Astronomy Cafe – March 14, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • A printed copy of the Hubble history book “Not Yet Imagined: A Study of Hubble Space Telescope Operations” written by Chris Gainor can be requested from NASA by email for no cost. Kindle, ePub and PDF electronic versions are also available for free download.
  • Locating Endurance– Randy Enkin
    • Shackleton’s exploration ship Endurance in Antarctica has been located on March 5, 2022
    • Crew manned a lifeboat from Elephant Island to South Georgia and all crew were eventually rescued
    • Review of navigation in that era
    • Refer to: On the Location of Shackleton’s Vessel Endurance by Lars Bergman and Robin G. Stuart, published in  the Journal of Navigation: 29 July 2021 
    • Endurance had 24 chronometers!
    • Chronometers were referenced to occultations that happened along the route at the time
    • Ship was found 6.4 km south of the original reported position of the sinking
    • The just-completed National Geographic mission was privately funded – about $20 million
    • The Perfectionists by Simon Winchester – describes Harrison’s chronometers – Martin Gisborne
  • Report on construction of new 32″ telescope for Edmonton Centre by Roman – Dave Robinson
  • Astrophoto of NGC 2264 Cone Nebula in RGB – Brock Johnston
    • May use narrowband next time to tease out more detail
  • FDAO Star Parties – Lauri Roche
    • March 19th 7-9PM presentation “Direct Imaging of Exoplanets” – Garima Singh, NRC/HIA
      • Zoom link will be sent out to RASC members
    • April 16th – 2 presentations
      • ARTEMIS mission – speaker from Canadian Space Agency
      • Plaskett’s Star by Dennis Crabtree
  • May 7th – Astronomy Day national events – Lauri Roche
    • Launch of Chris Gainor’s book “Not Yet Imagined: A Study of Hubble Space Telescope Operations” on the Hubble History
  • Astrophotos – Martin Gisborne
    • Rosette Nebula – with and without star reduction – Nikon D850 dSLR
    • Flame & Horsehead Nebula
    • M51 galaxy – first attempt using his new big telescope
    • M81 galaxy – small refractor photo from last year
    • M101 galaxy
    • Astronomy book reviews
  • Cone Nebula and Plaskett’s star location – David Lee & Randy Enkin
  • Two photos from the RASC Plaskett night (Mar 5th) processed and posted by Dan Posey – presented by Joe Carr
  • Painting of a tiny Arctic plant by Marjie Welchframe
  • Fr. Lucien Kemble – Roman Catholic Franciscan priest well-known as a visual observer from Alberta and Saskatchewan. Kemble’s Cascade, chain of stars in the northern sky. Photo by Charles Banville – Bill Weir
  • Speaker for Mar 21 Astro Cafe: Deborah Lokhorst will be speaking about the Dragonfly Telephoto Array 

Astronomy Cafe – March 7, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Uncategorized

Meeting video transcript

  • Intro – Chris Purse
    • Upcoming speakers
    • Working on hosting Astro Cafe in-person at the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association facilities
    • Welcome to new members
    • Garry Sedun, new VP
    • Dave Payne, new VP2
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Orion Nebula, Virgo Galaxy Cluster and other galaxies – Tom Owen
  • Recent Astrophotos – Brock Johnston
    • M78 reflection and dark nebula east of Horsehead
    • M106 galaxy and satellite galaxies
    • Horsehead & Orion Nebulae widefield, starless version
    • Brock’s online gallery
  • Comet 19/P Borrelly is passing by the California Nebula (chart) – March 23-27 – Bill Weir
  • Recent Astrophotos – Dan Posey
    • From recent Plaskett Photography 12-hour session for RASC Victoria Centre members – Horsehead Nebula, more later (data available from Dan through Astrophotography SIG)
    • M81, M82 – VCO Takahashi & Canon Ra
    • Dan’s downtown deck – telescope & CCD
      • Horsehead Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, Swan Nebula – starless versions
      • Thor’s Helmut Nebula
      • Dan’s online gallery
  • Horsehead Nebula – best astrophoto using Garry Sedun’s astro gear
  • Recent Astrophotos – Martin Gisborne
    • Markarian’s Chain of galaxies – 80mm refractor and Nikon D850 unmodified dSLR
    • Rosette Nebula
    • Horsehead & Flame Nebulae with Iridium flare
    • Flaming Star Nebula IC 405 using 8″ SCT
  • Chris Gainor
    • No news with JWST mission
    • We are probably coming to the end of Russian collaboration with the ISS due to the Ukraine war
  • Congratulations to Sid Sidhu on local press coverage for his recent IAU asteroid naming
  • FDAO – Lauri Roche
    • March 19th Star Party
    • April 16th – Artemis Mission speaker
    • May 7th Astronomy Day – may open the Centre of the Universe for a public event
  • Interest in Citizen Science group? – contact David Lee (david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Any interest in staging a Messier Marathon? – Chris Purse (membership@victoria.rasc.ca
  • The Last Stargazers book by Emily Levesque – recommended by Martin Gisborne and others

