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Andromeda Society's monthly meeting & Star Gazing, Friday, October 20th 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm. This month we will be learning about equatorial telescope mounts and the upcoming Orionids meteor shower. We may even see a few early meteors during our star gazing. Also, we will be having our monthly raffle featuring our 50/50 drawing. Fun for the whole family, bring your telescope or look through ours. See you there!
At the YUCCA MESA Improvement Assn. COMMUNITY CENTER Located at 3133 Balsa Ave, Yucca Valley off Avalon & Aberdeen. 

Shooting Star

   Volume 1 issue 3                                                                                    October 2017
    By Manuel Borges

Greetings fellow amateur astronomers.  

As you may notice, we are having our newsletter called The Shooting Star.  This name was chosen by Oliva  de Haulleville, Thank you, Oliva.

Past Months news.

We had our first event on September 16, it went well and we had a great speaker on Giant Rock.  For those who miss this you need to find out when Barbara Harris does another talk and attend, she is a great speaker and very entertaining.  I wish to thank her for her participation in our event.  Pizza and drinks along with, salad, and other goodies. 

All, with socializing and casual conversation, everyone had a good time.  Raffle prizes for our guests, included a pair of Celestron 70X15 binoculars, iPad “My Way” case and stand, Mary Firth donated several lap blankets, handmade multicolored crochet grocery bag and other prizes.

We had a telescope out for viewing, the skies were clear. We looked at Saturn, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) the Ring Nebula in Lyra (M57), Globular star clusters in Hercules (M13 and Sagittarius (M22) and other deep sky objects.

We discussed the pro and cons of Altazimuth and German Equatorial mounts.  I brought in an Equatorial I am making from pipefittings, suitable for small telescopes.  I will have this at our next meeting.

Remember our meetings are on the third Friday of each month, unless otherwise noted.  Don’t forget to bring binoculars or your telescope if you have them.  A word of caution, you should have a small flash light with a red filter over the lens.  This will allow you to see and not interfere with your night vision.

We are going to try to accommodate those who have problems in walking on the bare ground.  It is difficult to use any type of wheel chair of walker at this time.

REQUEST:  We are in need of people who would like to become board members, we will discussed this at our next meeting. 

Also if you have mechanical or electrical skills and are interested in building a large telescope for the use by club members let’s talk.

New members your badge is ready for you to pick up. If you have not applied for club membership, we would be happy to email you one. Click here andromedasociety put membership in the subject line.
Donations may be made of material goods or money.  Donations may be tax deductible, ask you your tax professional.

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The following is from Sky and Telescope on line site.  With personal notes added.

Thursday, October 5
• Full Moon (exactly full at 2:40 p.m. EDT). The Moon rises due east around sunset. After dark, as the Moon gains height, look above it for the Great Square of Pegasus balancing on one corner.

• Full Moon October 5th (exactly full at 2:40 p.m. EDT). The Moon rises due east around sunset. After dark, as the Moon gains height, look above it for the Great Square of Pegasus balancing on one corner.  See October 7 for balancing act.

For advanced amateurs • NEPTUNE'S MOON TRITON OCCULTS A STAR. 

Early Thursday evening for the eastern US and Canada, Neptune’s large satellite Triton will occult a 12th-magnitude star in Aquarius. "The star, which is about a magnitude brighter than Triton, is the brightest to be blocked by Triton since the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by in 1989," writes David Dunham, "giving us a rare opportunity to study the Pluto-like moon’s atmosphere. The occultation occurs around 7:55 p.m. EDT, when Neptune/Triton will be about 25° above the horizon in the southeast as seen from the Eastern coast of the United States." See Dunham's article. "Amateurs interested in recording the event should use a camera capable of recording single frames that can then be calibrated using (at the very least) flats and bias frames."
MIT has set up a website for this observing campaign. Dunham has issued protocols for observers of this event, updated protocols with more information for US observers, and a report form.

As mentioned above
• A winter preview: Step out before the first light of dawn this week, and the sky displays the same starry panorama as it does after dinnertime in late January. Orion is striding up in the southeast, with Aldebaran and then the Pleiades high above it. Sirius and Canis Major sparkle below Orion. The Gemini twins are lying on their sides well up in the east.

Friday, October 6
• The Moon, just past full, rises in the east in late twilight. As night arrives, look for the two brightest stars of Aries to the Moon's upper left by about a fist and a half at arm's length. The stars are 4° apart (less than half a fist) and lined up almost horizontally. Can you see that the brighter one — Hamal, on the left — has an orange tint?
Saturday, October 7
• The Great Square of Pegasus balances on its corner high in the east at nightfall. For your location, when it is exactly balanced? That is, when it the Square's top corner exactly above its bottom corner? It'll be sometime after the end of twilight, depending on both your latitude and longitude. Try lining them up with the vertical edge of a building for improved precision.

