Volume XXV Number 6

November /December 1999


Upcoming Highlights


November 11 1999 7:30 P.M.

Reading Public Museum

Are you brave enough to meet the challenge? Will you be able to overcome technical hurdles, withstand the elements and survive? If you honestly think you meet the above criteria, then attend this meeting. Dave Brown will issue the challenge, help you with techniques and pointers, and set the rules. Dave will compel you to boldly go where few astronomers have gone before. If you want to know what the challenge is, you will have to be there.


December 9 1999 7:30 P.M.

Reading Public Museum

Once again it’s time to practice a favorite Berks County tradition. Food!!! Come and be part of our Christmas party meeting. Who will be president, vice president, etc.? Who will win the telescope and binoculars? Who will win the binocular prize from George? Who will be cited for great accomplishments? All these questions, and more, will be answered at the party. Come one, come all to the party!


In this issue:

1. From The President
In the Name of the Maker

4. Mythology of the night sky - EQUULEUS
New Site

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

Editor/Desktop publisher: Bob and Joanne Capone

E-Mail submissions may be made to:

From the President

Another year has flown by for our club. Looking back on our achievements, I can see the hard work and effort that club members have put into the various tasks that we performed. I thank each and every member that helped make B.C.A.A.S. a success. As we go into the future, it is comforting to know that we will continue to face the challenges and joys together. I am proud to be associated with such a zany, wonderful group.




I think I can speak on the behalf of everyone when I say, "Thanks George, for a wonderful job as president. We have had some wonderful programs, exciting talks, and most important of all, lots of laughs. It’s the one thing that makes this a great club. We all remember that the important thing in this hobby is to have fun".

Once again I’d like to say "Thanks" from all of us.

In the name of Maker

Dear Manager

I am Mohammad Ali,a 32 y/o Iranian who is involved in medicine as a general practitioner. I head the Sirius Astronomical Society of Kermanshah(Sirius ASK).My wife, Banafshah is 27.She teaches biology in high school and is interested in astronomy. We have two daughters Zahra, 5 and Nargges, 1 .My fellow astronomical and oldest friend,Afshin,32 years old is an electronic engineer. We both direct the Sirius ASK.

Kermanshah is situated in the west of Iran with longitude of 47 deg.and 5 mm. east; latitude of 34 deg.and 19 mm. north;altitude of 1200 m. above the sea level. The city is the center of ermanshahan, a mountainous province containing many historic and ancient artifacts together with several beautiful and spectacular landscapes.

My favorites subjects are astronomy,literature and art (classic music,painting and calligraphy). My interest in astronomy started in childhood, chiefly in my high school years.

Sirius ASK was founded in late September 1996 by Afshin and I. At first we discussed about astronomy for our friends and then the first class was held in February 14,1997 with 12 persons.Up to now we have passed more than 122 sessions each Friday and about 58 observational classes. More than half of the members are females(3/5) and about 240 persons have enrolled .They are active, sincere and serious.we are good friends with each other. Our members are involved in other activities e.g. painting, social and religious article writing, composing poems and so on.There are several groups in the society such as Observing group, Artistic Group Social Affairs Group,Green Paradise Group(GPG) which helps in preserving of natural resources and environment.

Astronomy is one of the rare sciences that could also be a hobby. Astronomy is holy but astrology is religiously prohibited. Islamic astronomers including many Iranians contributed in promoting astronomy in the past and as you know most names of the famous stars are lslamic. Arabic is the language of Islam and has a lot words in common with Persian we speak now.

