The Antikythera Mechanism (photo right)
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www.eastbayastro.org Volume 83 Number 12 October 2007 October 2007 talks: The Antikythera Mechanism (photo right) Saturday, October 27, 2007, 7:30 pm Speaker: Dr. Tom Malzbender, of Hewlett- Packard Chabot Space & Science Center Physics Lab, 2nd Floor, Spees Building I n 1900 sponge divers off an island in Greece were seek- ing refuge from a storm when they stumbled across a magnificent ancient shipwreck. Among the wealth of bronze and marble statues recovered from the wreck was a lump of clay and mud that failed to attract much atten- tion. Eventually it was noticed that this lump had many bronze gears embedded in it. This lump is now known as the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical computer built by the ancient Greeks around 140 BCE. It is believed to have predicted the location of at least the sun and moon in the sky, It’s that time of the year, as well as lunar and solar eclipses. Nothing of comparable again… complexity is known to be fabricated by man for another 1000 years. Recently we applied our technique of reflectance imag- EAS ing to the surface of the mechanism, to assist in the process of reading inscriptions and seeing surface detail. This simple Membership technique involves photographing the object under varying Renewal Time lighting conditions, but from a fixed perspective. From these images, per-pixel estimates of surface normals can be made, October 31st which can be used to relight the object with improved reflec- tance characteristics. More info and a demo is available at: marks the end of the Eastbay Astronomical Soci- http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/ptm/antikythera_mechanism/ ety membership year. Thank you for being with index.html us in 2007! We hope you will consider rejoining Tom Malzbender is a senior research scientist at Hewlett- Packard Laboratories and member of the Antikythera Mecha- us for 2008, and beyond!!! (Application Form inside) nism Research Project. His research interest lie at the intersec- DINNER WITH THE Inside This Issue: tion of computer graphics, signal processing and computer SPEAKER vision. He has developed the methods of fourier volume ren- 5:30 pm dering, polynomial texture map- Saturday, October 27 Catch some (lunar) rays 2 ping, reflectance imaging and opac- HUNAN YUAN Future conjunctions 2 ity-weighted volume resampling. 4100 Redwood Rd., #11 News ‘n Views 3 (next to Safeway) EAS Board minutes 3 http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/ Oakland CalStar star party 4 Tom_Malzbender/? Spare Shots 5 jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN (510) 531-1415 No need to confirm—just Directions & Schedule 6 « EAS Membership form (insert) show up! Hesiodus is a crater Catch Some (Lunar) Rays 28 miles in diameter By Jane Houston Jones to the east of Pitatus, with a pass into the L unar sunrise and sunset rays are shafts of light latter and with gaps which shine through clefts in crater walls and in its north wall. Pi- mountains to illuminate the lunar surface. They tatus is a magnificent occur only at very low angles of light - during lunar lagoon-like ring, 50 sunrise or sunset. Sunrise and sunset rays are usually triangu- miles in diameter, on lar-shaped illumi- the southern shore of nations. Don’t con-Mare Nubium. The fuse them with im- light of the rising pact crater rays – Sketch of the ray by the author, Jane Sun shines westward Houston Jones which are the de- through the two cra- bris blasted out byters’ common gap and bisects Hesiodus. Two weeks later, the crater forming im- eastward shining light of the setting Sun bisects Pitatus. Sev- pacts on Coperni- eral times a year the geometry of Earth, Sun and Moon allow cus and other the light path to pass exactly through the low spot creating young craters. One the ray. of these rays, the On October 19, 2007 I had mostly been showing people Hesiodus Sunrise the Straight Wall, Plato, Cassini and Mons Huygens during Ray, is a favorite our monthly sidewalk astronomy night. My eye drifted from of mine. It’s easy the Straight Wall to Pitatus and Hesiodus. The center of Pi- to find the crater,tatus was bathed in sunlight, which cast a shadow on its cen- which is just southtral peak. The crater floor looked convex or dome-like to me. of Rupes Recta, or And guess what, the Hesiodus Ray, a narrow triangular shaft the Straight Wall. of light, illuminated the dark floor of Hesiodus. Lunar ray spot- You’ll find predictions for about 75 rays, including the ting gained popu- Hesiodus and Pitatus Rays, on the Robinson Lunar Observa- Hesiodus Ray Robin Casady Image of the larity about 10 tory webpage, http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/ hesiodus ray taken by Robin Casady years ago thanks torays.htm. There are six opportunities to see each of these two an article about the fleeting shafts of light next year. The first dates are January Hesiodus light ray in the July 1996 issue of Sky & Telescope. 