Due to a shortage of instructors we have had to cancel the public night at the SCAC Observatory for October 13th.
Please accept our apologies for this.
For two weeks from the 13th of October zodiacal light will readily be visible from a dark site in the east before morning twilight. This is caused by sunlight reflected of the immense cloud of interplanetary dust encircling the Sun.
Dr. Roy Bishop, Emeritus Professor of Physics from Acadia University, writes in the RASC Observer’s Handbook:
The zodiacal light appears as a huge, softly radiant pyramid of white light with its base near the horizon, and its axis centred on the zodiac (or better, the ecliptic). In its brightest parts, it exceeds the luminance of the central Milky Way.
Moonlight, haze or light pollution can easily blot out zodiacal light, so you’ll need a dark sky location to observe it. It is best viewed just after twilight in the east, in the hour to half an hour just before twilight begins at dawn, from about October 13-27.
2nd VP RASC
One can see individual meteors almost any night of the year (known as “sporadics”). However, as the Earth orbits the Sun it repeatedly passes through slender streams of ice, dust and rock, left behind by the passage of comets through the inner solar system. This debris falls into Earth’s upper atmosphere and burns up, a phenomenon we call meteor showers.
The next meteor shower peaks Monday, 2018 October 8: the Draconids. It has this name as the radiant (the place in the sky where meteors will appear to originate) is located in the constellation Draco (the Dragon). This is because the Earth is apparently heading in that direction of Draco at the time of the meteor shower, so the meteors will enter the upper atmosphere and appear to scatter outwards from this point. The Draconids is a minor meteor shower, delivering on average 10 meteors per hour. Viewing conditions are good as this is the day before the New Moon. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!
Charles Ennis, 2nd VP RASC
We’re asking for members to meet at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, at 7 PM on 12 October for a brief AGM at which we will be voting for the new executive.
At 7:30 PM, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents two speakers. The first is Dr. Chris Gainor, a historian specializing in the history of space flight and aeronautics. He has five published books. He is also President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. Chris’ topic will be: History of the Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble Space Telescope was launched 28 years ago in 1990. After overcoming problems caused by a defective main mirror, Hubble has made discoveries that have revolutionized our view of the universe we live in. This talk will cover the history of HST based on a history book the speaker is writing for NASA.
The second speaker is Sarah Savić Kallesøe, a Simon Fraser University undergraduate student involved with the research and public outreach affairs of the Trottier Observatory since its inception in 2015. As the first student with training and access to the observatory, Sarah has led imaging projects, astronomy workshops, and data collection sessions. In 2017, Sarah was invited to conduct research with the graduate student observational astrophysics group at the Niels Bohr Physics Institute, University of Copenhagen, where she was the youngest member and the only Canadian accepted. Her research was conducted at the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma of the Spanish Canary Islands and focused on quasar identification and classification of novel supernovae. The results of this project were published in the Astronomer’s Telegram and included in the NASA Astrophysics Database.
Sarah will graduate from SFU with a First Class Distinction Bachelor’s of Science in Population and Quantitative Health Sciences in June 2019. She is the 2019 BC Rhodes Scholar nominee for SFU and her career aspiration is to contribute to the World Health Organization’s research relating to the well-being of migrants and their access to health care services. While her formal undergraduate education in public health does not directly relate to astronomy, she appreciates the complexity of both systems. Beyond academia and astronomy, Sarah thoroughly enjoys exploring BC’s nature her Scout group.
Sarah’s topic will be her experience of researching with the Niels Bohr Physics Institute at the Nordic Optical Telescope in the Canary Islands. This includes her observational astrophysics opportunities at the Niels Bohr Physics Institute and how to get involved, the culture of astronomy at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma and what makes it one of the best night-sky observing locations in the world, the experience of conducting research at the Nordic Optical Telescope in La Palma, an overview of the fourteen observatories at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma, and details of the August 2017 research on quasars and supernovae at the Nordic Optical Telescope
Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.
Join us at the Botanical Garden on September 2nd for the very popular Harvest Festival, this is usually one of our best attended events. This will be the last outreach event for the club this year and we will have our solar observing telescopes out in force. Lets hope for some clear, smoke free skies.
At the General Assembly in Calgary last June Dr. Brian Lucas received a Service Award for his years of service to the Society. The other Service Award recipient from our Center, Neil Sandy, did not attend the GA, so 2nd Vice President Charles Ennis presented Neil with his award at Pender Harbour Days last week.
Congratulations and thanks to Neil and Brian for all they’ve done for our Centre!