many voyages. The MOTTley
crew were called Quiet Siteidiots,
captain only RANKIN'
officer.......N.R.C.(Not Really Crazy).......flour child
named MILLER...
.................
enclosed.
.
.
one dollar.............
... .first person........... identify..................
..........Nigel Rigel........................otherwise...
.....
Fund.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh, for CHRISsakes!
still looks like tripe.
Even after two MARTINis that
-Ed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Observatory Fund acknowledges one dollar, anon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMMENT
"The Swami"
It was generally agreed by most members after reading
the award-winning# "Schlossing Saga" that no articles would
be contributed to Astronotes this month so we (the members)
could enjoy the continuing story of the Red observer.
However, so you the readers can appreciate the Saga
more we thought that we would remind you how bad some of
the other literary contributions to Astronotes are.
Examples follows
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
(# The Culitzer.
-Ed.)
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
VARIABLE STARS
Rick Lavery
To conform with the National Variable Star Program
this co-ordinator has asked his merry band of observersto send in their scrolls of observations at the end of
March, June, September, and. December.
This period's observations (ending March 31) were
duly (dully?) reduced, recorded, and filed!
The pertinent information is as follows:
Observer
Jon Buchanan
John Conville
Robert Dick
Ken Hewitt-White
Mrs. Jean Knapp
Swami
Barry Matthews
John Rowlandson
Sylvia Wake
John Williams
Orion Hercules Total
61
35
40
51
45
59
50
6
43
6
396 26 87!!
38
49
74??
45
68
56
8
61!?
6
492!!
3
9
23
-
9
6
2
18
6
9
These totals will be combined with the national totals
for the period and sent in to the National Newsletter later
this month (April).
National Variable Star Program Report
The response to the variable star project has been
overwhelming. The blurb in the R.A.S.C. Journal combined
with the great coverage by the other Centre newsletters
gave the needed exposure to launch the program.
However, I was really unprepared for the deluge of
mail. In a few days I was sold out of charts and in a week
I had exhausted the AAVSO's supply of those particular
charts. To date, I am still behind in filling orders
because of the lack of charts, but I am confident that the
AAVSO will come through.
As a result of the delay, few observers had their
kits before the end of March and consequently did not makeany observations in the first period ending March 31. So
it will be difficult to judge the project as a success or
failure until some time in July, after the results for the
second period are received.
I have planned a Variable Star Section meeting at the
General Assembly in Hamilton. The meeting will be held
on the Sunday at 9 am. The format of the meeting will be
a breakfast meeting. Eggs will be served sunny side down
(remember - it’s a variable star meeting!).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Robert Dick
For those who would like to go to the General Assembly
but cannot afford the package deal offered by the Hamilton
Centre, McMaster University residences will rent their
rooms at $5.00 for a double room per person per night.
For this you should send them your name, group name,
address and your arrival time.
This price does not include meals (they are another
$5.00 per person per day) and if you drive down the parking
is 25¢ per person per day.
Join the crowd and come along,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Ken Hewitt-White
Yours truly has been volunteered (like Red Schlossing,
while absent) to take care of Assembly posters, displays,
etc, I hereby volunteer Sir Scraggly Evencraig, Third
Earl of Glebe to help me transport all this stuff down to
Hamilton since he has a car of immense proportions. If
you have something notable to go to Hamilton, call me at
733 - 4949 .
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
KIERANS AND HEWITT OLD BUDDIES
It was inevitable, Hewitt-White has his own initials
embedded right there in his new postal codes K1H 7W4 !
Now that he likes me I will work on him to lower our rates.For an amateur to really contribute to the field of
astronomy, his work must either be very intense and time-
consuming so that the professional would not bother with
such a program, or be combined with the observations of
many other amateurs. It was for this end that the I.U.A.A,
was created.
Naturally the I.U.A.A. is interested in the moon. To
find out where their interests lay I wrote to Mrs. Inez
Beck the coordinator. In her answering letter she wrote:
"There are many programs that are of value, such as
the search for lunar domes, systematic observations of
formations suspected of changes such as Eratosthenes,
Plato, Atlas, Alphonsus, Aristarchus, Kepler, etc. Also
the observation and recording of craters containing bright
or dark bands, lunar transient phenomena, eclipse timings
and many others."
For some strange reason the observing of banded
craters amused me, and so I would like to propose that
observations of these be incorporated into a lunar program
for our Centre. I realise that the thought of a lunar
program may violate the mind of any confirmed deep-sky
fanatics who look upon the moon as something to be ignored
at the best and cursed in all other circumstances.
