Victoria High School will be offering an Astronomy 11 course for the first time during this school year. Currently, this course is not being recognized as a science credit toward BC secondary graduation. Please consider signing the petition to help change that decision, more information may be found online.
Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m., University of Victoria, Bob Wright Centre Room A104 – RASC Victoria Centre’s Monthly Meeting
The Apollo program boosted our understanding of the Moon. However the latest robotic missions and new research has brought new data and our view of the Moon has been transformed. The Moon has complex geochemical history, amazing formations and hold the keys to knowledge of how the Earth and the Solar System developed. With new missions and technological progress a lot has changed over the last 50 years, yet many questions and mysteries remain.
Come and hear the dramatic story of how the Moon was formed, how it developed and how new approaches are unveiling its secrets. Knowing this you may find a better understanding of what future Moon missions may accomplish and some of the challenges of a permanent Moon base.
Ted Stroman is a long standing member of RASC Vancouver. His 1st Moon Landing Program was started in the 1990s and have brought the excitement and awe of the Apollo missions & and the Moon to many classrooms and public events throughout the province.
He is an avid reader/researcher on the Moon’s development, geology, and future space missions. The moon is his favourite observation target on a night but also follows the planets and DSOs with his Giant Binoculars & 4.5″ reflector.
He has a background in Health Sciences and works for WorkSafeBC. He is married and has one daughter.
The 22nd Anniversary Island Star Party takes place at Bright Angel Park in Cowichan Station on Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16. Please see starfinders.ca/island-star-party for more information including the directions to the location, schedule, and guest speakers.
If you wish to print and display posters, they are available at starfinders.ca/island-star-party/star-party-poster.
RASC VICTORIA CENTRE ANNOUNCES AUGUST 21 ECLIPSE VIEWING IN VICTORIA
Viewing planned for Royal BC Museum, Mount Tolmie & Metchosin Cricket Pitch
Members of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be setting up their solar telescopes in three locations around Greater Victoria for public viewing of the solar eclipse on the morning of Monday August 21.
Because looking directly at the Sun at any time is dangerous without proper protection, the telescopes at these events will be equipped with shielding to allow members of the public to safely see the eclipse. While the eclipse will be total in some parts of the United States, the eclipse in Victoria will be only a partial eclipse, where parts of the Sun will always be visible. The August 21 eclipse in Victoria will begin at 9:08 a.m. and end at 11:38 a.m. At 10:20 a.m., the Moon will block around 90 percent of the Sun as seen from Victoria.
RASC members will be setting up their telescopes during the eclipse on the morning of August 21 in front of the Bell Tower at the Royal B.C. Museum at 675 Belleville Street in Victoria, at the Cricket Pitch in Metchosin behind the Fire Hall at 4400 Happy Valley Road, and at Mount Tolmie Park off Cedar Hill X Road in Saanich, which can be reached by going up Mayfair Drive to the top of the Mountain, where telescopes will be located on the water reservoir facing south.
The University of Victoria will hold an open house for eclipse viewing that morning open to the public at the UVic Observatory on the fifth floor of the Bob Wright Building.
There will be no public eclipse viewing at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.
For more information on the Victoria Centre of the RASC, please go to our website at https://www.victoria.rasc.ca
For UVic eclipse information, see http://www.uvic.ca/science/physics/about/home/news/current/solar-eclipse.php
Contact person: Ken Mallory email@example.com 250-598-8628
Victoria will experience a 90% solar eclipse on the morning of Monday, August 21, 2017 with the maximum at 10:20 a.m.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Approved eclipse glasses or approved eclipse filters must be used at ALL times when looking at the sun. Serious and irreversible eye damage may result from looking at the sun without approved safety equipment.
Here are the public viewing sites in the Capital Region that have been identified:
Mount Tolmie Park – RASC members will be at the summit with solar telescopes and eclipse viewers.
Royal BC Museum area – RASC members will be near the museum with solar telescopes and eclipse viewers.
