Etna Astros Astronomy Club

lune moon

Our History and Philosophy

The Etna Astros was formed in the summer of 2003 by Chris Reich and a small group of people interested in learning astronomy. Our specific interests are diverse and the universe is large enough to stimulate us all to think and learn. Some of us are interested in the mythology of the constellations, some find the scientific statistics most exciting. We have a member who is very interested in lunar study. Some are mainly interested in observing night sky objects. Some are interested in studying the sun! When we meet, we share our interests and everyone learns something new!

As a member society of the Astronomical League, our members are eligible for many observing awards. What better way to appreciate the wonders of the night sky. Young members are also eligible for the national youth awards such as the National Young Astronomer Award and the Horkheimer Service Award. We welcome young astronomer members under the age of 18 when accompanied by a responsible adult.

If you have kids that are interested in astronomy, contact us and we will arrange something special for your kids. We would be happy to make a presentation to your child’s class at school or his/her group. If your child is home-schooled, we can come to you with an exciting demonstration or evening observation de la lune (voir calendriers pleine lune & nouvelle lune) ! We want to encourage interest in astronomy.

The Etna Astros is chartered with the Astronomical League. We charge an annual membership fee of $15 which covers the cost of League membership. All members receive the quarterly magazine published by the League. As a member of the national organization, each member is entitled to participate the observing clubs sponsored by the league.

Annual dues are payable in June. Members joining Between January 1 and April 30 pay a partial annual membership fee of $8 and then will pay $15 in June for a full year.

As a group, we are working toward Messier Certificates for all members. We plan to locate, record, and “lightly” study all 110 space objects. We’ve seen nebulae, star clusters and super nova remnants! We’ve seen the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter! We’ve seen things millions of light-years away. Join us and you’ll see more than you would have imagined possible!

We meet twice a month. Every 2nd Tuesday of the month we meet at the Etna Library for informal astronomy talk. Equipment, cosmology, news and obsevations are among the many subjects discussed. The meetings are a great way to learn from other members. Attendance is encouraged.

Our other monthly meeting is a star party. Generally, our observation nights are on the Saturday of the New Moon but this is always subject to the whims of Mother Nature. And, on occasion, we might choose to study the moon!

Feel free to drop in on any of our meetings. The time and place of the next meeting is shown on the web site. Star parties can be canceled due to weather, so it helps to get on the email list so you are notified of last minute cancellations.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee - No 412 squadron, RCAF

How to Join

The Etna Astros offers two levels of membership. If you are able to attend meetings and star parties, you may join as a full voting member of The Etna Astros. If you live too far from our base to attend our gatherings or are unable to attend for other reasons, you can still be a part of this fun club. We offer a “Membership at Large” level membership. As a Member at large we’ll keep you informed of “inside” club news, allow your participation in our discussion group and galleries, and enroll you in the national organization.

Club Membership

As a member society of the Astronomical League, our members are eligible for many observing awards. What better way to appreciate the wonders of the night sky! Young members are also eligible for the national youth awards such as the National Young Astronomer Award and the Horkheimer Service Award. We welcome young astronomer members under the age of 18 when accompanied by a responsible adult.

The Etna Astros is chartered with the Astronomical League. We charge an annual membership fee of $15 which includes the cost of League membership. All members receive the quarterly magazine published by the League. As a member of the national organization, each member is entitled to participate the observing clubs sponsored by the league.

Dues are payable upon joining and renewable in June. We do not prorate membership dues but new members joining in April-May will not be required to pay dues again in June. The dues go to in part to the Astronomical League to cover your (required) national membership. The balance covers a part of the operating expenses of the club. Much of the operating expense of the club is covered by member donations.

All our meetings are open to guests but it helps us plan if we know you’re coming! Please contact us if you’d like to attend any of our meetings.

To become a full member of the Etna Astros, bring $15 cash or check to a meeting and we’ll complete your registration.

For further information, contact Chuck Jopson

At Large Membership

The Etna Astros offers an “At Large” membership. Many people who would like to be a part of our club live too far away to attend meetings and star parties. Others, for various reasons are just not able to get together during our scheduled times. For you, The Etna Astros offers a Member at Large status. You’ll enjoy all the benefits of Astros membership for only $10 payable upon joining and renewable each June—we do not pro-rate dues.

At Large Membership Benefits

At Large membership is only $10! To join please contact: Chuck Jopson

Meetings and Star Parties

All indoor meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Etna Library. We meet at 6:30 p.m.

Our meetings are fun and educational, not business meetings! We talk about astronomy news, enjoy presentations and get hand-on experience with equipment demonstrations. Have a telescope you can’t figure out? Bring it to a meeting!

Etna Astros Sky Clocks

Etna Sky Chart

Member Projects

Dave sends us these shots of his recently completed observatory! Beautiful, Dave!
1 - Roof closed.
2 - Roof rolled off.
3 - Hand crank winch, pulley, and 1/8" galvanized cable system. This one opens the roof.
4 - Cranking the roof closed with the second winch.
5 - Roof off with door open to show the scope inside. (Walls are 6’ high.)
5 - Roof off with door open to show the scope inside. (Closer view with only partial view of the roof.)
6 - Scope through open door. (Orion Atlas 10 EQ-G with Dynamo Pro battery power source.)
7 - Fold-away table (6’ 2" long) I built against north wall. When not in use it hangs flat against the wall.
8 - Just for the heck of it I included a scenic shot of the building with a smoke-reddened setting sun in the background.

Club News and Bulletins

Chris Reich Ventures into Radio Solar Astronomy

The solar astronomy radio telescope arrived I’ll be getting into operation soon. Chuck suggested posting the output to the website. Great idea! Once I get it up and running Chuck and I can work out how to serve the data.

The sun is getting more active making this an exciting time to learn about radio astronomy.—Chris

Chris Reich, Your Own Award Winning Webmaster and Founder of Develops New Astronomy Product! The NEW “I Scout My Sky Pod!”

It’s Finally Official!

The Etna Astros have been added to the Astronimical League’s site under Webmaster Awards! We finished third in the nation. Not bad considering the club size and budgets of the comptetition. (We got the biggest picture!)

Congratulations to the winners! But remember the immortal words of Satchel Paige, “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you!”

Our own Etna Astros club is in some very good company!
First Place - Travis Swaim of the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club. Website:
Second Place - Ken Slater of the Springfield Telescope Makers. Website:
Third Place - Chris Reich of the Etna Astros. Website:
Chris received his Messier pin from the Astronomical League today! A proud and monumental moment for our club as it was the original goal to see the entire Messier Catalog together…

See Into Space

Chris is launching a totally new venture for people who want to learn about astronomy. He’ll also make sure you get started with the right equipment without spending a lot of money. This new program includes training in solar, lunar and a deep space astronomy!

If you want to get started in astronomy, this is the perfect program.

Visit Chris’ new site:

Ebay Telescope Scams

Here’s a great example of why people should not buy telescopes on Ebay unless they know exactly what they are doing. This seller changed the story several times when I asked questions about the scope. They first claimed it had an 11" diameter!

This scope sells new for less than $200 and used for $100. I have a better (larger, newer) model of this scope, bought on Astromart with an upgraded focuser and all the parts ($150 WITH shipping)—most parts (diagonal, eyepieces, etc.) were unused. This seller misrepresented this scope. I have politely tried to clarify the errors in the listing to the sellers great frustration. The seller told me to “leave them alone”. This is exactly why NOT to buy telescopes on Ebay.

In addition, there are dozens of junk scopes sold as “Green Refractor Telescope” and any other assorted colors. The color is only the good thing about these scopes. Watch out!

Here’s the listing of the “hundreds of dollars” scope:

Avoid This Type of Ebay Listing

When buying ANYTHING on Ebay always take these precautions to protect yourself:

  1. Never buy from a seller that plays dumb. “It might be worth a lot but I’m not sure.” If they don’t know, why the “tease” line? Don’t trust anyone playing dumb.

  2. Insurance is optional. Don’t buy from these sellers EVER. If you do not receive your item they’ll say, “you should have bought insurance.” Broken junk is often shipped with hope the shipping company will settle with you, the receiver. A good seller will include insurance if they feel it necessary—not make it an option.

  3. NEVER buy from a seller that does not refund shipping if you are disatisfied. Sellers know you won’t return an item if you must pay shipping to them and forfeit your original shipping costs.

  4. NEVER post feedback until after the seller posts for you. Sellers use feedback to clobber complaining buyers. There are many Ebay sellers with LOTS of complaints who rarely get negative feedback—because they hammer unhappy buyers.

  5. Never buy unless there is a stated 100% money back guarantee.

Be careful.

If you want to save some money purchasing used equipment, visit Herb York operates that site and he runs a very tight ship.


The Etna Astros are pleased to announce their affiliation with Astronomers Without Borders…please visit their website and send a word of encouragement from The Etna Astros!

News from Amir 3-24-07

Hi Chris,
Thanks, Every thing is ok but clouds! 21st of March is new year here and we all celebrating new year. I am in a long travel, Maybe 10000 or 11000 kilometer by my car along the desert, jungles, lakes and mountains.
This is a real adventure. First night we got a attack from some wolfs and we got chance to scape from them.
Wish I can write again to you!!!

Forooshgahe Asemane Shab,

Sorgraphy project story appeared in both major local news papers this week. This is great exposure for the club and our project!

Amir reports that he is heading deep into the desert to capture the lunar eclipse. We are sure to see some great shots from our man on the scene! Too bad we will completely miss the eclipse in California.

I am very pleased to annouce that our friends in Kurdistan and Iran will be participating with us in the Solargraphy Project! Welcome Amir and Rojgar—Chris

Our “Member at Large” astronomer in Iran, Amir Hossein Abolfath, sends his greetings to the Etna Astros along with this wonderful image…can you tell what direction he was facing? Amir wrires, “Here is clear. Last 3 nights I was in the middle of desert and all nights sky was clear and dark. There was no light even 1 lamp at horizon. I have never seen such a dark place.” More of Amir’s images have can be seen in the Deep Space Gallery.

Thanks Amir!

Astros receive greetings from Kurdistan!