Astronomy Cafe – Feb 14, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of meeting

  • Announcements – Chris Purse
    • 2022 Observer’s Calendar – some available at $15 – contact Chris Purse or Lauri Roche
    • Astro Cafe In Person – Fairfield Gonzales Community Association
      • The portable we have been using is no longer available
      • Other rooms are available, so when we resume in-person meetings, we will be meeting in another room
      • The TV we installed will be moved to our new location
      • Monday is one of their busiest nights, so we may also move days
      • Feedback from members is welcome
  • Standing for election as Secretary – Jill Sinkwich intro
    • Now participating in RASC after 20 years of lurking
    • Interests in music and law, but also astronomy (observing certificates)
  • Quantum Gravity – Duane Weaver
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Andromeda Galaxy – Abdur Anwar tried to capture the integrated flux between the galaxies
    • A red rainbow with the Sun very low in the sky – John Wooly
  • Update on James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
    • First light shared before aligning the mirrors
    • News story about first light
    • One of the more prominent scientists for JWST at the Space Telescope Institute is a black Canadian named Jason Kallirai
  • Lauri Roche
    • 2022 Observer’s Calendars – $15 each – contact Lauri(roche.lauri@gmail.com)
    • FDAO Star Party this Saturday evening, Feb 19th – Intersection of Science and Art – Bob McDonald
    • FDAO wants to open for in-person events, starting on Astronomy Day, May 7th, but dependant on NRC and Federal pandemic rules
  • David Lee
    • Makers SIG – this Thursday
    • Lunar Occultation is coming up  – contact =David if interested (david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Victoria Centre AGM – next Monday – Randy Enkin
    • Speaker: The Life and Times of the Sky Quality Meter – Doug Welch, Dean of Graduate Studies, and on the CFHT and TMT boards
    • Need a quorum, so if you can’t attend, contact our Secretary Barbara Lane (secretary@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Link to Zoom meeting sent to members by the Secretary
  • Astrophotos – Brock Johnson
  • Black History – event this Saturday, Feb 19th at 10AM PST – Bill Weir
    • 4 presenters
  • National Report – Lauri Roche
    • 2023 and 2024 eclipse events being planned
    • New NOVA modules available beginning of April – volunteer testers needed
    • 2022 GA being planned – contact Chris Gainor (cgainor@shaw.ca)

Astronomy Cafe – Feb 7, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of meeting

