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December 1999


The Last President's Letter of the Millennium

Okay. Okay. I know. I know. This month does NOT wrap up the second millennium. Yes, we've all been fighting the good fight. Fighting common culture, and massive media marketing. We tell our friends, our neighbors, our UPS man. This is not the end of the millennium. The end of western civilization's accounting of the second millennium since the erroneously determined date of the birth of Christ won't be for another year! Let's get it right people!

Well, the fact is, the whole thing is a mess anyway. When Pope Gregory replaced the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar (I wonder if that's what he called it?) scholars thought Jesus was born in the year they labeled 1 A.D. It turns out Jesus was most likely born in 4 B.C. So the whole thing is academic anyway. The true end of the second millennium came in 1997. Or was it 1996? I get so confused.

Whatever the actual truth of the matter, popular culture has spoken. And popular culture will not be denied! This IS the final month of the second millennium. So, welcome to the last president's letter of the millennium. Of course the title of my president's message in December 2000 will be "The Last President's Letter of the Millennium -- Part 2". This assumes of course that I am re-elected president of OCA. Oh yes, OCA. Guess we'd better get back to the subject at hand. Sorry, this happens to me every millennium or so.
We had two big observing highlights this past month. The much anticipated Leonid meteor storm did occur, albeit not in truly apocalyptic numbers.. Nevertheless, Zenithal Hourly Rates (ZHR) greater than 2000 were recorded in more than one location in Europe and the Middle East.

How many of you monitored the Moon during the peak? Brian Cudnik of Houston, Texas did. And he caught a whopper. He video recorded a bright flash on the darkened portion of the waxing Moon most likely caused by the lunar impact of a sizable Leonid meteor during the peak of the storm. Check it out at http://iota.jhuapl.edu.

Even though we didn't really expect a Leonid meteor storm here in the West, many of us took extra measures to observe this year, just in case. But after a few hours of dodging clouds, observing about ten meteors an hour, the clouds finally took over about 2 A.M. making my bed look pretty appealing.

Thanks to Chris McGill for opening the Silverado site for the event. Jay Glowacki has a report both in this month's SA and on the web site.

Thanks also to Bob Gill who hosted a terrific "Transit of Mercury" observing party at Cal State Fullerton. It made the front page of the OC Register.
See you at the December meeting!

"The goodness of the night upon you"
Othello Act 1 Scene 2

Russell Sipe

Links:-
Brian Cudnik records Leonids impact on the Moon
OC Register Article on the Mercury Transit
Jay Glowacki's Leonids observing summary

Prior Presidents Messages
 July 2017 President's Message
 June 2017 President's Message
 May 2017 President's Message
 April 2017 President's Message
 March 2017 President's Message
 2012 OCA Board Election Results
 April 2010 President's Message
 February 2010 President's Message
 January 2010 President's Message
 November 2009 President's Message
 October 2009 President's Message
 September 2009 President's Message
 August 2009 President's Message
 July 2009 President's Message
 June 2009 President's Message
 March 2009 President's Message
 May 2008 President's Message
 June 2008 President's Message
 July 2008 President's Message
 August 2008 President's Message
 September 2008 President's Message
 October 2008 President's Message
 November 2008 President's Message
 December 2008 President's Message
 January 2009 President's Message
 February 2009 President's Message
 April 2008 President's Message
 March 2008 President's Message
 February 2008 President's Message
 January 2008 President's Message
 December 2007 President's Message
 November 2007 President's Message
 October 2007 President's Message
 September 2007 President's Message
 August 2007 President's Message
 July 2007 President's Message
 June 2007 President's Message
 May 2007 President's Message
 April 2007 President's Message
 March 2007 President's Message
 January 2007 President's Message
 December 2006 President's Message
 November 2006 President's Message
 October 2006 President's Message
 September 2006 President's Message
 August 2006 President's Message
 July 2006 President's Message
 June 2006 President's Message
 May 2006 President's Message
 April 2006 President's Message
 March 2006 President's Message
 Around OCA for February, 2006
 February 2005 President's Message
 January 2005 President's Message
 December 2004 President's Message
 November 2004 President's Message
 October 2004 President's Message
 August 2004 President's Message
 July 2004 President's Message
 June 2004 President's Message
 May 2004 President's Message
 April 2004 Presidentís Message
 March 2004 President's Message
 February 2004 President's Message
 January 2004 President's Message
 November 2003 President's Message
 October 2003 President's Message
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