The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Solar System Astronomy At Its Finest
Imagine… An astronomical organization dedicated to lunar and planetary astronomy that.... • Facilitates an exchange of information and observing data. • Provides a forum for the discussing ideas and observing techniques.
that… • Helps individual observers develop observing and reporting skills and relevant training. • Encourages and coordinates regular and systematic investigations of our solar system with the equipment and methods normally available to amateur astronomers.
that… • Analyzes such data and publishes results in a Journal and elsewhere. • Encourages cooperation between amateur and professional astronomers. • Provides a repository for the history of Solar System observations.
Such an organization exist !...It is the...Association of Lunar and Planetary ObserversA.L.P.O.
What is the A.L.P.O.? • An international group of individuals that study the sun, moon, planets, asteroids, meteors, and comets and other topics of study that relate to Solar System astronomy.
Our goals are to: • stimulate, coordinate, and generally promote the study of these bodies • using methods and instruments that are available within the communities of both amateur and professional astronomers.
We welcome and provide services for all individuals interested in lunar and planetary astronomy. • For the novice observer, the A.L.P.O. is a place to learn and to enhance observational techniques. • For the advanced amateur astronomer, it is a place where one's work will count through participation in observing programs. • For the professional astronomer, it is a resource where group studies or systematic observing patrols add to the advancement of astronomy.
Through this presentation, we hope to convey to you that the A.L.P.O. is a dynamic organization: • pursuing Solar System astronomy at many different levels, and areas of expertise, • has something for every astronomer: from casual arm chair – to advance amateur - to professional, • and is worthy of your consideration in becoming a member.
We have two different types of programs/sections. - Observational - Non-observational, special interest programs/sections ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE • The A.L.P.O. has a kaleidoscope of different programs related to Solar System astronomy managed by up to 20 separate sections.
Observational Sections • Solar • Mercury • Venus • Mars • Jupiter • Saturn Sun, James Kevin Ty, Mercury – Tim Wilson, Venus - Don Parker, Mars – Tan Wei Leong, Jupiter – P. Clay Sherod, Saturn - Unknown
Observational Sections Lunar Selected Areas Lunar Transient Phenomena Lunar Meteoritic Impacts Search Topographic Studies Lunar Domes January 2000 Lunar Eclipse from Rik Hill
Other Important Observational Sections • Remote Planets • Minor Planets • Comets • Meteors • Eclipses • Mercury/Venus Transits • Training Program - introductory - advanced
Section Coordinators • Collect and study submitted observations • Correspond with observers • Encourage beginners, and • Contribute reports to our Journal at appropriate intervals.
Computing= - observing aids - ephemerides - data reduction History6 - A.L.P.O. - L & P Meteorites - for the “rock hounds” - finds Non-observational Sections
Non-observational Sections • Publications& - The Journal, The Strolling Astronomer - Other Publications, Monographs, etc. • YouthJ - producing materials - work with others entities
SERVICES • Programs • Literature - guides - introductory materials - standardized observing methods - observing forms
SERVICES • Literature - advanced handbooks - more detailed information about the subject - instruct on more in-depth studies
SERVICES • Literature - newsletters - offers late breaking news - instructs in latest observing techniques • Correspondence - SASE Please!
SERVICES A.L.P.O. Yahoo Groups • Several A.L.P.O. sections also have email discussions through Yahoo Groups. • Section coordinators moderate these discussion groups and should be contacted if interested in participation.
