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San Diego
Astronomy Association
Celebrating Over 50 Years of Astronomical Outreach
A Non-Profit Educational Association
P.O. Box 23215, San Diego, CA 92193-3215
Next SDAA Business Meeting
July 12th at 7:00pm
7270 Trade Street
San Diego, CA 92121
Next Program Meeting
July 20, 2016 at 7:00pm
Mission Trails Regional Park
Visitor and Interpretive Center
1 Father Junipero Serra Trail
July 2016, Vol LIV, Issue 7
Published Monthly by the
San Diego Astronomy Association
Incorporated in California in 1963
Ju l y P r o g r a m M e e t i n g. . . . . . . . . 1
Julian StarFest..............1
June Minutes...............4
Astronomical Research.....6
M e r c u r y Tr a n s i t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
July Calendar..................10
S DA A C o n t a c t s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
2016 TDS Schedule..............12
Fo r S a l e. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
T D S Wo r k Pa r t y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3
Space Place Par tners Ar ticle....17
A s t r o n o m y C a r t o o n s. . . . . . . . . . . . 1 9
Newsletter Deadline
The deadline to submit articles
for publication is the
15th of each month.
July 2016
July Program Meeting
Date: July 20, 2016
Speaker: Pat Boyce and Dave Wood
Topic: Various topics
San Diego Astronomy Association (SDAA) sponsors speakers on a wide range
of astronomy topics on the third Wednesday of every month at the Mission Trails
Regional Park Visitors Center. The program meeting begins at 7pm. Each attendee
receives one free door prize ticket. After announcements and a small amount of
business, the audience is treated to the featured presentation. At the close of the
meeting the door prizes are presented. The event is open to the public. The Mission
Trails Regional Park Visitors Center is at One Fr. Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego
CA 92119. Call the park at 619-668-3281 for more information or visit http://
SDAA's 9th Annual Julian StarFest
August 4 – 6, Menghini Winery, Julian
San Diego Astronomy Association
Julian StarFest is fast approaching. Sign up now at There is something for
August 4 after 3
pm to Saturday,
August 6
All days
Friday and
Camping sign-in and registration for up to
three nights of camping. Limited number of
RV spaces. Volunteer and camp for free,
contact [email protected] Only prearranged and pre-approved assignments are
eligible for free camping.
Snacks and full meals from Niederfrank’s
Ice Cream, and Julian Cuyamaca CERT Mobile
Field Kitchen
Vendors: OPT will be there offering good
deals on astronomy merchandise. Also
expect to see Shannon Telescopes, Focus
Astronomy Outreach and several others.
Friday and
Live-Feed by Woody Schlom: The "Live
Feed" astro-video tent theater displays live and
nearly-live video from telescopes onto video
monitors and a video projection screen. View
the Sun by day and deep sky at night.
Friday, Aug 5
afternoon and
Optional Night Sky Photography Workshop
Friday night & all
day Saturday
Lectures on astronomy by a diverse group
of guest speakers. A complete list is at
with Dennis Mammana: Learn the basics of
capturing these phenomena with little more than
a camera and tripod; all from one of America's
favorite night sky photographers.
San Diego Astronomy Association
morning, meet at
8am sharp by the
corral, or be at
Palomar before
10 am.
Saturday, Aug 6
10am and 2 pm
afternoon at 5pm
Saturday evening
starting at 7pm
Sunday morning
Optional tour of Palomar Observatory:
reservations are required, box lunches can
be reserved: This tour includes the lower
observatory floor, and the main floor with
the 200" Hale. See
Kids' events: Fun astronomy crafts and
games for kids...go on a celestial scavenger
hunt, make a straw rocket that you can keep,
design you own constellation, or make your
own marshmallow shooter.
The raffle: Donations from SDAA
supporters and sponsors. Tickets will
available for purchase at the event. Proceeds
benefit SDAA's outreach activities.
THE STAR PARTY: We expect over 1,000
people again this year. Even if you can't
attend the full event, come out on Saturday
evening with your telescope to share the
night sky with the public. To help with
planning, please contact [email protected]
with your contact information.