University of Victoria Observatory – UVic is hosting a special public open house at the UVic Observatory (Bob Wright Building – 5th floor) on Monday, August 21, 2017 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. to view the solar eclipse. The eclipse will be visible at 90% coverage from Victoria. The eclipse begins at 9:08 a.m., reaches maximum coverage at 10:20 a.m., and will end at 11:38 a.m.. We will have eclipse glasses for the public to use and share, as well as special solar telescopes which will project an image of the Sun on a small white screen (attached to the telescope) to clearly show the eclipse. Looking at the Sun directly, even during maximum coverage, is damaging to your eyes. We request the public to leave the eclipse glasses behind after use. The event is free and no preregistration is necessary. The observatory will be open for the duration, and you are welcome to come and go as you wish. Please contact the Physics & Astronomy main office (250-721-7700) if you need any further information. Please note, pay parking is in effect on the University campus. The Bob Wright Building is easily accessible by bus.
Continue to check this site for additional sites as they are added.
NASA eclipse site – includes important safety information and an interactive map so you can determine the eclipse times at your location
Mr Eclipse – a lot of good information from eclipse viewing experts
American Astronomical Society – list of reputable vendors of solar viewers and filters
On July 12th Victoria Centre’s Council approved a plan to replace the telescopes currently in our observatory with new and improved optics. The Technical Committee’s plan includes replacing our existing Meade 14” SCT and Tele Vue NP 127is apochromatic refractor with a 16” F/8 Ritchey Chretien (RC) optical system. The new gear will be mounted on our existing Paramount ME mount, giving us a simpler setup that is actually a bit lighter than the old configuration.
The cost of the new RC telescope and accessories will be about $14,000, depending on the US$ exchange rate. Most of the gear will be purchased from OPT Oceanside Photo & Telescope in California, since they sell their brand TPO Ritchey Chretien telescopes at very attractive prices, and we took advantage of a recent sale price. We expect to eventually sell our surplus instruments and accessories, but will keep the current setup in place until the new gear arrives and is installed, in order to maximize the availability of the VCO to members.
We will fundraise from our members to directly offset the upgrade costs, since Victoria Centre Council originally budgeted $9,000 for the upgrade some months ago.
- Improved cool down time
- new RC is a truss design open tube giving good airflow around the primary optics,
- old SCT is a closed tube design with a corrector plate restricting air flow
- Improved guiding accuracy
- new RC system will use an in-line off-axis guider,
- old SCT system uses a piggyback-mounted telescope for guiding
- Improved pointing accuracy
- new RC system has a fixed primary mirror,
- old SCT system suffers from primary mirror flop
- Improved light gathering and resolution
- new RC system has a 16″ primary mirror
- old SCT system has a 14″ primary mirror and a corrector plate
- Easier operation
- new RC system is a single optical tube that will be used for guiding, imaging and observing
- old system included an SCT, a Hyperstar f/2 attachment, a 127mm apo-chromaic refractor, and a guide scope, all mounted piggyback and in a custom cradle
- We wish to enter RASC’s 150th year in 2018 with a first-rate observatory!
Our target is to raise $5,000 from members over the next few months. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations.
Joe Carr is our fundraiser, so please contact him for questions about the new telescope or to donate – email or telephone 250-294-1992.
Bruce Lane is our Treasurer, who will issue tax receipts and account for all donations to Council and members – email.
The first fundraising event was held at the RASCals Star Party on Saturday, July 29th at 2PM in Metchosin House. Thanks to everyone who donated so generously – we are already over half way to our target!
VCO Upgrade – fundraising slideshow – 1.8Mb pdf
- 16″TPO RC telescope US$5,596.00
- Shroud US$89.00
- Field Flattener US$309.95
- 3.5″ Feather Touch Focuser US$755.00
- Starlight Focus Controller US$289.00
- Guide camera US$429.00
- Off-axis guider US$239.00
- Starlight Focus Motor US$549.00
- Accessories and adapters US$300.00
- Shipping US$500.00
- Contingency US$500.00
- Sub Total US$9,555.95
- Sub Total CD$12,500 (approximate)
- Tax 12.00% $1,500
- Total $14,000 (approximate)
- Meade 14″ SCT $2,000.00
- Hyperstar f/2 $500.00
- Cradle $300.00
- Tele Vue NP127is $5,000.00
- Total $7,800.00
Estimated Net Cost after sale of surplus $6,800
Please note that proceeds of the sale of used astronomical equipment is highly variable and can take many months. RASC Victoria Centre and then all RASC members will be given first chance to purchase our surplus equipment. Please contact Joe by email or telephone 250-294-1992 if you are interested.
