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AAAA News and Activities

3nd Annual Lake Whitney 
National Astronomy Day 
Star Party

April 13, 2002

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by Ed Flaspoehler, AAAA President

The 3rd Annual Lake Whitney Astronomy Day Star Party was again held at Lake Whitney State Park, near Hillsboro, TX, about 70 miles south of Dallas/Fort Worth. For the past two years, AAAA has been participating by providing programs and sponsoring observing certificates at Lake Whitney.

Like all good star parties, the Lake Whitney Star Party is geared to public observing programs. But LWSP is also known for its telescope making events, since organizer Thomas Williamson is an enthusiastic ATM. This year, he ground a 14.5 inch mirror during the two days of the event. Kelly Stripling helped out by making tile tools, and John Dowell built the Dobsonian scope mount for the new mirror. Mirror null testing demonstrations were also held. LWSP has donated a total of three Dobsonian telescopes to Lake Whitney State Park to use in their public programs.

Several hundred Girl Scouts were attending a jamboree in the park during the same weekend, and were treated to clear skies and good observing on Friday night. Sadly, Saturday night clouded over, and the closest anyone got to seeing stars was during AAAA President Ed Flaspoehler’s slide presentation. Ed’s topic, Observing Spring Deep Sky Objects, concentrated on five important objects visible this time of year, representing each of the five type of objects available to observe: nebula M42 in Orion, open cluster M41 in Canis Major, planetary nebula M97 in Ursa Major, galaxy M51 and globular cluster M3, both in Canes Venatici.

Dr. Paul Derrick from Waco gave an interesting presentation about comets and asteroids. Dr. Derrick is Star Gazer columnist for the Waco Tribune-Herald newspaper. Dean Chandler gave a presentation describing the new planetarium being constructed at Central Texas College in Killeen. Harry Bearman, president of the Fort Worth Astronomical Society, was head judge for the ATM events.

AAAA is proud to sponsor the LWSP observing programs, and issued certificates for observing 20 objects to James and Matthew Ochoa from Bryan, TX, and Jay Porter and Mike Warren, both from College Station, TX.


April 13, 2001

International Astronomy Day is dedicated to taking astronomy to the people. It is celebrated on the Saturday near the first quarter moon between mid-April and mid-May. Check out the night sky tonight!

Entry forms for the Sky & Telescope Astronomy Day award are available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Gary Tomlinson at the address below. Deadline for entries is June 13.

New Handbook

To receive your copy of the new Astronomy Day Handbook, 4th edition, revised and published by Sky and Telescope magazine, send a check made out to the Astronomical League for $3.00, $4.00 outside North America, to our new address:

Gary Tomlinson, 
Astronomy Day Headquarters, 
Public Museum of Grand Rapids, 
272 Pearl NW, 
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 USA
(616) 456-3532, 
(616) 456-3873 FAX 
gtomlins@triton.net
www.astroleague.org/
astroday.html

The Stars at Night 
Are Big and Bright
Deep in the Heart of Texas!

The Lake Whitney Astronomy National Astronomy Day Star Party is free and open to the public except for park fees of $2.00 per person. The organized presentations and speaker lectures are held at the Recreation Hall in the State Park. The Recreation Hall has recently been air conditioned. 

T-Shirts for the Lake Whitney Star Party are available. The shirts are black with a single face-on galaxy in silver printed with the slogan, " I Explored The Universe, Lake Whitney Summer Star Party." At the lower corner of the galaxy in small letters will be the phrase, "All men find that for which they seek- Arab proverb." 

Lake Whitney is a Texas State Park located near Hillsboro, TX, on State Highway 22, west of I-35.

Contact event organizer Thomas Williamson at 817-656-0901, or via e-mail at distglow@hotmail.com

Contact Lake Whitney State Park at lwsp@digitex.net

The park information web site is http://www.digitex.net/lakewhitneystatepark

Tell Your Friends the Benefits of Joining 
the American Association of Amateur Astronomers!

Observing Awards. Quarterly Newsletter. Astronomy News and Special Publications. Full Membership in the Astronomical League. Club Discounts on Astronomical Publications.

Join the American Association
of Amateur Astronomers.

Use your credit card or send your name and address along with your check for $20.00 ($25.00 family) made payable to AAAA, to:

AAAA
P.O. Box 7981
Dallas, TX 75209-0981

 



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