Pack-up and say goodbye: until we meet
again at the next Julian StarFest.
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association Board of Directors Meeting
June 14, 2016 – Unapproved and subject to revision
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 7pm with the following board members in attendance: Mike Chasin, President; Greg Farrell, Vice
President; Gene Burch, Treasurer; Nick Andrews, Corresponding Secretary; Brian McFarland, Recording Secretary; Dave Decker,
Director; Dennis Ritz, director; and Dave Wood, Director.
Approval of Last Meeting Minutes
The minutes of the May meeting were approved as published in the Newsletter
Priority / Member Business – none.
Treasurer’s & Membership Report
• Gene presented the treasurer’s report and it was approved.
• Currently at 485 members (some members still sans email addresses).
• Made some JSF payments.
• Still awaiting the quote for increased liability insurance (going from $1M to $3M).
• Pad issue – two members sharing a pad requested separate yearly billing for their shared pad. The Board turned the request
down for a couple reasons: 1) When the club originally recognized joint pad ownership, it was decided that a single yearly
payment would be made – it would be up to the joint owners to sort it out between them (the same way the observatory partners
handled the yearly tax payment); 2) Undue burden on the treasurer to try and track separate payments from two or more joint
owners of a single pad, due at different times (coinciding with each member’s yearly membership dues payment). The same
members also wanted to pay for years in advance but this was also denied; the pads are leased on a yearly basis and subject to the
minimum yearly pad use requirements – paying for years in advance does not comply with the club’s pad lease guidelines.
Standard Reports
a. Site Maintenance – The water pump is reported to be making funny noises – it’s time for an evaluation.
b. Observatory Report – The declination control on the Lipp is only working in one direction. Jerry is troubleshooting.
c. Private Pad Report – The number of available pads remains unchanged since the last report. I’m in the process of writing up two
new leases.
d. JSF – Found a new security company based in Ramona; otherwise all is going well.
e. Program Report
• The last program meeting was attended by about 35 people, with about $100 in raffle proceeds.
• Trying to coordinate some of the SDAA project leads to give short presentations describing their progress at a future program
meeting (TARO, BARO, Cruzen, etc).
f. Banquet – need to coordinate with Daphne and get started on preparations.
g. AISIG Report
• The last presentation was about observatory control software and was well attended. There was also a lot of discussion
regarding TARO use and management.
• This month’s presentation will feature Tony Hallas.
h. Newsletter Report – Impressive work by Andrea K as always.
i. Website Report
• The SDAA website is now connected to WildApricot for membership applications and renewals.
• The Julian StarFest website is now accepting online vendor and participant applications.
j. Outreach Report-OSIG
• SDAA was asked to hold star parties at Sycamore Canyon monthly during the summer and they are now on the schedule.
• The Boy Scout Council has asked for SDAA participation in a STEM Fair on 15 October at the site near Balboa Park. Details
are being worked, but it is during the day and will likely consist of talks and solar viewing. Kin Searcy has asked about Girl Scout
STEM programs that SDAA could support, but the program is not underway.
• SDAA held a Ramadan Moon sighting for a Turkish heritage association on 5 June at West Sycamore. This is difficult as the thin
sliver moon is very close to the sun, but some participants were able to sight the small arc.
San Diego Astronomy Association
We had a successful star party at Cuyamaca last night. We had around 100 people drop by to take a look at the Moon, Mars,
Jupiter, Saturn and several galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. The skies were clear the whole night. Thank you to Dave and
Cindy Decker, Larry Marshall, Dave Whigham, and Ken Hotelling for helping make this event successful.
• We were given permission to use the Group Camping area for the first time yesterday. In fact, we were the first people to ever
use it and camp in it. It is a much better location than the previous location. I will be attempting to get permission to use it for
future star parties at the Paso Picacho campground. I hope to see you at the next Cuyamaca Star Party on July the 30th.
