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Safety Recall for some Eclipse glasses

With a solar eclipse visible on Monday Aug. 21st NASA and the American Astronomical Society have been urging solar gazers to use glasses engineered by reputable vendors that carry the international safety standard number “ISO 12312-2.”

One major vendor of “Eclipse Glasses” has issued a recall for theirs. Click here for details of the warning and the recall.

At the observing event scheduled for Davis Bay nect Monday, only approved telescopes and filters will be available.

 

Solar Eclipse

On Monday, August 21st, 2017, North America will be treated to a solar eclipse.  For more details click here.

On the day of the eclipse, August 21st, the Sunshine Coast RASC Centre is planning a safe public observing session on the sea wall at Davis Bay starting at 08:30am. We will have club members on-hand with solar telescopes, binoculars and filters available for everyone to safely observe this special event. It has been 38 years since the last one and it will be 7 years until the next one. Don’t miss this one!

Please note: in case of cloudy weather, the eclipse may not be visible. Be sure to check the centre’s web site on the day of the eclipse to see if the observing event is a GO or a NO GO.

Sunspot AR2670 August 4th, 2017

Last Friday (Aug 4th, I decided to see whether the current large sunspot (AR2670) could be seen through the forest fire haze. (This current sunspot is the remains of the massive AR2665 from 3 weeks ago.)  In white light the view was blurred and the camera image was worse, but in the Hydrogen alpha scope lots of details were still visible and I took this image. The area of extreme activity surrounding the sunspot is fairly easy to see, as is the spot itself. The groupings of prominences were a pleasant surprise too. The image was taken at the observatory at noon with a Lunt DS60 and Chameleon camera, it is a stack of 100 images.

Mike

Rodent control

Many thanks to Ron Dickinson of Sunshine Coast Pest Control for his work at the observatory. For the second year in a row he has donated his services to the cause of keeping the building free of mice. They like eating cable insulation, taking over file cabinets etc., making themselves a general nuisance!

Thank you Ron.

Perseid Meteor Shower August 12th

Due to inclement weather this event has had to be cancelled.

Safe Solar Viewing

I made a simple projection telescope to prepare for the Eclipse (August 21st). All it took was a plank from an old IKEA shelving unit, a few scraps of wood and a couple of lenses. The objective is a 500mm focal length lens and the Barlow is a -25 mm one. I have a spare lens set if anyone wants it.

The entire device is just over 0.8m long and extremely easy to align.

The design is so simple that anyone could make one but I did find a nice article on line at http://richardsont.people.cofc.edu/safe_solar_folder/index.html. This article would be perfect to guide a budding young scientist in getting ready for viewing the eclipse or sunspots when they appear .

Mike

 

Night Lights Shoot: The DRAO

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Steve and Brittany preparing to film Bruce and Dr. Sean Dougherty, Director of the DRAO, in front of the synthesis array

On Tuesday, 11 July, Bruce Fryer and Charles Ennis teamed up with Coast Cable TV staff Steve Sleep and Brittany Broderson and drove up to the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) at White Lake near Penticton to film sequences for the 3rd season of Night Lights. We spent several hours doing interviews of DRAO director Sean Dougherty and Dr. Ken Tapping at the various radio telescopes and in control rooms. Due to the numerous forest fires in the interior the skies were smoky.

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The 26 meter John Galt telescope with the new CHIME array in the background in the lower left

Later we drove up to the Okanagan Centre’s observatory to get more footage.

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Bruce, Jack, and Charles in Jack’s 16 foot observatory dome

After spending the night in Kelowna, we drove down to Jack Newton’s Observatory B & B in Osoyoos to film some segments before returning to the Coast.