Please welcome Rojgar Hamid who writes:

many thanx for your very kind words , i will be very proud for having you as afriend… be sure that we will make avery strong friendship between members of our club …

it’s very intresting to live in california! becoz i have many friends thier… i have avery good friend in orange county , his name is wally pacholka , hi is an astrophotographer( , you can ask him sfor more information about our club! , he is best wide field astrophotographer i have ever seen… if you want i can arrange something for your club…

our club has avery strong relationship with orange county astronomer , which is avery large club(if not be the largest) in US , i have relations with his former president (liam kennedy) and also Barbra toy , she is the president of OCA , the have been very helpful to us , they offered us many equipments last year…

But my best friend in california is (Mike Simmons) , he is the president of mount wilson observatory and also vice president of losangeles astronomical society , he has visited iraq last summer to prepare an article about (mount korek astronomical observatory) which is the largest observatory in all over middle east , and it’s located in arbil , my city, we’ve together for one week , he also has been very helpful to us… i have attached many phots of me and also Mike ’ s article the observatory…

Mike will start an organization (astronomers without borders) which is specialized in helping astronomy clubs in poor countries, and hopfully the first conference of astronomers without borders will be held in april , and if God is willing i will come to california to participate in that conference, i might see you then!! Rojgar

Click for the slide show of images from Kurdistan (Iraq)

Special Project!

The Etna Astros have been invited to participate in the pinhole camera project! We will be receiving 6 specially made cameras for us to use in solar photography. Our exposed “film” will be sent to Finland as part of an international project. Become an Astro and be a part of interesting projects like this!

We’re 3!!!

Congratulations Astros on your third birthday!!!

The Group Has Spoken: Little Debbie Reinstated With Honors!

In a surprise development at the February 28th meeting, the entire group, acting on the recommendation of the Board of Directors, unanimously voted to reinstate Little Debbie’s membership with all attending rights therein and to immediately name her as the official mascot of the Etna Astros! Little Debbie attended the meeting and was obviously overcome with emotion and unable to speak…

Member’s Spouses Speak Up!

A temporary ban has been placed on Little Debbie and her so-named snack products. Member’s spouses have complained of seriously increased waistlines since Little Debbie’s admission as an honorary member. Her suspension is in effect immediately pending further investigation. We are weighing the charges and will release a ruling soon.


Little Debbie Given Honorary Membership…
Little Debbie, affectionately known as “Heart Attack in a Box” and “Diabetic Nightmare” has been granted honorary membership in the Etna Astros for her contribution to late night snacking. Debbie, we salute you!


Etna Astros
September 14, 2010

There were six members in attendance.

The meeting opened with Chuck and Dave R. talking about the excellent night spent viewing out at Dave’s observatory. They viewed a planetary nebula in M15, which is quite amazing in itself. If you type Pease 1 and M15 into Google, you will get pictures and information. As well as this P/N, they viewed globular clusters in M31. As can be guessed, most of these items need larger scopes like Chuck’s bucket at 20 inches.

Chuck finished his filter slide. In using it, he found that the scope de-focused as he slid the filters along. He also found he needed a larger distance between each filter.

By the next clear full moon, Dave R. will be able to finish his Lunar II. Though with the fall/winter weather setting in, that might be a while for that clear night.

Larry was able to give us his opinion on the Golden State Star Party in Aiden, CA. He said it was lots of fun for him. There were a lot more people. He agreed with Alan that they needed to improve their lectures. The lectures are all designed for more advanced astronomer, not really meant for any amateur. So beginners would not enjoy the lectures. But on the whole, Larry had a great time.

Dave K. brought in a little bit of cool history. His relatives had been cleaning out an attic and they found a clipping from the Seattle Post Intelligent newspaper dated August 21, 1918. The article was written by Dr. C. S. Brainin of the Columbia Observatory Staff. The article, titled ‘The Heavens in August’, talked about a nova in Aquila that reached a magnitude of -1.4. It was interesting to read the theories of that time of why novas occurred and what made them do it.

The 9-12-10 Astronomy picture of the day showed remnants of nuclear reactors nearly two billion years old in Africa. It was an interesting little bit of information that I did not understand at any point, but everyone else seemed to get. If interested in seeing the picture, you can hop over to the Astronomy Picture of the Day archives.

Chuck had plans to go to the Balls 19 amateur rocket tests in Black Rock, NV.

And the October meeting was set for Dave R.’s place.

Last bit of meeting subjects. The Astronomy tip of the day. To get the ‘fresh baked’ cookie, put cookie in microwave for 5-10 seconds. It comes out chewy and gooey.ETNA ASTROS

August 10, 2010
There were five members in attendance. Dave K. brought a guest, his grandson, Eric.
The August Start Party was an excellent night of viewing. Even though we were not at the peak for the Persieds, there were still quite a few very good meteors flying by. Some with good golden streaks. The seeing improved as the night wore on and Chuck was able to get 2 of his planetary nebulae. Jupiter was amazing and it was possible to see the Great Red Spot. The Spot was even more visible when Chuck popped in an O-III filter to bring out the contrast. Very amazing. Something to remember.
Chuck was also able to see the ‘Cheeseburger" nebulae.
A bit of information on both version 2 and 3 of Skytools. They both doe occultations, eclipses, etc. So a handy feature for those who want to know when occultations are coming up.
Alan gave a review on his trip to Aden to see the Golden State Star Party. It is quoted as being one of the ‘Darkest Places’, but according to Alan, there was too much ‘air’. Too much atmosphere to go through so it did not make for the best viewing. There was also a high amount of wind getting up into the 30mph range. The temperature reached the mid 90’s in the day as well.
They had some speakers, but none stood out.
There was one man who had a 30 inch F 3.3 telescope and another person had a Helio Spectroscope so as to see down into the sun.
There were quite a few people there that were working on photography.
All in all Alan decided that he would not be going back until they either changed the location of the star party, or they put it at another time of year.
The rest of the meeting revolved around miscellaneous topics.

July 13, 20010
Dave Krone presided as interim president. Our new member, Joan, joined us from Yreka and got an introduction into the club.
Joan told Dave and I about her visit to the Galloway Forest Park, in southwest Scotland, that has been made 1 of 5 International Dark Sky Parks.
Dave brought his Edmund Scientific telescope he got years ago. There was a review on the telescope in the June 2010 Sky and Telescope. It’s nice to see that it is still a popular telescope for amateurs to use.
There is a new astronomy magazine being published by the McDonald Observatory out of Ft. Davis, TX. The magazine is Star Date ( and the subscription is $24 a year.
The meeting, due to a lack of members, concluded at 7:30pm

June 8, 2010

There were six members in attendance. Chuck called the meeting to order telling about a new DVD NASA has released called Journey to the Stars. He has applied for two and hopefully we will be able to see these fascinating DVD’s

Alan told us how the Mt. Shasta Stargazer’s had an astronomy day with a good turnout for them.

Alan also mentioned how he has built a stand for his 12 inch so he can now use that scope again.

Dave R. has 19 or so of his planetary nebulae.

Comet Mcnaught (C/2009 R1) is becoming visible and will be more visible as the month moves on.
Alan taught a two day astronomy class for 8th grade students.

Chuck has failed to send in the Astro League elections ballot. Despite talk of impeachment, Dave K brought the motion to the table to keep Chuck in his current position. Dave R. seconded the motion.

The rest of the meeting was taken up by books and there was a joke that we needed to become a Literary Club as well.

There was a concern that the library meeting room would possibly not be available with the county library closures, but this writer talked with the Friends and the meeting room will still be available for rental on our meeting nights.

Thanks goes out to Mrs. Krone for the lovely cookies as usual

May18, 2010

There were six members in attendance.

Sunset for May 18th was at 8:27 PM
Moon rise was at 10:13 AM
The age of the Moon was 5 days with a waxing crescent

President Chuck started off the meeting showing his partially made light blocker for his telescope. Using a large plastic bowl with thin black foam sewed to the inside. On further reflection, it was decided gluing in the foam would have been easier than sewing it. Chuck also showed his homemade filter holder. Using 3/32 plywood, he drilled three holes to hold the filter, and one smaller hole to pull the slide out. For a more detailed picture and description those interested can go to

Also, as Chuck has made the slide and has a template, those interested in possible having one made up, should contact him at

Pros and cons of thicker filter holders and how it affects the light path as well as using wood versus metal for the slide, were discussed. The consensus being thinner is probably better and wood being easier and less expensive to work with than metal.

During a discussion on using a Hydrogen Beta filter, this humble note taker asked for a bit of information on that certain filter. Graciously provided by Chuck was a brief discussion on emission spectography. Unfortunately I only got the basics but it is a fascinating subject.

Chuck has upgraded his Skytools 2 to version 3Pro. For those thinking of upgrading, the Pro is not worth the money. There is not enough of a wow factor. The Pro does show stars to mag. 20 and the database is a bit more accurate. The price for the standard upgrade to 3 is $40 with the jump to Pro being $80.

Dave are has found 5 of the 12 comets needed for the basic comet club award This led to a rousing discussion on first comets club member saw.

Next we were all treated to a presentation my Larry F. on his hobby of astrophotography. Larry started working on his photography back in 2004 using a Minolta 7000 SRL camera . Equipped with a 50mm lens on a tripod, he took some nice looking pictures. Through trial and error he found out that places like Walmart and quick picture processing places were not the place to get astrophotography developed. You need a place that specializes in astrophotography to get pictures to turn out properly.

Other attempts at photography included using a web camera with his telescope. The finding results were that the web cam was best for Planetary Nebula and the Moon.
Now, Larry uses a Canon Rebel T1i attached to his Schmidt-Cassegrain 102mm telescope. With the ability to zoom in and focus as well as have the camera connected to his laptop, he has turned out some very nice pictures of the moon and star trails around Polaris.
Most of the finished pictures are stacked images that Larry processes in Deep Sky Stacker and CSF Photoshop 4.

Hopefully at some time others will be able to see the impressive pictures Larry has taken over time.

Thanks goes to Mrs. Krone for her delicious cookies as usual and the tasty cranberry nut bread brought by our Prez.

April 13, 2010

There were seven members in attendance.

Our President spent half the meeting checking over Dave R.’s completed Herschel 400. Once he has received the certificate for the Caldwell Catalogue, he will be able to apply for the Master Observer’s award. Dave has also three quarters of the Lunar II finished, as well as starting the Comet and Planetary Nebulae.

As a bit of fun information. The certificate for the Caldwell Catalogue is signed by the creator of the catalogue, Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore. Very fun.

Miss Emily has finished her Messier club. Good Job!

Miss E gave a review on the book “Year Round Messier” by William Bell. She said it is what she used to complete the Messier. A very helpful book. Sounds like something we all should look in to if considering tackling the Messier.

Larry talked about his new Canon T1i and the advantages of it. Hopefully we will get to see a presentation on all of his equipment. He has tried to get some pictures of Polaris with the star streaks circling it, but the moon created a fair amount of glow. As well as an airplane streaking through one. So it is a bit of a task to get the sky to cooperate for such a feat.