• Ben is doing a fantastic job on the outreach events!
k. Merchandise Report - Not too many sales lately. 3 items since May 5.
• Still no confirmation to me that $140.27 was deposited into the club PayPal account, but it was withdrawn from the CafePress
account on March 2. Since that payment, we've earned about $50. (CafePress pays-out automatically whenever we reach $100.)
• I may start reminding the group about submitting images for a 2017 calendar in the coming months. The 2016 calendar
happened very late in the year, and sold just 8 copies - which is fewer than the number of people who contributed photos. It
doesn't cost anything to create a calendar.
• Just today (June 5) I reached-out to Cheryl Staples, asking her if she had an archive of any of the older logos. Hopefully she will
be in touch with me soon.
• Regarding the CafePress club merchandise: I am torn on the concept of a web store as a fundraising outlet. The big
conveniences of variety, not having to stock merchandise, and mail-out individual orders make Cafe Press items VERY
expensive. $28 for a T-shirt seems pretty steep, and making the club $200/year is not as good as I thought it was going to be.
• So my question is: Shall we continue to use CafePress to fund-raise $5 for each item, or reduce pricing $5 across the board, and
have it just be an outlet for merchandise that doesn't turn any profit?? The Board elected to leave things as they are for now, but
increase visibility in the newsletter and at the program meeting (mug, hat, prizes, etc.).
l. New Member Mentor Report – Nothing to report.
m. Rising Stars Report – On May 27, SDAA hosted 17 students from Preuss School Astronomy Class to a star party at TDS. Jim
Traweek operated SDAA's 22-inch Lipp scope and Ed Rumsey operated the 8-inch D&G refractor. The students viewed Jupiter,
Mars and Saturn, as well as several galaxies, open and globular star clusters, and planetary nebulae. Before dark they took a walking
tour of TDS to see the Terry Arnold Remote Observatory (TARO) to which the students will have access during the next school
term. TARO, the Preuss Astronomy Class and the field trips to TDS are generously sponsored and funded by Susi Kniel in honor of
the memory of long time SDAA member Terry Arnold.
n. TARO/Observatory C
• The scope is guiding well, but we’re experiencing occasional mount stalls – Dave has a theory of what the problem is.
• TARO was discussed extensively at the last AISIG meeting and there is a lot of interest. They will work as a group to determine
the imaging targets and schedules. May even set up some contests. It’s looking like it might cost about $200/year per member
right now, subject to change.
o. Cruzen Observatory – We have one quote from Anthony’s for the concrete, and Dave will get another from the company who did
the TARO pad.
Old Business
a. TDS spring cleanup – Success. Barbed wire is half done and the dumpster is gone.
b. Membership/Accounting – The transition is going well.
c. Budget – Finished and accepted pending a minor correction.
d. Call for other Old Business – none.
New Business
a. TDS Electrical – We need a professional evaluation of our grid, and probably an upgrade from the current 90 amp feed to a 200 amp
b. TDS Guests – we are seeing more groups associated with TARO & BARO. No problems yet.
c. Pad usage waiver for Kocher was granted.
d. The SDAA Scholarship reference on the website was deemed to be clear – it’s a scholarship from Bill Lipp to SDSU and ASU, not
from SDAA. Requests should be referred to those two schools.
e. InSTAR Conference – Dennis attended and will provide a report for the newsletter. Some of our members presented.
f. Call for other New Business – None.