16 and 31. A cleft in the neighboring crater Pitatus provides an opening Now get out and catch some rays! « for the shaft of light to cross the floor of this crater at various times throughout the year. Since that time, many amateur FUTURE CONJUNCTIONS—2007 astronomers have calculated when the sunrise or sunset will strike a crumpled or broken crater wall and create these short- (We’re running out of year, so this list isn’t long.) lived light shows. Oct 27 General Meeting, Chabot, Physics Lab, 7:30pm Nov 1 New EAS Membership year begins! (Have you renewed, yet?) 15 Board Meeting, Chabot, Soda Board Rm, 7:30pm 24 General Meeting, Chabot, Physics Lab, 7:30pm (tba) MOVN @ Chabot, Wightman Plaza* Dec 13 Board Meeting, Chabot, Soda Board Rm, 7:30pm (tba) MOVN @ Chabot, Wightman Plaza* (tba) Club Holiday Party (might be in the first part of January, 2008) *Members Only View Night: Always call 510 482-2913 after 5pm to confirm NOTE: Dates and times may change. We will provide as much Hesiodus - Map of the area from "The Moon", by Moore advance warning as possible. and Wilkins (Faber & Faber, 1955)  Editor’s EAS Board Meeting News ‘n Views Thursday, September 13, 2007 Howdy astro fans! Hey! Pretty ex- Attendees: Celeste Burrows, Alan Fisher, Terry Galloway, citing speaker we’ve got this Paul Hoy, Gerald McKeegan, Carter Roberts, Dave Rodri- month, eh what? Can you imagine: gues (via telephone), Don Saito, Paul Zurakowski. an ancient Greek mechanical astro- nomical calculator that pre-dates Event Director’s Report: This month’s meeting will be an- the birth of Christ? How would nual Members’ Night. Will feature photos of Yosemite Star such a thing work? What does it Party and astrophotos from Barcroft. Also show Jane Hous- do? Are they selling them on Ebay, yet? (I’m only half- ton Jones’ monthly NASA web video. Speakers already joking, here. I think it would be the ultimate in cool if some- lined-up for October (Dr. Tom Malzbender of H.P. will be day someone came up with a working replica of this thing. speaking about the Antikythera mechanism, the 2,000 year- Just think what a great conversation piece it would make!) old Greek Astronomical computer), and November meetings. Debbie Dyke, Con- Needs info on meeting dates for 2008; Sunday, March 23 or rad Jung, and I attended 30 for annual awards dinner? Or, Sunday Feb 24. Meeting this year’s AANC’s dates for 2008: Jan 19, Mar 29, Apr 19, May 17, Jun 14, Jul 2007 Reach for the 19, Aug 16, Sep 20, Oct 18 Nov 15. Stars convention, held Treasurer’s Report: Invested spare club funds into short-term on Saturday, September CD; will make about $35-$40 a month interest. Insurance for 29, and it was a great the next year has been paid. Spoke a little off-topic about success, with high at- Nellie’s focuser. Sky & Tel can be renewed online without tendance, amazing going thru the club. speakers, and tons of Loaner Scope Program: Got a whole box of eyepieces (exact Sam from Scope City handing out raffle prizes fun for all participants. number undetermined). Ray Wong told Paul he doesn’t want Highlights included to be the lead for the program, but will be willing to help it. (but were not limited to): The Board will need to find someone else to take the lead on • Dr. Imke de Pater, Professor of Astronomy and of Earth this. Possibly involve the Galaxy Explorers to help fix up and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley, talking about the some of the loaner scopes. Paul Z reports a woman contacted current studies on the rings of Uranus... him who wishes to donate a 12” reflector. Put a note in the • Jane Houston Jones’ talk about NASA’s Cassini Space newsletter asking for a volunteer to take over the LSP. EAS Probe Mission to Saturn... to partner w/Chabot to use their and our loaners. Paul Z al- • Christopher Go’s talk on high-resolution planetary asto- most has a 24” scope that is ready to loan out. The Board photography, and Richard Crisp’s talk about emission approved going ahead with the loaner program as it had been line astrophotography of deep sky objects... described in prior meetings (ie, a half dozen or more tele- • A “Sky Tonight” planetarium show by Prof. Darryl Stan- scopes maintained for loan to EAS members, also to other ford, using the College of San Mateo’s new Digistar 3 Chabot volunteers for use on the deck). The Board also de- planetarium... cided to seek an EAS member to help with the program. • Thousands of dollars worth of raffle items, mostly from Celeste offered to help by checking telescopes in and out Sam at Scope City... during the times that she was at Chabot. We also decided to • ...and many more activities, too numerous to list! ask Ray if that would be enough assistance to allow him to The work on Chabot’s 36” reflector telescope Nellie con- continue to head up the program. tinues—tweaking, its alignment, prepping it for the addition Regarding the Observing Program: The Board approved of two 5” finder scopes, and for a set of ventilation fans to supporting the four proposals that had been written up and cool the mirror, faster, and break up the air over its surface submitted in August, along with the subsequent edits. They (which, surprisingly, has been