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Canada Day 2016 Update

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Scott, Danny, and Mike sheltering from rain showers and discussing observatory matters while waiting for visitors to arrive

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.

-Scott

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Sam and Danny at the solar scopes

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Smoke and Light Pollution

Interesting how the air pollution generated by the local fire serves as “barometer” for light pollution. When Dan, Neil and I were up at the observatory on Saturday, 4 July, we had a reasonable line of sight on the fire northwest of Sechelt at Carlson Point. One thing noticed that night was the orange glow of firelight reflected off smoke over the fire.

So on Monday night I stepped outside at about 11pm and the smoke was like a fog permeating the neighbourhood here on upper-Field Rd. Out of curiosity I wandered a short distance up Field Rd to see if the orange haze that resembled what was observed the night before, from the observatory site looking in the vicinity of the wildfire, was produced by the fire getting closer. It immediately became apparent that the orange glow was generated primarily by sodium lighting in the Field Rd. industrial area, and by lighting at the regional district’s complex. The scattering of unshielded, or poorly shielded lighting was evident according to the “smoke detector”. With the smoke making the illumination directed upward – where it’s not needed, much more plain to see.

Scott Harlow

Kitchener Waterloo Centre took this photo documenting the effects of light pollution at night

Kitchener Waterloo Centre took this photo documenting the effects of light pollution at night