December 25, 2009 Astronomy picture of the day was oohed and awed over by club members who had seen the picture. It was taken by Tony Hallas of Mount Lassen and Shasta. I have to say myself, the photo is quite inspiring.

There is a free image processing software available for down load. The program is called Registax. I myself have yet to try it.

There is an observatory being put up outside of Montague, CA. You can find information and pictures at

The images are quite impressive as is the fact that someone put an observatory.
If anyone has any good astronomy pictures they have taken, we would love them for the Etna Astro’s site. Contact our President at

Thanks goes to Mrs. K. and our Prez for the delicious sweets.

March 9, 2010

There were five members in attendance.

To start off the meeting, Chuck told us how Dave R. has finished his Binocular Messier as well as the Caldwell Catalogue. To receive the certificate for the Caldwell, there is at least a two month wait right now. Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore, who came up with the Caldwell list, signs each certificate and he is having health problems right now.

The Golden State Star Party held in Aiden, CA is set for July 10-14. Unfortunately due to unavoidable family birthdays, our President will not be able to attend.

The Mount Bachelor Star Party is held the weekend after the Golden State Star Party.
The discussion went on to how the Russians have found a fair amount of water on the north pole of the moon.

The meeting was concluded earlier than usual due to the snow that started falling and the need to get home.

February 9, 2010

There were five members in attendance. The meeting started off with Dave R. mentioning his work on the Herschel 400 and how he had over 200 done.

The book “Age of Wonder” by Richard Holms, was reviewed by Dave K., who had borrowed it from Alan. The books discusses the history of men and women who discovered and invented at the end of the eighteenth century which was the origin of the Romantic Age of Science. Three main persons command attention in this book. William Herschel, his sister Caroline, and Humphry Davy.

How Herschel used speculum mirrors for his telescope was carried over from talk of the book. The mirrors are made from copper and tin depending on the composition of copper vs tin, you could have a more bluish or yellowish tint to the color reflected. As well as more tin meant less tarnishing.

Orion telescopes has a few new telescopes in their collection. These are extremely large Dobsonians from 36" up to 50". As they are quite expensive and require a large down payment, I don’t think any members will be shelling out for one any time soon. But they are quite impressive. The 50" runs $123,000. Pricy.

The subject of dewing up was discussed and the trick of having a hair dryer on hand to warm up and dry off lenses was suggested. That is good tip to know and one we shall all have to remember for home viewing. Not as practical for star parties.

One last subject discussed was Dave R.’s new windmill. Any one who is interested in one should check with him on it. As he can give you the ins and outs of assembly and price. It was an interesting discussion.

January 9, 2010

The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm by President Chuck Jopson. There were four members present.

Our Star Party for February was changed from Feb. 6th to the 13th. It will be held at the Etna High School Football Field. Watch our web page for confirmation.
Chuck talked about his observatory that he plans to build in the near future. It will be an elaborate affair that will house two scopes.
Our Club’s web site is now all ours. Chuck has complete control. There will be some changes to make it easier to use.
We talked about the “Astronomy Picture of the Day” which is great. Today’s picture showed “trees” growing on Mars. Chuck brought the picture up on his lap top. The shadows and rocks sure looked like trees but were only shadows. He then brought up the December 25th picture. It showed the Milky Way across the sky between Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen. It was stitched together by Tony Hallas. Very neat!!
All club Members are now members of the AAL.
We had a discussion about the “Super Collider” now trying to go on line in Switzerland . It is Huge!!!
Alan told us about the Mt. Shasta Club. Sounds like a very neat club.
The meeting was then adjourned at 8:20pm. Thanks Chuck for the coffee and cookies.

--- Dave Krone

December 8. 2009

The Meeting was held at the Etna Library. The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:30pm. There were 5 members and one guest in attendance. Items discussed:

Congratulations go to Larry Farrington for “Binocular Messier Observer Award” and to Dave Rudeen for the “Lunar Observing Award”. Well done!!

A Star Party is scheduled for this coming Saturday. The forecast is for rain and snow, so we probably will have to schedule it for the following Saturday. Prez Chuck will keep us informed.

We talked about the article in the December issue of “The Reflector” on the discovery of the “Cygnus Bubble” by an amateur astronomer. Amateur astronomer Dave Jurasevich told how discovered the bubble and the troubles he had confirming the discovery. The article is a very interesting read.

Alan gave us lesson on stars and how they are classified. Alan had a very nice diagram on the H-R system with the low mass and high mass stars.

Alan also told us about the new Mt. Shasta astronomy club. They have a web page @ .

Chuck will meet with Chris regarding our club’s web page. Details at the next meeting.

Alan talked about author Allen Eckert who writes about the early American History. Alan highly recommends his books.

We need to come up with a project or something for next year. Have some ideas for our next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned about 8:30pm.

September 8, 2009 Meeting Notes

The September 2009 Meeting of the Etna Astros took place at Dave Rudeen’s home in an undisclosed location with five members present. The meeting was called to order with a rousing discussion on the Lunar 2 club. Both Alan and Dave R. are tackling the Lunar 2 along with Dave going after the Comet club. To date, Dave has 2 comets he has seen. The Lunar 2 club cannot be done until the Lunar club has been done. It is an extension of the first club.

With the discussion of the moon taking place the subject of the appearance of the moon in the sky was tackled. The focus was on the irregular position of the moon depending on its phase. The moon travels the ecliptic but it’s altitude and direction of where it rises changes drastically throughout the month and year. Dave R. has taken the time to chart the patterns, but it would be a nice project for people to track the moon with all of it’s peculiarities.

September’s star party at the highschool football field will take place on the alternate date of September 19th.

Alan told us all about the new astronomy club that has been formed in Mt. Shasta, CA, called Mt. Shasta Star Gazers. The creator is Jim Havlice and they have their own website at A nice little site very simply laid out. Easy to navigate. Alan went to both of their meetings, both the star and indoor. The outdoor gazing was at the Ski lodge which was fairly nice. High up with the ability to see well. View of Mt. Shasta city but the site was also low enough so as not to be obstructive from the lights of the city. There were about 20 people there some with good scopes. Most of the people there were newbies. The road to the gazing site would not be good for winter viewing. Not accessible according to Alan. The indoor meetings are held at the Language Quest store in downtown Mt. Shasta. Alan mentioned that our own Emily was seen at the indoor meeting. Good for her. Alan invited Jim to our next meeting at the Library.

Chuck finally conceded he won’t be skimming off the due money for the trip to Easter Island next year to see the solar eclipse. Turns out you had to plan to far in advance, then there were no flights for the time he wanted to go. We all encouraged him to charter a plane then to sell seats, but our Prez declined wanting to do that.

Went on to discuss why a 2" 24mm lens would be better than a 1¼" lens. One member tried to find out why, but there have been no clear reasons since the 1¼" seems to be a good lens. Anyone having any information on why a 2" would be better is welcome to contact a club member with their observations on the subject.

Chuck told how at the Golden state Star Party he had the opportunity to view through a 100mm Ethos Teleview lens. He says yes you can see a bit more in it, but he wasn’t impressed enough with it to spend the money to get one. Yes, you have a 180 degree view, but how much of that 180 are you actually seeing at one moment. So not worth the price to get it.

Next the group got the grand tour of Dave R.'s lovely observatory. Quite state of the art with a good view. Dave showed us all the special features that other members had not seen the last time the meeting was held at Dave’s. The set up is very nice and quite impressive to say the least.

It appears that both Dave and Larry, who have Orion EQ mounts, have had trouble with theirs. Things from the hand controller to other little quirks. Ah, yes, anything electronic or with a chip is going to have issues at some point or another.

Dave told of how he viewed the moons of Jupiter disappearing back Sept. 2. There had been an article in Astronomy magazine regarding the occultation. But turns out the times were wrong in the article so Dave missed seeing them actually disappearing. Though he did get to see the shadows of Ganymede and Callisto on the surface of Jupiter.

Discussed the using of different color lenses to see different features on Jupiter as well as the fact that for the Lunar 2 club, there is one project that uses different lenses. Most members have not used a colored lens to view anything.

The meeting concluded in the kitchen with delicious chocolate cake and a discussion on how everything of mass has gravity. Katie B. approached the subject asking at what point does something not have gravity. Starting with the earth around the sun, to the moon around the earth, to say an asteroid around the moon. Everything of mass has gravity. Including an atom. Fascinating. This also included the discussion on how the earth’s center of gravity is affected by the moon as well as the moon’s gravity is affected by the earth. Turns out the moon’s center of gravity is actually halfway between earth and the moon.
Thanks to both Dave and his wife, Phyllis for their wonderful hospitality and refreshments.

Etna Library – Etna CA
August 11, 2009

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck Jopson at 6:30pm

There were eight members present.

President Chuck told us about his trip to China to view the “Total Eclipse”.

The eclipse was “completely assume!!!”.

Chuck and his family took more than 100 pictures and videos during the trip.

They rode on the “mag” train, which was a big thrill. They went about 300km/hr but the ride was over very quickly.

He said that China has great train stations and had pictures to prove it. Some of them are Hugh!! Many of the signs were in English, which made it easier to get around. The train station in Beijing had a KFC and Chuck said the food was “lousy and expensive!”

They viewed the eclipse at Westlake Park. He had some great pictures on the park and the eclipse. At totality, it went completely dark and the city lights came on.

On their trip through the country side they stated in hostels, which was much cheaper. The food was good and plentiful. Chuck and his family ate a lot of noodles.

The family toured the Olympic Village, which covered a lot of ground. They also toured the “Forbidden City” which large and impressive!

They went to the Great Wall, which is largely overgrown and not restored.

The tour of the Terracotta Warriors was very impressive. There is still a lot work to be done on this site.

Our next meeting will be at Dave Rudeen’s. Watch our website for details.
The meeting was adjourned about 8:30pm

Meeting Notes for July 14th

The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm

There were six members in attendance.

Dave Rudeen drew 85 open and globular clusters. He also showed us his pins from the Astronomical League, see picture. Congratulations Dave.

Chuck showed us his home made led flashlight. He will be off to China this coming Sunday with his family to see the total eclipse. He will give a full report on the eclipse and his trip at the next meeting. Note: Chuck said that there will be a total eclipse at Salem OR in 2017!

Chuck said that at the Golden state Star Party he saw a comet. He also talked about the party.

We discussed and voted on the AL Awards coordinator. The member who has earned as award will be the coordinator for that class of rewards.