MEDIA OUTLETSThe Journal of the A.L.P.O.(The Strolling Astronomer) • Quarterly • Apparition Reports - planets - events, close passages, and other ongoing studies - information and recognition
Journal A.L.P.O. • Features - observing techniques - advice on using instrumentation - commentary - previews of upcoming events
Journal A.L.P.O. • News Notes - updates on section news - other happening in L & P Astronomy • Digital format as well as hard copy! • Journal’s Membership Discussion Group
The A.L.P.O. Web Site • http://www.alpo-astronomy.org • All sections and programs are represented • Section and program literature is available • Updates, observing alerts • Recent observations...YOUR observations • Some newsletters are published on the web • E-mail alerts
OUTLETS • Conventions - paper sessions - exhibits - accessibility • Conferences & Star Parties
MISSION • Lunar and planetary astronomy
Observing/Interest Programs • Leadership through coordinating personnel • Direction in observing • Literature to guide • Personal feedback • Information that thoroughly informs Comet Machholz by Christian Fattinnanzi
Principle Outlets Are… • The Journal A.L.P.O. • The A.L.P.O. Web Site • Conferences and other gatherings
The A.L.P.O. Has Increased Understanding of the Solar System by… • Providing observational data to the professional community • Pursuing areas of study that have occasionally achieved startling results What follows are examples of these two points
PRO-AM COOPERATIONMercury Section • Possible transient phenomena observed • Imaging needed • Photometry and visual drawings as well Graphic from the Lunar and Planetary Lab, University of Arizona
PRO-AM COOPERATIONMars Section Professionals have studied A.L.P.O. Mars observations • Drawings to CCD Images • Need for data to study: - Martian meteorology - Seasonal changes with features - Transient features...dust storms, flashes - Long term, secular changes
PRO-AM COOPERATIONMars Section • Mars Sec. Coordinators have participated in professional workshops • Mars Sec. Coordinators have published in - Icarus - Journal of Geophysical Research - Data used in many others
The Pro-Am Rationale • Telescope time • More interested amateurs than professionals • Networked, world-wide • Much higher quantity of observations • Amateurs have the data the pros don’t have!
PRO-AM COOPERATIONSaturn • Intermittent White Spot activity in the EZ • Observing programs for Cassini space probe • Titan - multi-color photometry & colorimetry - LPL, U of A - To confirm a rotational light curve variation of 7% at 940nm, (first noted from 1990-1993) Image by Ed Grafton
Other Pro-Am Collaborations Minor Planets Section • MAP Program - magnitude errors - light curves - visual to photometry
Other Pro-Am Collaborations Lunar Transient Phenomena (LTP) • NASA involvement • Clementine • Lunar Polar Orbiter And many more observing programs too numerous to mention! Crater Schickard imaged by Carmelo Zannelli
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Lunar Meteoritic Impact Search Program (LMISP) • Flashes on the Moon during meteor showers • Recorded on Videocams • Confirmed by indep. obs. in diverse geographic locations Graphic from Brian Cudnik and the Journal A.L.P.O
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Pre-Voyager observations of Saturn • Sub divisions of the rings other than Cassini’s & Encke’s divisions • The very tenuous E ring external to the A Ring • The dusky radial “spokes” Voyager I image of Saturn’s rings from NASA
ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Martian dust storm alerts • Many dust storms initially observed by the A.L.P.O. Mars Section observers • Reported to the professional community
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Martian Flashes • A phenomena of “bright flashes” from the Edom region of Mars observed in the past • Flashes predicted for specific dates in June 2001....under similar circumstances of past observations
ACCOMPLISHMENTS • Videography captured the flashes at the predicted time • They were also observed visually in other telescopes (From the June 7, 2001 videotape by David Moore)
A. L. P. O. So, in addition to the A.L.P.O. being a organization that services its members.... ....the A.L.P.O. has also contributed to the advancement of Solar System astronomy!
A. L. P. O. Boy, I’m all excited about this A.L.P.O. thing! How do I join the A.L.P.O.?
A. L. P. O. MEMBERSHIP Membership Rates Digital Journal - 4 issues @ $12.00 Digital Journal - 8 issues @ $20.00 Paper Journal - 4 issues @ $30.00 Paper Journal - 8 issues @ $54.00 Consult the Journal or A.L.P.O. web site for international rates Membership forms are available from the presenter or on the A.L.P.O web site
CONCLUSION The A.L.P.O. is a vibrant astronomical organization. • Conducting studies of Solar System phenomena • Providing assistance to amateur observers making observations in such studies • Publishing results in our Journal and other publications and media • Sharing observations and results with the professional community
CONCLUSION The A.L.P.O. will continue to contribute to the advancement of lunar and planetary astronomy. Whether you want to participate our observing programs or merely subscribe to our literature, please join us in the “great astronomical adventure”.