2014 General Assembly in Victoria – June 26-29, 2014

Posted by as Special Events

2014 RASC General Assembly
2014 RASC General Assembly

We are now less than thirty days till the start of the 54th General Assembly of RASC. We will gather in Victoria BC, on the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This year’s meeting promises to be educational and a great opportunity to meet friends – new and old.

Check out the GA web site, located on the home page of the national RASC.

The GA Organizing Committee, along with the RASC Board of Directors and CASCA, are pleased to announce the addition of the 2014 Plaskett lecture, to our program, on June 27th at 4:00 PM, PDT. This lecture is indeed a very special event for the GA. Normally, this lecture is only presented to the CASCA Annual meeting. Dr Andy Pon, recipient of the 2014 Plaskett medal, for the best doctoral presentation for 2013-4, has offered to present his research, by internet link between Canada and his current home near Leeds UK. Dr. Pon”s lecture will be titled “Super Bubbles” in Orion-Erindanus.

Dr. Laura Ferrarese, from the Hertzberg Institute located at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Victoria BC, will present this year’s Hogg Lecture, on Saturday, June 28th. Dr. Ferrarese is the recipient of the Hogg Memorial Award for 2014.

Bob McDonald, journalist and broadcaster, will be our dinner speaker on Sunday, June 29th. Mr. McDonald’s topic is “Space Tourism – What Next?”

There is still time to register on the GA web site. Flights to Victoria are still available. The members of Victoria Centre RASC look forward to meeting you in Victoria June 26 – 29, 2014.

Download your electronic copy of the GA Conference Guide (9.6 Mb PDF)

Winner of the telescope draw announced

Posted by as News

Cole Gorman - winner of the Meade LX-90 telescope draw
Cole Gorman – winner of the Meade LX-90 telescope draw

 

Cole Gorman is the winner of the Meade LX-90 telescope draw. Here he is being congratulated by our President, Nelson Walker at the monthly meeting held May 14, 2014.

President’s Message – May 2014

Posted by as President's Message

This month brings with it, in addition to preparations for the GA 2014, which are proceeding nicely, a very successful International Astronomy Day (IAD). This yearly event was held, for the first time since 2000, at the Royal BC Museum in downtown Victoria.

The event, thanks to the usual efforts of Sid, Lauri, and Sherry in organizing it, and a huge cast of enthusiastic Centre volunteers in putting it on, came off without a hitch. The museum staff, led by Leslie Johnson, could not have been more helpful.


Sid, counting at the main entrance to our hall, registered over seven hundred visitors, who were treated to most of the usual displays, plus telescopes (large and small), a kid’s table, Bruno’s Planetarium, and a special treat, as it turned out, the Centre’s one-hundred thirty year-old brass telescope, made, except for the lens, in Toronto, and used in serious astronomy until at least the late 1940’s (one can barely imagine how – but the fact that it was writes volumes about the patience of the astronomers who used it). The scope was proudly situated on its vintage clock-driven mount, and tenderly looked after by Michael and Charles. Sid and his crew of assistants brought the several hundred pounds of it from its home in the now-closed Center of the Universe on Observatory Hill. There with us at the Museum were representatives from Science Ventures at UVic, from Pearson College, from NRC, and from the University of Victoria Astronomy Department.

The day’s festivities were topped off with what was hoped would be “public night sky viewing” on top of said Observatory Hill, an event carefully planned by Lauri, and Jim Hesser, along with Greg Fahlman (NRC Manager) and his staff, including Kevin Farris and Clyde Donnelly, plus Dave Balam and Dave Bohlender, plus (again) Rita Mann and Michele Bannister. The two Daves were to operate the Plaskett Telescope, which was made available for public tours. Rita and Michele, both Post-doctoral fellows at the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, were to, and did, give public talks at the CU, which was opened for the evening. Victoria Center volunteers were to lead tours of the CU and set up telescopes in the parking lot.

In spite of the usual clouds and sprinkling rain, this portion of the IAD celebration was also a great success. Over two hundred public members were in attendance, this in spite of the weather. The two lectures and the tours of the Plaskett were big hits. Even the exhibits inside the CU were well-visited.

As most of us know, we have submitted a proposal to NRC that we be allowed to host public openings DAO and its environs for several weekends in July and August. This May evening was a bit of a “dry run” for those events. We certainly hope that the success of this event will hold us in good stead with respect to the later openings.

Happy viewing, all …..

 

Note: One of the first things that I learned as a young lawyer was that in the creation of legal documents one should never list things, because one will inevitably leave something out. It would be better to thank “everyone who helped.” I have ignored that advice. If I have left out someone who should have been thanked, I apologize.

Mapping the Deep: the past and future promise of searches for trans-Neptunian worlds

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Victoria Centre’s monthly meeting, to be held on Wednesday May 14, 2014 in room A104 of the Bob Wright Centre, UVic, at 19:30. Directions and venue info.

Michele Bannister
Michele Bannister

Presentation: Mapping the Deep: the past and future promise of searches for trans-Neptunian worlds – Dr. Michele Bannister, a postdoctoral fellow at UVic.

The small icy worlds beyond Neptune provide insights into the early history of the Solar System. I am interested in understanding how they formed, evolved and reached their present orbits, and in the landforms of their surface ices.