We will meet again at Dave R’s home in the next month or two. Will discuss the date at a later meeting.

John Fain talked about his awards and tonight was named “John Fain Night.

Because of conflict of interests, no star party will be held this month. Prez Chuck will send out notices to members.

Dues are due = $10 a year and all members are members of the Astronomical League.

The meeting was then adjourned. Thanks Chuck for the cookies and Katie for the berries

Dave Krone- Secretary.

Meeting Notes for May 2009
In attendance: Larry Farrington, Alan Eddy, Dave Rudeen, Chuck Jopson, John Fain, Katie Lyn Branson

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck Jopson. He discussed his new observing manuals he has acquired from the Astronomical League. The books are for Planetary Nebulae, Double Stars, and Galaxies. The manuals are well done with lots of information, though the Planetary Nebulae and Galaxy ones appear to have quite a few difficult items to find.

The conversation went on to discussing the difference between apparent magnitude versus actual magnitude. This in turn led to discussing galaxy hunting and the magnitude of some.
Alan gave and astronomy lesson to the Jackson Creek School Jr. High class. 90 kids were in attendance for that.

Larry told us about working on the Deep Sky club, the Double Star club, and the Constellation Sampler. We went on to discuss some of the specifications for those particular clubs and what is needed.
Dave Rudeen and Chuck got on a discussion of lens’s and filters not fitting and certain filters are not made as well.

We went on to viewing the moon with a filter or other tricks so as not to blind yourself. Debated having a light on behind you, viewing in the day, and wearing sunglasses. Also discussed using a cap over the end of the telescope with a small hole to dim the light coming in, but how that also loses some of your focusing abilities.

Chuck showed us his new pictures of the ISS he took using just his digital camera versus the web cam. The picture turned out pretty well. He told us about the difficulty in shooting with the camera as the chip times out and stops taking fast pictures after about 10 seconds. Chuck is still working on his astrophotography.
We also discussed the chance to see the shuttle on the ISS and how rare it is too see that. That this time with the shuttle going to the Hubble Telescope, there wouldn’t be a time to see the shuttle docked to the ISS.

Talked about the technology that is being used is very different and older than what is out there. The advances that have been made in technology are amazing, but because most have not been tested and tried, NASA still uses much older technology because it is tried and true.
Talked about how they are going to be using the amount of fuel used in the Saturn V to launch the new shuttles coming up. The Saturn V was using 60 tons of fuel per second.
Discussed the lack of much solar activity and then using the Coronado PST for solar viewing.
The Aiden Star Party is June 20-24. So far Chuck and Larry Farrington are set to go.
The meeting wrapped up with dues being set to be due in June, and the May observing party set for the 16th.

Business Meeting
April 21, 2009

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:30pm at the Etna Library. There were six members present.

Prez Chuck talked about how to check your scope to see if the optics are good. He passed around the book the Club gave showing how to check your scope. Chuck then drew some diagrams showing how in focus and out of focus looked like.

Dave Rudeen showed us the copper rings he uses to judge the area on the charts that help him “star hop”. He is using his binos to do the Messier list. Dave advised that anyone doing any of the lists don’t get “frustrated”.

Larry is doing “open clusters”, “sampler”, Messier” and “doubles”. He also discussed the moon and its features.

We all had a big discussion about longitude and latitude and how to use these.

We then used chuck’s laptop to find various stars, nebulas, doubles, etc. This was a very interesting subject.

Dave Krone will get the library room reserved for the rest of the year.

The meeting adjourned about 9pm. It was a great, informative meeting.

Etna Astros Minutes for March 10, 2009
Those attending were

Chuck Jopson
Larry Farrington
Dave Rudeen
Alan Eddy
Katie Lyn Branson

Larry Farrington pulled out his certificate and pin from the Astronomical League for finishing his Lunar Club project. Discussed the difficulties in receiving the certificate and what it was like to deal with the contact person.

Dave Rudeen discussed using his new mounting system and telescope. Also showed us his drawing of tracking the asteroid Vesta with binoculars. He plotted it on a piece of paper that he had marked down the stars.

Debated on what to do about the April 14th meeting. The library will be having an official meeting that night, so the meeting will be either need to be switched to another night, or another place.

Long talk on astrophotography. The in’s and out’s of how long some images take and such. Chuck talked about how his program worked along with how he is still only using the piggyback method of taking pictures.

Discussed the website and how much Dave used it. Dave was the one that happened upon it. Along with that, Larry mentioned the usage of the site

Continued on to whether or not anyone was planning on upgrading to the new Sky Tools. Chuck thought he might, but wasn’t sure. The new upgrade is $89

Dave discussed the difficulty in hunting open clusters. They are listed as advanced in the Astronomical League. Whereas the Globular Cluster Club is in intermediate. So far Dave has 88 of 100 for the beginners level. He discussed how he is using the site for help on that. He then took us on a tour of the site to see how it works. It is a very well put together site. Very helpful for individual charts. Has zooming capability along with a photograph. Dave also discussed how he found out that there is only one open cluster between 9 and 16 hour ascension. You are looking away from the galactic plane. More towards say Virgo. Chuck pulled out his sky atlas and sure enough that is the way it is. You could really see how things work. There are hardly any globular clusters, nebulae, and open clusters in those ascension times. But you look at galaxies and they are all centered in that time period…

Side note. Alan was asked by the county schools to teach an astronomy class. He ended up teaching an autistic boy from the Scott Valley… It was an hour and a half long class.

(Alan left after this)

Long discussion of the Astronomical League and the different clubs there are to do. The time it takes to do them. The interest in them and what people had used to do them.
Dave talked about the solar eclipse that is to be between Salem and Portland, OR in 2017. Check out the site It is to be a total eclipse.

Chuck told us how he is taking his family to China to view the 2009 solar eclipse. He also told us the things he is going to be visiting while in China. Along with the debate and discussion of the famous Mt. Huashan hiking trail that scales this peaks in treacherous paths and climbs. Along with hiking hundreds of feet above the ground with only chains in the rock and a two foot wide board path hanging over the cliff. To see information and pictures, see

Last order of business was to try and see if we could find Comet Lulin. No such luck. The moon was a bit too bright and the street lights and cars were affecting the night vision.

The meeting wrapped up at about 8:30 PM
OH, and Larry brought some great Peanut butter cookies.

—KL Branson

Business meeting
January 13, 2009

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:30pm at the Etna Library. There were six members present.

Prez chuck showed off his new “heated” vest. It is powered by rechargeable batteries and lasts about 4 hours. That battery pack also has a small flashlight in it. Looks neat Chuck!

Chuck and Alan discussed cold weather and steps they have taken to handle it. Alan was in Alaska when it was 61 degrees below zero!!

Dave K passed around the 2009 edition of the “Royal Astronomical Society of Canada” 2009 “Observer’s Handbook 2009.” Several members wanted to order a copy. If any other member whishes a copy let Dave K know.

Alan Then gave us a slide show showing deep space objects and one set the showed the planets. Thanks Alan, this gave us a lot to talk about.

Alan also discussed small scopes for young people just starting out in astronomy.

Alan also made out a new viewing schedule, but forgot to bring it. It will be posted on our web site.

Chuck talked about the sun spot that is showing a little today.

Thanks to Barbara Krone for the fruit bars.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm. Davie Krone, Club Secretary

December 7, 2008
The meeting was called to order by Secretary Dave Krone @ 6:30pm in the Etna Library.

  1. Larry said that he had sent in his “Lunar Club Program” to the Astronomical League last October and hasn’t heard from them. He has tried to contact them, but to no avail. Dave will look into this.
  2. Larry talked about the moon. He showed us the lists he sent into the League, very impressive!
  3. Alan will make out next years (2009) meetings and observation schedules. He will also schedule at least one lunar observation night.
  4. Alan saw a BIG meteor several nights ago. He said that it was very, very bright.
  5. Katy told us about taking care of telescopes. You can get the manual for your telescope on the internet.
  6. Katy gave a demonstration of “Stellarium” on her laptop.
  7. Alan talked about Star Parties he has been to. Would like to get together this coming year to go to one.
  8. Alan talked about the book “Galileo’s Sister”.
  9. Katy will see Chris abut our use of our webpage.

The meeting was then adjourned. Dave Krone, Club Secretary

November 11, 2008
Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 4:30pm at our member Dave’s home. There were four members in attendance.

  1. Dave took us out to his new observatory that he built on his property.
  2. Dave showed us the way he built it, the special features that he designed for it such as folding tables etc. This is a sliding roof observatory and is built very solid. See attached pictures.
  3. We then went to his house and had a short business meeting.
  4. Dave showed us many of his books from his extensive library. He won third place in the Astronomy magazine a few years ago. The prize was a library of books on astronomy.
  5. He showed us the current projects he is working on. These are through the Astronomical League.
  6. Chuck then discussed his thoughts and plans for his observatory. He received many good ideas from Dave’s building.
  7. We then discussed many items about astronomy.
  8. The meeting was adjourned about 8pm.

Thanks Dave and his wife for the hospitality and the refreshments.

Check out the pictures!

Celebrating 5 Years!


September 9, 2008

The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm at the Etna Library.

President Chuck told us about his backpack trip last week end with his three brothers. They went into the Marble Mountain Wilderness. He said that the stars were brilliant.
Chuck told us about a new tracking DOB mount that he is looking into. He will tell us more at our next meeting.
Alan talked about viewing the moon. He said that he doesn’t look at the moon in total darkness, a little light helps with the brightness of the moon. He also said that the seeing in Yreka is better than it is in Scott Valley because of the smoke.
Katie told us about her viewing experiences looking at the moon.
She also said that she got a download of the program “Stellarium”.
We will have our business meetings on the second Tuesday of each month through the month of December.
Our next Star Party is on September 20th at the Etna High School Football Field.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00pm

Dave Krone reporting, Krone News Agency, All Rights Reserved

August 19, 2008 Meeting

There were seven members present. The meeting was held at President Chuck’s house as the Etna Library was “double booked”.

  1. Dave Rudean is now a member of the “Double Star Club” of the Astronomical League. He showed us his pin, congratulations Dave.
  2. Prez Chuck talked about his experiences with webcams. He described the short comings of the webcam. There was a discussion about using webcams and other ways to photograph the sky.
  3. Dave R told us about his observatory. Prez Chuck said that he intends to build one soon. There was a discussion on the types of buildings and how to locate them. Chuck showed us where he intends to put his observatory in his back yard.
  4. Larry told us about some of the astro pictures he had taken.
  5. Chuck talked about “stacking pictures” and the programs he uses.