This program is really directed to the people who
due to the influence, or effluence of the city can only
see the moon, and the casual observer who can't find any­
thing dimmer. It is ideally suited to these people since
the craters involved, Milichius, Proclus, Plato A, Pytheas,
and Lenham are typified by bright walls so that in spite
of their size they stand out very well. This eliminates
the need to use a microscope on the complete Lunar Atlas
of Lunar Orbiter photos to locate the craters in question.
The program is also suited for the casual observer in
another respect - illumination. These features do not
have to be observed while they are at the terminator.
This means that any one object can be observed for two
straight weeks. This extended observing period is neces­
sary since the prominence of the bands changes with theillumination angle. The reason why this occurs is still
a mystery, and that is why your observations are needed,
to provide a basis for answering the question.
Just to make sure that you know what you are looking
for, take a look at Dionysius. It has a very prominent
band going towards 8:00 with south as 12:00. Remember,
successful or not - record your observations which should
include Time (UT please), date, telescope, power, Seeing
(rated on a 0 to 10 scale with 10 as perfect), the crater
name, and band position if there is a band to be seen. I
remind you that if you don't see the bands straight off,
don't lose hope since they may not be visible under all
lighting conditions,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
DAFFY DEFINITIONS
Naivety: Saying that you cannot observe a graze
in the city since cows are not allowed inside its limits.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
HOW NOT TO BE STUPID
Suggestions from an expert
"Swake"
And I quotes "At this point it might be mentioned
that parents as a rule don't like carborundum grit down
their sink because it tends to give the septic tank indi­
gestion. So it is better to throw it out on the back lawn
and give it indigestion so it won't grow so high in the
summer and be easier to mow.
It also might be mentioned that most mothers don't
like the feeling of grit under their feet in the kitchen.
It's surprising how carborundum gets around. Again it
might be mentioned that it is wise not to use polyester
resin in the house no matter how small the quantity, or
one will feel bilious for days afterward. Another hint to
the wises if you like jewellery, don't grind mirrors with
gold rings on; it tends to give them a used look."
Thus ends Swakely's hints on good telescope etiquette
and a quick lesson on how not to be stupid, for the benefit
of all. The author has tried every trick in the book.SATURN - MARS - HEX?
Doug Beaton
Some time ago I tried a small project which I had
always wanted to do; namely, to see if I could make any
decent calculation of the orbital period and radius of
some of the brighter moons of Saturn. All observations
were done through my own telescope, with the data in the
front of the Handbook as a final check. Below is a summary
of all the observations that I made.
True orbital rad (1000's of miles)
Mine TITAN RHEA DIONE TETHYS
183
759
327 235
168
258
132
709
True orbital period, d:h
:m 15:22 4:12
:41 :25
2:17
:41
1:21
:18
Mine 15:22 4 :13
:40 :00
2:16
2:00
:10
:00
The accuracy of the period of Titan is just a freak
of nature; it has to be because it is too accurate for the
number and quality of drawings which I made. Anyway, the
periods are fairly close, yet as to why the orbital radius
is off by so much I don't know. All of my values are off
by about 50 or 60 thousand miles, almost the diameter of
the disc of Saturn. Surely the human eye cannot be fooled
that much! Since the drawings were made half way between
opposition and conjunction, maybe there is a problem of
perspective. Opinions?
When a moon was at elongation, I used to time how
long it took the image of Saturn to drift its own width.
Then I would time how long it took to drift the distance
from the planet to the moon, I thought this seemed like
a good method, yet it apparently didn't work. All obser­
vations were made at very high power, so the probability
of losing 60,000 miles somewhere should be very small.
Then again, I'm not very good at probability either. So
much for Saturn,
As you know, there will be an occultation of the
planet Mars on the morning of the 16th of May. The dis­
appearance is around 10 minutes to 4, with reappearance
an hour and 10 minutes later. My personal plan is to
record the event in pictures, and so since I won't seethe contact very well through the camera, due to a poor
ground glass, I expect everybody and his grandmother out
there observing this event. This is so they can tell me
what it looked like.
I would also like to announce a triple-whamo curse on
Murphy and his clouds. To assure clear skies, try standing
on your left kneecap and screaming "HEX ON YOU" seventeen
times, followed by a very soft "Murphy", This is guaranteed
to bring clear skies, or else the men in white suits (one
or the other).
The Fini End
a product of Sleepy-Beaton Babblings Corp.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMET TOBA 1971A
Ken Hewitt-White
Comet Toba is an eighth magnitude glow presently (May 4
riding in Aquarius. If that rings a bell it is because
Bennett started there just 13 months ago. However, Toba
is moving south rather than north and won't (famous last
words) get very bright. Have a look anyway but get it
before the end of May before it dips below the tree line.