  • IAU Small Bodies Nomenclature – Chris Purse
    • Asteroid (10109) Sidhu – 1992  KQ – discovered by Eleanor F. Helin
    • Sid Sidhu was nominated by President Chris Purse back in 2018
    • Quite a few Victoria Centre members are already honoured, along with other RASC members 
    • Sid joined RASC in 1985
  • The Transformative Journey of HD 93521 (Doug Gies, et. al) – Randy Enkin
    • Rapid rotating star between Leo Minor and Ursa Major
    • Blue star 40,000 times more luminous as the Sun, Spectral Type O
    • Only 5 million years old, and burning out rapidly
    • First spectra was published by Plaskett & Pearce in 1931
    • Actually 39 million years old, but nuclear clock was reset 5 million years ago
    • Discussion about black holes, stellar dust, and star formation and evolution
  • Lunar Occultation – David Lee (david@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Zubelnelgenubi double star occulted by the Moon on Feb 22, 2022
    • Published times for various locations
    • Altitude of 20º and Azimuth 135-180º from Victoria
    • Prepare ahead of time
    • David can help anyone interested in observing or photographing this event
  • Update on Victoria Centre Observatory – Reg Dunkley
    • 20″ Obsession Dob telescope – visual observing
      • Digital setting circles to be installed
    • 12″ Dob telescope – visual observing
    • Takahashi TOA – visual and photography configurations
    • 12.5″ OGS RC – photography with a new 61 Mpix cooled camera, filters LRGB & narrowband
      • First light of the Moon – photo taken last night
    • Paramount mount still needs some service, but it’s working
    • COVID-19 Regulations – 4 members at the VCO, and 2 more members at the Plaskett parking lot. Active Observers should attest to being fully vaccinated to President Randy Enkin (president@victoria.rasc.ca) and cc to Chris Purse (membership@victoria.rasc.ca)
    • Member-In-Charge (MIC) – 2 spaces available for new volunteers. Training will be provided.
  • Update on James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
    • Last week, instruments turned on
    • First light on sensors
    • Calibrating the mirror segments is proceeding
  • History of Hubble – Chris Gainor
    • Chris will be receiving copies of the book
    • Requests can be sent to the Hubble Information Center – info-center@hq.nasa.gov
  • Observers Handbook 2022 – free one available from Joe Carr (web@victoria.rasc.ca
  • SIGs – David Lee (david@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Makers SIG meeting online this Thursday
  • Victoria Centre’s AGM – Feb 21, 2022 starting at 7:00PM PST
    • Speaker: The Life and Times of the Sky Quality Meter – Doug Welch, Dean of Graduate Studies, and on the CFHT and TMT boards
    • Need a quorum – proxies are good if you can’t attend – send to any member in good standing who will attend, or Barbara Lane secretary@victoria.rasc.ca

President’s Message – Jan 2022

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Betelgeuse winked two years ago. The bright red shoulder star of Orion became noticeably dimmer and then recovered over a number of months. I prepared a presentation on this red giant for our Astro Cafe (2020-01-27) and included a note about how some other cultures explain the phenomenon:

Randy Enkin using his sextant
Randy Enkin using his sextant

“Orion represents Nyeeruna, who creates fire-magic in his right hand, represented by Betelgeuse, to reach the Yugarilya sisters (the Pleiades). The eldest sister, Kambugudha, symbolized by the Hyades cluster, kicks sand in his face, dispelling his magic, and stops him from gaining access to the sisters. The process is described as cyclic, with Betelgeuse brightening and fading over time. The Pemon people in Brazil called Orion Zililkawai and the constellation represented a man whose wife cut off his leg. Betelgeuse’s variable brightness was associated with the cutting of the limb.”

Last weekend, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Vice President, Charles Ennis, gave a wonderful presentation at the FDAO Star Party on the RASC’s World Asterisms Project. His compilation includes 455 asterisms that include stars found in the region of the constellation Orion! At least 455 cultures from every corner of the world have looked up at the sky and were inspired to describe this same view with a story.

Charles Ennis’ presenting at FDAO Star Party

We amateur astronomers are part of this connection between all people over space and time. The sky continues to delight and fascinate us. We share our stories, and invent new ones. We look up.

I am so pleased to share the love of the sky with you. The earth has almost traveled a complete orbit around the sun since you have asked me to be the president of the Victoria Centre. Thank you for your support and trust in me. I look forward to the next orbit!

