2024 AGM – Awards

Posted by as Meetings

Certificates of Recognition and Excellence for 2023

Congratulations to all the award winners who were announced at the RASC Victoria Centre Annual General Meeting held Feb 12, 2025!

Chris Purse – Certificate of Appreciation – Since the outbreak of the Covid Pandemic in 2020, Chris helped implement Astro Cafe Zoom sessions and has scheduled, hosted and coordinated these meetings. This contribution ensured that the Victoria Centre remained active and connected during a challenging interlude and has emerged as a preferred way for many to attend sessions.

David Payne  – Certificate of Appreciation – FOR organizing, coordinating, and executing a very successful 2023 Island Star Party at Bright Angel Park. Dave navigated bureaucratic hurdles and logistical challenges along the way. As a result, the many who attended will fondly remember this special event.

David Lee – Token of Appreciation – the Victoria Centre “renaissance Man” – in recognition of his many and wonderful contributions.

Lauri Roche – Token of Appreciation – the Victoria Centre “Energizer Bunny” – in recognition of her many and wonderful contributions.

Award of Excellence in Astro-Imaging – TO Ken McGill FOR his black and white image of the Horsehead Nebula and Neighbourhood.

Award of Excellence in Astro-Sketching – TO Bill Weir FOR his Comet C/2022 E3(ZTG) sketched on Feb 15, 2023 Using a Televue NP101 Refractor at 90x.

Installing gear on the 16″ Obsession – Miles analyzing the next step

RASC National Ken Chilton Prize in recognition of a significant piece of astronomical work carried out or published recently – TO Chris Gainor. His book Not Yet Imagined, documents the history of the Hubble Space Telescope. Citation

Ernie Pfannenschmidt Award for Telescope Making – TO Miles Waite FOR many improvements to the VCO 20 Inch Obsession Telescope including attaching digital setting circles and designing bumpers to safeguard these delicate sensors, as well as devising a customized system to stabilize the platform.

Newton-Ball For Distinguished Service to the Victoria Centre RASC – TO Alex Schmid – Alex has been an active member of the Victoria Centre for over 30 years. Accompanied by his iconic handmade Newtonian telescope, Alex has been introducing treasures of the night sky to the Public at DAO Star Parties for decades. His custom crafted tray at the VCO allows eyepieces (to be) safely stowed and readily available. As the Victoria Centre librarian he also prepares coffee, cookies, and wonderful cakes for monthly meetings at UVic. Alex also provides technical support at the Astro Cafe and serves as a Director at Large on Council. The Victoria Centre is very appreciative for the many contributions Alex has made over the years.

2023 AGM Slide Deck – RASC Victoria Centre

Astronomy Cafe – Feb 5, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Jeff Pivnick
  • EnceladusAPOD Feb 5, 2023 – Jeff Pivnick
    • Smaller moon of Saturn discovered by William Herschel
    • The Great Forty 48″ reflector in Slough near Windsor – Herschel’s telescope
    • Cassini Mission
      • Discoveries: magnetic field disruptions, jets of water from “tiger stripe” fissures, wobbly orbital period caused by loose crust
      • 2:1 resonance with Dione results in elliptical orbit and interior heating of the ocean below the crust
      • Cassini division in Saturn’s rings – named for Gian Domenico Cassini, discoverer
      • Mimas 1:2 resonance with Cassini division
    • Diameter 504 kms, 14% liquid water
    • Discussion
  • Randy Enkin
  • Annual General Meeting – RASC Victoria Centre – Randy Enkin
    • Feb 12 7:00PM – Zoom meeting – info and special link to be sent to members
    • Victoria Centre’s Annual Report – contact Randy Enkin with your report president@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Financial Report
    • Election – Reg Dunkley
      • Chris Gainor has agreed to stand for President
      • We now have a full slate, but further nominations will be sought at the AGM
      • New Council will be seeking involvement from members for volunteering
      • We need a quorum of 25 members. If you cannot attend, contact Randy president@victoria.rasc.ca (or another member attending) to be your proxy for voting purposes.
  • Social Dinner – RASC Victoria Centre – Four Mile Pub – Feb 26th
    • Large parking lot, but please carpool if possible
    • Sound system with microphone and speaker will be used for speakers
    • Attendees please contact Marjie to RSVP by Feb 21st
  • SIGs – David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Beginners SIG – tomorrow night’s presentation by Randy Enkin on observing the Moon
    • Citizen Science SIG cancelled
    • Astrophotography SIG – 4th Wednesday – hosted by Brock
  • Astronomy Books – David Lee
    • Observer’s Sky Atlas – Erich Karkoschka
    • 21st Century Atlas of the Moon – Charles Wood, Maurice Collins
  • Astronomy Cafe – March 4th
  • Scitech Daily
    • Perseverance Mars Lander – sedimentary layers discovered by ground penetrating radar and samples taken
    • Ingenuity helicopter has crashed

