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AAAA News Release

LAST Aldebaran Graze - SaturdayMorning 9/12/98
A Near Cassini Graze

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This just underscores the rarity of documentation of such an event, and makes it a worthwhile goal. Field work, even though usually left to amateurs such as ourselves, is none the less vital to the over all body of knowledge. The fact that such confounding factors such as weather etc. are true variables in the ultimate frequency with which data are collected, serves to increase the real value of our observations, if and when we are ever able to make and document them. Besides, sometimes a good part of the fun is in the chase itself.

Richard E. Gilder


We were very successful under totally clear skies near Nashville, TN for the Aldebaran graze; and I got my first video recording (six events) of a graze (let alone a FIRST MAG. STAR to boot) using my SuperCircuits 0.04 lux camera. I got no results on the other two grazes Saturday morning, mainly because we were late getting to the first one (Richard Wilds, Craig and Terri McManus, and Rex Easton were set up at one station for it, though, and got approx. 18 events; they were the only ones who got any good data), AND the moon was pretty low in the eastern sky.

On the LAST (third) graze, I tried to video tape it, but four things happened to cause me to not get any data on the video system: (1) I was again "rushed" in setting up and therefor was a little too late getting the scope on the moon; (2) finally realized while looking at the TV monitor that I was on the wrong cusp and by the time a got on the right one, the graze was pretty much to being over; (3) also realized that I had the sensitivity switch on the backside of the camera NOT set for high sensitivity, and therefor probably would not have recorded the faint 8.3-mag. star anyway because of this error; and (4) I had'nt had any sleep for over 24 hours and at the age of 59, just could'nt even think straight!!

Dunham informed the 24 delegates (the most ever at a IOTA meeting) at the IOTA meeting that there is even another graze of Aldebaran very near Denver, CO in April of 1999, so we will probably have our annual meeting in Denver next year; I had thought that this series of Aldebaran grazes was finished for fourteen years, but I guess not.

Bob Sandy

Subj: LAST Aldebaran Graze (Sat.Morn.) 9/12/98
Date: 98-03-08 23:59:30 EST
From: grazebob@sky.net (Bob Sandy)

Dear Avid Graze Observers:
On Saturday morning, 09/12/98 at approx. 2:00 a.m. CDT, the LAST good grazing occultation will occur along the moon's northern limb, UNTIL about eighteen years from now!!!

The graze limit "enters" through Baha, CA, Old Mexico, Texas, southern Arkansas, extreme N.W. Mississippi (near Memphis), eastern Tennessee, eastern Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Conn., and Mass.!!! Since this writer has found that

(1) there are very few (if any) FAVORABLE grazes left for him for year 1998, and

(2) the first Aldebaran graze attempt made by this writer on 7/29/97 was partially clouded out,

THIS WRITER is starting to plan to observe/video tape SUBJECT graze, probably just EAST of Memphis, TN.

Graze Particulars near Memphis:

Local Date: Saturday morning 09/12/98
Local Time: 2:00 a.m. CDT
North/South Limb?: North
Percent of Moon Sunlit: 58% Waning
Cusp Angle of Central Graze: 9.7-deg. on Dark Limb
Moon Altitude & Azimuth: 34 and 93-deg., respectively
Watts Angle of C.G.= 352-deg.
Moon's Librations: Long.= +6.1-deg.; Lat.= +7.3-deg.

Note: The "Combination" of W.A. of C.G. PLUS lunar librations "creates" a "NEAR CASSINI GRAZE"!

I would hope that graze expedition leaders in ALL the states where the graze limit passes will start planning early for the Subject Graze, and let's all start corresponding with one another to make this one of the sucessful-best-observed grazes seen this year. Since the graze occurs on a Saturday morning when most of us don't have to work, we have very few "excuses" NOT to observe it!!!

Bob Sandy
Subj: Aldebaran Graze Update!
Date: 98-09-04 03:07:31 EDT
From: dunham@erols.com (Joan and David Dunham)

Updated - Grazing occultation expeditions for the September 12th Aldebaran (and other star) grazes - preliminary locations and contact information

This summarizes the expeditions that I either know about, or suspect will be undertaken, based only partly on possibly faulty memory of earlier e-mail messages or just relatively close proximity to active observers; I now have some information from expedition leaders to update and add to what I distributed on Sept. 3. If you can correct or expand on the information given below, especially providing telephone numbers where you can be reached, including if possible during the day on Friday Sept. 11 when some travelling long-distance might make changes due to changing weather
forecastes, it would be greatly appreciated.