shown to increase a mirror’s are: the loaner program, the solar/daytime observing pro- resolution). Slowly but Shirley, things do improve. gram, the observing pin program, and the scouts telescope The following is the September EAS Board Meeting Min- training program at Chabot. utes, to let you know the kind of stuff that we do at these JPA Report: Terry reports things continue to go well between meetings. There’s a bunch of stuff that goes on in our club the EAS and CSSC under their new leadership. A motion that doesn’t always get announced or discussed at the general was made and passed to approve the EAS/CSSC Observing club meetings, so I thought I’d start posting these so you can Program (with a few small edits). Also: see more of what we’re up to. And that’s it for now! « Continued Page 4  Meeting Minutes—Continued from Page 3 1. Several funding efforts underway with NASA and Moore Foundation. 2. Alex also has a number of other good funding leads he is exploring. 3. More interest now in starting planning for Deck expansion including solar telescope. 4. The combination of the above will help pay down the COPS loan, which will reduce Chabot large monthly interest pay- ment burden. 5. Phase one of Blast Off - entering Space (formerly Living & Working In Space) is underway - this will not impact TMW. 6. Phase two will starting planning phase after Phase One is nearly completed and staff load lightens up. 7. Chabot has had many quarters of a pretty good budget balance condition and the future looks pretty stable but not high growth. Outreach on the 13th of Oct. Motion for Board to recommend to Carter that he use his $500 Local Heros award to pur- chase a 35mm Panoptic eyepiece for Nellie (recommended to him by Al Nagler, specifically for Nellie), and to use the rest of the funds to purchase spare volunteer jackets for CSSC volunteer telescope operators. Terry G will donate a CG3 clock drive to EAS; Paul H will donate a tripod to fit the CG3 to EAS; EAS to donate the working mount to CSSC, for use with their Coronado PST, so EAS will get the credit for the donation. This will make it easier for daytime volunteers at Chabot to run the PST for public (they won’t have to manually adjust it every few minutes). Volunteer operators of the system must be trained on correct set-up and breakdown, storage of the equipment, otherwise, it will quickly become inop. Get flat cones for the tripod feet, to help prevent accidental damage to the equipment. New Night Sky Network: new kits coming, soon. Paul H has been reporting EAS’ attendance stats to NSN, which shows the club’s activity level with the program, which is comparatively high. Channels 2 and 5 were here until 05:00 the morning of the recent total lunar eclipse. Several EAS members were featured in short television news interviews. Carter to send Casey list of dates for 2008 EAS Board Meetings. « morning, despite the covers. But, all in all, it was a successful Bill and Paul’s Excellent CalStar one-night star party, and as you can see, they got some nice Adventure results (see below). The Pleiades image was a total of 480 secs at ASA 1000, and The Flame and Horsehead nebulae CalStar, put on by the San Jose Astronomical Society, was were 600 secs at 1000 ASA (next page) « held this year on October 11-13 by the shores of the darksky location Lake San Antonio, located over the hills west of Hwy 101 between King City and Paso Robles. Dedicated |The Pleiades astrophotographers and EAS members Paul Hoy and Bill open star clus- ter, Messier Drelling were itching to check out Paul's new Canon 40D catalog number digital camera, get some practice with it, and see what it 45. Paul’s could do. Paul got there around 11:30am of the event’s last photo captures day, but it was cloudy. He decided to hang out to see if it’d the glowing gas be worth it for Bill to attend, too. The night before, they'd remnant of the gotten 45 mins of viewing between rain showers. Paul and cluster’s forma- Bill thought about going to Henry Coe State Park instead, but tion cloud. Bill wanted to see the CalStar location, so he decided to come down, even if only to see the site and talk to the people, there. Plus, the weather was looking a bit more favorable. Bill arrived around 5pm, and they had a catered dinner |The far-left with tri-tip steak; there was no entry fee to the event, but the star in Orion’s Park charges $20 per night, and of course they had to pay for Belt, Al Nitak, the meal. lights up the The weather improved enough to take pictures, so they set Flame and up, and began imaging. It was mostly clear, but around 2am Horseshoe fog started coming in and the dew started falling. They went nebulae, and until 3:30am, took their last picture of Al Nitak in the Belt of glows with extra Orion (looked like a huge star, due to the effects of the substance due clouds overhead). Paul had no sooner got nestled down to to dew forming on the lens dur- take a nap when Bill knocked on the window to say a dense ing the session. fog was moving in, so he had to get up again to cover his gear. It was so bad, their equipment was still dripping in the  