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Comet Hunting

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Mike Bradley checks out the list of comets and sets up the laptop to steer the telescope (photo by Charles Ennis)

Last night (16 April), 9 people attended the SCC Observatory to hunt comets. We got a good look at comets 41P/tuttle-Giacobinni-Kresak and C/2015 V2 Johnson, added objects to member’s Messier lists, and got a good look at Jupiter. Danny and Neil brought their own telescopes to join the sky survey.

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Charles views stars for alignments while Mike runs the laptop and David looks on (photo by James MacWilliams)

Perseid Meteor Shower

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We’re going to open the SCC Observatory for the Perseid meteor shower Thursday, August 11 and at 8:30 PM.

First Anniversary Party for the Observatory: 2 July

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The ribbon is cut by our president, a representative from Swanson’s Ready Mix, and the two mayors on 27 June 2015.

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.

Planet Viewing Star Party

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Mike Bradley and Deborah McWilliams checking out the image of Mars on the laptop as Mike takes photos for processing

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.

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People of all ages watch Mike take photos of Saturn

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

Last Call for Jupiter Viewing!

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photo by Mike Bradley of Jupiter during the double shadow transit last month

As the nights get shorter and the Earth spins along, Jupiter sinks toward the western horizon… soon to be engulfed in the murk and turbulence of the atmosphere close to the horizon, (which unfortunately is where saturn and mars currently lay :-()… having said that its been a great show on Jupiter this past few months and using my C11 SCT with bino viewers has given me some of the best views of the planet I have ever had…. but as they say all good things come to an end… until next year that is =D> .

Jupiter is still nice and high in the early evening so with a little luck and some good seeing we should get some good views on Saturday.

I will be there with bino viewers in hand…. there might even be a

C11 or two on site…. for sure there will be a C8 😎

See you Saturday… gate time to be announced… i should be there 9ish.

Neil Sandy

member-rasc

NOTE: Mars (on a close approach to Earth) and Saturn will be up there also.

Charles Ennis, President

Transit of Mercury Report: 9 May

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Families waiting to view the transit of Mercury

Mike Bradley and I were up at the SCC Observatory at 5:30 AM to open up and several members of the public were there at first light to view the transit of Mercury. The transit, which began at 4:12 AM before the sun rose, was in progress as the sun cleared the trees. Steve Sleep from Coast Cable showed up to do interviews and film the action.

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Steve getting video footage of us getting video footage of the tranist

By the time the day was over we’d had 10 of our members, 1 Vancouver Centre member, and 21 members of the public drop by to view the transit. Mike and Danny got photos and Mike got some video of the event as well.

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Many members brought their own solar scopes

We collected $114 in donations during the event.

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That round dot on the lower left is Mercury. Photo by Mike Bradley

Charles Ennis, President

1st Anniversary of the SCC Observatory

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Bill Clark cuts the cake at the Grand Opening

Our SCC Observatory opened last year on 27 June. We’re rapidly closing in on our first anniversary of First Light. In honour of this, we’ll be having a First Anniversary Starbeque for members and invited guests only on Saturday, July 2. This will be a pot luck starting at 6 pm and running until whenever we get tired of looking at the sky.

Double Shadow Transit of Jupiter: 6 May

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At 8:18 PM PST on Friday, 6 May, one of Jupiter’s moons, Callisto, will pass in front of Jupiter. At 8:32 another Galilean moon, Io, will follow Callisto. Their two shadows will transit the planet’s surface starting at 9:39 PM. The double shadow transit will end at 10:42 PM PST. We’ll have the SCC Observatory open for this double shadow transit at 8 PM, weather permitting.

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Transit of Mercury:Monday, 9 May 2016

mercury transitThe planet Mercury passes between the face of the Sun and Earth only 14 times per century, and one of those events is about to occur as the Sun rises on May 9. When the Sun rises at 5:30 AM on Monday, 9 May, the transit will already be in progress (having started about 4:12 AM). The transit will end at 11:42 AM. We’ll have the SCC Observatory open for public viewing that morning (weather permitting) with our solar scopes for safe viewing.

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Air Cadet Tour: 16 April

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Cadets help to roll back the roof.

Three air cadet squadrons (858 Skookumchuk, 835 Squamish, and 525 Pathfinder) took part in a survival training exercise this weekend at Sechelt Airport and on Saturday, 16 April, 25 cadets toured our SCC Observatory.