News and Activities
by Ed Flaspoehler, AAAA President
I was honored once again to be invited as guest lecturer
for the Lake Whitney Spring 2003 Star Party event organized
by Thomas Williamson. Thomas is from North Richland Hills, TX, a suburb
of Fort Worth. He has been doing regular public star parties
at the state park through his Lake Whitney Astronomical
Association for several of years. LWAA now has a lot of
support from the park staff. Thomas' support both to the
Lake Whitney Star Parties and his valuing of my presentations has
made my trips to Lake Whitney very rewarding.
There were about 50 people present for my lecture, which
was a 45 minute slide show
Spring Deep Sky Objects. This presentation highlights
five major deep sky objects easily viewable by beginners
during the late winter and early spring seasons. I was able to use my own
photographs of the many beautiful nebulae, clusters and other objects
in these constellations. About half of the audience
was kids, and I am pleased to say that one mother came up to me afterwards and complimented me, saying that I was able to keep her son's
attention for the entire time. It is gratifying to be able to share a passion
for astronomy with a new generation.
May 10, 2003
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.
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:
Astronomy Day Headquarters,
Public Museum of Grand Rapids,
272 Pearl NW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 USA
(616) 456-3873 FAX
- Galaxies and How to Observe Them
Benge, Associate Physics and Astronomy Professor, Tarrant
County Community College
- High School Remote Robotic Telescope Program for
by Michael Gibbs, Tarleton State University
and Texas A&M
- Observing the Night Sky
by AAAA President Ed
- Outdoor Talks by
- Dr. Paul Derrick - Waco Tribune-Herald
- Chris Miller - Grand Prairie ISD Science
- Thomas Williamson - LWAA President
- Mike Green - Founder of Central Texas
- Burl Hale - Professional Optician
- Patricia Haley - Sign-in and Door Prize
- Harry Bearman - FWAS President
- Awards: Amateur Telescope Making
- Observing Challenge
- Door Prizes
- TELESCOPE VIEWING: Explore the Universe
Touring the Sky
The skies were dark and clear this year, as a front had
just moved through the area, sweeping out the clouds and haze
from earlier in the day. Orion stood proudly overhead after
the indoor presentations ended about 10:00 p.m.,
perfectly placed to help observers get acquainted with the
sky. Dr. Paul
Derrick gave his tour of the sky with his green-laser star pointer, and
used the 8" scope that was worked on at the August star
party last Summer to show a wide range of deep-sky and
other objects to the nearly 100 attendees. His presentation was especially popular with the troop
of Girl Scouts camping in the park.
The Lake Whitney National Astronomy Day Star Party was a wonderful event, I met a lot of nice people, and
the AAAA out in front of the public a bit more. I am invited back again in
August. I hope to see you there!
The Stars at Night
Are Big and Bright
Deep in the Heart of Texas!
The Lake Whitney Astronomy Spring 2003 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
T-Shirts for the Lake Whitney Star Party were 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
Contact Lake Whitney State Park at email@example.com.
The park information web site is http://www.digitex.net/lakewhitneystatepark