What We Do
Georgia Sky View
2012 - "A Stellar Event"
Dr. Bill Warren is president of the Flint River Astronomy Club.
He is also one of FRAC’s three co-founders, and he has been editor of our
newsletter, The FRAC Observer, for most of the club’s 13-year
existence. In 2001, Bill became the fourth person to achieve Master
Observer status in the Astronomical League. He has earned 17 observing pins
through the A. L. He presently is serving his fifth term as FRAC’s
Bill was a teacher for 43 years. During that time, he was a
system-wide Teacher of the Year, a state Coach of the Year, and he has
authored 18 coaching and young adult books. He retired from teaching four
years ago, and he lives in Griffin with his wife Louise.
PHILIP SACCO is one
of the most highly sought-after speakers in amateur astronomy. Blessed
with an engaging wit, a love for the mythology of the night sky and a
storyteller's flair for the dramatic, Philip has been known to deliver his
mythology talks clad in open-toed sandals and a toga.
Philip is a modern Renaissance man, a visionary who is an acknowledged
authority on virtually every aspect of astronomy from cosmology to
technology to (of course) mythology. He served two terms as President
of the Atlanta Astronomy Club, during which time the AAC experienced the
largest growth gains in its history and became the largest club in the
southeastern U. S. During his term as Observing Vice President, Philip
was instrumental in breathing life back into the club by revitalizing the
AAC's Villa Rica observing site.
Philip played a major role in the formation and early development of the
Charlie Elliott club, an AAC affiliate, and he served for six years as
Southeastern Representative of the Astronomical League (SERAL). Philip
also narrated FRAC's stunningly beatiful "The Night Sky Explorers" CD
Last (but certainly not least), Philip is the A. L.'s Master Observer #11,
having attained that lofty status by earning ten A. L. observing club pins.
Philip lives in Stone Mountain, Ga.
As both a photographer and professional magician, Art
Zorka has had a lifelong interest in how we interpret what we see. His
interest in the powers of observation may have begun the first time he
looked through a telescope at age 10. The target was Saturn, and he
was hooked. He studied the sky from a rooftop in Brooklyn, with a binocular
and a home-made six inch reflector. Hayden Planetarium became his second
home. His first astro-photo was of the 1959 solar eclipse.
While a combat photographer in the Army, Art got
separated from his unit and was able to get back to camp using the stars to
find his way. After leaving the military, Art went to work for a
company with a NASA contract and worked on the Gemini 8 project, involving
Astronaut Edward White’s first space walk.
His interest in the history of astronomy began as a
photographer for Georgia Public Television, when he spent several weeks
working with the Director of Astronomy at Fernbank Science Center, Julius
Stahl, in 1969.
A longtime member of
the Atlanta Astronomy Club, Art presently serves as its Vice President, and
as A.L. Correspondent and Coordinator of the Night Sky Network as well.
As an observer, Art has
earned eleven observing awards. In 2011 he became Master Observer #119.
Art is the first
recipient of the Keith Burns Annual Memorial Award for Outstanding Service
to the AAC and Amateur Astronomy.
Dr. Richard Schmude
July 19, 2008, DR. RICHARD W. SCHMUDE, JR. received the prestigious 2008
Astronomical League Award, the highest honor bestowed by that organization.
When presented at all -- it's not an annual award -- the A. L. Award "is
presented to any person, either amateur or professional, who has made
worthwhile contributions to the science of astronomy on a national or
international level." Nominees must be elected unanimously by the selection
Dr. Schmude's achievements, honors and activities in astronomy are
legendary. He has served two terms as Executive Director of the Assn. of
Lunar and Planetary Observers (A.L.P.O.). He was the Executive Secretary of
the A. L. from 2003-05. He has delivered over 400 talks (and conducted 150
workshops) for audiences ranging from kindergarten classes to high school
groups and amateur and professional astronomers, engaging such groups on
their own levels of comprehension.
Dr. Schmude has served as coordinator of the Jupiter and Outer
Planets sections and assistant coordinator of the Mars section of A.L.P.O.,
and his book on Jupiter, "JUPITER OBSERVER’S HANDBOOK," was published by the
Astronomical League. In his own research, Dr. Schmude has conducted more
than 2,000 photoelectric magnitude measurements of all the planets and more
than 51,000 visual magnitude measurements of variable stars for the Amer.
Assn. of Variable Star Observers (A.A.V.S.O.).
Dr. Schmude has published two books:
"URANUS, NEPTUNE AND PLUTO and How To Observe Them." And “COMETS and How to
Observe Them.” Springer was the publisher for both books.
Dr. Schmude is a professor of chemistry at Gordon College. He lives
in Barnesville, Ga.
March 22nd, 23rd,
24th, and 25th - 2012
Camp McIntosh - Indian Springs Park
(near Jackson, GA)
Speakers include Bill Warren, Art Zorka, Richard Schmude and Phil Sacco.
Saturday evening - Pot Luck Dinner.