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 Workin on the Solar System
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ed wemmerus
 Thursday, June 08 2006 @ 09:43 pm EDT (Read 3233 times)  
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Hello everyone

On Saturday June 10th I'll be at the Coleman Observatory to start working on the Solar System project. I thought maybe we can get the ball rolling on the flower bed portion of the project a little bit. I realize that we have a work detail scheduled for the next Saturday, the 17th but maybe we can get somethings done ahead of that. I hope to be there around 10 or 10:30 to get started and I'd like to invite any and all of the other members to join Bob and I as we start to put this project on the ground.

Hope to see you all there


Always look for the answer to the questions you do not know.
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 Thursday, June 08 2006 @ 10:41 pm EDT  
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Big Grin I'll lend my own invitations to everyone for that, too, Ed! We want to start getting the flower beds laid out for their concrete perimeters or borders that will help keep unwanted grasses and weeds from creeping into them. The flower beds are designed to be a part of a scale model of our solar system, and the first three planetary orbits will be depicted. The Mercury, Venus and Earth flower beds will be colored with flowers that give a general coloration of that planet, i.e., Mercury will have flowers and ground cover of white or grey, while Venus will be predominately yellow, while the Earth flower bed will have every color in it to help signify the broad diversity of colorations found on our planet.

Each flower bed will be positioned at a scale distance according to the size of the Sun being 14" in diameter. On that scale, Mercury will be 1.3mm in diameter at a distance from the Sun of 47', while Venus will be 3.5mm in diameter at 88' away and Earth will be 4mm in diameter at 122' away from the Sun. The planet Mars would have wound up at the far edge of the road across from the property, but we're stopping at Earth's orbit.

Help us make this a reality. Member Magaret Brogley has donated $300 towards this project and is also supplying most of the flowers from her own beautiful yard full of plants. It was Margaret's forceful suggestion that we all get off our duff's and do something that got everyone at the last meeting to set the dates for the workparties on the third Saturday of EACH month between 9:00 and noon.

Come on up and join us! We'll need all the help we can get every time a workparty is scheduled.

See you this Saturday AND next Saturday as well.


Bob Moody
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Anonymous: TexasJagsFan
 Friday, June 09 2006 @ 01:09 am EDT  

I won't be able to make this Saturday since I have the ACT. I'll be there next Saturday and I can stay longer also.

 Saturday, June 10 2006 @ 04:59 pm EDT  
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Sorry I wasn't able to make it up this saturday,I didn't get off work till 1:00am saturday & had to be back at 2:00pm,hopefully I wont have to work next saturday & I can come up & give y'all a hand.

Rick Hill

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 Tuesday, June 13 2006 @ 02:04 am EDT  
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Well, last Saturday I had Ed come up to help, as did Dr Chuck Larson and wife Loretta. We started not on the flower beds, but on widening and deepening the hole for the permanent pier for CETUS. Loretta, as she often does, provided a great lunch for us all with BBQ sandwiches and two types of salad with brownies for dessert. Good stuff, Maynerd!

That hole for the pier has to be as big around, and as deep as we can get it so that it'll hold as much concrete as possible to provide an undeniably steady support for the pier. We think we've got it now, and the pipe is cut and ready to drop into the hole and fill it with concrete. We'll weld a thick steel plate onto the pipe to hold the equatorial head assembly at the same height as the tripod legs were.

WE feel like the conctere will need at least 1 month to cure before we re-introduce the full weight of the tube assembly and counterweights onto it. That mount will eventually hold the 14" OTA, plus the 8" Schmidt camera that was donated by Dr. Kent Alexander in August of 2004, plus a guide scope, plus a device for attaching at least 1 or 2 camera bodies for piggyback astrophotography.

We'll also look into purchasing a Celestron "Fastar" secondary device which allows for the removal of the secondary mirror, which is replaced with an open hole for attaching a CCD camera at the focal point of the primary yielding a fast focal ratio of f/2.

Along with the new sheetrock we've installed, and the still needed batting and painting of the sheetrock to finish out the walls, we'll then have a much, much nicer looking observatory building with more interior space than ever. The final touch will be the re-installation of the new computer we purchased last fall and then we'll once again be ready for full operation.

Guess I'm rambling a little bit here, HA! But I'm proud of all the improvements we've started and are still planning for.

Anyway, Saturday June 17th will be another workday starting at 9am, and only working until noon or so. We don't want any heat stroke symptoms from anyone. But this time we'll be working more on the flower beds. We now have a full stretch of crepemyrtle plants lining the front yard next to the street. In a few years, we'll enjoy the colorful flowers of summertime while the plants themselves provide a windbreak against dust from cars day and night, and also a shield for car lights in the evening. Along with the flower beds depicting the small-scale solar system model, as well as flowering plants around the observatory buildings, we'll be a beautiful observatory with more to offer than ever before.

AND, do NOT forget about the close conjunction of Mars and Saturn that takes place on Saturday evening at sunset. Mars and Saturn will be only 3/10 of-a-degree apart, something that's really quite rare. If you miss it you'll miss seeing Mars and Saturn in the same field-of-view, and the realization that Mars is 200 million miles away while Saturn is just over 900 million miles away. How can you let yourself miss that?

CAN'T WAIT!!! See you all Saturday morning and/or Saturday night!


Bob Moody
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