Next Astro Cafe – March 4th – none for the rest of February

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 29, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Intro – Randy Enkin
  • FDAO Star Party – Jan 27 – Randy Enkin
    • Games Night – Jeopardy – was a lot of fun
      • Teams: FDAO, RASC (Nathan, Randy, Chris Gainor)
      • Emcee: Amy
  • 2024 Total Solar Eclipse – Randy Enkin
    • 15% obscuration in Victoria
    • Observe first, photograph next
    • Eye safety – contact Lauri or Randy to pick up some eclipse glasses
    • RASC Eclipse Task Force – Lauri
      • Southern Ontario – mid-afternoon, school kids are being let out early
      • Maritimes – late afternoon, after school
      • Education of teachers in eastern Canada
    • Early March – next eclipse presentation at Astro Cafe
    • Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024 | RASC Victoria
  • Victoria Centre Events – Randy Enkin
    • AGM – Feb 12th
      • Zoom only
      • Quorum of 25 needed
      • Financial Report
      • Election – slate in place except for President – contact Reg Dunkley
    • Social Dinner – Feb 26 at ~ Four Mile Brewpub
      • 22 people registered
      • Contact Marjie to sign up by Wed, Feb 21
      • 55 attendees allows exclusive use of the restaurant, so please sign up!
      • Starts at 6PM
      • Drinks and meals at own expense
      • Awards and speeches
      • Victoria Centre report of activities for 2023 – send info to Randy
    • Astronomy Day – May 18
      • Venue is the Royal BC Museum
      • Need a working committee
    • Island Star Party
      • New Moon weekend is Aug 2-4, but Aug 5 is BC Day so that is a holiday weekend
      • Following weekend to New Moon – Crescent Moon & Perseids – Aug 9-11
      • CVRD has decided no camping and no events outside of park hours, so a new venue probably needed
  • Space Missions
    • Japanese Lunar Mission – now active, despite being on its side
    • Helicopter on Mars has crashed, so that mission is over
  • Good Lighting in Metchosin – Bill Weir
    • Bill had success with controlling streetlights with full cutoff fixtures
    • Ted White is pursuing International Dark Sky certification for municipality
    • Patrick Earl and Dave Robinson will assist
  • Zoozbe “moon” of Venus – Bill Weir
    • Radio Lab podcast
    • Zoozbe is actually an asteroid!

Next Astro Cafe – Feb 5th, then none for the rest of the month. Monday, March 4th will be the next Astro Cafe after Feb 5th.

Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024

Posted by as Observing Highlights

2017 Total Solar Eclipse - plasma streamers at totality - photo by John McDonald
2017 Total Solar Eclipse – plasma streamers at totality – photo by John McDonald

A Total Solar Eclipse is a rare astronomical event (2017 was the last one), and it is even rarer for one to occur in locations that are easy to travel to. Although only a partial eclipse is observable from western Canada, the eclipse tracks diagonally across North America (southwest to northeast) on April 8, 2024. In fact, everyone in North America is within striking distance of being able to observe this amazing event, where the Moon slides in front of the Sun for a few brief minutes, suddenly and totally obscuring the Sun.

If you haven’t observed a Total Solar Eclipse, this is your chance!

Location

The eclipse tracks diagonally across North America, starting in Mazatlan, Mexico, across Texas and other states in the middle of the USA, tracking across southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Dedicated eclipse chasers are seeking the best prospects of clear skies by travelling to Mexico, but there are lots of Canadians planning to observe from locations near home, despite the chance of clear skies being poor at that time of year.