We then had coffee and cookies (thanks to Barbara Krone). A nice time was had by all. Our thanks to Chuck for letting us use his home for this meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm.

Dave Krone - Secretary

Minutes for July 8th, 2008

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:30pm

1.Prez Chuck demonstrated the proper way to use binoculars. He showed us the proper way to focus, adjust the eye pieces and to make them stable. He then passed his binos around for us to practice.

2.Chuck then brought out his laptop computer. He told us about Sky Tools 2 and how to use it. We asked a lot of questions, which he answered by showing us on the laptop. This was a very informative session. He also reminded members that if you are going to purchase Sky Tools, let him know. If more than one member buys at one time, there is a discount!

The meeting was adjourned about 8:30pm
Thanks to Lee Ann for the “goodies” she brought to us.

Minutes for the June 17, 2008 meeting.

Get Adobe Flash player
The meeting was called to order by Club President Chuck.

Prez Chuck talked about the use of a web cam. He said that a few accessories are need, such as a focal reducer and an adopter. He then gave us a demonstration of his web cam on his lap top. If you are thinking about getting a web cam, talk to Chuck first as he can give you some valuable information on buying it and the equipment you will need.

Chuck showed us a picture he took of the Space Station with his scope. He had trouble following it with his telescope as the station goes much faster than the stars or moon. He used a Nikon Coolpix 990 to take this picture.

Dave Rudeen talked about Saturn. It is going into a phase were it’s rings will be edge on to us. It is going into a 16 year cycle where the rings go from almost full view to edge on.

Dave then told us about his new observatory he has built. It has a roll off roof so his equipment will be protected when not in use. He then started a discussion about the problems and challenges of building an observatory. You should have a good view of the north and south. You must also be able to see Polaris. He hasn’t used his yet because of the bright moon. He also said that Yreka is a bright spot.

Chuck gave us a demonstration of the computer program “Sky Tools”. It was very interesting. Chuck had some star charts he printed out before the meeting. He showed us how to print them – neat!!
Dues are $15 a year. Please give your dues to chuck or Dave K.

The meeting was then adjourned.
Minutes for the May 20, 2008 meeting:

The meeting was called to order at 6:30pm by Club President Chuck.

  1. A discussion was held on the use of webcams and binoculars. Chuck will bring his webcam and Dave will bring his stabilized binoculars to the next meeting.

  2. Chuck told us about his hunting for Quasars. He hunted down 3C273 in Virgo. It is a 12.8 mag. Object. He also saw a “carbon” star near the quasar.

  3. Chuck uses “Sky Tools” for finding objects he wants to hunt. He likes the ease of use and it is easy to print out charts. He doesn’t use “go to’s” for seeing stars. He likes to star hop, as he may run into other nice objects while looking for the star he was targeting.

  4. Larry will also bring his webcam to the next meeting.

  5. Alan talked about star names and why they are named the way they are.

  6. Chuck talked about using different types of scopes and how to aim them. New members (and some of us old members) have a hard time aiming the scopes do to the way they show the stars. You need a lot of practice with your scope!

  7. Chuck used his lap top computer to show us how star magnitudes work and apparent magnitudes are measured.

  8. John brought up the “Big Bang” theory and we all discussed that plus the “string” theory. Chuck said that they use the “fudge factor” too often.

  9. Alan talked about teaching kids at the Jackson Street School about astronomy this last May 7th - 8th & 9th. Showed them how to look at the sky. He also tried to show them sun spots, but there were not there!

  10. Alan said that the Shingletown Star Party is July 1st to the 7th this year.

  11. Dues are due the 1st of June at $15 per year. Alan paid his dues.

  12. The meeting was then adjourned

Dave Krone - secretary

ETNA ASTROS MINUTES April 22, 2008 Etna Library

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:30pm

Chuck talked about TIME. He discussed three theories about time, all three are very hard, if not impossible, to understand. There was a big discussion about this.

Chris told us about our updated web site. He also updated the solar connection and talked about our sun. It now appears to be entering a new eleven year cycle. Chris talked to Jack Eddey (no relation to Alan) about sun cycles. There was a “mini ice age” about 1500AD that may have been caused by the sun cycle. Alan said that the northern lights are best during active sun cycles. This coming sun cycle may be the biggest in 400 years.

Our visitor, Kathy Williams, was asked what she wanted from our club. She said that she just wanted to look at stars!

Alan talked about his back. It is coming along well. He also told us about his trip to Mount Bachelor Oregon Star Party. It was a small party, held on s parking lot. There was good food but no showers. This party is put on by the Sun River Observatory. It is in a deep valley and can be very windy. There was an 18 inch Dob and 130mm Takashi scopes among others.

Chris talked about our last Star Party. Kathy Williams said she looked at Saturn and that “made her day”. Chris stayed until 2:30am and said that we should have more targets at our next Star Party.

Larry told us about his activities. He is working on Astronomical Society’s lists. He is also very interested in the moon. He took some pictures of Saturn with a web cam. He belongs to the Medford Astronomy Club and just likes to look at the sky.

Alan talked about “binos” and Chris said he is down to 26 scopes! Chris also talked about Meade. They of outsourced most of their work and went from 400 employees to about 30!! He thinks they won’t be in business long!

Chuck and Chris then got their lap tops out and went on line.

The meeting was adjourned about 8:30pm

Dave Krone - Secretary

Get Adobe Flash player
Minutes for the March 18th

The meeting was called to order by President Chuck at 6:45pm at the Etna Library.

Chris told us about the Lesotho Project. The telescope is ready to go but we have to raise shipping costs.

Dues were discussed. They are $15 per year and due in June.

A book on “Digital Astrophotography” was discussed by Chris. He is reviewing it for the publisher.

Chris gave us a program on Newton’s Laws of Gravity. The laws are; 1. A body is at rest unless force is applied. A body in motion is always in motion unless other force is applied. 2. Force is equal to mass times acceleration (F=ma). 3 Law. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Chris then gave us some demonstrations on these laws. There was much discussion about this subject. Thanks Chris for this demonstration.

Chuck talked about “Stuff that Glows”. He talked about Nebulas, photons, Gamma rays and how they work. He stated that it takes a photon a million years to get out of the sun, but only seven minutes to get to the earth! He discussed the two types of nebulas, emission and reflection. Chuck discussed the spectrum of light and showed us the spectrum of light coming from the sun. Of the primary gasses, helium was discovered in 1868.and is the second lightest gas, after hydrogen. Each element has its own “finger print”. Thanks Chuck for this program.

A Birthday cake was presented to Emily for her birthday. Happy Birthday Emily

The meeting adjourned after 9pm. Dave Krone – secretary.
January 22, 2008 Meeting

As usual, a great time was had by all. We started by catching up on each other’s holiday activities. Seems we all made it through the hectic season. The snow has dented our observing time and few of us have been able to get a telescope out.

Dave brought home-made cookies that put Little Debbie (absent) to shame. Thanks Barbara!

Chris did a presentation on the use of an EQ mount. These mounts are not well understood so this was a good opportunity for everyone to gain some insight into the benefit of the EQ design.

We talked a little about the Lesotho project and decided to proceed as the weather, and therefore attendance, improves. Chuck gave an update about the images coming in from Mercury.

After enjoying time to socialize we wrapped up the first meeting of 2008.

December 11, 2007 meeting


The meeting was called too order at the Etna Library by President Chuck Jopson. There were nine members and visitors

Those attending were very happy to see Peggy Whipple and Bev Schaefer! Welcome back!

Prez Chuck started to meeting by handing out papers on our solar system and planets. He then asked questions, such as;
Planet rotations, sun’s rotation, moons rotation, planets masses and sizes. This was very interesting and helpful.

He then talked about persons in history that laid the foundation for planetary science. He told about early astronomers such as Tyco, Kepler Galileo, Newton and Einstein. He explained how they worked out the planets in the solar system, how they rotated, and how they figured out the planets sizes. This was followed by a lively discussion on these subjects.

Chris talked about the “Lesotho Project”. Members are all willing to have this project. Chris will give us more information when he gets it.

Chris also handed out a paper that he did that estimates the density of material in and around the comet Holmes. It’s amazing how so little material can make such a big sight!

Thanks to Chuck and Chris for the coffee, chocolate and cookies…

Col. Dave Krone, Astro Special Seal Service & Secretary
Meeting of 10-30-07

The sky provided two excellent treats Tuesday night! First, the clouds rolled away and the evening was perfectly clear. And, Comet 17p/Holmes was in a perfect location to be easily observed from our meeting venue, the Etna Library. Rather than hold our regular meeting it was decided to set up a telescope do some observing. Chuck set up a pair of binoculars and Chris set up a 5" refractor. All had a good look at this very unusual comet.

Chris & Chuck “worked” the crowd at Ray’s Market by inviting people over to our base to see the comet. Many people took advantage of the opportunity and the night proved very worthwhile as a chance to show many people this one in a life time event.

We wrapped up about 8:30 p.m. with coffee and a general discussion of the awe we all experienced. Great night!

Chris Reich, reporting for Dave Krone

Annual Birthday Party! 10-4-07

The annual party was called to disorder by President Chuck at the Etna Library. All the good members were present (hint hint).

Chuck hit us hard with a chocolate cake, two cakes actually, that contained more butter than chocolate or cake. I believe someone had more than one piece? I did. Chuck went to the trouble of simulating the recent meteor crater site in Peru. Amazing work Chuck!

Our own Emily “EmailMe” Sarwas completed the Lunar Observing Challenge! Nice work. Your certificate will be awarded at the next meeting. We are all so proud of Miss Sarwas.


It was decided that the next observing night would be October 13th. We’ll meet—unless it’s raining—at Etna High’s upper football field at around 7:00 (Dusk).

Chris explained the use of SkyClock. There are features there that few people knew about. Too cool!

John Fain received an award for incredible observing skill for a rookie. John can discern extremely fain detail in DSOs. I’ve (Chris) observed with John and can verify his keen sense of color. Spend some time with him next time we’re out observing.

Emily Sarwas received an award for most email sent by a member in a 10 year period. She achieved that record setting volume in one week in August. And again in September. And again in October. actually, it’s a pleasure to have Emily’s enthusiasm in the club. Thank you Emily! She was awarded a nice piece of rubber bakeware in hope we will be treated to a suitable cake sometime soon.