RA
May 9
14
19
h
22
22
22
m
16.83
19.31
21.51
°
Dec
-03
-08
-14
'
49.8
42.2
38.2
Mag
8.3
8.1
That's all the figures I have now but I might have
more at the May Meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
A SOLAR FIRST
Jon Buchanan
If you check back in Astronotes, to September at least,
you will come to the startling conclusion that nothing has
been said concerning the sun.
The SUN! The most obvious object in the sky. It is
so obvious that apparently no one even thinks of observing
it!This, you no doubt have already realized, is a pitch
for observers - any observers! Any program in any field
requires observations, numerous observations, and a solar
program is no different.
To date, as of Apr 14, 1971, there is a spectacular
total of 5 observers who have even looked at the sun at
least once this year. They are, in order of activity in
observing: myself, with only 44 observations this year
(due only to apathy on my part); John Williams, 7 obser­
vations (and at least 5 more will be forthcoming at the
May meeting); Doug Beaton, who is hard to place on a list
of importance as such because his observations are in the
form of photographs; Ken Hewitt-White comes in with a
grand aggregate total of 1 (and promises more in the
future. Would you believe 2001?); and the most recent,
as of the April meeting, Mrs. Jean Knapp.
So there it is - the number of people who consider
the sun to be an observable object.
Oh yes!! I forgot to make a mention of those who
"promised" to observe the sun at all the meetings but
come in at the next meeting with excuses such as their
'scopes haven't got stands yet, or are in some stage of
repair. If this is true, how do they make other obser­
vations? (which they do make). These people know who they
are and I won't publicly embarrass them. This time.
For those of you who would like to observe the sun
and don't know how, I will discuss the several ways at
the May meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED. DEAD OR ALIVE. METEOR OBSERVERS
Ken Hewitt-White
It has come that time of year when all the snow melts
and the flowers begin to bud. Amongst this romantic bliss
innumerable telescopes appear with observers and interes­
ted spectators dotted around them. We (KHW) would like to
ruin this pleasant picture. The temperature at the Quiet
Site is rapidly approaching goose-bump level and the perma­
frost is getting oozy. Water and debris from the swollen
shores of the Ottawa River have ceased to lap at the door
of the van and there is no longer a moat around the coffinsMeteor observing thus becomes a feasible proposition once
again. With many observers cashing in their mucklucks and
mosquito netting ("in our climate the cold season is inter­
rupted only by the mosquito season") for keys to North
Mountain Observatory, your coordinator is making pleas for
new observers to fill the gap.
Novice Quiet Siters can generally pick up the art of
meteor watching in just a few nights. To learn we ask only
that you know north from south and can see the difference
between the moon and a standard star (one is a little
brighter than the other). Seriously, it is helpful to know
the night sky reasonably well. The better your knowledge,
the faster you will learn. Spring meteors are not usually
exciting but they do (?) exist and provide for excellent
training material. Your reward will be the wonderful July
and August nights where Perseid and Aquarid meteors fall
like rain drops (occasionally they are outnumbered by same).
If you would like to join this illustrious group (it
dates older than any other Observers Group non-profit
organization), we can arrange introductory nights for you.
But a word to the wise:
1. You must be prepared to help pay transportation
costs (usually 25¢ ) or find your own,
2. You must be prepared to do the entire night.
3. Food donations are welcome. Soups and canned
dinners are good. The mice and other rodents out there
accept only granulated sugar. Hot chocolate and coffee
donations are almost expected as a cover charge. And our
electronics wizards are always looking for fuses.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED: 35 mm
black and white prints of all Messier objects
or drawings as you would see them at a telescope. Further
details about this project at the next meeting.
-Barry Matthews.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
ATTENTION EDITORS: You all complain about lack of articles.
Just run the Schlossing Saga, One application and you'll
have articles coming out of your ears.
-Advt.CLOUDED OUT
Barry Matthews
Here we go again - after a temporary stay in the per­
petually "clouded out" Down East we decided to make our
home just south of the North American ice field. Having
driven my dog team to exhaustion and declared two pair of
snowshoes unserviceable, my family plus one arrived in
Lower Slobbovia. Passing by the Eternal Flame we were
greeted by the Head Slob (Sol having gone south for the
winter) or Mayor of Lower Slobbovia, who was heard to
mutter, through chattering teeth and multi-folds of woolly
mufflers "If you intend to establish Bayshore Observatory
adjacent to your igloo you must first move more than 4100
cubes of this white stuff." Note that this does not inclu­
de the cubics moved at the Q.S. to find H-W counting
meteors at 1200 hrs (hourly rate 1.001). What some won't
do to prove a new radiant.