In my opinion astronomy is the best way of understanding how great and glorious is the Maker (although we could not do it completely at all). Astronomy brings about tranquility for our spirits. The technology and science advancement has kept us at a distance from the sounds that we are going out of the home,thus our souls are wandering.Astronomy shows us the way of coming back. I believe we must have direct and close association with nature,otherwise we are not really healthy. please do not forget that I am a doctor! Nature is the scene of God’s theatre and all the things are the actors of it! As I mentioned we are a cultural nation and would like to talk with others about useful object such as religion and culture. The United Nation approved The Iran’s proposal for the 2001-year is "The Dialog Among Civilizations "and this may proves that I am right in my words. Our society has 240 members (3/5 female and 2/5 male ) and I have told them about you and they want to know more. Please send your information by mail. My mentioned friend and I teach English and astronomy free of charge to the young .Is it possible for to give us a free copy of TELESCOPE,ASTRONOMICAL MATERIALS,BOOKS AND/OR CD-ROMs ,IMAGES ETC. I need them for teaching. I myself get about 130$ each month and my friend who is an electronic engineer gets 100$ monthly as salaries and if we had the required dollars we could not send them out. In fact we try to popularize astronomy. Really" In God We Trust ". We want to be connected with other societies. We are quite serious and sincere. Please help us. Although we have not a good telescope or an observatory,still we have two nice eyes ! sometimes we use binoculars. We will have them in future, God Willing ! We invite you to come to our nice and ancient city, Kermanshah in west of Iran with kind people. Iran. And finally I ask how is my English? Pardon me please for such a long letter!

My address is as follows

Mohammad Ali Khodayari M.D. , Post Box 67145-1416

Kermanshah, Iran

Thank you

Yours Faithfully

M.A.Khodayari M.D.


Phone : 0098-831 -722444

Fax: 0098-831-760863


With a cloud of dust and a hearty "Hi Ho, Equuleus", the heroic steed rides again through the stars, bringing justice and equality to the night sky. It is believed that Equuleus should be identified with Silver, the trusty horse of the legendary Lone Ranger. Because of the many times Silver had gone into battle with him, and the many times in his long career as righter of wrongs, when Silver died, the Ranger placed him in the sky, giving him the name Equuleus so he would fit in with all the other animals in the sky that have foreign names. People of all ages can now look up at the night sky and be reminded of the heroid deeds of this famous horse.

Okay - so maybe that is not the REAL story behind Equuleus. But it could have been, had the constellation just been created in the 20th Century. Because this is how all the constellations got their names. The ancient people looked at the sky and saw in the stars the people and animals of their own legends.

The official title of this constellation is Equuleus the Foal. Germans call it Fullen the Filly and Kleine Pferd, meaning Little Horse. The French and Italians also called this constellation Little Horse. The Arabians called it Part of a Horse. The Hindus called it Acvini, the Horseman. Considering the fact that this constellation has so few stars it really doesn’t resemble much of anything, I think it’s odd that every ancient culture saw a horse in these stars!

This constellation is one of the smallest in the sky, however it has TWO triple star systems, while many larger, more popular constellations don’t have any. The beta star components are magnitude 5, 5, and 10 and are topaz, yellow and pale sapphire. The epsilon star components are magnitude

5.7, 6.2 and 7.1 with two yellowish stars and one ashy white. The components in the beta star are so close, that they be separated only by the largest telescopes (probably even larger than Dave’s scope).

Linda Sensenig

New Site

I found a neat site on the web that you might enjoy. The site is run by Microsoft; but, it uses data supplied by the US Geological Survey. What is interesting, and frightening, about the site, is what you can see. The survey was done in the early 1990’s

Over the years the Geological Survey has been doing ground mapping. They take pictures of the United States from a satellite. You can look for your house in two ways. Enter the city you live in, or the longitude and latitude of your house. You have 3 on screen sizes of the picture. I used the medium size. If you zoom out, you can locate large landmarks and move around the image to find your place. Once you get close, zoom in until you see what the government sees. :)

The finest resolution is I meter/pixel on screen. This covers about 4 square city blocks. You can order the pictures on CD-Rom, with the cost being approximately $56.00. The picture that you download is free. It’s about 56k in size. The pictures that come on the CD are about 48 meg for one, and 151 meg for the other. The larger file is an infrared image of the same area. I don’t know how much more you can see on the CD version, as I was afraid to ask.

So if you want to have fun, log on and search for your house. It’s amazing what Big Brother can see from the outer limits. Beam Me Up Scotty.

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