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Steele County Astronomical Society

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2000 Meeting High "LIGHTS" . . . . 
December 7, 2000
December 25 eclipse of the sun
Sunsets & sunrises
How to use Jupiter/Saturn moon charts
Quadrantid Meteror Shower
How to find the space shuttle in the night sky
Junior astronomer topic- "Viewing Sunspots"
Observing Jupiter
Monthly sky events
Update on club telescope

November 2
Our astronomy club had a meeting on Thursday, November 3 at 7:00 at the Owatonna Public Library.  Thanks to our special guest speaker, Chris Wright, the manager of the Telescope Shoppe in Eagan.   He brought some equipment, made a short presentation about a variety of scopes, lenses, and filters then answered questions.  His expertise in the field is certainly appreciated.

The monthly sky events was discussed with a focus on the Sun, planets, and upcoming Leonid meteor shower.

Members plan to meet from 3:30 to 5:30 the morning of Nov 17 (back-up on the 18th) for the Leonid meteor shower observing.  Bring your lawn chair and dress warm! 

An award was presented to Gene Kispert for his work in the area of meteor observations.

A new library book available, "Observing The Moon"by Gerald North was given a good review.

The Treasurer's report was summarized for the group to understand about how much we have to spend.

The Club telescope project recommedation was presented.  A motion made by Dennis H., seconded by Jim P., to take parts from two used scopes and try making one good scope out of it was approved by the Club.  A motion made by Jim P., and seconded by Dennis H., to approve $100 from our account to fund the scope project was passed by the Club vote.

Meeting :  October 5

 Equipment Show and Tell: Heyward Sease on 80mm Short Scope 
 Monthly Sky Events 
 "How to Buy a Telescope" presented by Neil Tryhus
 October Observing Night on October 20
 Special presentation next month
 Report on Mike Lynch Star Gazing Program 
 Christmas list items you might suggest to your family
 Assembling club telescope from donated parts

 Club planned to meet 8:30 pm, September 25, at the  Owatonna Gun Club to enjoy an evening of viewing. But it was overcast and rainy so MEMBERS NIGHT VIEWING Cancelled due to weather.  Instead, we met the next week. 

September 7, 2000 

Northern Lights and Perseid Meteror Shower was viewed by several within the group meeting behind Willow Creek school.  Meteor activity average about 40/hour among viewers.  Dale shared photo's of the northern lights as well as a few meteors. 

Another Rice Lake program on Labor Day Weekend was attended by several club members along with around 2 dozen interested State Park patrons.  This 2 day event featured 5 scopes and many binoculars for viewing the summer constelations.

SCAS plans a club viewing night Friday, September 25, beginning 8:30 pm at the Gun Club sout of Hope.

Congratulations to Gene Kispert for obtaining the Astronomical League award for binocular messier identification!  Club members are reminded of the many viewing programs the Astronomical League offers.  Gene shared the type of equipment and 12x80 binoculars used when completing this program.  Gene also provided a list of upcoming Sept. sky events.

There are 2 upcoming Community Education astronomy classes available.  Mike Lynch presents Sept. 25 and Dale Niedfelt presents Oct. 23 & 24.  For more information call Community Ed at 444-8942.

Dale shared his second Nebraska Star Party experience.  Smoke from the western wild fires made for hazy viewing.  Several activities were attended and enjoyed.  Ask Dale about the wind!

Election of officers--All things remain the same! Dale is president, Gene the ALCOR, Heyward is teasurer, and Dennis continues as secretary.

Some of the very best observing conditions of the year are normally from mid-Septmber through the end of October.  The summer humidity should be gone shortly- and the mosquitos too.  Happy viewing!

August 3, 2000
Gene shared the good turnout at the Rice Lake State Park event with a little over 40 people.  The Comet Linear was viewed with reports that it was disintegrating.  The campers then followed up by a viewing session of summer constellations.  Another  State Park event is planned for this weekend.

Then we went over the meteor record log and how to fill one out.  Some viewing tips were shared.  The recent "star party" in Austin, MN and the upcoming  August sky event were discussed, as well.

Brian and Alex did an exceptional presentation on summer constellations.  They went into some of the history of constellations and how they have become to take on different shapes and characters though time and within other cultures.  Way to go!