It was during this toil that "plus one" was the
greatest assistance, A few of you may remember Frank
Rambeau, who visited Lower Slobbovia loving snow and
astronomy a year ago. However during the toils set by the
Head Slob he was set upon by hate of snow, and astronomy.
The poor fellow has not even looked through or at his no-no
since. Can anyone rescue him from this doldrum?
Enough of snow and things; on with "Clouded Out". I
would like to introduce one of the newer additions to our
library, book #171: "Handbook for Planet Observers" by
Gunter D. Roth, Mr. Roth approaches his book with exper­
ience and a firm observational background. The basis for
the book is questions and their solutions that have been
directed to him over a number of years. With our wealth
of background observational activities it is obvious that
many of the recommendations will find a natural level
among the amateurs.
For those of the elite who are not satisfied with
every-day visual observations Mr, Roth provides introduc­
tions to such diverse subjects as filters, photometry,
photography, micrometers, and pen/ink drawings. With all
this raw data being accumulated in your observing log have
you wondered - what do I have and what can I do with it?
Well again Mr, Roth comes through in fine fashion with his
chapter: "Evaluating Observational Data",All in all Mr, Gunter D . Roth has what appears to be
a best-seller in astronomical literature and I cannot
recommend it too highly to members of the Centre the next
time they are "clouded out".
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Barry Asks: Is anyone driving down to Hamilton with
room for two? If so please phone me 829-7237.
Barry Says: I have completed a computer program that
does the "a and b" corrections for occultations listed in
Sky & Telescope's "Occultation Supplement". Any one who
would like to do any of these are asked to give me their
Lat and Long and I will give them the corrected times.
For all you keen occultation buffs going to North Mountain
or the Q.S. there will be a list posted. Fill in occul­
tation time, observer, etc, and turn them over to John
Conville at the following meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE SCHLOSSING SAGA (2 )
Tom Tothill
"Why couldn't I take the second rocket?" said Red,
after inspecting #1.
Bedlington Tean took him sympathetically by the arm.
"Because it's in the Science Museum," he said, "In
the Canadian Antiquities section, all dollied up with
push-buttons for the kids to punch the heck out of. Now
you wouldn't want to deprive them little kids of their
pleasure, would you?"
Schlossing's face crumpled.
"No, No, I certainly wouldn't want to do that,"
he sobbed.
(in writers’ parlance this is known as: establishing
the nobility of character of the hero).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
To be continued,
-Ed,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Omigawd!
-Nigel Rigel

 

ASTRO NOTES
TO
Mrs Marie Fidler,
252 College St.,
TORONTO 2B, Ont.
RASC

Editors
Addresses:
Circulation:
Tom Tothill
Howard Harris
Ted Bean
May, 1971
22 Delong Drive, K1J 7E6
667 Highland Ave, K2A 2K5
399 McLeod Street, K2P 1A5
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Would members kindly inform Howard Harris of their new
postal codes? Supposedly, it will speed the mail,
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
EYEPIECE MOUNT
Robert Dick
Commercially bought eyepiece mounts are both expen­
sive and take a long time to order. The eyepiece can get
only two or two and a half inches from the tube requiring,
for photography, either a large diagonal or a specially-
made camera to get close enough to the tube to focus.
Also on several occasions my Edmund mount has jammed or
was stiff to operate under cold conditions.
Therefore I decided to design and build a cheap, easy
to use eyepiece mount that was also sturdy enough for
mounting a large camera close to the tube. After an hour
I had an idea.
The unit consists of a base with a 2" diameter thread­
ed hole (24 threads per inch) with another tube which is
screwed into it. Its inside diameter is about one and
three-quarter inches. The last part is another tube which
slides in and out of the threaded unit. It has an inter­
nal diameter of 11⁄4 inches - that of the standard American
eyepieces.
Its operation is the same as Dr. Lossing's but the
material of which it is made is much more easily machined
than metal. It is plastic piping that can be bought at
any plumber or hardware store. The parts are two pipe
couplings costing a total of 84¢ .
The time required to machine the parts was two hours
but this time was reduced after I became familiar with
cutting threads.
The advantage of this design is that both a roughfocus and a fine focus can be done quickly and, most
important, vibration-free. For cameras the slide is
removed and the camera fits on the threaded portion by
means of a small adapter.
The price, time required for ordering, and efficiency
surpass those sold by the old standard companies we usually
deal with. All you need is a lathe.
Tube
CENTRE MEETING - APRIL 2
Sylvia Wake
Once again the Observers Group entertained the main
Centre, and thus the attendance rose to 61.0 persons (±0.5)
After introductions from Dr. Lloyd Higgs, the President,
the meeting was chaired by Rick Lavery (who happens to be
Chairman).