Chuck was given an award just for accepting the job of President. Of course, he was elected while out of town and after the other guy quit but he still deserved the award. Right? He did bring a couple cakes and lots of cookies. I was sorry I didn’t fill my pockets with both—I got busy with the projector. Well, next time I’ll wear my jacket with the plastic lined pockets.

Our top Seal, Col. David Krone was given an award for bravery in the face of corn sweetners, palm oil and a host of preservatives in his rescue of club mascot, Little Debbie. May the force always be with you Col. Krone. transfat is no match for Col. Krone.

The website had over 1,500 UNIQUE visitors in September who made a total of more than 25,000 total visits to our award winning site. WOW.

We then took a tour tour of the website via laptop/projector. Chris hopes for more participation in the discussion group.

Chris then demonstrated his favororite astro software: Starry Night, Sky Tools & Stellarium.

Stellarium is a free program available for download at

The meeting concluded with more cake and cookies while the coffee and juices flowed freely. Thanks to all who contributed and attended!

It’s good to be an Astro.

Dave Krone & Chris Reich

I cleared out the old meeting notes but they are available in this PDF file.

This begins a new chapter in our growth and development as an award winning astronomy club! (M13)

Preferred Vendors

We’re often asked about experience with particular vendors or from where to order a particular item. If a member has had an exceptional experience with a particular vendor please let us know so we can get the word out to others. These are the 5 star vendors who give service beyond the call of astronomical duty!

Moonlite Telescope Accessories

These guys make the best telescope focusers money can buy. Their focusers are beautiful instruments and the workmanship is unequaled. Their service is always excellent.

When considering a focuser upgrade, look first at a Moonlite. Ask for Ron.

43S Astro

This is one of astronomy’s best kept secrets. For about the same, maybe a little less, than you would pay for a glass filter in an aluminum cell; you can have a hand made white light filter with Baader solar film. The Baader film gives better resolution than a glass filter and the hard wood cells are simply works of art.

Looking for the best white light filter for solar viewing? Get in touch with Larry. You will not be disappointed. And if you’d like to see one first, ask Chris. He’s got three of them — soon to have a fourth.


Looking for odd parts or miscellaneous stuff? This where you go. Rings, dovetails, fittings—start your search here. Scope Stuff is great because 1. They sell lots of stuff you need 2. They take PayPal and the checkout is QUICK! Just add to cart and pay. 3. Shipping is included in all the prices—no surprises. 4. They ship fast.

They say it best on their website:

“Hands on Optics is the retail division of ScopesUSA. Founded by a true hobbyist and former astronomy teacher who built his first telescope 40 years ago, Hands on Optics takes the time to match the right scope or binoculars to the user. The right telescopes collect crowds and wrong ones collect dust. We can help you with your selection whether you are a first time buyer, institution or seasoned professional.”

The Hands, yes that’s their real name, have always provided great service and support to our club members. We’ve occasionally gotten an “inside” deal too!

This is the place to buy the Proxima 8-24mm Zoom, the best zoom eyepiece bargain you’ll ever find. Be sure to tell them the Etna Astros sent you!

See Into Space

Chris is launching a venture for people who want to learn about astronomy. He’ll also make sure you get started with the right equipment without spending a lot of money. This program includes the right equipment and training in solar, lunar and a deep space astronomy!

If you want to get started in astronomy, this is the perfect program.


Solar page

This is the latest image from the SOHO satellite. Yes indeed! This is an up-to-date image of our sun in H-Alpha fed directly from NASA! (304 Angstroms)

If you have special (expensive!) equipment, you can actually see this from your home. Expect to spend about $6,000.

(Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope: 284 Angstroms) images the solar atmosphere at several wavelengths, and therefore, shows solar material at different temperatures. In the images taken at 304 Angstroms the bright material is at 60,000 to 80,000 degrees Kelvin. In those taken at 171, at 1 million degrees. 195 Angstrom images correspond to about 1.5 million Kelvin. 284 Angstrom, to 2 million degrees. The hotter the temperature, the higher you look in the solar atmosphere.

This image shows the magnetic interaction of sunspots (if any are present).

SOLAR TSUNAMI: When sunspot 930 exploded on Dec. 6th, producing an X6-category flare, it also created a tsunami-like shock wave that rolled across the face of the sun, wiping out filaments and other structures in its path. An H-alpha telescope in New Mexico operated by the National Solar Observatory (NSO) recorded the action.

“These large scale blast waves occur infrequently, however, are very powerful,” says Dr. K. S. Balasubramaniam of the National Solar Observatory. “They quickly propagate in a matter of minutes covering the whole sun and apparently sweeping away filamentary material.” Researchers are unsure whether the filaments were blown off or were compressed so they were temporarily invisible. Get the full story from the NSO.

This image is of the far side of the sun. The image is made using sonar
and can reasonably predict sunspots on the far side of the sun.
If a condensed, dark area remains for a few consecutive days it is likely a sunspot.

Files for Download

Celebrate Astronomy Day!

Documents (All PDF Files)

Astronomical League Goals

Fun Stuff

Book reviews

Turn Left at Orion

This is a great book for the beginner! What I like best is that it sets realistic expectations for what you will see in the telescope. Books often describe a particular target and then show a dramatic full-color picture taken by The Hubble—when you get to the eyepiece you only see a small fuzzy smear! This book actually shows you what that small smear is going to look like! It’s a very nice binocular guide too. I’d give it 5 stars if it had more targets. (Available through most book sellers and

Finder Chart Books

These books are really superb! They are nicely laminated and hold up very well in the worst of night-time conditions. There is very little text so don’t expect much information about the targets. But, each page is an easy to follow chart marked with the Telrad bulls-eye for easy finding of the desired target. There’s a master list at the front of each book by Object Reference with an informative summary. the books lay flat and are a pleasure to use. The Messier Objects come in 2 volumes. These couldn’t be better for what they are meant to be. One thing I would mention. The Bright Telescope Objects book is mostly Messier Objects. If you want to complete the Messier List, get the 2 volume Messier Set and skip the Bright Telescope Objects book. Or, if your interest is casual, get only the Bright Telescope Objects book. Overlooked objects is very interesting! I bought mine—the entire series—from Scope Stuff. I like to use Scope Stuff because their prices include shipping and they give great service.

Bright Star Atlas

Wil Tirion’s LAMINATED Bright Star Atlas is 32 pages and includes 10 maps, each 9"x12". All 9,096 stars of the entire Yale Bright Star Catalog have been plotted along with over 600 deep sky objects, including all the Messier Objects, which are of particular interest to binocular and small telescope observers. Data on all celestial objects is presented in tabular form opposite each map. The Milky Way is shaded in green. Great for beginners as well as a handy reference for the more advanced amateur. Just the right size to be carried with you in your vehicle, suitcase, briefcase or backpack. I use these charts nearly every day! A pleasure to use! Be sure to get the laminated edition.

Seeing in the Dark

Seeing in the Dark is author Timothy Ferris’ love letter to the skies and a stirring report on the revolution now sweeping amateur astronomy, in which backyard stargazers linked globally by the Internet are exploring deep space and making discoveries worthy of the professionals.
This book will really stir your soul’s interest in astronomy. It’s a collection of stories about amateur astronomers of the first order and how they approach their passion—the night sky. Just fascinating! I highly recommend this book. Great reading.

Astronomy Hacks

by Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson

I really like this book and enjoy picking it up and just jumping to a “Hack” and reading it. It’s nice because it’s like a book of tips—covering a wide range of topics—that do not have to be read in order. I learn something new every time I pick this book up! And it’s easy reading…AND, the publisher has offered our club 30% discount coupons for this book!!! If you decide to get this book, and I highly recommend you do, contact Chris for a coupon!
Here’s what the staff at Amazon had to say:

Do you relish viewing and identifying celestial objects? Whether you’re a first timer or an advanced hobbyist, you will find Astronomy Hacks makes a brilliant cosmic companion. Why use the traditional approach in admiring and studying the stars when you can turn computers, handheld devices, and telescopes into star gazing tools for an out-of-this-world experience?
This handy field guide covers the basics of observing, and what you need to know about tweaking, tuning, adjusting, and tricking out a 'scope. Expect priceless tips and tools for using a Dobsonian Telescope, the large-aperture telescope you can inexpensively build in your garage. Get advice on protocols involved with using electronics including in dark places without ruining the party.
Astronomy Hacks begins the space exploration by getting you set up with the right equipment for observing and admiring the stars in an urban setting. Along for the trip are first rate tips for making most of observations. The hacks show you how to:

Dark-Adapt Your Notebook Computer
Choose the Best Binocular
Clean Your Eyepieces and Lenses Safely
Upgrade Your Optical Finder
Photograph the Stars with Basic Equipment

The O’Reilly Hacks series has reclaimed the term “hacking” to mean innovating, unearthing, and creating shortcuts, gizmos, and gears. With these hacks, you don’t dream it-you do it–and Astronomy Hacks brings space dreams to life. The book is essential for anyone who wants to get the most out of an evening under the stars and have memorable celestial adventures.
If you want a second opinion, Alan Eddy has this book as well.

Objects in the HEAVENS

At first I thought, “no, I don’t need another little field guide”. But then I considered the awesome responsibility a club President has to stay informed and decided I had better buy one after about the release of this new, third edition.
I liked this guide from the first glance. This is really a “keeper” in that it is neither too basic nor too complicated for most beginners. Actually, it’s a very handy field book for an avid astronomer. There is a lot of really great beginner type information in the first few pages—nice explanation of telescope types and lots of observing tips. The charts, while similar to the Brent Watson type finder charts, have a lot more detail—but not so much detail to discourage a novice.
Objects are listed by constellation which makes the book particularly “user friendly” and includes a plethora of interesting things to see. Here’s what Peter says about his book:
OITHv3 is a deep-sky fieldbook/notebook for amateur astronomers. Containing descriptions and mapped locations of 676 celestial objects of all types viewable with small scopes and binoculars, OITHv3 is designed to encourage those who have not spent much time searching for deep space objects by making the information readily available for use at the scope.
“A small, handy observing guide.”
Read the review
Object listings are magnitude 10 or brighter, so they’re all visible with a 6" reflector. 136 entries are specially highlighted for use with average binoculars. Generous space is provided for personal observation comments. Data has been assembled from 33 astronomical catalogs and includes 189 other-than-Messier or NGC objects of all types. It’s an interactive reference book which brings together just the facts, and then some regardless from which catalog or category type they may be, to be a complete, useful and entertaining viewing companion.
OITH provides many answers to: What ALL can I see and where is it? by providing only those objects which are potentially viewable from the Northern Hemisphere, formatted to simplify finding these visual treats with 63 detailed constellation and seasonal maps. Also featured are modern locations (2000 or better), available descriptions, extensive cross-referencing, common names list and historic observational comments from T.W.Webb. The book’s compact size makes it ideal for camping and hiking.
• 116 pages, spiral-bound soft cover, A5/digest size: 5.5" x 8.5";
• 676 objects to magnitude 10; 17 additional objects to mag-10.5
• 189 non-Messier or NGC objects, 28 of which are binocular-class;
• 186 “city” objects to magnitude 7 are highlighted;
• 144 double stars and multiple stars;
• 136 binocular-class objects with separate symbol;
• 70 maps: constellational, seasonal, seasonal insets;
• 61 observable northern constellations, arranged alphabetically;
• 33 astronomy catalogs are referenced;
• 19 photographs by Naoyuki Kurita;
• plus stories that combine multiple constellations for learning large chunks of the sky;
• plus encyclopedic data on planets, stars, meteors;
• plus common names list;
• plus modern Messier list of 110 objects with Marathon constellation order;
• plus complete object number cross-reference and mapping and more.

