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Closure

IMG_1588In view of the increasing probability of individuals acquiring and spreading the Corona Virus by community contact and in view of the warnings from the Sunshine Coast COVID-19 Physicians Task Force  https://www.coastreporter.net/news/local-news/covid-physician-task-force-community-update-7-march-22-possible-impacts-on-coast-1.24103679 and in agreement with the express opinion of the Airport Manager, the executive of the Sunshine Coast Astronomy Club has decided to close the observatory and the surrounding grounds to all use, until the current danger has officially passed.

We are sorry to have to shut down the observatory and cancel our April monthly meeting in April.  Please stay as safe.

Bruce Fryer

President of the SCAC

On Behalf of the Executive

 

Public Viewing, SCC Observatory: 2 November

IMG_1588The forecast looks relatively favourable for opening the SCC Observatory on Saturday, 2 November 2019 at 18:30 hours. We’ll update on this page around 4 PM on Saturday to confirm. The Moon is a couple of days before First Quarter.

UPDATE 11:30 AM, Saturday 2 November: The forecast is showing sky conditions degrading, with high cloud covering between 70 and 83% of the sky at opening time for the observatory with a small percentage of low cloud coming in. We will update again at 4 PM, but it isn’t looking promising for viewing at present.

UPDATE 4 PM: The sky is definitely degrading. We’re not opening the observatory tonight. See you next time.

Public Viewing: 25 August

IMG_1588We won’t be open Saturday, 24 August as we’re busy doing Astronomy in the Park at Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. We are planning to open the observatory Sunday, 25 August as the forecast at the time of writing is favourable. We’ll update on this page on  Sunday around 4 PM. Gates open at 8:30 PM.

Observatory Upgrade

IMG_1606At the end of July David Thompson upgraded our observatory with solar powered night lights which provide red lighting on the deck and access ramp of the observatory. These modules are spaced along the railings of the ramp and deck. These got their first trial at a public observing session August 4, and they work well. Thanks David!

More Members Complete Qualified Operator Training

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Shannon using the observatory telescope.

Last night (Saturday, 1 December), We conducted a training session at the observatory and Shannon McLaughlin completed her training as Qualified Operator. Ed Hanlon came later and went through some of the training, but we were losing the sky by that time, so he’ll come back and complete the QO course later.

If you’re interested in learning how to use the observatory telescope, please contact me. We’ll take you through the procedure of opening/closing the observatory, starting up and parking the telescope, navigating the night skies with the telescope, and recovering from telescope failures to get back into action quickly.

Charles Ennis, Past President

2 Records Broken at the Observatory Last Night

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Bruce Woodburn taking a break from binocular observations to view M13 last night with the big scope.

At last night’s public viewing session at our observatory we broke two records. One concerned yearly attendance, which stood at 311 just two days ago. Last year’s total attendance was only 159, so we knew to double that we needed just 7 more people to attend this year. Attendance last night was 29, which is the highest attendance ever recorded at a public session. So we easily pushed past doubling last year’s attendance to a new record of 340. And the year isn’t done yet! We had people of all ages at the observatory last night. One little girl told us her favorite planet was Saturn, and was ecstatic when she saw it for the first time in the eyepiece. Several members worked on their observing certificates. James MacWilliam showed up with his guitar and entertained us for hours. A thoroughly entertaining evening.

Charles Ennis

Warm Room

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The new warm room is located under the roof rails.

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.

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)

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.

Poster Contest Winners

5-9 yr Category

 

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Winners in the under 9 years category

1st Prize  Beginner Telescope: Miyo (5) &  Taho  Shinagawa

 

2nd Prize    Book: Kianna Hamlin (9)

 

3rd Prize     Book: Ryder Wood (9)

 

4th    Book: Molly Jones

 

10-18 Category

 

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1st place winner in the 10 – 18 category

1st Prize  Telescope: Jessica Carrol  (14)

 

2nd Prize – Astronomy Book  (Hubble): Eva Starsage (12)

 

3rd Prize  – Sky Scout: Merriwether Morris(15)

 

4th (honorable mention)    Book: Alexandra Holden  (  15)

 

**Honorable mention  – Subscription to Sky News: Trisha Singh

 

All of the rest of the kids that showed up got a gift bag.