Rick announced that there would be a discussion at
his house about the General Assembly (and general Centre
activities and general observing activities and things in
general, generally). This was to be held on Easter Sunday
(which it was).
John Conville spoke about plans for observing the
graze on May 3rd and the start of the new lunar drawing
program using photographs for the main outlines and putting
in further details that the eye can s
e . O
b
s
e
r
v
e
r
s a
r
eneeded for both.
Jon Buchanan, escorted by his sun, discussed March’s
solar activity and non-activity and its oddities,
Doug Beaton, Overseer of the Planets, showed two
slides of planets taken in the daytime. Fact. (Believe
it or not! ).
Next, Ken Hewitt-White gave a slide talk which covered
the history and facilities of PUORG SREVRESB O EHT. He also
gave a rundown of meteor activities, namely 543 meteors as
of Apr. 2 . The Midsummer-held-thrcugh-winter-heading-into-
springtime's Nightmarish-Dream has come true, Ken and Al's
book is ready!
Everyone should be thinking of projects for the 16".
In this light John Conville described his answer on how to
observe pulsars with the telescope.
Speaking of the Sixteen Inch, it came to the meeting
and was given a front row seat of honour. Dr. Lossing
gave a report from the Telescope Committee. Congratulations
and thanks were (and are) given to Bill Dey who did the
figuring and to Gordie Grummett who did the machining. Dr.
Lossing also showed us some of the finer mechanical points
of the design (wow!!).
Al Miller sure would like some deep-sky drawings;
maybe now that warmer weather is theoretically drawing nigh
it will be easier for people to make contributions. Al
and Ken's 10-inch is in operation and the former (i.e. Al)
offered to help anyone with mirror-making problems.
Some deep-sky Coma-Virgo and Orion slides taken by
Dr. Lossing were shown.
The meeting ended with a movie "A View of the Sky",
giving a very interesting historical view of astronomy.
June.
There are tentative plans for an instrument night in
(More details will be available at the May meeting).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED TO BUY
I'd like to buy a quality telescope. Call
me any time after 4 weekdays or on weekends.
-Bennie Schmidt, 733-5011THE-ODD-TO-SEE
"Nigel Rigel"
Once upon a time there was a place called Quiet
Siteidia from which a ship made many voyages. The MOTTley
crew were called Quiet Siteidiots,
captain only RANKIN'
officer.......N.R.C.(Not Really Crazy).......flour child
named MILLER...
.................
enclosed.
.
.
one dollar.............
... .first person........... identify..................
..........Nigel Rigel........................otherwise...
.....
Fund.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Oh, for CHRISsakes!
still looks like tripe.
Even after two MARTINis that
-Ed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Observatory Fund acknowledges one dollar, anon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMMENT
"The Swami"
It was generally agreed by most members after reading
the award-winning# "Schlossing Saga" that no articles would
be contributed to Astronotes this month so we (the members)
could enjoy the continuing story of the Red observer.
However, so you the readers can appreciate the Saga
more we thought that we would remind you how bad some of
the other literary contributions to Astronotes are.
Examples follows
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
(# The Culitzer.
-Ed.)
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
VARIABLE STARS
Rick Lavery
To conform with the National Variable Star Program
this co-ordinator has asked his merry band of observersto send in their scrolls of observations at the end of
March, June, September, and. December.
This period's observations (ending March 31) were
duly (dully?) reduced, recorded, and filed!
The pertinent information is as follows:
Observer
Jon Buchanan
John Conville
Robert Dick
Ken Hewitt-White
Mrs. Jean Knapp
Swami
Barry Matthews
John Rowlandson
Sylvia Wake
John Williams
Orion Hercules Total
61
35
40
51
45
59
50
6
43
6
396 26 87!!
38
49
74??
45
68
56
8
61!?
6
492!!
3
9
23
-
9
6
2
18
6
9
These totals will be combined with the national totals
for the period and sent in to the National Newsletter later
this month (April).
National Variable Star Program Report
The response to the variable star project has been
overwhelming. The blurb in the R.A.S.C. Journal combined
with the great coverage by the other Centre newsletters
gave the needed exposure to launch the program.
However, I was really unprepared for the deluge of
mail. In a few days I was sold out of charts and in a week
I had exhausted the AAVSO's supply of those particular
charts. To date, I am still behind in filling orders
because of the lack of charts, but I am confident that the
AAVSO will come through.
As a result of the delay, few observers had their
kits before the end of March and consequently did not makeany observations in the first period ending March 31. So
it will be difficult to judge the project as a success or
failure until some time in July, after the results for the
second period are received.