July 28-30, 2017
At the Metchosin Municipal Grounds
behind the Metchosin Fire Hall
4440 Happy Valley Road, Victoria, BC, Canada
Gates will open at 12pm noon on Friday. Camp on the field and setup your telescope.
Cost: Free of charge! RASC members and visiting observers (who stay overnight): suggested donation of $20/Adult one day, two or three.
Everyone who is present is entitled to tickets for door prizes, lectures and access to the observing field. Prizes include telescopes!
Don’t want to camp? No problem…you can drive home after an evening of fun on the observing field.
Staying after dark? Please bring a red light with you – no white lights!
Schedule of Events
- 2:00 pm – Gates open
- 8:00 pm – Welcome and door prizes
- 8:30 pm – Speaker – Elizabeth Griffin, PhD (NRC – Hertzberg) Big data, little data, or (Help!) no data
- 10:00 pm until dawn: observing! No white lights during this time, please
- Solar viewing – all day on the field
- 1:00 pm – Eclipse Viewing – Michael Webb in Metchosin House
- 2:00 pm – New telescope for Victoria Centre Observatory – fundraiser & reception in Metchosin House
- 8:00 pm – Door prizes
- 8:30 pm – Speaker – Henry Ngo, PhD (NRC – Hertzberg) Exploring Exoplanets
- 9:30 pm – Public viewing of the night sky with RASC telescopes
- 10:00 pm until dawn: observing! No white lights during this time, please
- Cleanup – everyone please pitch-in & help
- 12:00 pm – early departures please!
Please feel free to camp on the field with your tent, trailer or motorhome and setup your telescope and other astronomy gear. There is some power on the field for astronomy equipment, but no RV plug-ins please! Also, please do NOT park on the field with your vehicle if you plan to leave after dark! In this case, move your vehicle off the field after setting up, and park on the access road beside the municipal hall with your headlights facing away from the field (towards the firehall). The same parking request applies to visitors for the evening – park beside the municipal hall and walk into the field.
June 14th, 2017, 7:30PM, University of Victoria, Bob Wright Centre A104 – RASC Victoria Centre’s monthly meeting
Radio and Microwave Astronomy – History, Canadian Involvement, and Interesting Tidbits – Dr. Lisa Locke, NRC Herzberg
Radio astronomy started in the early 1930s as an electrical engineering project and it took many years for the optical astronomy community to include it under the gilded Astronomy umbrella. Early experimentalists had a field day with surplus World War II equipment and the increased world-wide collaboration between researchers. I will explain and guide through this history up to the present, contrasting the new radio astronomy with the classic well-understood optical ideas, highlighting Canada’s significant role in the growing field. Details on current instrumentation projects and observatories will also be presented.
Dr. Lisa Shannon Locke was born north of the 60th parallel in Hay River, Northwest Territories, Canada and received the B.Sc (Alberta, 1997), M.Sc. (Cape Town, 2001) and PhD (Victoria, 2014) degrees all in electrical engineering specializing in low-noise microwave astronomy instrumentation.
As a student, she worked at the Canadian Space Agency, CalTech’s Owens Valley Observatory and at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV. After graduating, she spent five years as a receiver engineer at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Then in 2005 she joined the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM building cryogenic receivers for the expanded very large array (EVLA).
Her PhD degree was advised by Prof. Dr. Jens Bornemann and the late Dr. Stéphane Claude of NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, Victoria, BC. Her thesis investigated the design and construction of a K-band (18 – 26 GHz) coherent 5×5 phased array feed for use on large radio astronomy reflectors. She is currently employed with NRC Herzberg and leads a multi-disciplinary project to build a S/C-band (2.8 – 5.18 GHz) cryogenic phased array feed receiver system.