Bulletin of the Eastbay Astronomical
Founded in 1924 at Chabot Observatory, Oakland, California
Volume 76, Number 12, August 2000
The photo of the domes for Leah
(left) and Rachel signals the completion of a seemingly unending
project to bring 21st-Century science to the lives of the childrenand
adults, tooof the Eastbay and Northern California. The new
Zeiss projector in the Ask Jeeves Planetarium is the equal of
any in the entire world. The Tien MegaDome Theater will present
films that will knock your socks off, so please bring along an
extra pair! And the murals and the exhibit galleries will delight
The Eastbay Astronomical Society congratulates Chabot Space &
Science Center on the fulfillment of this worthy goal! Please
also see Mike Reynolds column.
Constellation of the Month. Aquila
President Carter Roberts message.
How Amateurs Can Do Serious Planetary
Dr. John Westfall
Former Director, ALPO
Saturday, 12 August, 2000
General Meeting 7:31 p.m.
Lecture 8:20 p.m.
Chabot Observatory, 4917 Mountain Boulevard, Oakland, California
Amateur astronomers can make serious contributions to Planetary
Astronomy. No one is better able to tell us how than our own John
Westfall, the former president of and now editor for the Association
of Lunar and Planetary Observers.
John will outline several useful programs at different levels
of sophistication in which amateurs can participate. Beginners,
for example, with minimal equipment can help in the timing of
Jupiters satellite phenomena such as transits and eclipses.
They can also participate in ALPOs meteor program.
Another event that John will discuss is the coming apparition
of Mars, which starts after its conjunction with the Sun this
fall and culminates with opposition in June 2001.
Amateurs can draw, photograph, video and CCD image Mars to provide
professional astronomers with useful information, especially about
transient events such as dust storms.
Similar programs exist for Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.
One ALPO section specializes in the remote planets and does photometry
of them. There is also a comet section and even a history of solar
system studies section!
One of Johns special loves is the Moon and he will describe
the lunar meteor search program. Finally, John will point out
the tremendous benefits of being an ALPO member, participating
in their training program being one of those benefits.
John Westfall has been a member of the EAS since he was seven
years old in 1946. Semiretired from San Francisco State as Professor
of Geography, his professional interests are planetary science,
remote sensing, and historical geography. He received his BS from
Berkeley in 1960 and his PhD from George Washington University
He has held various positions in ALPO. He started as their Lunar
Recorder in the 60s. His world famous Luna Incognita
program used amateur observations of the Moon to map and name
poorly known areas of the Moons South Polar Area, a program
which has returned to prominence with the discovery of water in
that area. He took over the Jupiter satellite eclipse program
in 1980 and was director of ALPO from 1985 to 1995.
John is always an entertaining and informative speaker, particularly
known for his mordant and dry humor, so join us for what should
be a fun evening!
DINNER WITH THE SPEAKER
5:27 pm, Saturday, 12 August 2000
PEARL OF SIAM
5498 College Avenue, Oakland (510) 420-8600
Please call Betty Neall at 510/533-2394 by Friday, 11 August to
confirm your place. Note the time has been advanced to allow everyone
to be able to get to the meeting promptly at 7:31 pm.
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