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Mike Bradley and I were up at the SCC Observatory at 5:30 AM to open up and several members of the public were there at first light to view the transit of Mercury. The transit, which began at 4:12 AM before the sun rose, was in progress as the sun cleared the trees. Steve Sleep from Coast Cable showed up to do interviews and film the action.
By the time the day was over we’d had 10 of our members, 1 Vancouver Centre member, and 21 members of the public drop by to view the transit. Mike and Danny got photos and Mike got some video of the event as well.
We collected $114 in donations during the event.
Charles Ennis, President
Thursday night Scott, Bruce W, and I went up to the SCC Observatory and spent several hours viewing Jupiter and other wonders of the night sky. The viewing conditions were very good.
Friday morning, 6 May, David and Mike went up to the observatory and mounted the new Antares guide scope on the side of the main optical tube assembly of the SCC Observatory.
Friday night, the official opening of Science Odyssey (6 – 15 May), 8 club members set up their telescopes outside the observatory and I opened the SCC Observatory to view the double shadow transit of Jupiter. members all noted that seeing was challenging and, as James put it: “Members dug in among buffeting winds (albeit warm winds) to peer into The Jovian atmosphere.” David modeled the transit using astronomy software and was able to show us the shadow position to look for. We spotted Callisto’s shadow on Jupiter and Io transiting first with the observatory telescope, the shadow skirting the north polar region about 9 PM, with the Great Red Spot crossing the central meridian. The Antares scope proved to be lined up well with the OTA.
“Neil carried out scientific research on the light pass of several different 2″ diagonals and we had opportunity to compare the views in James 11″ SCT Service Scope and Neil’s Shiny new 8” SCT with fresh Starbright XLT Coatings from the Celestron factory.
“We observed Jupiter and Moon’s, two shadow transits – there was a moon transit too not visible to us under the conditions –
Globular Clusters M3 and M13 – both beatifully resolved, Galaxies M82 (Neil),
M65, M66 (James ) and The Ring Nebula
Which appeared best in Neil 8” SCT.
“Just before departure Saturn and Mars arrived on the scene and we had tantalizing views of these distant world’s promising more detail to follow. We exited the Stargate at 12.50 am. A great night.”
Meanwhile Mike Bradley was photographing the event from his SunMoonStars Observatory:
“I could view the transit with my 5” Megrez and capture a movie for processing. Attached is the result from stacking 500 frames, taken at f20. As James said the seeing was not great and focus was hard to achieve. Thanks to the magic of stacking software the image isn’t too bad! The reddish cast to the image is because the camera has been modified for Hydrogen alpha, I’ll do some further processing to try to correct for this.”
Members will be back up at the observatory Saturday night for viewing. The SCC Observatory will be open to the public from sunrise on Monday, 9 May, for the transit of Mercury, which will last until 1140 AM.
Charles Ennis, President
The planet Mercury passes between the face of the Sun and Earth only 14 times per century, and one of those events is about to occur as the Sun rises on May 9. When the Sun rises at 5:30 AM on Monday, 9 May, the transit will already be in progress (having started about 4:12 AM). The transit will end at 11:42 AM. We’ll have the SCC Observatory open for public viewing that morning (weather permitting) with our solar scopes for safe viewing.