I have planned a Variable Star Section meeting at the
General Assembly in Hamilton. The meeting will be held
on the Sunday at 9 am. The format of the meeting will be
a breakfast meeting. Eggs will be served sunny side down
(remember - it’s a variable star meeting!).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Robert Dick
For those who would like to go to the General Assembly
but cannot afford the package deal offered by the Hamilton
Centre, McMaster University residences will rent their
rooms at $5.00 for a double room per person per night.
For this you should send them your name, group name,
address and your arrival time.
This price does not include meals (they are another
$5.00 per person per day) and if you drive down the parking
is 25¢ per person per day.
Join the crowd and come along,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Ken Hewitt-White
Yours truly has been volunteered (like Red Schlossing,
while absent) to take care of Assembly posters, displays,
etc, I hereby volunteer Sir Scraggly Evencraig, Third
Earl of Glebe to help me transport all this stuff down to
Hamilton since he has a car of immense proportions. If
you have something notable to go to Hamilton, call me at
733 - 4949 .
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
KIERANS AND HEWITT OLD BUDDIES
It was inevitable, Hewitt-White has his own initials
embedded right there in his new postal codes K1H 7W4 !
Now that he likes me I will work on him to lower our rates.For an amateur to really contribute to the field of
astronomy, his work must either be very intense and time-
consuming so that the professional would not bother with
such a program, or be combined with the observations of
many other amateurs. It was for this end that the I.U.A.A,
was created.
Naturally the I.U.A.A. is interested in the moon. To
find out where their interests lay I wrote to Mrs. Inez
Beck the coordinator. In her answering letter she wrote:
"There are many programs that are of value, such as
the search for lunar domes, systematic observations of
formations suspected of changes such as Eratosthenes,
Plato, Atlas, Alphonsus, Aristarchus, Kepler, etc. Also
the observation and recording of craters containing bright
or dark bands, lunar transient phenomena, eclipse timings
and many others."
For some strange reason the observing of banded
craters amused me, and so I would like to propose that
observations of these be incorporated into a lunar program
for our Centre. I realise that the thought of a lunar
program may violate the mind of any confirmed deep-sky
fanatics who look upon the moon as something to be ignored
at the best and cursed in all other circumstances.
This program is really directed to the people who
due to the influence, or effluence of the city can only
see the moon, and the casual observer who can't find any­
thing dimmer. It is ideally suited to these people since
the craters involved, Milichius, Proclus, Plato A, Pytheas,
and Lenham are typified by bright walls so that in spite
of their size they stand out very well. This eliminates
the need to use a microscope on the complete Lunar Atlas
of Lunar Orbiter photos to locate the craters in question.
The program is also suited for the casual observer in
another respect - illumination. These features do not
have to be observed while they are at the terminator.
This means that any one object can be observed for two
straight weeks. This extended observing period is neces­
sary since the prominence of the bands changes with theillumination angle. The reason why this occurs is still
a mystery, and that is why your observations are needed,
to provide a basis for answering the question.
Just to make sure that you know what you are looking
for, take a look at Dionysius. It has a very prominent
band going towards 8:00 with south as 12:00. Remember,
successful or not - record your observations which should
include Time (UT please), date, telescope, power, Seeing
(rated on a 0 to 10 scale with 10 as perfect), the crater
name, and band position if there is a band to be seen. I
remind you that if you don't see the bands straight off,
don't lose hope since they may not be visible under all
lighting conditions,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
DAFFY DEFINITIONS
Naivety: Saying that you cannot observe a graze
in the city since cows are not allowed inside its limits.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
HOW NOT TO BE STUPID
Suggestions from an expert
"Swake"
And I quotes "At this point it might be mentioned
that parents as a rule don't like carborundum grit down
their sink because it tends to give the septic tank indi­
gestion. So it is better to throw it out on the back lawn
and give it indigestion so it won't grow so high in the
summer and be easier to mow.
It also might be mentioned that most mothers don't
like the feeling of grit under their feet in the kitchen.
It's surprising how carborundum gets around. Again it
might be mentioned that it is wise not to use polyester
resin in the house no matter how small the quantity, or
one will feel bilious for days afterward. Another hint to
the wises if you like jewellery, don't grind mirrors with
gold rings on; it tends to give them a used look."
Thus ends Swakely's hints on good telescope etiquette
and a quick lesson on how not to be stupid, for the benefit
of all. The author has tried every trick in the book.SATURN - MARS - HEX?
Doug Beaton
Some time ago I tried a small project which I had
always wanted to do; namely, to see if I could make any
decent calculation of the orbital period and radius of
some of the brighter moons of Saturn. All observations
were done through my own telescope, with the data in the
front of the Handbook as a final check. Below is a summary
of all the observations that I made.
