Volume XXVII Number I

January/February 1999

Meeting Highlights


January 14, 1999 7:30 P.M. Reading Public Museum

Keith Minnich - "An Exciting Day at the Very Large Array" - Our own Keith Minnich will take us on a behind-the-scenes tour of America’s premier radio telescope site, the Very Large Array (VLA) near Socorro, New Mexico. He will also provide a brief overview of radio astronomy and discuss some of the exciting discoveries made during the past few years thanks to radio astronomy. Musical entertainment is also provided. Come out and catch the waves of radio astronomy!


February 11, 1999 7:30 P.M. Reading Public Museum

Do you enjoy winter observing? Most people don’t like wearing more pounds of clothing than their equipment weighs. Have you ever feared freezing your eyelid to an eyepiece? If you can agree with any of the above, don’t give up! You are just suffering from Warm Weather Withdrawal Syndrome. WWWS can be successfully treated with an infusion of photon therapy. Sit back as we share views and experiences from our lost weekend in West (by God) Virginia. I hope all can attend this mid-winter pick-me-up.


In this issue:

1. Astronomy 101
Lunar Observers Club
Board Meeting
Letter From the Editor

6. Mythology of the night sky- Lacertes
Free Calendars
Upcoming Star Watches

Tuesday March 2

Deadline: March/April Pegasus

Pegasus is a bimonthly publication of the Berks County Amateur Astronomical Society

Editor/Desktop publisher: Bob Capone, Joanne Reigle.

E-Mail submissions may be made to:


Date: January 15th (cloud date January 16th)

Time: 7:30 P.M. leaving promptly

Place: Kenhorst Plaza at the Dairy Queen

Equipment: Arctic clothing

Thermal boots /or small area rug

Telescope or binocular

Star charts

Red flashlight

We will be driving approximately 10 miles south, to the state gamelands parking area, used previously. Call George Babel for reservations at (717) 445-7954.


I would like to start a Lunar Observer’s Program, which would earn certificates with the Astronomical League. Anyone interested may contact me for more information.


The executive committee will be meeting on January 20, 1999 at 6:30 P.M. at the home of Paul Becker. This meeting is open to any club member interested in participating in the long range planning of the club.


Attached to your newsletter you will find your 1999 dues statement, unless you have already paid. If you joined during the year 1998, your dues are pro-rated to bring your membership to the end of 1999. Unless your dues are pro-rated, it is important that you pay your dues by January 31, 1999; as after that date, there is a $2.50 late fee attached to the dues. If you have already paid and you still have a dues statement attached-Please IGNORE IT. If you do not have a dues statement attached, and you have not paid, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

You can either pay me at the meeting, or you can mail me your dues check, made payable to BCAAS. My address is 345 Douglass St, Wyomissing, PA 19610.

Linda Sensenig


Hello everyone and welcome to my first issue of the Pegasus. I’m sure, as you can all see, I took the liberty of revamping the look of our great publication. I would like to applaud John and Ellen Dethoff for their years of work on the Pegasus. I will try to bring you the best news letter I can.

As many of you may have noticed, the first big change comes to the front page logo. I liked the Pegasus symbol, but, thought it needed a change of scene. I hope you like it. The second thing you’ll notice, I moved some of the familiar items around. The Hot-Line #, and Web site are now on the cover sheet. I felt this was more appropriate and it will also make our club visible to others that glance at the cover page.

In order to bring you the Pegasus, I use powerful desktop publishing programs. To handle the graphics I use Adobe Photoshop 4.0. This is the best program available for manipulating graphics. If you can think it, you can do it. The program I use to publish the Pegasus is Quark Xpress 3.32. This is the desktop publishing standard in the industry. Most news papers, magazines, etc., are all published using Quark. Add to this, I have Microsoft Word 97, Works 4.0, WinZip 7.0, and others. I also, own a scanner so photos could be mailed to me for submission.

If you wish to submit articles by E-Mail I would prefer you send pictures in .JPG, or .TIF format. I would prefer text sent in either ascii .TXT or a .DOC word file. You could also use Word Pad or Note Pad from within Windows. I can basically handle files of just about any type. If your not on AOL and need to send text and attached files send them either UUencoded or in MIME format.

If you have any comments, questions, or complaints please feel free to drop me a line unless you’re really mad at me.

Bob Capone
748 Weiser St.
Reading, PA 19601
phone: 610-376-8801

Mythology of the Night Sky - LACERTES

Slithering across the northern sky in the winter is the small, obscure constellation of Lacertes, the Lizard. This constellation extends from the head of Cepheus to the left foot of Pegasus. It was created by Hevelius from outlying stars between Cygnus and Andromeda and he drew it as a lizard because he thought there was not enough space for a figure of any other shape. I bet I could have connected the dots to form an image a lot more appealing than a lizard! He drew a strange weasel-like creature with a curly tail. Flamsteed’s star atlas picture was more like a greyhound, but equally uncouth.

Probably realizing that the lizard would not be a very popular image, Hevelius gave it an alternative title of the Stellion, which is a newt with starlike dorsal spots found along the Mediterranean coast. (How many different ways could he find to say "lizard"!) He catalogued 10 stars while Heis catalogued 48! How he could squeeze 48 stars in such a small area is a mystery.

This was not the first constellation to be created in this space. Before the lizard, in 1672, these stars were called Sceptre and Hand of Justice; one commemorating King Louis XIV and one commemorating Frederick the Great. However, over the centures, the lizard won out! A star chart shows that while there is nothing at all remarkable inside this constellation, M39 lies close by.

Linda Sensenig

I received in the mail three FREE 1999 waIl calendars entitled "Space Probes Views of Neighbors of the Sun". The calendar is published by Astronomy, Inc. I will bring them to the next meeting and hand them out on a first come basis.

Linda Sensenig

Back to Mythology


Saturday Jan. 16 - TIME : Dusk

This will be a club event at Dave Brown's house. Use the attached map to help find the way. If you have any questions you can call the Hotline or e-mail Dave at


Saturday Feb. 13 - TIME: Dusk

This is our traditional Polar Bear watch at Dave Brown's house. The first observer to bag 10 "M" objects and still keep all there fingers will recieve, "NOTHING", absolutely free! But, it will be fun! A warm BONFIRE will be provided at both events. Come out and brave the cold

Please remember that it does get very cold outside on February nights. Dress warmly using layers of clothing. Thermal underwear are also a plus. If you wish to bring a refreshment, and/or some snacks, feel free to do so.

We hope to see you all there!

Thank You,

Bob Capone

Return To Home Page