Map of eclipse track across North America
Eclipse track across North America – Jay Anderson, Eclipsophile

Time and Date’s 2024 Total Solar Eclipse site gives all the facts and figures required to find and enjoy the eclipse, including an interactive zoomable map showing the eclipse track and links to livestreams if you want to experience this eclipse from the comforts of home.

What if you can’t travel to the track of totality?

Partial Solar Eclipse from SW British Columbia
Partial Solar Eclipse from SW British Columbia – Time and Date’s interactive eclipse map

You can still see a partial solar eclipse from anywhere in North America. Use Time and Date’s interactive eclipse map to get the calculated timing for the eclipse in the area you plan to observe from. Click and zoom to your area, then click on your observing spot to see a popup telling you how long the eclipse will last and what you will see.

From our location in southwest BC in Canada, a small notch out of the solar disk will appear on eclipse day – obscuring about 17% of the Sun. Not exciting compared with the dramatic Total Solar Eclipse observed from the centreline, but still an interesting apparition to observe, assuming the 76% chance of cloud cover doesn’t prevail!

Weather

Weather always plays a big part in any solar eclipse, so being mobile is key to improving the odds of actually seeing the event should clouds threaten to obscure the Sun at the critical moment. Our very own Jay Anderson (former RASC Journal editor) is a weather expert, and specializes in forecasting weather for solar eclipses. His Eclipseophile website offers sage advice backed up with maps and charts depicting weather prospects for each eclipse happening in the world for the next several years. Read Jay’s analysis of the area you propose to observe from, so you understand how the weather might behave on eclipse day. Topography, elevation changes and local factors play into how the weather evolves throughout the day for a particular locale. Become a local weather expert, and you increase your chances for success!

Map showing the probability of clouds along the eclipse track
Probability of clouds along the eclipse track – Jay Anderson, Eclipsophile

Observing

Observing a Total Solar Eclipse is pretty easy, however that said, if you haven’t done it before, it’s nice to have experienced eclipse observers around to help you get the most out of your time under the Moon’s shadow. Obviously the time of total eclipse is the main event, however other things happen beforehand, afterwards, and during an eclipse that are worthwhile.

Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, eclipsed Sun, Venus, Neptune, Saturn - diagram from Starry Night Pro Plus 8
Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, eclipsed Sun, Venus, Neptune, Saturn – diagram from Starry Night Pro Plus 8

Although the eclipsed Sun is the main target, look around in the darkened sky for planets and other bright celestial objects. There is a good chance eclipse observers will be able to see: Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Saturn! Of course, the sky only darkens for the observer if they are in the path of totality, so anyone observing a partial eclipse won’t see any solar system bodies (except the Sun itself).

Be sure to try out any gear you propose to take with you before you leave. Make sure you have proper solar eclipse filters for any binoculars (or your eyes), camera lenses and telescopes you are bringing along. Remember, you only have a few minutes to see totality!

Finally, relax and enjoy the day. Arrive early. Try to manage your stress level. Just sit back in a reclining chair, have your solar glasses handy, and enjoy!

Safely observing a solar eclipse – read about how to safely observe a solar eclipse

DIY Box Pinhole Projector – to safely observe the eclipse with only a box and some aluminum foil!

Victoria RASC eclipse chasers on the field observing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Oregon
Victoria RASC eclipse chasers on the field observing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Oregon

Photography

If this is your first time experiencing a Total Solar Eclipse, don’t risk missing the eclipse by fiddling with cameras! Observing through (filtered) binoculars is a low risk way to capture the moments of totality in your memory.