Look Up,
Randy Enkin, President@Victoria.RASC.ca

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 24, 2020

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Video transcript of meeting

  • JWST Report – Chris Gainor
    • Spacecraft now in orbit around L2
    • Telescope commissioning is now starting over the next six months
    • Cooling the onboard instruments is critical
  • Discussion about Black and White photography
    • B&W Gallery by John McDonald
    • Processing techniques converting digital colour images to black and white
  • Methods of Observing and Scientific Illustration
    • Photography – digital and analogue
    • Sketching – perhaps a new SIG?
    • Painting – watercolours
    • Observing vs art
  • Astrophotos – Brock Johnston
  • Missing RASC 2022 calendars – Chris Gainor
    • Shipping issues discussed at the national level
    • Calendars are now considered missing, so they will be reshipped
  • Recent and future astronomy presentations
    • Charles Ennis talk about cross-cultural asterisms to the FDAO Star Party last Saturday
    • Chinese Giant Solar Telescope – Les Welch
      • Ring design solar 1.8m telescope – 2010
      • Paul Hickson at UBC is working on this instrument
    • Speakers covering new subjects – Dave Payne to coordinate either a new SIG or ongoing discussion at Astro Cafe
  • FDAO Report – Lauri Roche
    • Calvin, Lauri and Sid are still doing outreach online to schools
    • Made 12 online sessions to Grade 10 classes over the last 2 weeks
    • Did an in-person session with Kindergarten and Grade 1 students once last week
    • NSERC grants haven’t been granted to FDAO as well as other deserving organizations
  • Pearson College Report – Bill Weir
    • International students are still in lockdown
    • Canadian students were sent home
    • College management is very nervous about their operation

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 17, 2022

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Transcript video of the meeting

Meeting notes

  • A Woman of Astronomy – Marji Welchframe
    • Urania, Muse of Astronomy
    • Seal of the RASC – “Quo Ducit Urania” (i.e. where Urania leads, we follow)
    • Urania is 1 of 9 Muses of the Arts in Greek Mythology
    • Uranometria star atlas by Johann Bayer (1603) – published and sold by Sky & Telescope (Willman Bell section)
  • Early computer memories
    • LGP-30 tube-based computer used at the University of Alberta in Edmonton by John McDonald in 1958
    • Reminisces from various members about early computers, calculators, slide rules, and other computing devices and programming languages they used decades ago.
  • Lunar Puzzles – Randy Enkin
    • 100-piece from NASA
    • 1000+ piece from Cobble Hill
    • 1000 piece from Four Point
    • 3-D printed Moon puzzle – Randy and his daughter assembled it
  • Reports  from Lauri Roche
    • 2022 RASC Calendars have still not arrived
    • Sky Cultures of the World: RASC World Asterisms Program – Charles Ennis, 1st VP with RASC National – FDAO Star Party – this Sat, Jan 22nd 7-9PM – available on Zoom and Youtube
    • Eclipses for 2023 and 2024 – Education & Public Outreach Committee task force headed by Randy Attwood. Thousands of eclipse glasses will be available and sent to RASC Centres. Members can participate on the committee – contact Lauri.
  • JWST Update – Chris Gainor
    • Mirror Segment Deployment Tracker – activating the actuators behind the mirror segments
    • JWST enters a halo orbit around L2 position this Sunday, Jan 23rd
  • Astro Cafe next week – Jan 24, 2022
    • Dr. Tanya Harrison, “a professional Martian” – our Astro Cafe speaker next week
    • David Lee will be hosting
  • Scarlett Caterpillar Club – a parasitic fungus Bill Weir found near the observatory at Pearson College

Extras

  • NASA 3D Resources – 3D models of equipment, models of celestial and solar system objects, space missions (like JWST). Various media for download: fly-throughs, interactive visualizations, 3D printer files, stereo images.