True orbital rad (1000's of miles)
Mine TITAN RHEA DIONE TETHYS
183
759
327 235
168
258
132
709
True orbital period, d:h
:m 15:22 4:12
:41 :25
2:17
:41
1:21
:18
Mine 15:22 4 :13
:40 :00
2:16
2:00
:10
:00
The accuracy of the period of Titan is just a freak
of nature; it has to be because it is too accurate for the
number and quality of drawings which I made. Anyway, the
periods are fairly close, yet as to why the orbital radius
is off by so much I don't know. All of my values are off
by about 50 or 60 thousand miles, almost the diameter of
the disc of Saturn. Surely the human eye cannot be fooled
that much! Since the drawings were made half way between
opposition and conjunction, maybe there is a problem of
perspective. Opinions?
When a moon was at elongation, I used to time how
long it took the image of Saturn to drift its own width.
Then I would time how long it took to drift the distance
from the planet to the moon, I thought this seemed like
a good method, yet it apparently didn't work. All obser­
vations were made at very high power, so the probability
of losing 60,000 miles somewhere should be very small.
Then again, I'm not very good at probability either. So
much for Saturn,
As you know, there will be an occultation of the
planet Mars on the morning of the 16th of May. The dis­
appearance is around 10 minutes to 4, with reappearance
an hour and 10 minutes later. My personal plan is to
record the event in pictures, and so since I won't seethe contact very well through the camera, due to a poor
ground glass, I expect everybody and his grandmother out
there observing this event. This is so they can tell me
what it looked like.
I would also like to announce a triple-whamo curse on
Murphy and his clouds. To assure clear skies, try standing
on your left kneecap and screaming "HEX ON YOU" seventeen
times, followed by a very soft "Murphy", This is guaranteed
to bring clear skies, or else the men in white suits (one
or the other).
The Fini End
a product of Sleepy-Beaton Babblings Corp.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
COMET TOBA 1971A
Ken Hewitt-White
Comet Toba is an eighth magnitude glow presently (May 4
riding in Aquarius. If that rings a bell it is because
Bennett started there just 13 months ago. However, Toba
is moving south rather than north and won't (famous last
words) get very bright. Have a look anyway but get it
before the end of May before it dips below the tree line.
RA
May 9
14
19
h
22
22
22
m
16.83
19.31
21.51
°
Dec
-03
-08
-14
'
49.8
42.2
38.2
Mag
8.3
8.1
That's all the figures I have now but I might have
more at the May Meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
A SOLAR FIRST
Jon Buchanan
If you check back in Astronotes, to September at least,
you will come to the startling conclusion that nothing has
been said concerning the sun.
The SUN! The most obvious object in the sky. It is
so obvious that apparently no one even thinks of observing
it!This, you no doubt have already realized, is a pitch
for observers - any observers! Any program in any field
requires observations, numerous observations, and a solar
program is no different.
To date, as of Apr 14, 1971, there is a spectacular
total of 5 observers who have even looked at the sun at
least once this year. They are, in order of activity in
observing: myself, with only 44 observations this year
(due only to apathy on my part); John Williams, 7 obser­
vations (and at least 5 more will be forthcoming at the
May meeting); Doug Beaton, who is hard to place on a list
of importance as such because his observations are in the
form of photographs; Ken Hewitt-White comes in with a
grand aggregate total of 1 (and promises more in the
future. Would you believe 2001?); and the most recent,
as of the April meeting, Mrs. Jean Knapp.
So there it is - the number of people who consider
the sun to be an observable object.
Oh yes!! I forgot to make a mention of those who
"promised" to observe the sun at all the meetings but
come in at the next meeting with excuses such as their
'scopes haven't got stands yet, or are in some stage of
repair. If this is true, how do they make other obser­
vations? (which they do make). These people know who they
are and I won't publicly embarrass them. This time.
For those of you who would like to observe the sun
and don't know how, I will discuss the several ways at
the May meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED. DEAD OR ALIVE. METEOR OBSERVERS
Ken Hewitt-White
It has come that time of year when all the snow melts
and the flowers begin to bud. Amongst this romantic bliss
innumerable telescopes appear with observers and interes­
ted spectators dotted around them. We (KHW) would like to
ruin this pleasant picture. The temperature at the Quiet
Site is rapidly approaching goose-bump level and the perma­
frost is getting oozy. Water and debris from the swollen
shores of the Ottawa River have ceased to lap at the door
of the van and there is no longer a moat around the coffinsMeteor observing thus becomes a feasible proposition once
again. With many observers cashing in their mucklucks and
mosquito netting ("in our climate the cold season is inter­
rupted only by the mosquito season") for keys to North
Mountain Observatory, your coordinator is making pleas for
new observers to fill the gap.