July 6, 2000
The club sponsored a Kid's Night at the Willow Creek School.  There was good participation among the community.  We started as a large group then broke out for the Kid's Night presentations.  The presentations for the evening were: 

Telescope Making  ---Gary Landsverk and Grant Quam 
Buying a Telescope ---Neil Tryhus 
Summer Constellations---Brian and Alex Vaillancourt 
Buying and Using Binoculars---Heyward Sease 
Observing the Moon---Gene Kispert 
Using a Planisphere---Jolene Hammel 
About Comets and Comet LINEAR---Jim Calcamuggio

June 1, 2000 
The monthly meeting began at  8:00 pm instead of 7pm.  This is due to the longer period of daylight hours

The agenda is:
1. Telescope making report by Gary Landsverk 
2. Planning for Kids Night for next month
    Possible Topics: a)telescope making, b)what to look for when buying a telescope, c)Summer constellations, d)how to buy and use binoculars, e) observing the moon, f) using a planisphere g)finding sky objects with a telescope and h) about comets and Comet LINEAR.   Other? 
3. Questions about completing an observing log
4. Join us in observing this weekend at the Gun Club in Hope--maps distributed
5. Upcoming sky events
6. "Comet Night" in July--Owatonna and Rice Lake State Park 
7. Observing night on June 30 

Meeting: May 4, 2000
One of our members has started construction of a 10 inch reflector
telescope.  He will explain where his research has led and what he has done so far.

1. Telescope making report
2. Search for an out of town observing site
3. Help with the "Star Gazing" presetation at Rice Lake State Park on Memorial Day weekend
4. Upcoming sky events
5. Ideas for "Kids Night" for July
6. Discuss changing membership renewal to June
7. Summer comet 

Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting!  Bring your scope/binoculars if it's clear or just come with
us and go observing  afterward.

April 6, 2000 
My travels have kept me I apologize for the late posting. The topics for the meeting were:

1.  How to use a planisphere (available for $3.00)
2.  Order the new astronomy stamps
3.  The Messier observing night
4.  The "Telescope Shoppe" in Eagen
5.  The Lunar Observing Program
6.  Upcoming Sky Events
7.  Book review of new book at the library
8.  Upcoming club activities

P.S. Look in the West right after sundown and notice Mars, Jupiter and Saturn as they shift positions slightly from night to night.  Mars is the dimmest of the three, but a telescope shows it as a small reddish disk.

P.P.S. Since last Friday night's Messier Marathon was mostly clouded out, we will reschedule another Marathon night for this Friday night.  I will let you know the place by e-mail.

March 2, 2000
An hour meeting at the Library then it was outside for some viewing!

We discussed viewing Messier objects-tips and tricks-and the upcoming Messier Marathon session plannned by the club tentatively for March 31.  Members wil be notified as a location is secured.  Other events discussed was a special Memorial Day gathering and perhaps a childrens night.

A motion was carried for SCAS to purchase a subscription for "Astonomy" magazine and donate this to the municipal library.  You can look forward to seeing this in the periodical section.  Members that want to join in on a group rate for their individual copy should contact us.

A sample observation log was provided to all attending with explanations for how to use this along with the variety of viewing programs.

The March guide to sky events was presented then it was time to go out and view.  Several members donated their time and telescopes at an astronomical presentation by JMI, Jim's Mobile Inc., at Heritage Halls after the library meeting.

Meeting:  Feb. 3, 2000
Astonomy enthusiast's and stamp collectors can expect a new series of postal stamps soon.  Hubble telescope images  will be featured, as well.  A poster depicting the upcoming stamps was presented.

There may be questions about a local promotion for an astronomy  presentation at Heritage Halls on March, 2, 3, and 4. Though not affliated with our group, it is expected to be an excellent presentation relating astronomical heavens and the bible.

The group shared experiences form last months lunar eclipse. Some saw hue variations more vividly than others.  Methods of viewing ranged from by eyesight, to binoculars and scopes.

We had a discussion about cleaning optics.  Briefly, you don't want to clean your lens or mirror unless you really have to.  If needed, blow the dirt off and avoid rubbing.  A cotton ball with minimum pressure could be used with isopropyl alcohol.  Cover the lens when in storage and avoid any touching.

The Astronomical League Universe Sampler  was presented along with tips for completing it.  Several signed-up to show their interest in enrollment. 

Congratulations to Dale for receiving a certificate for meteor observations.

Overcast skies prevented outdoor viewing during our meeting.  A list upcoming sky viewing sights was distributed to the group.

The first group meeting was 11-1-99.