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 10, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Lunar sketching & movie review – Randy Enkin
    • Randy’s Lunar “scissors” sketch, compared with Mike Nash and Bill Weir photos of the same area
    • “Don’t Look Up” popular movie on Netflix
      • Amy Mainzer was the science advisor for the movie, and is also the Principal Investigator for NEOWISE. So the science was quite accurately portrayed in the movie.
      • Observation of Mars and Jupiter in 1802 – Piazzi discovered Ceres instead of a new planet, and Carl Friedrich Gauss computed the orbit of the asteroid
      • Measuring the Earth – Gauss and von Humbolt
      • JPL Horizons System (Solar System Dynamics) – solar system ephemeris computation system
      • Mark Boslough movie review – don’t read before watching the movie!
      • Brian Cox’s commentary about Don’t Look Up
  • Astrophotos from Edmonton Centre – Dave Robinson
    • Antimatter and Dark Matter cartoon
    • Michael Jäger (@Komet123Jager) photo of comet C/2021 A1 Leonard from Skygems Observatories in Nambia
    • Article explains why comet heads are green, but their tails are not green
    • Ursa Major and snow carving of a bear – Warren Findlay
  • UVic construction & Sunspots – Alex Schmid
    • UVic Construction photos – An update on two new buildings – residence, lecture halls, dining areas
    • Recent Sunspots – a-focal through eyepiece using a 5″ Newtonian telescope with solar filter
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – Chris Gainor
    • Launched on Ariane 5 – Dec 25, 2021
    • Journey from Earth to L2 Lagrange Point – deploying the telescope components
    • Final position at L2 – arrives Jan 23, 2022 (approximately)
    • First images should be released June, 2022
    • Discussion about single points of failure for the mission
    • JWST Control Subsystems
  • RASC National 2022 calendars – Lauri Roche
    • Our orders are on their way, but have still not arrived in Victoria
  • Victoria Centre Observatory Upgrade – Reg Dunkley
    • QHY 600 mono camera is now attached to the OGS 12.5″ telescope
    • New USB3 connection in place
    • Telescopes rebalanced for the new gear
    • Lots of snow still on the ground around our observatory
  • Our Astro Cafe speaker on Jan 24th will be Dr. Tanya Harrison, “a professional Martian”
  • FDAO Star Party – Jan 22nd – Lauri Roche
    • World Asterisms Project – Charles Ennis, 1st VP for RASC National
  • AGM – election – Chris Purse
    • Council openings are available – contact Reg Dunkley (Past President) if any member wishes to stand for Vice President, Secretary (or any other position) on Victoria Centre’s Council

Astronomy Cafe – Dec 6, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of the meeting

  • Review next week’s presentation by Dr. Robert Thirsk – Chris Purse
    • Connection to meeting will be through a waiting room
    • Jeff Pivnick will host
    • Link for this meeting will be unique, and emailed to all RASC Victoria members
    • Maximum of 100 attendees
  • Total Solar Eclipse from Antarctica – Joe Carr
  • Astro Compass – Randy Enkin & Peter Kabel
    • Frank Younger’s estate donated the Compass Astro to Victoria Centre
    • Used in aircraft when they are flying a long way north, where the magnetic field isn’t reliable
    • “It’s a sundial in reverse”
    • Need to know your position and time, sighting on a celestial object with known Right Ascension & Declination. North will be indicated accurate to within about 1º.
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Photo of Comet C/2001 A1 Leonard near M3 cluster – Arnold Rivera
    • Sketch of Comet C/2001 A1 Leonard with observing narrative – Berta Beltran
    • Rosette Nebula photo – Arnold Rivera
  • Chris Gainor
    • James Web Space Telescope update
      • Completed fuelling operations for the JWST itself
      • To be mounted onto the Ariane 5 rocket next
      • Dec 22nd launch date
      • Launch website
    • Not Yet Imagined – Chris’ new book about Hubble Space Telescope’s history. Book should be available for sale in awhile through RASC’s e-store and FDAO’s e-store locally. Electronic versions from NASA
  • Comet C/2001 A1 Leonard – observing report by David Lee
    • Observed and photographed through some clear spots over the last few days
    • Poor conditions for photography, but managed to get a good wide field image of the comet using a dSLR and tracking mount
    • Virtual Telescope broadcast – tomorrow 8PM PST
  • Lauri Roche
    • 2022 RASC Calendars
      • Send any more requests for calendars to Lauri
      • Should be $16 each
    • FDAO e-store – astronomy and space themed fun items available for sale. Free local delivery or shipped by mail (extra cost).