Especially welcome would be meeting times and places for planned efforts, once they are determined, and maps showing the graze path and/or meeting places, if they have been prepared, which can be faxed to Rob Robinson for posting on the IOTA Web site at

If you want to fax something to Rob, send an e-mail message to him at robinson@sky.net or telephone him at 913-422-1280; he does not have a fax connected most of the time.

Already on the Web site are complete IOTA Grazereg limit predictions for the graze of Aldebaran, and for the nearby grazes of ZC 680 and SAO 94056 that also occur and could be observed that night. The accurate IOTA ACLPPP predicted profiles for several points along the paths are also available there, along with recommendations for the range of distances south of the Grazereg northern limits within which observers should be located.

The Grazereg/ACLPPP data available on the Web site (and provided earlier this year to many IOTA members) should be used for setting up expeditions since they used Hipparcos data for the stars and for reduced past graze observations used to define the lunar profiles; predictions computed with the OCCULT program will not be nearly as accurate.

Note that there are also other good grazes during the Hyades passage, such as 4th-mag. ZC 677 at Nags Head, NC, to which Bob Stewart (e-mail: hshrs@bellatlantic.net, phone 757-5839397) from Norfolk will probably lead an expedition (also visible from central Georgia, contact Jeff.L.Lackmeyer@snc.com, and 3rd-mag. theta1 Tauri near Lansing, Michigan (Richard Walker, e-mail rwalker@flint.org, will probably try it) and in Ontario north of Toronto (Guy Nason, e-mail nason@tvo.org, phone 416-2224814) and northwest of Ottawa (Brian Burke; phone 613-5218856).

David Dunham, President, 1998 September 4
International Occultation Timing Association
7006 Megan Lane
Greenbelt, MD 20770-3012
Phone: 301-474-4722
Weekdays: 240-228-5609

Location Organizer(s) E-mail address and/or phone
nw of San Antonio,TX Rick Frankenburger rickf@stic.net; 512-681-2276
nw of Waco, TX Wayne Hutchinson mwhutch@net1.net;
713-827-0828;day 713-973-6310
this will be joined by Ed Flaspoehler from Dallas, eflaspo@aol.com John W. McAnally CPAJohnM@aol.com (local)
2124 Wooded Acres;
Waco, TX 76710
s of Dallas, TX Don Stotz djstotz@juno.com; 214-223-2797
Texarkana, TX-AR area Tom Krajci Tom.Krajci@barksdale.af.mil
near Memphis, TN Bob Sandy grazebob@sky.net; 816-795-8116
  Ben Hudgens * bhudgens@bellsouth.net; 901-763-1530
  Paul Qualtieri * skycrew@ipa.com; 501-935-4644
& see http://nashville.com/~dega/graze98.htm day 501-523-2705
near Nashville, TN Scott Degenhardt dega@nashville.com; 615-895-0244
Maps & more at http://nashville.com/~dega/graze98.htm day 931-454-3228
cellular car phone for night of graze: 615-210-7818
near Gallatin, TN Tom Golden tgolden1@juno.com; see above Web site
Huntington, WV area David Gill dpgill@raex.com or david.gill@ametek.com
Phone 330-677-3784; work 330-497-9581; he is working with an observer in the Huntington area.Wayne Warren & I plan to observe in this area enroute to the IOTA meeting; see below for contact
Bedford, PA*

DC-area expedition; I have plotted the path.
May be joined by John Holtz or Edward Honkus, but they might observe instead in n. WV, s. of Pittsburgh JWHoltz@aol.com, 412-262-3452 or Edward Honkus, 412-262-3452
n. of Harrisburg, PA Bob Young youngbob2@aol.com; 717-234-4616
n. of New York City* Claudio Veliz claudio@carmen.phys.columbia.edu;
or cvarc@earthlink.com; phones 212-4773128 night, 212-9256464 day
Great Barrington, MA Phil Dombrowski niteeyes@compuserve.com
N.Scotia/N.Brunswick border* David Lane dlane@husky1.stmarys.ca
Newfoundland* Randy Dodge randy@kean.ucs.mun.ca
s.e. Cape Cod, Mass. Jim Carlson jcarlson@capecod.net
for the SAO 94056 graze only
* means that the organizer should have predictions and is relatively close to the path, but we have not heard yet whether or not an expedition will really be organized by him    

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