The conversation during the two months that were our summer break was dominated by the announcement of the NRC that the Centre of the Universe was closing at the end of August, supposedly for what could be called “budgetary reasons.” In response to this closure, an online petition drive was launched, followed by a paper version, all amongst numerous stories in the media. For a nice summary of what has taken place, Joe has collected some of the stories, and some images, on our website (Final Night at the Centre of the Universe – Aug 24, 2013), and you are invited to look through them. Thanks to Joe and to those who attended and photographed the last few weekends that the Centre was open.
As to what can and should be done by Victoria Centre given its long history on the hill, representatives of Council have met, and have talked with local NRC staff, in an effort to determine whether our Centre has a role in the future of the Centre of the Universe, assuming that there is such a thing. At our next meeting of Council (September 11), we hope to decide for certain if we do aspire to such a role, what that role could be, and what action we should take to pursue it.
The annual RASCals/Metchosin Star Party took place this year over the Labor Day weekend. The event offered three nights of observing, mostly good, albeit with a little dew. Our speakers and workshops were well-worth attending. There were a number of enthusiastic community members in attendance (even Sunday night). Somewhat unfortunately, donations received will not be enough to cover the costs of the event. There are probably a number of reasons for this, including the number of competing activities and events (even within the club), the reliance on the donations of only “campers” with many observers leaving in the wee hours instead of spending the night, and, perhaps, a general lack of interest in astronomical observing. Anyway, to those that attend, the event is something to look forward to, if only to see what the Metchosin weather will offer up for our pleasure.