Astronomy Cafe – Nov 29, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Astro Cafe hosting – Randy Enkin
    • John has resigned as a meeting host, so we need a new second host
    • Job description
      • Send meeting link to members on the Skynews list
      • Create a short slide show for Astrophotos from Edmonton
      • Keep a list of speakers and presenters for the evening
      • Host the online meeting
    • Contact Randy Enkin or Chris Purse for any questions about hosting or to volunteer
    • No Astro Cafe will be held on Dec 27th or Jan 3rd
  • 2022 RASC Calendars – Chris Purse and Lauri Roche
    • Delivery from National office is pending
    • Local delivery will be done by our volunteers
  • Dr. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton – profile by Marjie Welchframe
    • Canadian Women Astronomers series (have 9 more to present)
    • Indigenous woman from Quebec
    • Laval U – PhD
    • CFHT resident astronomer – 2017-present
    • SITELLE instrument – Fourier transform spectroscopy
    • SIGNALS – principal investigator – star formation survey
    • First Nations culture helps with conducting quality scientific research
    • NFB – she is finishing the film “The Northern Star” for high school students
  • Edmonton Astrophoto – Dave Robinson
    • Lunar Eclipse composite – Jan 21, 2019 & Nov 19, 2021 – Alister Ling
  • Astronomy & Space Book Reviews/Recommendations by members
    • Randy Enkin
      • The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield
      • Description of Apollo lunar missions – Chris Gainor
    • Martin Gisborne
      • Lunar Module at Grumman Factory photos
      • The Victorian Amateur Astronomer – 1820-1920 – by Alan Chapman – fascinating star parties and people, how photography changed astronomy
    • John McDonald
      • Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos by Dennis Overby
      • Empire of the Stars by Arthur J Miller
      • Miss Leavitt’s Stars by George Johnson
      • Decoding the Heavens by Jo Marchant
      • The Glass Universe – by Dava Sobel – transition to spectroscopy and variable stars
    • Derek Trimmer
      • Violent Universe ‘An eye-witness account of the commotion in Astronomy 1968-69’ by Nigel Calder, published by the BBC, 1969 – a mid-teenager favourite
    • David Lee
      • A History of the Universe in 100 Stars – Florian Freistetter (current)
      • The Hundred Greatest Stars Hardcover – Illustrated, June 19 2002 by James B. Kaler
    • Oliver Robinow 
      • The Perfect Machine – Ronald Florence, 1995 – building the Palomar telescope
    • Lauri Roche
    • Chris Gainor
      • When the Earth Had Two Moons – Erik Asphaug
      • Across the Airless Wilds – Earl Swift – about the lunar rover for the last 3 Apollo missions
      • Liftoff – Eric Berger – history of SpaceX
    • Garry Sedun
      • The Stars: A New Way to See Them – H. A. Rey (of Curious George fame)
      • The Last Stargazers – Emily Levesque
    • Neil Banera
      • A Manual For Amateur Telescope Makers – Jean-Marc Lecleire & Karine Lecleire (Willman Bell) – good descriptions of how to make corrections to mirror figures, tools to use, 3 telescope configurations
      • Meteorite Hunter: The Search for Siberian Meteorite Craters by Roy A. Gallant
  • Telescope Building with John Dobson – figuring mirrors on Youtube – Martin Gisborne
  • Astronomy Cafe – Chris Purse
    • Need another host for Astro Cafe – talk to Chris Purse
    • Need another person to video record the meeting (and take notes) for posting on Victoria Centre’s website and Youtube – talk to Joe Carr
    • We will need several hosts when we return to in-person, hybrid Astro Cafes in Fairfield
  • Chris Gainor
    • Hubble Update – only one instrument is still non-functional
    • JWST virtual launch event signup