The Etna Astros Astronomy Club

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 about 7MB wmv file)


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:
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!