New Atlas of the Moon (Spiral-bound)

Things change so much from one observation session to the next, it’s nice to have more than one atlas of the moon. And I just happen to love a good atlas so I concluded this “new” atlas was a necessary addition to my collection of astronomy books.
My first impression was, “Wow! This is nice!” But as I got deeper and looked closer, I sank with disappointment. The copy I received ( was flawed. Some of the neat overlay pages were inserted upside down! And, some of the really beautiful color plates were so poorly printed that the ink literally had “flecked” off the page. The book was printed in Indonesia! Come on, we can’t print a book? Or are these guys just so cheap they had to print this book in Indonesia?! At a discounted price of $34.99 plus shipping, the print quality ought to be better. After a brief conversation with Amazon I decided to give it a second try. They are exchanging my copy for a fresh one. So, ok, let’s assume the pages will all be inserted correctly and the ink will stay on the page of my replacement book. This is still no “atlas”. It’s a nice book and many of the pictures are stunning but the book seriously lacks detail one would expect from a $35 atlas. For example, they have beautiful images of each day of a moon phase. There are clear overlays with the labels for these pages—a nice touch as it’s often easier to see features without the labels. BUT, they only include overlays for every other day!
I’d say this is like buying a star atlas which goes to 6th magnitude stars. It’s pretty and will be helpful but Rukl will remain my primary atlas. And, if the replacement is not of better quality, it will go back to Amazon.

Update: The replacement arrived from Amazon and it’s flawless but still a 2 star book. I don’t like the paucity of lables. The telescopically mirrored view is annoying. I prefer to make the corrections in my head depending on the equipment I am using for a particular session. It’s still a “pretty” book but I would not recommend it because of the cost.

Update 2: I took this book out yesterday to work on my 2007 lunar goal of learning to identify 100 objects on the moon without the aide of reference maps. To my surprise, Proclus is not shown on any of the maps and it is not listed in the index! Perhaps a later edition will include more detail.
Save your money. You can do better than this book.

Sky & Telescope’s Pocket Sky Atlas

The last thing I needed was another atlas. I have several—including all the popular and expensive ones! I also have the basic and inexpensive. I have finder chart books and finder chart cards. I have field guides and beautiful presentation atlases. I have lots of software too—planetarium modeling software and charting software. Did I need this new pocket atlas? No! But I must confess that I enjoy maps and charts so this was a necessary addition to my collection. Keep that in mind: I have a built-in liking for charts so it would take a lot for me not to like a chart book!

First impression. I like the size, the feel of the paper—though not laminated it should be durable—and the design which allows the book to lay flat. Why aren’t all atlases spriral bound?! I like the look of the charts—very familiar as it’s pretty much a chopped up copy of my Sky Atlas 2000—

Now it gets dicey. The publishers say in the forward that they didn’t want pages too small to be useful. I think they missed. In my opinion, the areas covered are annoyingly small. Had a lunar atlas format been followed—i.e., show me a large area divided into perhaps 8 charts, with the overview giving some detail, great. This is is missing. Or at least lacking. There are overview pages but they are not particularly useful unless you know exactly what you are are looking at. And I suppose that is the heart of the matter. If you know where M51 is but need to refine your position a bit by checking a reference, this pocket guide will help you–it certainly is not lacking in detail for a small atlas. But if you are trying to find M51, even with the right chart opened before you, you may have difficulty placing that piece of sky in relationship to what you see over your head.

OK. So what’s better? For a pocket guide, I greatly prefer “Objects in the Heavens” by Peter Birrin. His pocket guide is far more logically designed and contains much, much more information. I personally have purchased many of Peter’s guides and given them as gifts to budding astronomers and each time they just seemed to know what to do with his book. I doubt that will be the experience I have when I give away the extra copy of this pocket guide.

Will I keep mine? Sure. I can make use of it. Do I recommend it? Only if you’re a collector of atlases…Try Objects in the Heavens instead. Two stars? It’s tough. An experienced astronomer would find this book of more use than a beginner would. I may use it in the field for reference but I won’t use it for planning. Maybe it’s a three star atlas. If it shows wear after a few months I’ll give it another star!

Update: After using it in the field to locate objects I was having trouble finding, I’ve decided to add a star. If you know what and and approximately where you are looking for a given object, this pocket altlas is quite useful.

Another Update: After using this pocket Altlas to locate a couple of very difficult targets, I’m now very pleased with this atlas. I really did not like the small format initially but now find this guide to be an indepsensable field guide. I added a star. But it’s not for beginners or I’d give it 5 stars.

Astro Certifications

To be awarded a laminated, suitable-for-framing certificate, a member in good standing may complete any of the following observing challenges.

NOTE: You must submit your logs on Etna Astros log forms to qualify for the certification.
Select the challenge
Download the PDF form
Submit your completed form & logs for review

Hunting with Orion

Beginner Moon Observer

Interesting Ressources

This page contains links to several interesting Astronomical pages. Anyone who has something interesting to share with the Etna Astros - Please contact the Web Mistress and she can add it to this link page.

FREE Education from M.I.T.? The REAL M.I.T.? YES!
It’s 100% true. MIT has posted online all 1800 courses offered at the university. Any they’re free. Please visit and support this incredibly generous gift from the world’s premier science institution.

Searchable Asteroid Database
Everyone can use Sander Pool’s excellent searchable database website to find Asteroid events near them…

Space Weather
Visit this site for up-to-date information about space weather. Is the sun spewing protons at us? Will you see aurora tonight? Is a big asteroid coming in a bit too close? Visit Space Weather to find out! The current sunspot number is available here as well.

Pinhole Camera Solagraphy Project
This is not only very interesting but beautiful as well. I encourage EVERYONE to please visit this site! Great grass-roots project!

Dark Sky
A good site, recommended by The Etna Astros. Great source for information about light pollution. This is also a great place to get information about outdoor lighting.

Earth & Sky
Simple web site with basic sky watching information. Has a daily suggestion to look at. Gives basic observing tips.

PBS Jack Horkheimer’s Site
Has videos ( You need RealPlayer on your computer) of his show that are on PBS stations or just read the script part. Fun to look at!

Index - Messier objects
Good site with thumbnail photos which link to information on each Messier object. You could spend days here, and the photos and information are great.

Heavens Above
If you’re interested in satellites or astronomy, you’ve come to the right place! It provides the times of visibility, but also detailed star charts showing the satellite’s track through the heavens. This is the site to see when the International Space Station will pass over your location. It’s worth registering—no charge.

Astronomy Picture of the Day
Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
PLUS - go to the bottom of this site and have a look through the indexes. Really Fun!

The Astronomical League
The Astronomical League is composed of over two hundred and forty local amateur astronomical societies from all across the United States including our own Etna Astros!

Sky and Telescope Site
Sky charts, How-to’s, - Basics, What is new and lots of interesting and helpful information.

The Constellations
Information relating to the 88 constellations. Read the background myths of each constellation of those constellations based on myth. Also find lots of data on many of the stars themselves, such as their visual magnitude, distance, etc. The are newly-made star charts, which now show the curvature of the sky as well as an accurate picture of all neighboring stars. These charts are similar to those found in the printed version of this web site.

Star Pronunciation Guide
This guide provides phonetic pronunciations for hundreds of stars and other astronomical objects.

The Constellations and their Stars
A page of links about Constellations, Stars, Messier objects, Photos. Lots of Sky stuff.

Great Photo Site
by Astro Photographer Frank Barrett. Well worth looking at!

Astronomy Now Online
The UK’s Best-selling Astronomy Magazine. Containing articles on solar system, night sky, sky charts, alerts, store, spaceflight.

The Planetary Society
Get the latest news on planetary research and exploration. Great site to gather information about the solar system and why the study of our solar is so important.

This the best place to find bargains! Registration is required but well worth it!

Cloudy Nights
Great discussion and unbiased product reviews abound at Cloudy Nights! Registration is not required unless you wish to participate in the various online discussion groups.

43 S Astro
This is THE place to get a Baader solar filter. Each filter is hand made from beautiful hardwood. Cost? You’ll be surprised to learn these filters are about the same price as an aluminum cell from Kendrick.

Sky Maps Downloads
One of our members recommended this site for a very good monthly sky chart and list of suggested targets.

What is “Seeing”?

Observing planets, planetary nebulae or any celestial object with details at high power requires excellent seeing conditions. The seeing is the term used in astronomy to quantify the steadiness or the turbulence of the atmosphere. Seeing should not be confused with sky transparency, which is the terminology used to qualify the darkness of the sky. When we look at planets, we need high power to see all the fine details but most of the time we are limited by turbulence occurring in the telescope (local seeing) and/or in the atmosphere. During a night of bad seeing we are usually limited to see only two bands on the Jupiter disc and we can hardly use power over 100-150x. On excellent seeing conditions we can use high power and see many bands, white spots, festoons and details in the great red spot. Excellent seeing with high quality telescopes can also show details on the largest moon of Jupiter, Ganymede. What we are seeking is the best nights where we can boost our telescopes to their limits… which reach as high as 50X per inch diameter for quality telescopes… which means 500x for a quality 10-inch (25cm) instrument.

The seeing can be rated through astro-amateur telescopes with the following guidance….
Perfect motionless diffraction pattern.
Light undulations across diffraction rings.
Central disc deformations. Broken diffraction rings.
Important eddy streams in the central disc. Missing or partly missing diffraction rings.
Boiling image without any sign of diffraction pattern.