8. Adjournment – Adjourned at 8:30pm.
San Diego Astronomy Association
Student Astronomical Research Opportunities Workshop
The Student Astronomical Research Opportunities Workshop was hosted by SDAA member Pat Boyce kicking off the American Astronomical
Society annual meeting in San Diego June 12, 2016. It was well attended by educators from Southern California secondary and college astronomy
programs outlining opportunities for students interested in astronomy to perform publishable research highlighted SDAA facilities at Tierra del Sol
and other locations. Opportunities for students interested in astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy, and imaging using remote automated telescopes
such as the SDAA TARO (Terry Arnold Remote Observatory), BARO (Boyce Astro Research Observatory) and TAI (Tierra Astronomical
Observatory) provide new resources for student outreach. Presentations by SDAA members Pat Boyce (BARO), Mike Chasin (SDAA Outreach
Initiatives), Dave Wood (TARO) and Sina Sadjadi (TAI and Mesa College) presented just a few of the opportunities available to Southern California
astronomy students. Dr. Stella Kafka, President of the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) presented AAVSO opportunities,
including online educational resources for all levels of expertise, see: Presentations by Russ Genet, past President
of the Astronomy Society of the Pacific, Bob Buchheim, President of the Society for Astronomical Sciences, and R. Kent Clark Editor of the
Journal of Double Star Observations (no relation to Superman) rounded out a luminary list of speakers. The San Diego Astronomy Association
outreach initiatives were well represented at this exciting workshop.
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
New Moon
July 2016
Wednesday Thursday
End Ramadan
Stars in the Park
Member Night
Stars at Mission
Mt Helix Park
Public Star Party
SDAA Business
SDAA Program
Full Moon
AISIG Meeting
Stars At
West Sycamore
KQ Ranch
Cuyamaca State
Member Night
San Diego Astronomy Association
SDAA Contacts
Vice President
Recording Secretary
Corresponding Secretary Director Alpha
Director Beta
Director Gamma
Director Delta
Club Officers and Directors
Mike Chasin Greg Farrell
Brian McFarland Gene Burch
Nick Andrews Dave Decker
Dennis Ritz
Michael Vander Vorst Dave Wood [email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected] Di[email protected]
(858) 210-1454
(858) 705-0065
(619) 462-4483
(858) 926-9610
(858) 215-0479
(619) 972-1003
(619) 890-7480
(858) 755-5846
(858) 735-8808
Site Maintenance
Bill Quackenbush [email protected](858) 395-1007
Observatory Director Jim Traweek [email protected]
(619) 207-7542
Private Pads
Mark Smith
[email protected](858) 484-0540
Kin Searcy
[email protected]
(858) 586-0974
N. County Star Parties
Jerry Hilburn
[email protected]
(858) 877-3103
S. County Star Parties
[email protected]
E. County Star Parties
Dave Decker
[email protected]
(619) 972-1003
Central County Star Parties
Kin Searcy
[email protected]
(858) 586-0974
Camp with the Stars
Jerry Hilburn
[email protected]
(858) 877-3103
K.Q. Ranch Coordinator
Dennis Ammann [email protected](619) 247-2457
Andrea Kuhl
[email protected]
(858) 547-9887
New Member Mentor
Dan Kiser [email protected](858) 922-0592
Jeff Stevens
[email protected]
(858) 566-2261
AISIGDave Wood
[email protected] (858) 735-8808
Site Acquisition
[email protected]
Field Trips
[email protected]
Grants/Fund Raising
Jerry Hilburn
[email protected](858) 877-3103
Julian StarFest Hillary Griffith
[email protected]
(619) 890-5267
MerchandisingRich [email protected]
(858) 357-7404
Publicity-Vacant- [email protected]
Loaner ScopesEd Rumsey
(858) 722-3846
Governing Documents
TDS Network
Dave Wood
[email protected]
(858) 735-8808
Amateur Telescope Making
SDAA Editorial Staff
Editor - Andrea Kuhl
[email protected]
Assistant Editor: Craig Ewing
Have a great new piece of gear? Read an astronomy-related book that you think
others should know about? How about a photograph of an SDAA Member in
action? Or are you simply tired of seeing these Boxes in the Newsletter rather
than something, well, interesting?
