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Yearly Archives: 2014

Possible Auroral Activity and Asteroid Fly By

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According to spaceweather.com, there is the possibility of auroral activity this evening due to a CME delivering a glancing blow to Earth today.
Also, according to the same website, a newly discovered asteroid, 2014RC (a house-sized asteroid only discovered on August 31) will pass Earth within the orbit of geosynchronous satellites on the morning of Sunday (Sept. 7) as it passes through the constellation Pisces, which will be 40 degrees above the southwestern horizon at 5 AM.
The weather should be great for seeing,

Dr. Garth Jones

President’s Message

Mike Bradley discussing astronomy at the Botanical Gardens, Sep 2014

Mike Bradley discussing astronomy at the Botanical Gardens, Sep 2014

On the 3rd of September, Stephen, Charles and I presented “an introduction to astronomy and our club” to an audience at the Gibsons Library. Afterwards we set up 3 scopes to look at the moon, double stars and Saturn. This presentation represented the last event on our summer schedule, and what a summer it has been. We held outreach events at Hackett Park, the Botanical Garden, Porpoise Bay, Camp Olave, Halfmoon Bay and beyond. We were lucky to have good skies for most events, whether daytime or night time. We were especially fortunate to have had an active sun with sunspots and prominences galore all summer. Charles counted the numbers who looked through the scopes at these events and they were impressive: 113 Girl Guides plus staff at Camp Olave, 148 for Canada Day in Hackett Park, 174 for Half Moon Bay, 465 at Sea Cavalcade, 229 during the day at Porpoise Bay, and 283 at the Botanical Gardens.

We conduct these events because we want to share our enjoyment of this hobby with members of the public. We also get a lot of personal satisfaction from the enjoyment we hear expressed by many of the viewing public. One of the formal objectives of the club is indeed “to provide instructional and educational seminars, lectures and presentations to the public on astronomy and special astronomical events”. Our busy summer is evidence to me that we’ve been fulfilling this objective!

The observatory project is moving ahead, slowly but steadily. The deck design has been finalised and a recent work party dug out the holes for the forms. Thanks to David for making the wooden forms. The deck will be built this month. All the electronics and power supply components/cabling have been purchased and or installed and the conduit installation is started. We had a great piece of news last week when Swansons offered to donate another cubic metre of concrete for the deck – Thank you Swansons!

September is here and our club is about to start a new season of meetings and events. Our membership is standing at 47, the highest it has been since the formation of the club. We have a new web-site, an active social media presence and a full calendar of high quality monthly speakers. A TV show with Coast TV is in the works. The observatory will be functioning soon.

I’d like to offer a great big thank you to you all for your continuing support of the club, especially to those who have been directly involved in making it all happen!!

Hope to see you all on September 12th when Dr Ludo Van Waerbeke, will be speaking about Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Michael Bradley, President

Report on the Botanical Garden Harvest Festival

Agnes, Bill, Danny, Scott and Mike getting ready for the 2014 Botanical Garden event

Agnes, Bill, Danny, Scott and Mike getting ready for the 2014 Botanical Garden event

At the Sechelt Botanical Garden this afternoon we had 283 people visit our booth and look through our solar scopes. Clouds hid the sun for the first two hours but then came out to reveal some impressive solar flare activity. Check out the album on the Photo Album page for more pictures.

Report on Astronomy in the Park: 16 August 2014

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We had clouds when we showed up at noon to set up but in a few hours they cleared and we had 229 people view sun spots and solar flares through our solar scopes. Children’s Story Theatre had a good crowd of children for their performance. The amphitheatre was packed for the audio visual presentation at dusk and afterwards there were long lineups for the telescopes to view the night skies. Check out our photos of this event.

Partial Solar Eclipse: October 23, 2014

solar viewing

solar viewing

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There will be a partial solar eclipse visible in Western Canada on 23 October, covering approximately 66% of the sun. Be sure to use filters to view the sun to protect your eyes! Mylar or black polymer eclipse glasses or a #14 arc welders filter is good for viewing without a telescope or binoculars. If using binoculars or a telescope be sure to use special solar filters. The telescope depicted in the picture is a hydrogen alpha scope specially designed for safe viewing of the sun. Weather permitting, we will be setting up our solar scopes in two locations on the Sunshine Coast for the public to view this event: Davis Bay seawall at 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM at Chatelech Secondary School in Sechelt. Hope to see you there!

Times for the solar eclipse below are for Vancouver, BC:

Partial eclipse begins 1:32 PM
Mideclipse 2:57 PM
Partial eclipse ends 4:16 PM
Sun altitude at maximum eclipse 24 degrees
Maximum eclipse 66%

Charles

Total Lunar Eclipse 8 October 2014

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There will be a total lunar eclipse on 8 October 2014, but it will occur in the wee hours of the morning. Uranus, which is now at opposition, will be within 22 arc minutes of the moon about the time of the midtotality of the eclipse. The entire eclipse will be visible from Western Canada.  Times in the table below are for Vancouver, BC:
Penumbral eclipse begins 1:15 AM
Partial eclipse begins 2:14 AM
Total eclipse begins 3:25 AM
Midtotality 3:55 AM
Total eclipse ends 4:24 AM
Partial eclipse ends 5:34 AM
Penumbral eclipse ends 6:33 AM

Charles

Intro Segment for Our pcoming Astronomy TV Show

Here is the latest version of the introduction segment for our upcoming monthly astronomy show on Coast Cable.

Annual Members BBQ

Centre President Mike Bradley and Past President Bill Clark with the new telescope

Centre President Mike Bradley and Past President Bill Clark with the new telescope unveiled at the 2013 bbq

Our annual members only barbecue will be held on at 2 PM on 17 August at Mike’s Housing Coop Meeting Rooms in Roberts Creek on 17 August 2014. We’ll have the club’s solar scope there for viewing sun spots and solar flares.

Gibsons Sea Cavalcade Report

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Mike, Scott, and I set up and manned our RASC booth at Gibsons Sea Cavalcade today. We had the solar telescopes functioning by 9 AM in Winegarden Park and had 100 people view solar flares and sun spots before the Cavalcade officially opened at 10. The sky remained cloudless and the sun obliged with multiple flares and sunspots. By closing time at 4 PM a total of 465 people viewed the sun through our scopes. Thanks to Errol for dropping by and assisting and for James and Stephen for dropping by to visit. Check out the photos for this event here.

First Sandy Hook Star Party Report

IMG_1004Our first Sandy Hook Star Party was a success. James, Bill, Mike, Danny, and Scott joined me at Tot Park with solar scopes and telescopes. 50 people attended including 2 Japanese exchange students. We had a clear sky and got good views of Saturn and Mars. Check out more photos of the event here.

Charles