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On Sunday, 2018 January 7, construction materials were delivered to our observatory at the Sechelt Airport for the building of a storage/warm room for the observatory. Colin Bradley and David Thompson got down to work a few days later and by Friday they’d completed the basic structure. The next step is to install insulation, wiring, lighting/heating, and shelves and a workbench.
The second full Moon in a month is referred to as a “blue Moon” and January 31 we’ll see the second full Moon of January 2018. But we will see that blue moon turn red on the 31st with the first total lunar eclipse in 2 ½ years. People on the West Coast will have a front row seat as the eclipse begins at 2:49 AM PST. Midtotality occurs at 5:29 and the eclipse ends at 8:10 AM.
On 27 December Dr. Roy Bishop dropped by Sandy Hook to visit with some of our members. Dr. Roy L. Bishop Roy Bishop is Emeritus Professor of Physics at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of Acadia (both Engineering and Physics), McMaster University, and the University of Manitoba. While in Manitoba, in 1967 he joined the Winnipeg Centre of the RASC. Upon his return to Nova Scotia, he helped to re-establish the Halifax Centre in 1970. Roy was President of the Halifax Centre in 1975 when that Centre hosted the first RASC General Assembly in Atlantic Canada. Currently, he is the Honorary President of the Halifax Centre. For 19 years (1981-2000) Roy was Editor of the Observer’s Handbook (also known as “The Bible According to Bishop”), as well as contributing a substantial portion of its content every year, a practice he continues to maintain into the present. During his term as editor he doubled the size of the Handbook to nearly 300 pages. In terms of number of Handbook pages edited, Roy’s record exceeds that of even the 50-year editorship of the legendary C.A. Chant. Beginning in 1980 Roy undertook the 8-year sequence of presidential positions in the national Society, serving as President in 1984-1986. In 1988, he received the RASC Service Award. He was national Honorary President in 2001-2005. For his innovative contributions to the Observer’s Handbook, in 2002 he received the RASC Chant Medal. Dr. Bishop has for decades consistently participated in and assisted with countless Centre and national projects and initiatives, including General Assemblies, star parties, public events, and literally countless lectures, published articles, and media interviews. Roy is a quiet but passionate advocate for astronomy and the RASC. He has encouraged, taught, and mentored scores of amateur astronomers, both within and outside of the RASC. He freely shares his wisdom and deep knowledge of the Society with all who seek his counsel. Roy’s research on the history of astronomy has brought to light one of the earliest observatories in North America. Other astronomical topics on which he has published include meteors, human vision, the centennial of the Observer’s Handbook, transits of Venus, and the tides of the Bay of Fundy. His contributions to astronomy and physics beyond the RASC have been recognized by the naming of asteroid 6901 Roybishop, and by his induction in 2012 to Nova Scotia’s Discovery Centre Science Hall of Fame. Dr. Bishop’s steadfast and influential work, over four decades, has helped raise the global reputation of the RASC to that of a leading astronomical organization. His reputation for, and insistence on, scientific accuracy, thoroughness, and integrity has steadily guided and maintained the RASC on the path of excellence as an organization. Dr. Bishop is a living embodiment of the goals and objectives of the RASC and in 2013 received the award of Fellowship in the Society. We were very pleased to have him spend some time with us.
On this anniversary of the passing of our member Nairn Robertson, we’ve received some fabulous news. You’ll recall that Nairn was the young man that we took on as a member after the Make a Wish Foundation gave him a telescope which we taught him to use. Nairn’s telescope is now at our observatory for the use of members. Nairn’s uncle Dean has now had a star named for Nairn:
RA 1 h, 21m, 19.09s
DEC +58° 19′ 54.8″
David is shown here putting the finishing touches to the cover he made to protect the roof opening/closing mechanism. It also keeps curious fingers from getting trapped.
The electrical system with its safety interlocks is fully functional now and moving the roof is done by pushing a button. Very smooth!
On 12 May our President, Charles Ennis, attended the President’s Address of the Royal Astronomical Society at Burlington House in London, which has been their base of operations since 1874. Charles then attended the reception afterwards in the RAS library.
The National Board of the RASC met in Calgary at the Sheraton Cavalier on 18/19 March to finalize the Strategic Plan. We identified the primary goals, assigned actions to each, assigned each action a “champion” to supervise that activity, established measurables, and set deadlines. We are determined to transform the RASC. We intend:
1: To ensure that our front office staff are adequately trained and have access to the right tools and skills
2: To become a conduit for the professional astronomical community to reach out to the public
3: To be the national brand for astronomy in Canada
4: To be stewards of night sky and the earth under it
5: To provide educator consumable material to be used in classrooms across Canada
6: To develop and mentor volunteers within the RASC
7: To become the premier link for all astronomy in Canada
8: To build collaborative communities united behind common purpose
9: To assist in developing Centre leadership and foster Centre development
10. To make the RASC a safe, inclusive, welcoming environment
11. To ensure that RASC finances are sustainable
Dr. Slenders, our facilitator, is now polishing up the results and we’ll be turning this into a presentation for the Presidents and Committees at a meeting on 22 April.
The Board would like to thank the Sunshine Coast Centre for its feedback and input, which was very helpful to us in this planning process.
Charles Ennis, National Secretary