Spare Shots | Ken Swagerty caught this amazing photo of a Blue Angel F/A 18 going trans-sonic, causing a shock-induced vapor cloud to form }Peter Jenniskens (of meteor shower predic- tion fame) and EAS member Debbie Dyke at AANC’s AstroCon 2007 }No, it’s not }The the revival College of disco. of San Don Saito Mateo’s points out new Venus at the planetar- Boy Scout ium, Expo, held where at Memorial many of Park in Al- AstroCon bany. Photo 2007 by Gerald events McKeegan were held |Lying down on the job. Conrad |Paul Terrill Jung was getting shows Japanese a sore neck doing Moon Viewing critical mirror Festival Coordi- alignment adjust- nator Liane Scott ments on Nellie, the Moon through so Ken Swagerty his Orion 4.7” put a bench onto refractor. the hand operated fork lift and made the job a little easier for him. }Paul Hoy }Gerald shows atten- McKeegan shows dees at the M15 to Moon Fes- Japanese tival attendees, Moon Festi- held at Lake Mer- val where his ritt’sGarden Cen- telescope is ter. Not bad, from pointed on a the middle of the planishere. City of Oakland! And that’s it for now! «  Eastbay Astronomical Society Post Office Box 18635 = Oakland, CA 94619-0635 October 2007 RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED Eastbay Astronomical Society President: Carter Roberts (510) 524-2146 email@example.com Vice President: Paul Hoy (510) 531-6305 firstname.lastname@example.org Treas: G.McKeegan (925) 926-0853 email@example.com Membership Reg: Bruce Skelly firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Linda Lazzaretti (510) 633-2488 Events Coord: Dave Rodrigues (510) 483-9191 Articles and photos for The Refractor are encouraged. Deadline for the November 2007 issue is November 3, 2007. Items may be submitted by mail to: Editor - 3514 Randolph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94602-1228. Internet email address: email@example.com Hm: (510) 482-2913. 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Total Enclosed: $_____________ Please mail this form and your check or money order payable to: Eastbay Astronomical Society PO Box 18635 Oakland, CA 94619-0635 For more information, please contact Membership Registrar Bruce Skelly at email@example.com, or the address, above. By default, (if you have an email address) you will be notified by email that the digital (.pdf) version of the club news- letter is ready to download off the club website. If you prefer to get the B&W hard copy, please check the box below: o I prefer the hard copy mailed to the address entered above. And, o Are you interested in volunteering your time/equipment for public stargazing at Chabot? o Are you interested in doing other volunteer work for Chabot and/or the Eastbay Astronomical Society? THANK YOU FOR JOINING US! Membership has its privileges… = Monthly newsletter, The Refractor, with interesting articles on currently visible constellations, upcoming lectures, club events, stories, equipment reviews, local news, and more. = Monthly meetings with featured guest speakers on all subjects from Astronauts to Zooming telescope eyepieces; from finding deep-sky objects, to planetary geology. Every and any thing having to do with astronomy, telescopes, and the space sciences. All that, and cookies and sodas, too! = Help and advice to new telescope owners. Got a new telescope and don’t know what to do with it? Bring it to a meeting; we’ll be able to help you figure it out! If you’re interested in getting a telescope, we can give you some good advice; be warned: there are a lot of bad telescopes out there! = Members-Only view nights at Chabot’s large telescopes to avoid the weekend crowds. We view galaxies, nebulae, star clusters, planets, the Moon, comets, double- stars, and whatever else is up! = Weekly star parties at Chabot. Interested EAS members get trained to operate the big ‘scopes (Leah, Rachel, and Nellie, the 8”, 20”, and 36” telescopes housed in three separate observatories) for Friday and Saturday night public viewing. = Yearly events: Annual EAS Awards Dinner, star parties at nearby dark-sky sites, the Barcroft Station high-altitude star party in the White Mtns. = Telescope Makers’ Workshop. Friday evenings from 7–10 pm, hosted by Chabot, and operated by the EAS. For a small fee, plus the cost of the mirror and “tool,” we will provide instruction and grinding/polishing supplies needed to make your own tele- scope mirror for less than half the cost of a store-bought one, that will likely be opti- cally superior! = Advanced Astro-research Groups using Chabot's large telescopes. Join a group to fit your particular astro-interest such as CCD or Film Astrophotography, Variable Stars, Solar, Seismological, Extra-Solar Planets, Occultations, Optical SETI, and more. Access to Chabot’s Science Library Automatic membership in the Astronomical League (a $16 value) Astronomy and/or Sky & Telescope subscription discounts (a $10 value) + Discounts on many items in the Sky and Telescope merchandise catalog Join the Eastbay Astronomical Society, and begin expanding your knowledge of, and appreciation for, the night sky, our world, and the Universe!