President’s Message – October 2012

Posted by as President's Message

I hope you are continuing to enjoy this magnificent weather we are having and that you have spent many of your now longer evenings and cooler nights looking up. The past few nights have been dark and delicious, with great transparency and “seeing” that makes us realize how great it is to be an amateur astronomer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it lasted for many months more but, alas, it is October and we know what is coming!

There are lots of interesting events happening in the next few weeks here in Victoria and farther off. I encourage all of you to participate in as many as you can.

I was particularly excited to go to the opening of the new exhibit at the Royal B.C. Museum called “Envisioning the World: the First Printed Maps”. I quote from the RBCM website: “This collection of the earliest printed maps of the world reveals the rapidly unfolding understanding of geography and our place in the universe from the early Renaissance through the scientific Age of Enlightenment. The 30 rare and stunning maps, drawn from the extensive Wendt collection, also portray the first attempts to come to grips with the shape, size, and nature of the Earth and our solar system.” The maps, from 1472 to 1700, are grouped according to the astronomical knowledge of their time and place, from Ptolemy through to Edmund Halley. The maps are beautiful and detailed and I will be visiting this exhibit many times over. Take a magnifying glass with you when you go. I am looking into the possibility of having the RASC group visit in a special viewing perhaps in December or January before the exhibit closes and, as Dr. Wendt (who owns the collection) lives just in Friday Harbour, we may be able to get him to come and give us a presentation. Please try to get to this exhibit this fall.

If you can hop over to Vancouver, Sir Martin Rees is speaking at the Vogue Theatre on Monday, October 15th. His presentation is “A Cosmic Perspective for the 21st Century”. Our website has all the details to get the free tickets.

Of course, I invite and encourage everyone to come out to our Annual Dinner, this year in a new place and on a new date, Sunday November 18th, but just at the same price as last year. There’s lots more information later in the newsletter so read on and then sign up to join us.

Later on in the fall, on November 24th the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is performing “The Galileo Project, Music of the Spheres”, an interactive program of music and Hubble images at the Alix Goolden Hall. This has now been presented around the world and we are lucky to have it here in Victoria.

Not enough? Then get up and out to the Victoria Centre Observatory on super Saturday’s with our trusty MIC’s who will be happy to show you around. If you haven’t already, sign up to be an active observer with Sherry Buttnor. Please read how to register as an Active Observer (members only).

My next and, somewhat sadly, last president’s report will be written as I fly from New Zealand to Cairns to take in the Solar Eclipse in the early morning of Wednesday, November 14th. I will be joining up with the RASC group from Toronto, including Dave and Sue Bennett from our club here in Victoria for that morning and I am looking forward to it. I will officially be able to call myself an “Eclipse Chaser”. Joe Carr will be viewing the eclipse from the high seas off Fiji and will have the longest viewing time (but maybe a bit rockier!) We will all send pictures and stories your way, though. Meantime, many happy clear nights to everyone and have a great fall here in Victoria.

Lauri Roche

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