Project Phoenix has undertaken a systematic search for radio signals from planets surrounding approximately 1,000 nearby Sun-like stars. The SETI Institute assumed responsibility for Project Phoenix when NASA's budget for the ten-year mission was cut. The initial phase ran from November 1993 through June 1995. During that period, SETI readied all of the instrumentation from the terminated NASA program, and spent five months observing the Southern Sky using the Parkes 64-meter radio telescope in New South Wales, Australia. Approximately 100 stars were scrutinized during this initial run.
The Phoenix receiving equipment returned to California in the latter half of 1995. It underwent performance and reliability upgrades that allow it to observe with far less operator assistance. In September 1996 the system moved to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia. There is will observe with the 140 foot telescope.
By early 1998 operations are slated for the world's largest antenna, the 1,000 foot Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. Arecibo's updates provide greater sensitivity and cover a broad region of the microwave window at 1.2 to 3.0 GHz.
The Arecibo observations, which will span more than five years, and target more than 1,000 Sun-like stars, represent the core program of Project Phoenix.
Join TVS in welcoming Dr. Tarter to the General Meeting, and feel free to ask questions regarding Project Phoenix, its private funding, or the SETI Institute. As always, non-members and your guests are invited also.
Great news for Bob Braddy is sad news for TVS. Our active and dedicated vice-president accepted a terrific overseas posting, and will be receiving his newsletter in London. Now we need a volunteer who can step into Bob's role as chair of the school programs committee. Many thanks to Jim McIntire for filling the parks program role.
Membership in TVS runs a calendar year, ending on December 31. So, you may renew at the November or December General Meeting, or you can send your completed questionnaire and check to the TVS post office box as shown below.
On the subject of your dues,
here's the latest from treasurer Gene Nassar:
Checking account $4626.89
Money market $1196.05
CD account $3078.02
The CD represents key deposits for the The Dark Site Sky Shack.
In an attempt to lure you to the planning meetings, they will be held at Round Table Pizza 1540 First Street in Livermore. We will use the small meeting room at the back. Meetings begin at 7 pm, and typically end by 9:15. Cost for your share of the pizza and soft drinks is $7 per person.
Future planning meeting dates are set for November 25 and December 16. No need to RSVP, just show up if you like.
The front page of next month's newsletter will have a potluck list telling you what to bring. As always, your club will provide an excellent selection of meats, condiments, soft drinks, and the utensils. Your family and friends are invited to join us.
P.O. Box 2467
Livermore, CA 94551
|November||16 Sat||Venus 4° north of Spica.|
|Leonid shower observations at Holler Observatory, Tom and Inge Rice's home on Mines Road. Multiple camera recording and human observation to be incorporated into a meteor-study program. Reach Tom at (408) 897-3157 or tomrice@net com.com for more information.|
|17 Sun||Leonid meteor shower peaks about 6 AM|
|First Quarter Moon 5:09 PM|
|20 Wed||Saturn 3° south of Moon.|
|22 Fri||Tri-Valley Stargazers meeting 7:30 PM PST. Unitarian Universalist Church of Livermore, 1893 N. Vasco Road, Livermore. (3/4 mile north of I-580).|
|24 Sun||Full Moon 8:10 PM|
|Algol at minimum 9:30 PM|
|25 Mon||TVS Planning Meeting 7:00 PM Round Table Pizza, 1540 First St., Livermore (in Orchard Supply/Safeway/Longs shopping center).|
|Aldebaran 0.9° south of Moon; occulted in Alaska.|
|28 Thu||Thanksgiving Day.|
|December||1 Sun||AANC Meeting 1:00 PM Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley.|
|2 Mon||Last Quarter Moon 9:06 PM PST.|
|3 Tue||Mars 4° north of Moon. (Rise about midnight.)|
|7 Sat||Excellent weekend for observing: no Moon until 5 AM and earliest sunset of the year.|
|Near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at maximum brightness (11.9). (See December Sky & Telescope , p. 76-77, and Astronomy, p. 96-97.)|
|8 Sun||Venus 2° south of Moon. (Rise before 5 AM)|
|10 Tue||New Moon 8:56 AM|
|11 Wed||Mercury 7° south of Moon.|
|12 Tue||Jupiter 5° south of Moon. Later Neptune 4°, then Uranus 5° south of Moon.|
|13 Fri||Geminid meteor shower peaks about 3 PM|
|Moon grazes t Capricorni (mag. 5.3 triple) about 7 PM north of Bay Area.|
|14 Sat||Good weekend for observing: no Moon after 10 PM|
|Algol at minimum 11:13 PM|
|15 Sun||Mercury at greatest eastern elongation (20° ) in evening sky. Poor apparition for northern latitudes.|
|16 Mon||TVS Planning Meeting 7:00 PM Round Table Pizza, 1540 First St., Livermore (in Orchard Supply/Safeway/Longs shopping center).|
|17 Tue||First Quarter Moon 1:31 AM|
|Saturn 3° south of Moon.|
The critical need at this time is to find a nominee for the position of secretary. As a corporation in the state of California, we are required by law to fill the positions of President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Our bylaws require us to fill the position of Vice-President. The board secretary's primary responsibility is to take notes at Planning Meetings and write them up as minutes for the next meeting. If you, or anyone you know, would be interested in taking on this job in the coming year, please contact board president Dave Anderson as soon as possible. (510) 661-4249 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
The folks who have agreed to serve in the at-large board positions include: Alane Alchorn, Dennis Beckley, Rich Combs, Jim Zumstein, Dave Sworin, Russ Kirk and Debbie Scherer.
|11 18||17h52.0m||-02° 00'||38°||E||4.5|
|11 23||17h56.4m||-01° 31'||35°||E||4.4|
|11 28||18h01.1m||-00° 58'||33°||E||4.2|
|12 03||18h06.2m||-00° 22'||31°||E||4.1|
|12 08||18h11.6m||-00° 18'||29°||E||3.9|
|12 13||18h17.3m||-01° 03'||28°||E||3.7|
C/1996 Q1 (Tabur)
|11 18||15h39.4m||+28° 22'||48°||E||7.3|
|11 23||15h45.8m||+25° 52'||46°||M||7.6|
|11 28||15h51.2m||+23° 37'||45°||M||8.0|
|12 03||15h55.9m||+21° 36'||45°||M||8.3|
|12 08||15h59.9m||+19° 47'||45°||M||8.6|
By Don Machholz
Two unaided-eye comets are visible in our skies this month. In the evening sky Comet Hale-Bopp is doing well after dimming a bit during early September. This was followed by a substantial increase in brightness and a different appearance later in the month. This should be no surprise, as comets are expected to do the unexpected. Its tail is several degrees long. Meanwhile, Comet Tabur will be visible in both the north-western sky in the evening and the north-eastern sky in the morning for several weeks. Periodic Comet Machholtz 1, discovered ten years ago, will be difficult in the evening sky.
|Peri. Date||1997 03 31.86770||1996 11 03.50419||1996 10 15.06962|
|Peri. Dist||0.9170703 AU||0.84001480 AU||0.1247178 AU|
|Arg/Peri (2000):||130.40061 deg.||057.37495 deg.||014.58608 deg.|
|Asc. Node (2000):||282.46983 deg.||031.41231 deg.||094.53200 deg|
|Incl (2000)||089.38442 deg.||073.36167 deg.||60.07415 deg.|
|Orbital Period:||4700 yrs.||Long period||5.24 years.|
|Ref: MPC 26879 (7-96)||MPC 27882||MPC 22033|
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