For dedicated photographers, using their gear to capture a Total Solar Eclipse can be a right of passage, and has the potential to either be a highlight of your lifetime photography experience (if you succeed) or end up being a point of shame you never want to talk about again (if you fail). Take test photos of the Sun weeks beforehand, so you know your photo gear will work as expected. Always have a backup plan for when (not if) gear breaks, or you simply can’t get it to work properly. Here are some scenarios for consideration for those who are brave enough to want to multitask during totality – a once-in-a-lifetime event (least difficult listed first):

  1. Use a smart phone on automatic mode to take photos or videos of the scene around you
  2. Use a camera and wide angle lens mounted on a tripod to record the landscape, people and the eclipsed Sun (and perhaps stars and planets) in the sky. Take a random series of shots or set the camera to shoot automatically at regular intervals to create a time lapse series.
  3. Use a camera and moderate telephoto lens on a tripod to shoot video of the eclipse in the sky. Keep the telephoto lens short (80mm to perhaps 135mm) to let the eclipsed Sun pass through the frame.
  4. Use a camera and long telephoto lens on a tripod to shoot photographs of the eclipsed Sun. Take photos of the eclipse at the important moments: plasma streamers, Bailey’s Beads, Diamond Ring, totality, and partial eclipse phases.
  5. Use a telescope on a tracking mount with a camera on the back to capture closeup details of the eclipse events such as Bailey’s Beads and the Diamond Ring.

Expansion of the list above, with important details about setup, rehearsing, and special gear you may wish to consider purchasing can be found in this article: How to photograph a solar eclipse, with Alan Dyer – EarthSky.

Travel

RASC Eclipse chasers setup in the Libyan Sahara - March 29, 2006
RASC Eclipse chasers observing from the Libyan Sahara – March 29, 2006

Dedicated eclipse chasers and tour operators have made reservations at least two years ago at all the prime locations for this eclipse along the centreline where the weather is best. That’s not to say last-minute travellers are shut out from experiencing this eclipse – by planning carefully and compromising a bit, it can still work. Flights to hotspots like Mazatlan a couple of days before to a couple of days after April 8th will be fully booked, as will hotels and guest houses. Flying to nearby airports and staying in accommodation outside the centreline can make sense. Driving into the track of totality early on eclipse day can work for many who have not planned ahead.

Many of the USA states the eclipse track runs through will not have crowds of people once you are on country roads. With careful planning using the interactive eclipse and weather maps, it is certainly possible to observe the eclipse from the side of the road, parking lots, campsites, or farmer’s fields. Interstate highways which are in the track of totality will experience congestion, depending on how close to civilization the location is. When driving, expect long delays even for 24 hours or so after an eclipse as all those eclipse chasers try to get home! To avoid that anxiety, plan to stay a day or two longer near your observing site before commencing your road trip home.

Help!

If this will be your first time observing a total solar eclipse, no doubt you have many questions and concerns, and don’t know where to start. The resources presented here may be overwhelming. Please ask any questions you might have about eclipses at Astronomy Cafe, held each Monday evening by RASC Victoria Centre. Your fellow RASC members have observed solar eclipses before…they can help!

If you are reading this from other locations, find your local RASC Centre in eastern Canada which have posted eclipse events and information – Eclipse 2024 RASC.

Resources

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 22, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcipt of meeting

  • Intro – Jim Cliffe
  • Space Telescopes – Chris Gainor
    • How Long Will Hubble Last? – Sky & Telescope article
    • US Postal Service issued two stamps with images from JWST – $30.45 and $9.85 for their express service
  • David Lee
    • Inside the Star Factory – book profiling JWST by Chris Gunn (photography) & Christopher Wanjek
    • Makers SIG – meeting online this Thursday
      • Citizen Science – transitioning from analog to digital recording for occultations – IOTA
      • Imaging computing platforms – including Astroberry
    • Astrophotography SIG – meeting online this Wednesday – Dave Payne
      • Camera settings
      • Photo showcase
      • Q&A
  • Canadian stamp for the Total Solar Eclipse – Lauri Roche
    • March 14th issue day
  • Eclipse viewing glasses – Lauri Roche
  • Astrophotos
    • Dave Payneonline gallery
      • Flying Dragon Nebula – molecular cloud in Cygnus – taken last summer
      • Medusa by Garvacchio
      • Medusa Planetary Nebula in Gemini – RGB and narrowband taken earlier this month
    • Brock Johnstononline gallery
      • Christmas Tree and Fox Fur Nebula
      • Network Nebula – part of the Veil Nebula
      • Crab Nebula
    • Astrophoto Processing – discussion by Ken McGill, David Lee, Brock Johnston, Jim Cliffe
  • Astronomy Information Sources – Susan Grady posed the question to the group
  • Panic! Early results regarding the morphological and structural properties of galaxies seen with the James Webb Space Telescope – UVic, Wed, March 13 – Dr. Leonardo Ferreira, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Young people’s astronomy club? – question by Garry Sedun
    • Some High schools and Middle schools offer astronomy groups
    • Discussion about how to reach out to younger people
    • Youth under 18 need family member who is also a member if VCO visit is desired – Chris Purse
    • Using smartphones on a telescope for imaging – simple mounting platforms work well
  • FDAO – Lauri Roche – roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Games Night at this Saturday’s Star Party – 6:30-10PM – NRC, FDAO & RASC teams
    • FDAO Strategic Planning coming up
  • Victoria Centre – upcoming events– Reg Dunkley & Lauri Roche
    • AGM – Feb12 7:00PM – online zoom to all members
      • Election
      • Financial Report
      • Awards announcements
    • Social Evening – Four Mile Pub – Feb 28th – sign up with Ken Atkinson secretary@victoria.rasc.ca
      • Socialize with your fellow astronomers and friends over some good food and drink
  • Lunar and Mars Missions – group discussion

