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After a two-year absence, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC is bringing the popular Astronomy in the Park program back to Porpoise Bay Provincial Park in Sechelt on Saturday, 11 August from 1 to 11:30 p.m. There will be club telescopes, an information booth with membership information, displays and astronomy related giveaways.
The first “star” of the day will be the sun, and with the club’s safe solar telescopes, participants will be able to look for fiery prominences and sun-spots. Club members will be on hand with telescopes all afternoon and into the night to answer questions and show off the wonders of our universe.
Bill Burnyeat, formerly of the MacMillan Planetarium, will be doing a presentation in the park amphitheatre at dusk. Afterwards our astronomers will have their telescopes in the park picnic area for viewing Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and countless other celestial objects while overhead the Perseid meteor shower takes place. With clear skies and a new moon, participants should be able to see constellations, star clusters and nebulae. It’s the best show on earth and it’s absolutely free.
Remember to bring a flashlight with a red light to preserve night vision.
The Festival is a family event open to the public, organized by volunteers, and made possible by Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Please respect all park rules. Weather permitting. Also check our website: www.coastastronomy.ca
NOTE: Our observatory will not be open on this evening as all of our volunteers will be committed at this event.
We had 85 members of the public show up for our first Starlight Coast Star Party last night. We had a perfectly clear sky for the event, though it was very hot until the sun set. The Rotary Club served hotdogs, hamburgers and sandwiches. We displayed the entries for the poster contest and handed out prizes to the winners. The Coast Reporter photographer showed up to get pictures. We had visitors on site viewing the skies until midnight.
Members and visitors viewed the skies for the second night in a row last night. It was not as clear a sky as Friday night, with clouds drifting through, but we did get some viewing between the clouds.
Tonight is the second night of the clubs star party at our airport site at the top of field rd…
Last nights conditions were exceptional… at least the clarity of the sky was. While it was not so good for viewing planets because of the turbulence in the air the transparency was excellent. The milky way was etched sharply against a black background of stars and was
clearly visible from the north east horizon down to the southern horizon. The club scope was up and running as well as numerous other scopes from members and guests. Among the numerous star clusters and galaxies we viewed we were also treated to 2 passes of the space station and numerous bright meteors from 2 currently active meteor showers.
We also have several guests from the Victoria centre staying on site and possibly some today from Vancouver… feel free to drop by the site to say hello and welcome them to our beautiful area.
If all goes well, weather wise, tonight should be spectacular!!!!
the gate is closed now but unlocked so members can still access the site…pls leave gate as you find it when you enter.
Members and guests are welcome…
I hope to see you there!
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.
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