The Atlanta Astronomy Club is proud to announce  the 6th annual Peach State
Star Gaze (PSSG), one of the premier observing events for the Southeast.
This year's PSSG will be Thursday through Sunday, April 15-18, 1999, at
Indian Springs State Park's Camp McIntosh near Jackson, Georgia, south of
Contact Ken Poshedly as soon as possible to request registration
information, either by email (mailto:ken.poshedly@mindspring.com) or
telephonically (770-979-9842 (after 7 p.m. Eastern Time).
Art Russell
Atlanta, Georgia
Member National Deep Sky Observers Society (NDSOS), Webb Society, and
Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO)
"Sight is a faculty; seeing, an art" - George Perkins Marsh
Other information:
Begun in 1994 with only 50 persons as a fundraiser for a dark sky observing
site for the AAC, the 1998 PSSG drew over 200 beginner and amateur
astronomers from across the southeastern United States, making it one of
the largest such weekend gatherings. Here you'll have three April days and
nights to view through large and small telescopes, share observing and
astrophotography techniques, attend workshops, participate in talks by other
amateurs, and much more. Bring your unneeded astronomical gadgets to sell or
swap. This is a rain-or-shine event.
 Saturday afternoon presentations, this year featuring Star Ware author and
astronomical humorist Phil Harrington, AAC president and constellation
mythology expert Phil Sacco, and a third speaker yet to be named.
 Workshops, demonstrations and the latest list of "Peach Fuzzies" for the
observing competition.
 Top-notch facilities, including two observing fields and indoor lodging
and meeting buildings.
 Door-prizes from America's top astronomy equipment companies. One lucky
person will win a Meade 4500 reflecting telescope.
Saturday Presentations
The Peach State Star Gaze prides itself on the quality of its Saturday
presentations.  This year, it continues that tradition with:
Phil Harrington - Phil has titled his talk Nights of Future Passed: A Look
Back at the Amateur Astronomer of the 20th Century. As the end of the 20th
century nears, now is a good time to reflect on events of the past, putting
them into historical perspective, and perhaps using them to look forward
into the future. The amateur astronomer of 100 years ago was far different
from you and I today, as was his gear and pursuits.  In this talk, we turn
back time to see how far we've come, how amateur astronomy has evolved in
the past ten decades, then looking forward to see where we might go in the
next century.
Phil Sacco - While working on his merit badges for Eagle rank in the Boy
Scouts, Phil quickly took up the Astronomy Merit Badge. How the
constellations came to be named and the stories surrounding them fascinated
him to the limits of his young imagination.  Then in college, as he and his
friends studied the mythology of the ancients, Phil could relate to the
stories heard years before as he began to explore the mythology of the
visible cosmos.
While astronomy hasn't changed since Phil's youth, the understanding of what
true astronomy is has changed. As Phil says, "With that in mind, I hope you
will all enjoy the presentation of some of the mythology surrounding the
constellations visible the weekend of the PSSG. Remember....the tales you
hear have been told around fires as long as language has existed." Workshops
Each year, the PSSG offers hands-on demonstrations and workshops that the
beginner and amateur will find practical and useful. Plans are to repeat
topics like mirror-washing, mirror collimation, sketching at the eyepiece,
star-hopping (taught by National Deep Sky Observers Society member Art
Russell), and mirror grinding taught by ATMer Tracy Wilson.
And this year, we're adding an evening workshop titled "Making A Good Mars
Drawing" by Richard W. Schmude, Jr., of the Association of Lunar and
Planetary Observers (ALPO). Participants will be given an official ALPO Mars
observing form and will learn how to complete the form along with how to
make a Mars drawing while observing Mars through a telescope. Some
techniques that will be covered in the workshop are how to find Mars,
required equipment and observing techniques. Dr. Schmude is also a member of
the AAC and has published several articles on Mars dating back to the 1986
Door Prizes
The PSSG also enjoys the support of many of the hobby's manufacturers and
marketers. Rex's Astro Stuff, for example, is now a tradition at the PSSG.
In addition, many companies donate items for the door prize raffle held
Saturday afternoon.
A special raffle will also be held Saturday afternoon and feature a Meade
4.5-inch aperture Model 4500 Newtonian reflector telescope. Tickets for this
raffle will be available at the event from AAC president Phil Sacco
Tee-shirts, Etc.
Good events are worth remembering. That's why we offer a different Peach
State Star Gaze tee-shirt each year. Order early for one or more of this
year's offering (designed by the Atlanta Astronomy Club's own Jonathan
Corey). Each year's full-color design is totally different from the year
before! All shirts are 50/50 cotton/polyester for virtually no shrinkage
and are available in sizes from XX Large and smaller. While extra shirts are
usually available in various sizes at the event, order yours by March 31 to
guarantee it.
In addition, several women in the AAC have formed a group within the club,
the "Ladies of the Night  . . . Sky" and have produced decorative and
fragrant soap baskets for sale at the event.
Camp Facilities
Camp McIntosh is a group camp adjacent to and operated by Indian Springs
State Park near Jackson, Georgia, about midway between Atlanta and Macon.
The camp has its own gated entrance. The site includes the following:
 Four heated, dormitory-style bunkhouses with bunkbeds, running water,
indoor flush-toilets, hot-water showers and lockers for personal items. Two
dorms are designated men-only, one dorm is for women-only, and the final
one is for couples (discretion, common decency and respect for others also
lodging there are the rules). Besides the bunkbed areas, each dorm also
includes one semi-private room equipped with two single-size, spring-loaded
 Three smaller heated buildings, each with two bedrooms (two single-size,
spring-loaded cots per room) and a single, lockable bathroom with indoor
flush-toilet, and hot-water shower).
 A general meeting building for indoor workshops. Electrical power to
either observing field is available via standard 110 VAC outlets from this
 The dining hall with a fully-equipped kitchen that includes
cooking/wash-up facilities for those preparing their own meals. The dining
hall is also the location of the Saturday talks.
 Two observing fields. The larger field features a wide, low horizon (-44
degree horizon when viewing towards the south from the north end). The
smaller field is closer to electrical power for those who MUST have it.
Pancake Breakfast
Begun last year, the PSSG Saturday morning pancake breakfast proved to be an
unqualified success and will be held again this year in the dining hall. No
matter how late you stayed up the night before, there's nothing like a plate
of hotcakes, scrambled eggs, sausage and coffee to get you started the next
Cooking Onsite
You can use the dining hall kitchen to prepare your own meals as long as the
facility is not in use otherwise. Or cook at your camper. NO open or
campfires, and NO waste dumping. The dining hall kitchen will be off-limits
Saturday morning in preparation for the pancake breakfast.
Area Restaurants
A list of area restaurants will be provided when you arrive at the event.
To get your name on the registration brochure mailing list, e-mail Ken
Poshedly at: ken.poshedly@mindspring.com
Voice phone 770-979-9842 (after 7 p.m. Eastern Time)
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