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Starlight Coast Star Party a Success

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Setting up for the star party. Solar scopes in the foreground.

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.

Deep Sky Party 3

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Danny, our ambassador for the visitors this weekend

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.

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Everyone getting set up at sunset

Deep Sky Part Two

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Members from other RASC Centres setting up for last night’s star party

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!

neil sandy
rasc member

Deep Sky Party Commences!

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People attending our grand opening of the observatory in June 2015

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.

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