Sunshine Coast Centre RASC

January Club Meeting

The first club meeting of the new year will be on Jan 13th at 7pm at the Sechelt Library. Our guest speaker will be Christa Van Laerhoven and she will be giving us a presentation about the icy worlds beyond Neptune in the Kuiper Belt.

Christa is a planetary scientist currently living in the Yukon. She grew up in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, studied  physics and astronomy at UBC then obtained her PhD in planetary sciences from University of Arizona. After working as a planetary astronomer for several years she then returned to UBC for a B.Ed. specializing in teaching high school math and physics. She is currently the president of the Yukon Centre of the RASC.

To join the meeting by Zoom, please use the following link information:
Meeting ID: 859 8494 9971
Passcode: 584143

To join the meeting by Zoom, please use the following link information:
Meeting ID: 859 8494 9971
Passcode: 584143

New Asteroid: 10514 Harlow

There is a newly named asteroid up there:

(10514) Harlow = 1989 TD16

Discovery: 1989-10-04 / H. Debehogne / La Silla / 809

The entry reads: Scott Harlow (1963–2020) was an amateur astronomer in British Columbia, Canada, who joined RASC Sunshine Coast Centre in 2011, served as club librarian and on the Board of Directors, and worked at many club meetings and outreach events. He was particularly active as a volunteer at the club’s observatory and coordinated donations of telescopes to the club.

Link to WGSBN bulletin

Scott doing solar observing at the Botanical Gardens outreach event in 2017

December Astonomy Club Meeting

The December meeting will take place on Friday Dec. 9th at our usual venue, the Sechelt Public Library, starting at 7pm. We are lucky to have an actual live visiting presenter, Peter Broughton and he will be telling us about the Canadian astronomer John Stanley Plaskett.

For anyone unable to attend in person, the meeting will be accessible on Zoom at:

Meeting ID: 859 8494 9971

Passcode: 584143

November Club Meeting

Our next club meeting will be on Friday Nov 11th at Sechelt Library. The presentation will be by amateur astrophotographer MIchael Watson with the compelling title “There’s No Place Like Home—An Astrophotographic Tour of Our Milky Way Galaxy”. This promises to be a big hit!

The meeting starts at 7pm and will also be accessible via Zoom at the link shown below:

Topic: Sunshine Coast Astronomy Club Monthly Meeting
Time: Nov 11, 2022 07:00 PM Vancouver

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 859 8494 9971

Passcode: 584143

Globular Clusters will be the theme at the October meeting

At our October 14th meeting we will be having a talk about Globular Clusters presented over Zoom by Peter Jedicke. Peter is described as an “Astronomy Ambassador” on the RASC website and has written and presented widely on the topic of Globular Clusters. This should be a great talk!

The October meeting will also be our AGM and 30 minutes (or less) will be taken up taking care of that. We are always encouraging members to consider taking a position on the board, so if you would like to help the club this way, please let a member of the current executive know before the 14th.

The meeting will take place at Sechelt Library starting at 7pm on Friday October 14th. It will also be available by Zoom.

To join this meeting by Zoom:

Meeting ID: 859 8494 9971

Passcode: 584143

Observatory Open: 1 October 2022

It’s been two years, but our Sunshine Coast Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has finally arrived at a point where we feel comfortable opening our observatory to the public once more. We’re planning to open Saturday, October 1, at 8 PM. If you have been to our observatory before, you need to know that the airport authorities extended the runway, so the old entrance at Gate 10 at the top of Field Road is no longer the way in. From that gate you need to turn right down the gravel road to go around to the other side of the airport to the North Gate. Directions to the observatory and a map can be found here on our website: We’re putting up directional signs to assist people in finding the route (see below).

All astronomers are hostages to weather. Weather conditions can rapidly improve and just as rapidly deteriorate, and on occasion fire smoke is an issue at this time of year. We will be watching the skies closely and posting an update notice to this post on our website at 6 PM on the 1st of October to confirm that we are still opening. Please check on the website to make sure that conditions are still favorable to avoid wasting a trip.

Let’s be clear: Covid is still with us. The numbers in the hospitals are way down, but the hospitals are still dealing with patients. Transmission is shifting from variants coming in from abroad to domestic transmission: Covid is turning into a seasonal disease like the flu that you’ll need to get yearly booster shots for. I’ve had all my boosters. The good news is that our observatory isn’t one of those where you are indoors with the telescope viewing through a slit in a dome. Our observatory is a roll off roof observatory: The roof rolls back and the telescope and viewing area is open to the sky and the elements. You’re basically outdoors for this viewing experience. Maintain distance from others. Masks are encouraged.

Jupiter is just a few days past its brightest, and Saturn is prominent in the sky.

If you’re working on an observing certificate like Explore the Moon or the Messier Certificate, this is a great opportunity to add things to your list. Bring your logbook or notebook along. If you’re a new telescope owner, bring it along and members can show you how to use it.

UPDATE 1 October, 17:30 hours: We are go for tonight! See you at the observatory

At the September 9th meeting we’ll be talking Meteorites.

The speaker at our September meeting will be Murray Paulson and he will be talking about “Meteorites and Hunting for Meteorites”. The meeting will be held at the Sechelt Library on Sept. 9th starting at 7 pm. We will of course be covering all our usual monthly topics too. Everyone is welcome, members and non-members.

To join by Zoom, please use this link:

Come to the Botanical Garden for a close look at the sun!

The astronomy club will have its booth at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden “Harvest Festival” on Sunday, September 4th from 11 am to 3 pm. We will have our solar telescopes set up and we’ll be explaining how it is possible to look at the sun safely as well as letting you look for yourself. Club members will be on hand to explain what the astronomy club does and the facilities we have.

Solar Spicules

Taking advantage of good daytime seeing again for some close-up observing of the sun! This image was taken of the Chromosphere on July 25th at about noon and gives a close-up of the dancing, swirling Spicules that rise up from the Photosphere. This image is of an area above a decaying active region, the Photosphere details are being hidden behind the dense blanket of spicules.

The image was taken with a Hydrogen alpha filter, on a monochrome camera and coloured later.


Active Region AR3062

The plasma that we see as the “surface” of the sun is actually in constant motion, creating complex magnetic fields and structures as it swirls and bubbles. When these magnetic fields become especially strong an active region (AR) develops, they are temporary, major ones are assigned a number by solar astronomers. Many solar events – solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CME) – are associated with these active regions. The number and location of active regions on the solar disk at any given point in time is dependent on the position in the solar cycle and we have been seeing quite a few in recent months.

I took this image of the solar chromosphere in H alpha on July25th with the club Quark unit, it is of AR3062. Richard separately estimated the diameter of the sunspot alone as over 12,000 km, about the same size as Earth.

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