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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.

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.