Novice Quiet Siters can generally pick up the art of
meteor watching in just a few nights. To learn we ask only
that you know north from south and can see the difference
between the moon and a standard star (one is a little
brighter than the other). Seriously, it is helpful to know
the night sky reasonably well. The better your knowledge,
the faster you will learn. Spring meteors are not usually
exciting but they do (?) exist and provide for excellent
training material. Your reward will be the wonderful July
and August nights where Perseid and Aquarid meteors fall
like rain drops (occasionally they are outnumbered by same).
If you would like to join this illustrious group (it
dates older than any other Observers Group non-profit
organization), we can arrange introductory nights for you.
But a word to the wise:
1. You must be prepared to help pay transportation
costs (usually 25¢ ) or find your own,
2. You must be prepared to do the entire night.
3. Food donations are welcome. Soups and canned
dinners are good. The mice and other rodents out there
accept only granulated sugar. Hot chocolate and coffee
donations are almost expected as a cover charge. And our
electronics wizards are always looking for fuses.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
WANTED: 35 mm
black and white prints of all Messier objects
or drawings as you would see them at a telescope. Further
details about this project at the next meeting.
-Barry Matthews.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
ATTENTION EDITORS: You all complain about lack of articles.
Just run the Schlossing Saga, One application and you'll
have articles coming out of your ears.
-Advt.CLOUDED OUT
Barry Matthews
Here we go again - after a temporary stay in the per­
petually "clouded out" Down East we decided to make our
home just south of the North American ice field. Having
driven my dog team to exhaustion and declared two pair of
snowshoes unserviceable, my family plus one arrived in
Lower Slobbovia. Passing by the Eternal Flame we were
greeted by the Head Slob (Sol having gone south for the
winter) or Mayor of Lower Slobbovia, who was heard to
mutter, through chattering teeth and multi-folds of woolly
mufflers "If you intend to establish Bayshore Observatory
adjacent to your igloo you must first move more than 4100
cubes of this white stuff." Note that this does not inclu­
de the cubics moved at the Q.S. to find H-W counting
meteors at 1200 hrs (hourly rate 1.001). What some won't
do to prove a new radiant.
It was during this toil that "plus one" was the
greatest assistance, A few of you may remember Frank
Rambeau, who visited Lower Slobbovia loving snow and
astronomy a year ago. However during the toils set by the
Head Slob he was set upon by hate of snow, and astronomy.
The poor fellow has not even looked through or at his no-no
since. Can anyone rescue him from this doldrum?
Enough of snow and things; on with "Clouded Out". I
would like to introduce one of the newer additions to our
library, book #171: "Handbook for Planet Observers" by
Gunter D. Roth, Mr. Roth approaches his book with exper­
ience and a firm observational background. The basis for
the book is questions and their solutions that have been
directed to him over a number of years. With our wealth
of background observational activities it is obvious that
many of the recommendations will find a natural level
among the amateurs.
For those of the elite who are not satisfied with
every-day visual observations Mr, Roth provides introduc­
tions to such diverse subjects as filters, photometry,
photography, micrometers, and pen/ink drawings. With all
this raw data being accumulated in your observing log have
you wondered - what do I have and what can I do with it?
Well again Mr, Roth comes through in fine fashion with his
chapter: "Evaluating Observational Data",All in all Mr, Gunter D . Roth has what appears to be
a best-seller in astronomical literature and I cannot
recommend it too highly to members of the Centre the next
time they are "clouded out".
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Barry Asks: Is anyone driving down to Hamilton with
room for two? If so please phone me 829-7237.
Barry Says: I have completed a computer program that
does the "a and b" corrections for occultations listed in
Sky & Telescope's "Occultation Supplement". Any one who
would like to do any of these are asked to give me their
Lat and Long and I will give them the corrected times.
For all you keen occultation buffs going to North Mountain
or the Q.S. there will be a list posted. Fill in occul­
tation time, observer, etc, and turn them over to John
Conville at the following meeting.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
THE SCHLOSSING SAGA (2 )
Tom Tothill
"Why couldn't I take the second rocket?" said Red,
after inspecting #1.
Bedlington Tean took him sympathetically by the arm.
"Because it's in the Science Museum," he said, "In
the Canadian Antiquities section, all dollied up with
push-buttons for the kids to punch the heck out of. Now
you wouldn't want to deprive them little kids of their
pleasure, would you?"
Schlossing's face crumpled.
"No, No, I certainly wouldn't want to do that,"
he sobbed.
(in writers’ parlance this is known as: establishing
the nobility of character of the hero).
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
To be continued,
-Ed,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Omigawd!
-Nigel Rigel

 

ASTRO NOTES
TO
Mrs Marie Fidler,
252 College St.,
TORONTO 2B, Ont.
RASC