This weeks planet round up

Can you still spot Antares twinkling to the lower right of Saturn this week? They're 14° apart, almost a fist and a half at arm's length.

Mercury is hidden behind the glare of the Sun.
Venus is the brilliant "Morning Star," (magnitude –3.9) low due east in the dawn. This week it sinks down past faint Mars, magnitude +1.8, only 1/200 as bright. They appear closest together on the morning of October 5th, as shown in the panels above (drawn for North America).
Whenever Mars appears anywhere near Venus, it seems to get scared and fade. That's because Venus is never seen far from our line of sight to the Sun. Whenever Mars is anywhere near our line of sight to the Sun, it has to be on the far side of its orbit from us: about as far and faint as it gets.
Jupiter has disappeared into the sunset.
Saturn (magnitude +0.5, in Ophiuchus to the right of Sagittarius) glows low in the southwest at nightfall, as shown here. It soon sinks lower and sets.
Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in Pisces) and Neptune (magnitude 7.8, in Aquarius) are up in the east and southeast, respectively, by mid- to late evening. Use our finder charts.

All descriptions that relate to your horizon — including the words up, down, right, and left — are written for the world's mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that also depend on longitude (mainly Moon positions) are for North America.

As mentioned above

A winter preview: Step out before the first light of dawn this week, and the sky displays the same starry panorama as it does after dinnertime in late January. Orion is striding up in the southeast, with Aldebaran and then the Pleiades high above it. Sirius and Canis Major sparkle below Orion. The Gemini twins are lying on their sides well up in the east.
A dawn challenge: Very low in the east as dawn brightens on Saturday morning the 9th, Mercury, now a respectable magnitude 0, glows 1° to the right of Regulus.  Note: (Regulus is in the constellation of Leo, it is called the heart of the lion, it also forms the period in the question mark) is the magnitude 1.3. Mars, fainter at magnitude 1.8, is about 3° to their lower left, as shown above.  Use binoculars.

Section 2

Telescopes and problems:
I wish to call this the problem page or what if page.  
Last month we looked at the different types of mounts commonly used by amateurs.  These are not the only types; they are the most widely used.  

We need to start by knowing how a GEM mounts work.  Last month I mentioned that the GEM mounts works to keep the telescope pointed in the right direction with only on motion.  The mount rotates around the polar axis.  Align the telescope to the north celestial pole (NCP).  Once the telescope it pointed in the north direction, it will enable you move the telescope around the polar axis.

I will continue with the EQ mount or GEM. The EQ mount is the most versatile of the mounts; Designed to have one motion around Polaris, to compensate for the Earth’s rotation.  As I stated aligning, the telescope to Polaris is sufficient for causal observing.  The alignment to the NCP can be as simple as sighting Polaris in the center of a medium or high power eyepiece.  A more involved procedure requires the adjustment of the mount in both azimuth and latitude. If your telescope is going to be permanently mounted this is the procedure you will want to use the drift method. I will discuss the drift method later. 

Your telescope and you need to be acquainted; the equatorial takes some getting used to. You may be tempted to just move the telescope around to view the sky,( I know I’ve done this) well this may work until you have to keep moving the telescope because the image your looking at keeps moving in all directions.

German Equatorial Mounts (GEM)
The German equatorial mount (GEM) The GEM has a central right ascension axis inclined parallel to the Earth's polar axis. The declination axis is perpendicular to the right ascension axis. The telescope is off center around the right ascension axis and requires a counterweight to balance the telescope.  The telescope and counterweight both rotate around the right ascension axis.

The GEM is orientated with the right ascension axis inclined at the same angle as your latitude. The below diagram shows the right ascension axis inclined at an angle equal to local latitude and pointing at the polar axis.

As the star in the declination line moves across the sky, it is only necessary to rotate the telescope about one axis (right ascension axis) to track the star. Both the telescope and the counterweight rotate around the right ascension axis (dashed orange line) during tracking.

Enjoy the View!

Questions or comments, you can ask Manuel simply by sending him an email.

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Also during the year, Please Join us, as we team up with the Southern California Desert Video Astronomers  and
The Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater for other  Star parties.

Go to www.scdva.org or www.jtaat.com
For dates and times of events

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You asked for it
Now you got it!
You Can Now Renew Your Tax Deductable Dues & Contributions on Line
Click the link below.
You can now use your Credit Card to make donations to the Andromeda Society.  

Your donations go towards keeping Free programs and other events like Starry Nights going.
Annual Membership $10.00 Student $20.00 individual        $35.00 for immediate family members
Join today and your membership will be good through 2018
Remember your membership dues is tax deductable.

Save with a Lifetime membership $300.00


*Contributions are Tax Deductible 

 Or if you prefer, you can mail your check to
Andromeda Society
P.O. Box 8
Yucca Valley, Ca. 92286

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Updated Oct. 14, 2017