Sam WHITBY #213

Letters to the Editor

from Sam WHITBY in CMO #213

@. . . . There have been a couple of clear mornings, and I have made sketches that I will send to you. Yesterday we had a dusting of snow, and it has been unusually cold for several days. Tomorrow I will go to the observatory if weather permits, and I hope to have good seeing.
  Tyler is his healthy self again, much to our relief.
  Thank you for CMO 211. I saw Randy a few days ago, and he told me that he has been ill and unable to observe. He hopes to catch Mars soon.
  We missed the closest approach of Venus to Jupiter but saw the two a day before and the day after conjunction.
  Mrs. Whitby is calling that supper is ready, so I must go now.
(24 Feb 1999 email)

@. . . . Thank you for your message. I have just gotten home from a busy but easy evening at work at the hospital, and your message was a welcome home (especially since the rest of the family has long been asleep).
  Tyler has not had any more severe attacks of asthma. We are treating him with medication three times a day, and the treatment seems to be preventing more serious problems. Tyler is growing every day, getting stronger and more independent, singing songs, looking at pictures in books, and reciting nursery rhymes.
  I also received from England the dust storm alert, which I had not mentioned because it had been marked to selected observers, which seemed to be a gesture in the direction of objectivity, intended to keep us from influencing each other. As you pointed out, the area that Gray suspected to be covered with dust would not have been visible from Japan anyway, so I did not feel any urgency to pass on the news to you. Of course it was expected that McKim would have alerted you, and I am glad that he did.
  I saw and drew Mars the day after the alert, recording a bright area over Chryse and Xanthe but little else. Solis Lacus would have been right on the terminator (or so I guess), so albedo markings would have been hard to see even with a clear Martian atmosphere, especially at such a small diameter. This is a very subjective perception, not worth much, but I thought that Mars looked very yellow. Have you noticed such a color? A week earlier I caught Elysium and a few more markings.
  I will send you copies of the sketches and try not to be too tardy in doing so. . . . .
  Right now I must try to get some sleep, before Tyler wakes me early, as usual.

(28 Feb 1999 email)

@. . . . Thank you for the news of CMO 212 and the news of Don's CCD images. I have checked out Don's images, and they are wonderful, as always. . . . .
  After several days of seeming to be well, Tyler had another spell of asthma today. We took him to the doctor, who will try some new medication. At the moment he seems to be breathing comfortably.
  It is a very clear and cold evening, with Orion and his dogs prominent in our sky. Jupiter is almost gone, and with our house being on the east side of a hill and Jupiter in the western sky, the apparition is over. Saturn is still observable, if only for a short time. I plan to try to catch Mars in the morning. I have been to the observatory early a couple of times, and the seeing has been very poor.
  Tyler wants me to read him a story, so I will end now.

(4 Mar 1999 email)

Samuel WHITBY ( VA, USA ) :