Sunshine Coast Centre RASC

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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.

Astronomy in the Park: 24 August

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Danny Sklazeski setting up his hydrogen alpha scope to show visitors to Porpoise Bay Provincial Park the Sun.

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, 24 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.

At dusk, our astronomers will have their telescopes in the park picnic area for viewing Jupiter, Saturn, and countless other celestial objects. 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 free, family event open to the public, organized by volunteers, and made possible by Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Please respect all park rules. Weather permitting.

UPDATE, SATURDAY 24 AUG: The forecast this afternoon looks doable for setting up the booth and solar telescopes. The forecast on ClearDarkSky for this evening shows some cloud cover, poor transparency, and poor to average seeing, so it isn’t very likely that we’ll be doing night time viewing: We’ll keep a close eye on this.

Our SCC Observatory will NOT be open tonight.

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Our Centre’s 2018 information booth in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

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