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Monday, May 29 2017 @ 03:01 pm EDT

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BIG Binoculars Add to AOAS' Arsenal

20 X 100 Apogee Astro-Vue binoculars with built-in Nebula Filters arrived in July and we now have them ready to use on the mounting below.

Thanks to donations from our members in attendance at the June 18th meeting, we ordered and received a wonderful pair of LARGE binoculars for use at all our outings. Upon receipt of the binoculars, I was eager to see what they looked like and took this image. I can't wait for a clear night to try out the built-in Nebula Filters with this new mount!

These binoculars were made possible by donations totaling $400 at the June 18th meeting from the following members: Roberta Parks ($100), Margaret Brogley ($100), Chuck Larson ($100), Joe Roam ($60), Cathy Goodwin ($20) and Sue Burgett ($20). Thanks to all of you for making the funds available for this purchase without dipping into our building fund.

Mounting finished 09-10-04

At our "Stars in the Parks" outing at Carol Ann Cross Park on May 21st, members Richard and Valerie McMullen from Fayetteville came armed with a pair of 20X80 binos. Several of us who attended were impressed by the image of comet Q4 NEAT as it continued it's climb northward towards the Big Dipper. As most amateurs know, the BEST way to see a comet is through binoculars. It's the only way to magnify the image and keep most, if not all, of the tail in the field-of-view.

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Good Heavens or How it all began for me

Backyard AstronomyGood Heavens or How it all began for me
A Cosmic tale by Charley McLane

As a kid growing up in Fort Smith, Arkansas we were blessed with clear dark skies and a neighbor who didnít mind our strangeness being conducted in their yard where the building contractor had bulldozed the elms and the oaks so as to speed construction of a duplex. My dadís uncle had filled his mind with tales of mythology and the constellations. Later in WWII he had used this knowledge to refer to people and events along with a supposed time of writing to secretly convey where they were stationed across North Africa and into Italy. Sputnik went up and I forgot about 57 Chevyís and turned my eyes skyward. My dad made charts of orbital times and visibility. Next thing I knew we had a globe with an orbital ring to aid viewing footprint plotting. We would lie on a sidewalk warmed from the day and while we waited for another orbit, my dad Clarke, would fill the time with knowledge passed down from the ancients. It was a great time, a kid, his dad and something out there.
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Using Your AOAS Logsheets

Backyard AstronomyYou can start to enjoy the satisfaction of keeping and completing your own logbooks today. Here's a quick primer on how to operate the AOAS logsheets!

I'm sure that some of you are getting tired of hearing me ask you to start an observer's logbook. Well, this is the time to start one (cause I'm not going to stop trying to get everybody to start one) with your own downloadable AOAS Logbook for Messiers, Herschel I's and Herschel II's.
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Logging and Sketching Your Mars Observations

Backyard AstronomyWhen you make your observations of Mars, how much time do you actually spend at the eyepiece? Ten minutes? Five? Two or less? If you're not spending at least ten minutes at the eyepiece, you're not seeing all that you can see!

Those of us who are sketching Mars are typically spending 15 to 30 minutes actually looking at Mars. Longer observing times are more beneficial for being able to see all that can be seen. Here's why:
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Slow Time For Comets

Backyard AstronomyCompared to the comets that will grace the skys in the first half of next year, the present time is pretty slow. Comets can be seen now if you look. Comet 2P/Enecke will be back in November/December of this year and could reach magnitudes of 6 to 7.

I have posted the image of Comet C/2002 O7from 6/28/03 on a page for this comet. Its magnitude has increased to magnitude 12(?) and is now located in the western sky after sunset. Comet C/2002 O7 can be picked up in the next week returning to the morning sky. This is one of the comets which will be naked eye, hopefully, next May.

Thanks, Mike Holloway
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Astronomy 101

Backyard AstronomyYou do not need a telescope. Some astronomy is best done with the naked eye or binoculars (7X or 10X are fine). Here are some examples: variable star observing, meteor counting, large celestial objects (i.e. planets, Moon, and Beehive Cluster), and last, but definitely not least, comets.

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