Join the campaign to rid the Newsletter of little boxes by sharing them with the
membership. In return for your efforts, you will get your very own byline or photograph credit in addition to the undying gratitude of the Newsletter Editor. Just
send your article or picture to [email protected]
San Diego Astronomy Association
Jul. 2
S- 7:17p 5%
S-11:33p 26%
S- 5:06p 14%
Aug. 27
R- 2:42a 16%
Sep. 3
S- 8:37p 4%
R- 1:39a 28%
S- 7:10p 0%
R-12:28p 43%
S- 5:45p 1%
R-10:17p 69%
R- 4:41a 3%
Dec. 17
R- 9:02p 84%
Oct. 1
Nov. 19
For Sale:
Meade 7-inch f/15 Mak - $499, Discovery 15-inch f/5 truss Dob with 12x80 finder and Telrad - $995. Discovery 8-inch f/5
Newtonian OTA - $149. Call Nick (619) 370-5705.
San Diego Astronomy Association
Rescheduled SDAA Work Party @ Tierra del Sol June 4th
SDAA thanks the volunteers who came out to maintain our observing site at Tierra del Sol.
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
San Diego Astronomy Association
NASA Space Place Astronomy Club Article This article is provided by NASA Space Place.
With articles, activities, crafts, games, and lesson
plans, NASA Space Place encourages everyone to get
excited about science and technology.
Visit to explore space and Earth
June 2016 Hubble's bubble lights up the interstellar rubble
By Ethan Siegel
When isolated stars like our Sun reach the end of their lives, they're expected to blow off
their outer layers in a roughly spherical configuration: a planetary nebula. But the most
spectacular bubbles don't come from gas-and-plasma getting expelled into otherwise
empty space, but from young, hot stars whose radiation pushes against the gaseous
nebulae in which they were born. While most of our Sun's energy is found in the visible
part of the spectrum, more massive stars burn at hotter temperatures, producing more
ionizing, ultraviolet light, and also at higher luminosities. A star some 40-45 times the
mass of the Sun, for example, might emits energy at a rate hundreds of thousands of
times as great as our own star.
The Bubble Nebula, discovered in 1787 by William Herschel, is perhaps the classic
example of this phenomenon. At a distance of 7,100 light years away in the constellation
of Cassiopeia, a molecular gas cloud is actively forming stars, including the massive Oclass star BD+60 2522, which itself is a magnitude +8.7 star despite its great distance and
its presence in a dusty region of space. Shining with a temperature of 37,500 K and a
luminosity nearly 400,000 times that of our Sun, it ionizes and evaporates off all the
molecular material within a sphere 7 light years in diameter. The bubble structure itself,
when viewed from a dark sky location, can be seen through an amateur telescope with an
aperture as small as 8" (20 cm).
As viewed by Hubble, the thickness of the bubble wall is both apparent and spectacular.
A star as massive as the one creating this bubble emits stellar winds at approximately
1700 km/s, or 0.6% the speed of light. As those winds slam into the material in the
interstellar medium, they push it outwards. The bubble itself appears off-center from the
star due to the asymmetry of the surrounding interstellar medium with a greater density of
cold gas on the "short" side than on the longer one. The blue color is due to the emission
from partially ionized oxygen atoms, while the cooler yellow color highlights the dual
presence of hydrogen (red) and nitrogen (green).
The star itself at the core of the nebula is currently fusing helium at its center. It is
expected to live only another 10 million years or so before dying in a spectacular Type II
supernova explosion.
San Diego Astronomy Association
NASA Space Place Astronomy Club Article June 2016 Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), of the Bubble
Nebula as imaged 229 years after its discovery by William Herschel.
San Diego Astronomy Association
Send dues and renewals to P.O. Box 23215, San Diego, CA 92193-3215. Include any renewal cards from Sky & Telescope or Astronomy magazine in which you wish to
continue your subscription. The expiration date shown on your newsletter’s mailing label is the only notice that your membership in SDAA will expire. Dues are $60 for
Contributing Memberships; $35 for Basic Membership; $60.00 for Private Pads; $5 for each Family membership. In addition to the club dues the annual rates for magazines
available at the club discount are: Sky & Telescope $32.95 and Astronomy $34. Make checks payable to S.D. Astronomy Assn. PLEASE DO NOT send renewals directly to
Sky Publishing. They return them to us for processing.