Of course, the diffraction pattern diameter is related to the aperture of the telescope. The diffraction pattern of a 4 inch telescope is twice as large as for an 8 inch instrument. So the seeing rating with this method will depend of the diameter of the telescope. An astro-amateur rating the seeing at 4/5 with a 6 inch telescope will certainly appear as a 3/5 with a 12-14 inch optical instrument. So it is important to understand or be aware of this difference. This forecast is based on the data accumulated with 11-14 inch telescopes during a four year period, so this study was done with the average modern astro-amateur telescope diameter. Astro-amateurs owning a smaller telescope may find the following (see the sky clock) forecast a bit pessimistic but you can adjust the colour index to your observations. Amateurs owning an 8-20 inch telescope should find this product quite useful and when the forecast shows a seeing 5/5 over an area… it should be the best planetary conditions for for any telescope diameter.

The Etna Astros: Solar Gallery

These images were taken by our members. As a club member, you too can participate in building our image galleries!

The images on this page appear in the order they were taken. We hope you will see new things in these pictures and we hope you will see our progress as we improve our skills as a group. The pictures should be getting better all the time!

This monster was caught in the act by Chris Reich on March 17, 2010 using a PST and a Canon A/40

Above images taken by Chris on July 3, 2006 using a PST, 12mm Cemax EP and Canon A/40
(Hand Held) ISO 400

Above: Surface Detail
PST with 2x Barlow, Canon A/40 camera, hand-held. Slight noise reduction and unsharp mask in PaintShop Pro 9.0.
Image taken by Chris Reich
Above: Solar Prominences
PST, 2X Barlow, Canon A/40 Camera
Taken by Chris Reich

Solar Prominence and excellent filament captured on 6-2-05 using Meade LPI.

Some adjusting to the image with PSP v.9.1
Using Meade LPI, PST and 2X Shorty Plus Barlow.
Taken by Chris Reich

Sunspot group taken 06-04-05
Meade LPI, Orion 120ST Refractor w/White Light filter. Slight unsharp mask using PSP v.9.1
Image by Doug Blagestad and Chris Reich

Another look at the sunspot group of 6-4-05
Note how the spots form in pairs…
Image by Doug Blagestad and Chris Reich

This is called a hedge row prominence.
Taken 6-11-05 at 2:00p.m.
Captured with Canon A/40, PST, 10mm Radian EP
Image by Chris Reich

Detached Solar Prominence (9-28-06)

Image by Chris Reich
PST, Canon A/40, EP Projection 12mm Cemax

Same Prominence 10-8-06 12:50 PDT

Image of sunspot group taken 10/21/2006 21:27

Imaged by Chris with ETX-90, Baader solar filter, Proxima 8-24 zoom, Canon A/40

This is a 3" aperture Polarex refractor. Polarex is the name that Unitron used to market their refractors in Europe. This particularly one was bought from a fellow in Holland several years ago. I added the after-market battery-driven drive. I used a 16 mm focal length eyepiece to project an image of the sun onto the white screen.
Submitted by Jack Brooks

Chuck Jopson provided us with these two views of the Mercury transit of 11/8/06

Sunspot #923

Sunspots 926 & 927 23:00UTC 12-2-06 (PST, Canon Digital Rebel XT, 10mm Radian)

Sunspots 926 & 927 12-3-06 22:00UTC

The sun is apparently having some holiday fun…but is it a Christmas Tree or a Dreidel?!

This image has been processed to show the extreme magnetic activity around this spot.
(Image: Chris Reich)

Again, the magnetic activity is very obvious in the Ha image (orange). These images are correctly oriented. Image below was taken with Baader white light filter. (Chris Reich)

AR930 Returns! Taken 12/31/06 at 22:30 UTC

Chris used a 2" Herschel Wedge—this is shot straight through the eyepiece. Going to need some practice with this new tool!

(Image credit: Chris Reich)

Sunspot 940 imaged by Chris Reich using Baader Herschel Wedge and Orion 120ST OTA. Canon DR/XT and 2.8X Klee Barlow (1/27/07 2150UTC)

Two shots of AR940 taken 1-28-07 (Chris Reich)
PST, Orion Star Shoot Lunar/Planetary Camera Both are stacks of 6 images (Registax 4.0)

Note: I am a little concerned about the exposure rates of the Orion Camera. It seems to expose unevenly but I may just need more practice with it. Chris

Full disk to show position in EP of AR 940 on 1-28-07

One more shot of AR940 taken 1-28-07 2300UTC
(Click for full sized image)


The sun at 2215UTC on 1-29-07. PST, Canon DRXT 3X Barlow

Shown are spots AR940 and newly arrived spot AR941


Solar flare on 1-29-07 (Chris Reich)


These images (Right) were taken on 4-4-07 by Chris Reich using a PST, 10mm Radian Eyepiece and hand held Canon A/40 camera (auto setting). Slight adjustment (color correction) made in PaintShop Pro ver XI.

The smaller image of the loop prominence made it on on 4-5-07 making it the club’s first “published” image.


After almost 30 days without a sunspot, the sun has given us AR953. It made it’s first appearance on 4-25-07.

This image was taken using a Meade ETX-90, Proxima 8-24 Zoom set at about 20mm and a Canon A/40 Camera at 3X Zoom. The camera was hand held to the eyepiece. Focus is the trick. You have to “guess” your eye about where the CHIP in the camera would be and then focus.

Here are some very interesting shots of AF956 taken 5-17-07. I used an ETX-90 and Baader film. Camera: Canon A/40 hand held into a Proxima 8-24mm Zoom.
Chris Reich

AR956 Taken 5-17-07

AR966 is a very small spot. This image was taken with a PST (Ha filter). Spots normally show up better in “white light” filtering. What is interesting about this shot is the noticeable magnetic activity (light area) wrapping around the spot.

Imaged by Chris Reich
PST, 8mm EP and Canon A/40 (Handheld)

Here’s a great example of a hedgerow prominence.

Taken by Chris Reich with PST, 8mm Eyepiece.

Chris has used this simple, low-budget technique to capture all his solar images to date.

This C-1 flare was caught on 8-6-07 at 1535UTC (8:35 PDT)
The bright area was white and bright. After the flare, two tiny spots (black) were visible. Click the image for a full size view.

PST, Canon A/40, 8mm Eyepiece ASA 100, Handheld.
Imaged by Chris Reich from Etna, CA

AR10966 Expertly captured using 6" Reflector, Self-made Baader Solar Filter, Kodak DX360

This is a very small spot—nearly classified as a pore. Very difficult item to see let alone so clearly catch.

Image Credit: Emily Sarwas
8-9-07 1915UTC

Close-up of AR10966 8-9-07 1915UTC

Image Credit: Emily Sarwas (As Above)

Solar Images Light Box. Just Click an image to see full size.

Nice Solar Prominence!

This huge prominence was captured on 10-26-07 by Chris Reich using very basic equipment: PST, Canon A/40 (Hand Held) and a basic 10mm Plossl Eyepiece. Solar astronomy on a budget!

The Sun has Spots Again!
After a long quiet period, the sun is once again sporting spots. This group, AR0978 was imaged by Chris Reich on 11-8-07 using a 120mm achro refractor at f/5, Baader 2" Herschel wedge, 17mm Eyepiece and canon hand held a/40. (Click for full size)

Here’s the same spot—AR 0978 taken on 12-13-07 about 2030 UTC. Notice how much it has changed!
Click for full size

The Etna Astros Lunar Gallery

We hope you enjoy our lunar images. The images are placed in the order taken starting with the oldest at the top of the page. As you move down the page, we hope you will see improvement as we learn new teachniques.

Above images:
Chris Reich
Orion Ed80 on Bogen Tripod, Meade LPI, 20 images stacked in Registax, some enhancement was done using PaintShop Pro ver. 9

Credit Joe Kriz with this beauty. (5/22/05) Unretouched
1…Meade 285 …60mm …900mm fl.
2…25mm lens …came with the scope
3…Orion var-polarizing filter
4…Vivitar 3615 digital camera …2.1 mpix…set at 2X zoom
800/600 net resolution — focus…auto…single frame .
5…Orion …5228…camera holder
6… Home made wood block ( alignment fixture–recesses cut with hole saw and chiseled relief to fit camera and lens )

Image of 5 day old moon taken with Phillips webcam using K3CCD tools—5 second avi stacked with Registax.
Telescope: Orion 120ST
Image by Chris Reich

Image of 5 day old moon taken with Phillips webcam using K3CCD tools—6 second avi stacked with Registax.
Telescope: Orion 120ST
Image by Chris Reich

False color image of 5 day old moon taken with Phillips webcam using K3CCD tools—6 second avi stacked with Registax. Color was added to enhance details for study.
Telescope: Orion 120ST
Image by Chris Reich

This image is presented as an example of the study guide images we are striving to achieve. Focus could be better on this image taken with the Meade LPI. Orion 120ST telescope used on Alt/Az mount.
Image by Chris Reich

False color image of 5 day old moon taken with Phillips webcam using K3CCD tools—6 second avi stacked with Registax. Color was added to enhance details for study.
Telescope: Orion 120ST
Image by Chris Reich

These two images give good opportunity to study the ray patterns of two of the moon’s most dramatic craters. Can you name them? Take a moment to really look at those beautiful rays.

Orion 120ST (f/5 fl 600) on Alt/Az Mount
Phillips Webcam, K3CCD Tools, Registax
Images stacked from 120(above) & 141(left) frames

Nice picture of one of our planned targets of
Orion 120mm f/8.3
Meade LPI, 3 sec. exposure.
Imaged by Chris Reich

Beautiful shot of nearly all the targeted craters of 7-15-05. Credit Brenda Kellog with this image. Brenda piloted the Meade LPI for 5 seconds to achieve this stacked image

Fr. George Mavromatis took this shot of the lunar limb on 7-15-05. He’s managed to beautifully capture the Apennine Mountain range with our target Eratosthenes in the lower left of the image.

Orion 120 f/8.3 using Meade LPI and 4 seconds of exposure. Some retouching in Registax to enhance features.

Robert Cox Sr. provides this lesson on the seas of the eastern limb. Very nice job Bob!

Bob was at the controls of the Meade LPI to take this 3 second, unretouched image. Note the unusual ray pattern of the crater Proclus.

(Left and Below: Click for full-sized pop-up) Moon of 1/26/07 imaged by Chris Reich using Orion 120ST Refractor, 2X Barlow and Canon DRXT.

Emily Sarwas captured this with her 6" Dob at about 40X shooting through the eyepiece. Click for a full sized image.

Imaged 8-19-07