We are nearing the end of a summer that we
will remember for an almost unbroken run of clear skies.
An exception to the rule was August 21, the day of our
annual picnic at Pearson College, when it was grey and
rainy. The weather had been so nice up to that day that no
one begrudged the badly needed rain, and one of our veteran
observers admitted that there had been so many clear nights
that he was almost tired of astronomy.
July weekend of the Island Star Party put on by our
friends at the
Cowichan Valley Starfinders gave us beautiful skies and
memorable nights of observing, including an unusual (for
these parts) Auroral display.
And there were many nights like those throughout the summer,
which many of us took advantage of at our own observing
sites and at the
Centre of the Universe atop Little Saanich Mountain. August
brought us excellent skies for the week of the Perseid
Although the planets of the spring had left the evening
skies by mid summer, many of us feasted on the photos of
Saturn and its moons sent back from the Cassini spacecraft,
which entered the orbit of Saturn at the end of June. We
look forward to more exciting data from Saturn and its
largest moon Titan in the months to come.
As for the
Centre of the Universe, our observers group concluded
some successful meetings with the staff there, and we are
moving toward an agreement that will improve our
volunteering experience and, we hope, give us more and
better access to Little Saanich Mountain.
Summer isn't over yet. Donąt forget that the
RASC's annual Star Party at
the Victoria Fish and Game Association near the
Malahat summit the weekend of September 17. There will good
people, good food, good speakers, and good observing.
On a personal note, I will be gone to Edmonton to pursue an
exciting new educational opportunity by the time you read
this. My wife and I are keeping our home in Victoria, and I
will be around for RASC events next spring and summer after
the academic term.
I am stepping down as president this fall, and our long-time
treasurer Lauri Roche will be leaving our executive. So we
are looking for new people to continue the excellent work
done by our current executive. Please consider helping out.