At 7:30 PM, 9 February 2018, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents two speakers. The first is Dr. Sean Dougherty, director of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, who in two months will be taking over as the director of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array in Chile. Sean’s topic will be: Canada’s Telescopes. The second is Dr. Jeremy Heyl from UBC, whose topic is Precision Astronomy: How measuring which stars are where can tell how stars collide, how stars die, how dead stars glow and what our future holds.
Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.
On Sunday, 2018 January 7, construction materials were delivered to our observatory at the Sechelt Airport for the building of a storage/warm room for the observatory. Colin Bradley and David Thompson got down to work a few days later and by Friday they’d completed the basic structure. The next step is to install insulation, wiring, lighting/heating, and shelves and a workbench.
The second full Moon in a month is referred to as a “blue Moon” and January 31 we’ll see the second full Moon of January 2018. But we will see that blue moon turn red on the 31st with the first total lunar eclipse in 2 ½ years. People on the West Coast will have a front row seat as the eclipse begins at 2:49 AM PST. Midtotality occurs at 5:29 and the eclipse ends at 8:10 AM.
On 27 December Dr. Roy Bishop dropped by Sandy Hook to visit with some of our members. Dr. Roy L. Bishop Roy Bishop is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of Acadia (both Engineering and Physics), McMaster University, and the University of Manitoba. While in Manitoba, in 1967 he joined the Winnipeg Centre of the RASC. Upon his return to Nova Scotia, he helped to re-establish the Halifax Centre in 1970. Roy was President of the Halifax Centre in 1975 when that Centre hosted the first RASC General Assembly in Atlantic Canada. Currently, he is the Honorary President of the Halifax Centre. For 19 years (1981-2000) Roy was Editor of the Observer’s Handbook (also known as “The Bible According to Bishop”), as well as contributing a substantial portion of its content every year, a practice he continues to maintain into the present. During his term as editor he doubled the size of the Handbook to nearly 300 pages. In terms of number of Handbook pages edited, Roy’s record exceeds that of even the 50-year editorship of the legendary C.A. Chant. Beginning in 1980 Roy undertook the 8-year sequence of presidential positions in the national Society, serving as President in 1984-1986. In 1988, he received the RASC Service Award. He was national Honorary President in 2001-2005. For his innovative contributions to the Observer’s Handbook, in 2002 he received the RASC Chant Medal. Dr. Bishop has for decades consistently participated in and assisted with countless Centre and national projects and initiatives, including General Assemblies, star parties, public events, and literally countless lectures, published articles, and media interviews. Roy is a quiet but passionate advocate for astronomy and the RASC. He has encouraged, taught, and mentored scores of amateur astronomers, both within and outside of the RASC. He freely shares his wisdom and deep knowledge of the Society with all who seek his counsel. Roy’s research on the history of astronomy has brought to light one of the earliest observatories in North America. Other astronomical topics on which he has published include meteors, human vision, the centennial of the Observer’s Handbook, transits of Venus, and the tides of the Bay of Fundy. His contributions to astronomy and physics beyond the RASC have been recognized by the naming of asteroid 6901 Roybishop, and by his induction in 2012 to Nova Scotia’s Discovery Centre Science Hall of Fame. Dr. Bishop’s steadfast and influential work, over four decades, has helped raise the global reputation of the RASC to that of a leading astronomical organization. His reputation for, and insistence on, scientific accuracy, thoroughness, and integrity has steadily guided and maintained the RASC on the path of excellence as an organization. Dr. Bishop is a living embodiment of the goals and objectives of the RASC and in 2013 received the award of Fellowship in the Society. We were very pleased to have him spend some time with us.
This image of the Milky Way over Monument Valley was taken by Dale Boan, a friend of Scott’s. It’s a composite-photograph taken of the Milky Way and local geography in the predawn hours from the Arizona-Utah border’s Monument Valley. The details provided by Dale on how this great shot was taken are included below the image. Dale gave us permission to post this image. Thanks for passing this along Scott.
The final image is a composite of a single tracked sky and an un-tracked foreground. He used a Canon 7Dm2, ISO 800, f2.8, 3 minutes exposure using a Tokina 11-20mm f2.8 at 13mm. Tracking was with an iOptron skytracker. Dale tells us that the foreground image required more processing then the sky!
On this anniversary of the passing of our member Nairn Robertson, we’ve received some fabulous news. You’ll recall that Nairn was the young man that we took on as a member after the Make a Wish Foundation gave him a telescope which we taught him to use. Nairn’s telescope is now at our observatory for the use of members. Nairn’s uncle Dean has now had a star named for Nairn:
RA 1 h, 21m, 19.09s
DEC +58° 19′ 54.8″
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is the world’s most powerful observatory for studying the universe at the long-wavelength millimeter and submillimeter range of light. It’s designed to spot some of the most distant, ancient galaxies ever seen, and to probe the areas around young stars for planets in the process of forming.Our November meeting will feature a talk by Doug Scott of the physics department of UBC about ALMA and his work with it.
The meeting time is 7:30PM at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre at 5714 Medusa St. in Sechelt. Hope to see you there.