Astronomy Cafe – Dec 18, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of meeting

  • New member intro
  • Last Astronomy Cafe for 2023 this evening – thanks to Chris Purse (meeting coordinator), Joe Carr (recordings & notes) and Kathie Koziol (coffee)
  • Leona vs Betelgeuse – Randy Enkin
    • Asteroid 319 Leona occulted Betelgeuse on Dec 12th
    • Betelgeuse’s diameter is 50 milliarcseconds
    • The asteroid’s shape and rotation was worked out from the occultation observations
    • Only clear along the path over Spain
    • IOTA – occultation observations
    • Varsavia occultation observed by David Lee and Dave Bennett on July 17, 2003
  • Events
    • Astronomy Day (May 18, 2024) – Randy Enkin
      • RBCM has invited Victoria Centre to stage the event on their site
      • Discussion about pros and cons for UVic Bob Wright vs Museum sites
      • New location: Langford or Colwood – more young families would likely attend
      • FDAO Star Party in the evening on Observatory Hill
      • Need a new organizing committee with David Lee and Lauri Roche in an advisory – to volunteer contact Randy president@victoria.rasc.ca
      • Consensus is to hold Astronomy Day at RBCM
    • Island Star Party – early August 2024 – to volunteer contact Randy president@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Victoria Centre AGM – Feb 2024
    • Cafe Scientifique – monthly public event staged by UVic Faculty of Science at Hermann’s Jazz Club – Jim Fox
    • Virtual Reality of DAO – Darren
      • Modelling of site, telescope and dome well underway
      • Need more information and feedback from RASC members
      • Darren will present his project to Astronomy Cafe early in 2024
    • Astrophotographs
      • Jellyfish Nebula – narrowband – Dave Payne
      • Horsehead and Flame Nebulae – Ron Fisher
      • Lion Nebula  – Dave’s data, Ron Fisher processed it
    • Lauri Roche
    • Frank Hobbs Elementary Solstice Party this Thursday – contact Randy to volunteer president@victoria.rasc.ca

Next Astronomy Cafe will be held on January 8, 2024

Astronomy Cafe – Dec 11, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Citizen Science SIG – David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • FDAO Star Parties at the CU – Lauri Roche
    • Pancake Breakfast last Saturday morning. Dennis Crabtree played Santa. Thanks to all the volunteers.
    • Winter Solstice Star Party and debate about Pluto – this Saturday 6-9PM
    • FDAO fundraiser goes to the end of December – donate
  • Astrophotos – Ken McGill
    • Elephant Nebula IC1396 in Hubble Palette – a “van Gogh” rendition among others
    • Wizard Nebula and Open Cluster (starless) NGC 7380
    • Discussion about processing the stars in these images
  • New Black Nugget Lake Observatory  (BNLO – RASC Edmonton Centre) – intro by Dave Robinson
    • Former coal strip mine site developed into an observing site since it’s a dark location reasonably close to Edmonton
    • 32″ Unyk Drew Telescope construction and installation
    • Former observatory dome from University of Alberta
    • Warren Finlay’s documentary video as presented to RASC Edmonton June 2021 Regular Meeting
    • Fundraising, grants, donations
    • Donation of 32″ mirror by Bob Drew, telescope build by Roman Unyk, observatory rehabilitation, construction challenges
    • Completed in 2022 after encountering many delays
    • Dedication at Northern Prairie Star Party this past September
    • Background from Bob Drew
    • Priority of the facility is for the public to observe visually in-person
    • Q&A
  • Chris Gainor
    • Hubble – The gyroscope problems are resolved, so the space telescope is back in operation.
    • JWST – Cass A image
  • Space-Based Far-Infrared Telescope – Dr Doug Johnstone – UVic presentation this Wednesday – B150 Fluery Hall – Reg Dunkley
  • Chit chat and discussion

