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Yearly Archives: 2016
Tonight and for the next two nights astronomers from the Vancouver and Victoria Centres of the RASC will join us at the SCC Observatory to view the skies. Some will be camping there, others will be staying with RASC members. I hope that all of our members will join us at the observatory with their telescopes to view the skies this weekend. The forecast is for clear skies. Danny will be camping at the observatory this weekend as our “ambassador”. Members are welcome to bring family and guests. Please review the protocols for observatory use on our Observatory page.
This image of Messier 5 was imaged from Roberts Creek on June 28/29, 2016 with a Megrez 120mm, Canon 60Da, and a x1.6 Barlow lens. Guided exposures were taken at 10, 30, 60 and 120 seconds for a total exposure time of 30 mins. at 1600 ISO. Stacking was with Deep Sky Stacker, processing in Photoshop CS2 and PixInsight. The sky quality was good the moon had not risen, unfortunately I forgot to take an SQM reading.
Globular Cluster M5 is 24,500-light years away in the constellation Serpens. At about 13 billion, it is one of the most ancient globular clusters known, having formed only a few billion years after the Big Bang. M5 is one of the 160 globular clusters known to reside in a spherical halo around the Milky Way’s galactic center. M5 is one of the larger globular clusters, containing about 100,000 stars within a diameter of 165 light-years.
M5 is located in the constellation Serpens Caput, just north of Zubeneschamali. It is barely detectable to the unaided eye as a faint star but in binoculars, it appears as a faint, fuzzy star. The image here was taken through a 120mm Megrez refractor. Some amateur observers think that M5 is the finest globular cluster north of the celestial equator for small telescopes – even better than the celebrated M13, the Great Hercules cluster.
Yesterday we tallied 510 visitors to our booth and the solar scopes at Sea Cavalcade 2016. Scott, Mike, Sam Casoria, Charles, and David worked the booth and telescopes. Guest appearances included Errol Lipschitz, James MacWilliam, and Neil Sandy.
The list of giveaway items distributed is as follows;
Moon Gazer’s Guide : 73
Star Finders : 116
Getting Started in Astronomy guide : 17
Journal of the RASC edition on light abatement : 16
We will be setting up our information booth at Gibsons Sea Cavalcade 2016 on Sunday, 24 July, at 9 AM and will be there until 4 PM. We’ll have our solar scopes set up to view sunspots and solar flares. Any members who’d like to drop by and assist would be very welcome.
On the 30th of June, 2004, ten people got together in a living room and started the Sunshine Coast Astronomy Club which subsequently became the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC in April 2008. Here we are 12 years later and they’re all still with us. We’d like to commend them all for their service to our club over the years.
Our Centre was at Cooper’s Green for the 50th annual Halfmoon Bay Country Fair on 10 July. 257 people attended the booth and looked through the solar scopes. We even fixed a telescope that someone brought in.
Mike Bradley, Charles Ennis, Bruce Fryer, Scott Harlow, Neil Sandy, Danny Sklazeski, and Sam Casoria manned the booth and solar telescopes. Bette Chadwick, James MacWilliams, and Serge and Sharon Planidin visited our patch of grass at Hackett Park. The day started out with a downpour that didn’t let up until the parade started. By the afternoon the skies had mostly cleared.
342 people came to visit the booth. We handed out 88 Star Finders, 60 Moon Gazer Guides, 1 Getting Started in Astronomy Guide, and 10 Journal of the RASC special edition on light abatement.
Sechelt Mayor Bruce Milne dropped by the booth to discuss issues with Scott and Charles, including light abatement, and took away one of the Journal Special Editions.
Ottawa Centre member ROLF MEIER passed away June 26 after a battle with cancer for several months. Rolf was born in Ottawa in 1953 and received his Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics from Carleton University in 1977. A skillful telescope maker and a frequent user of the Ottawa Centre’s Indian River Observatory, he was nominated for the Chant medal. He was known for his excellent astrophotos. On April 26, 1978, Rolf made headlines with the first telescopic discovery of a comet from a Canadian location. He discovered further cornets in 1979, 1980, and 1984, and his record was only surpassed in 1989 by David Levy.
Rolf was Chairman of the Ottawa Centre’s Observers’ Group, Editor of Astronotes for 12 years, National Council Rep and Ottawa Centre President. His 25 cm Newtonian reflector was installed at the Indian River Observatory in 1983 for use of members. A number of articles, displaying his wide-ranging interests, have included “Identifying a Meteorite”, “Recent Aurora Activity”, and “Solid State Photometer.”
Rolf is survived by his wife Linda, and son Matthew.
Ad amorem nocte caelum.
Dona nobis pacem.
Ego diligo in nocte caelum.
To love the night sky.
Grant us peace.
I love the night sky.
Our SCC Observatory opened on the 27th of June last year. We’re planning a viewing session to celebrate the first anniversary of our first light on Saturday, July 2 (weather permitting). The observatory will open the gates at 9 PM (Sunset 9:12). BYO Telescope and refreshments.
UPDATE: 1 July 1800 hours- Wow. This morning before heading to Canada Day celebrations I checked the forecast for tomorrow and the sky charts and it looked good for an opening at the observatory for 2 July. When I came home in the afternoon and checked again I found that the forecast had dramatically changed: The forecast was now calling for rain in the evening on Saturday, 2 July and the ClearDarkSky chart showing overcast. What a difference a few hours can make! I will keep checking tomorrow and post another update closer to the event. If the forecast doesn’t change, it doesn’t look good for opening the observatory on the 2nd.
UPDATE 2 July 1000 hours: The forecast has improved somewhat from yesterday. We’ll post later today around 1800 with another update on whether we’ll be opening tonight.
UPDATE 2 July 1800 hours: The forecast has gone back to predicting rain and as I write this the rain is bouncing off my skylights. ClearDarkSky is calling for overcast and Scott, our observer up near the airport confirms this. We will not be opening the observatory tonight.
Last night (4 June) 24 people of all ages attended our club’s “Last Call for Jupiter” Star Party for members at the SCC Observatory. It was a beautiful night, with just a trace of high cloud. There were 10 telescopes set up including the observatory’s 14 inch Celestron Edge HD. Later in the session our VP, Mike Bradley, hooked up his camera to the observatory’s telescope to capture images of the planets.
Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn were all prominent in the sky, with Mars making a close approach to Earth and Saturn at opposition.
We look forward to seeing the results of the photography session.
Charles Ennis, President