The Etna Astros Astronomy Club

If You Missed The Last Meeting

(You Missed Something Special)
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 1" lens. One member tried to find out why, but there have been no clear reasons since the 1" 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.


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.

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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

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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)