Astronomy Cafe – Nov 20, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Victorian Asteroids – Randy Enkin
    • Lauri Roche and Chris Gainor now have asteroids named after them
    • Peter Jedicke proposed the names to the IAU’s WGSBN
    • Lauriroche – Visible in the summer sky, 14 magnitude
    • Gainor – evening sky now, spring will be the best view
    • Past namings: Sidhu, Bettyhesser, Jamesheasser, JackAlice (Newton), Scarfe, Plaskett, Balam, Tatum, Climenhaga, Plaskett, Kavelaars, Bohlender, DAO, Crampton, UVic, Vicsympho, Makosinski, Kleewyck (Emily Carr), Frasercain
    • Congratulations to everyone with named asteroids
    • Other Awards and Honours – Victoria Centre members with asteroids named after them
  • New members intro – Suzanne, Jerod (both in person)
  • Lunar sketches – Randy Enkin
    • Cassini over several nights
  • Swap and Shop – next week in-person at Astronomy Cafe
    • Bring your astronomy stuff!
    • Bring your money to buy stuff!
    • Send your list of equipment to Chris Purse (membership@victoria.rasc.ca) ahead of time so we can promote the event
  • Website Infrastructure – project leader needed – Randy Enkin president@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Determine the scope of the project, coordinate the technical details, help Council select a new web provider
    • Talk to Joe Carr Webmaster for details (web@victoria.rasc.ca)
  • Jeff Pivnick
    • A review of Circumstellar Disks by Brenda Matthews, who was our speaker from last Wednesday’s meeting at UVic
    • ALMA situated on the Atacama Desert 5,000m / 16,000′ altitude
    • Monthly meetings – future list through to March 13, 2024
    • Garry Sedun – working at altitude is very difficult
    • 134th Birth Anniversary of Edwin Hubble today
      • Lawyer, teacher of math and physics
      • Graduate work at University of Chicago in physics and astronomy
      • Started work in 1919 Mt Wilson observatory on the new 100″ Hooker telescope, studying nebulae and galaxies
      • Classification scheme for galaxies
      • Founded extra-galactic astronomy
      • Red/blue shift gives indication of distance of celestial objects
      • Several articles in Skynews by Bruce Lane highlighted Hubble’s work
    • Discussion of all topics presented by Jeff
  • Observatories Observed in France – Sep 2023 – Brian Barber
  • Deep Sky at IMAX, the story of James Webb space telescope is now on – Jeff Pivnick
  • Astronomy Day – out-of-date astronomy magazines and Observers Handbooks are good for giveaways, so don’t throw them out. Contact Jeff Pivnick (jeff.pivnick2@gmail.com)
  • Calendars for 2024 – some still available
  • Centre of the Universe Events – Lauri Roche
    • FDAO Telescope Clinic – thanks to all the volunteered last Saturday
    • Dec 9th – fundraising breakfast
    • Dec 16th – solstice party
  • Nebula from Gamma Cassiopeia, “the Ghost of Cassiopeia” IC59 & IC63 – astrophoto by Dave Payne
  • Observing Report
    • Fireball spotted by Dennis F’s wife at 6:40AM a few mornings ago. Widely reported in the region, but Sid Sidhu’s All-Sky camera didn’t capture the event.
  • Upcoming Events
    • Astrophotography SIG this Wednesday – Dave Payne
    • UVic speaker for Dec 13 – Far Infrared space observatory – Dr. Doug Johnston – Reg Dunkley

Next Astronomy Cafe on Nov 27th is a Swap ‘n Shop – bring your astronomy gear to sell, and bring cash to buy stuff!

Astronomy Cafe – Oct 30, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • New members
    • Matt – astrophotographer
    • Ewen, Michaela – Swiss visitors
    • Cameron, Lisa, baby Max
    • Carlos
  • Eclipses – Randy Enkin
    • Geometry of eclipses
    • Types of solar eclipses
    • The Saros Cycle
      • Lunar Months – Sidereal, Synodic, Draconic, Anomalistic
      • Every 18 years, the solar eclipse cycle repeats, but the track moves a third around the Earth
    • Antikythera mechanism (~200 BCE) – predicts Saros cycles
  • What is a conjunction? David Lee, Marjie Welchframe
    • It’s a conjunction if the two objects share Right Ascension
    • derekscope.co.uk – list of all conjunctions to 2025
    • A large number occur during daylight
    • Discussion of how to observe conjunctions during the day
  • Makers SIG  – this Thursday- David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Telescope Clinic – Nov 18 at FDAO Star Party event at the Centre of the Universe
    • Need some RASC volunteers to help attendees use their telescope
    • Contact Lauri Roche roche.lauri@gmail.com
  • Victoria Centre Observatory – Reg Dunkley, David Lee
    • Oak tree encroachment on the observatory is now trimmed back, thanks to NRC
    • MICs need to be trained on the new equipment and procedures
    • Workflows for imaging are now in place
    • Picnic table – new one in the budget
  • Amateur Radio and the ISS – Jim Cliffe
    • Image broadcast from ISS to amateurs – Slow Scan TV
  • Pearson CollegeAstronomy Outreach – Bill Weir
    • Westshore Walmart parking lot
    • Moon, Jupiter, Saturn
  • James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
    • M1 Crab Nebula – Hubble image vs Webb image
  • 2024 RASC Observers Calendars – Lauri Roche
    • $15 each – still some available – contact Lauri roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Lauri will also distribute calendars at the monthly meeting at UVic on Nov 8th
  • Nov 8 monthly meeting at UVic – Reg Dunkley

Astronomy Cafe – Oct 23, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • John McDonald
    • NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe– book review and recommended for beginners in astronomy. Perhaps a Festive season gift?
    • Annular Eclipse event at Berwick Elk Lake
      • Thanks for the eclipse glasses (Jeff Pivnick)
      • Residents hadn’t observed a solar eclipse before, so there was lots of excitement
  • Astronomy Outreach and Events – Patrick
    • International Dark Sky designations
    • Astronomy events near Hope
    • Bonneford, Alberta
    • Now resides in Victoria
  • Nucleosynthesis – Jeff Pivnick
  • Planetary Nebula images
    • Dave Payne
      • Proto-planetary nebula
      • Planetary Nebulae visual differences: larger, two explosions, classic, cosmic wind dispersion
    • Brock Johnston
      • M57
      • NGC 7293 Helix Nebula
      • M97 Owl Nebula
      • NGC 651 Little Dumbbell Nebula
      • M27 Dumbbell Nebula
      • NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula
      • Soap Bubble Nebula
    • Use these images at the Centre of the Universe displays? Lauri Roche
  • Lauri Roche
    • 2024 RASC Observers calendars have arrived. Cost is $15 each, with some still available. Contact Lauri roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Thanks to everyone who attended the FDAO AGM a couple of nights ago.
  • Special Interest Groups – David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Famous Eclipses in History – Randy Enkin
    • Some during BCE Era?
    • Mar 1, 1504 Lunar Eclipse in Jamaica – Christopher Columbus
    • 1868 solar eclipse – Janssen observed helium in the solar spectrum before element was identified on Earth
    • 1919 solar eclipse – Eddington confirmed General Relativity
  • Eclipses from Enkin’s Daily Moon – Randy Enkin
    • Art, photos, juxapositions
  • Weather Forecast for just-past Annular Eclipse – Reg Dunkley
    • GOES-West satellite cloud cover loop shows the eclipse darkening
    • DAO Current Weather – Sky Camera
  • Sunspot Groups – David Lee
    • Sunspots emerge through magnetic fields
    • Individual sunspots and groups of sunspots
    • AAVSO sunspot – online reporting