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

Astronomy Cafe – Sep 25, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

Fuelling Galactic Powerhouses – Dr. Mallory Thorp

  • Mallory is a postdoctoral researcher the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (AIfA) at the University of Bonn; MSc & PhD at UVic
  • Hubble Deep Field – how do all those galaxies interact with each other?
  • Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS)
  • Galaxy Zoo – internals to galaxies
  • Baryon Cycle – gas, dust, stars
    • Inter-stellar Medium – gas and star formation
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • huge number of galaxies
    • great for big picture studies
  • Phangs – high resolution studies of individual galaxies covering the complete Baryon Cycle
    • Uses multiple telescopes for source data, including both space and ground telescopes – ALMA, JWST, HST, MUSE
    • NGC 628 / M74
      • Voids in the galaxy – biggest is The Phantom Void (1kpc across)
      • Recently formed stars on the edge of voids at these “shock fronts”
      • How stars form has now been observed, thanks to JWST
    • Out of 74 galaxies only a dozen are mergers
    • NGC 3637 – example merger galaxy
  • Catastrophic events impact interstellar medium
    • Strong star formation when the galactic structure is essentially destroyed
    • Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) – eventual result of interaction between galaxies
    • Jets of gas leave the galaxy
    • AGN is likely responsible for star formation
    • Galaxies turn off – why?
    • Try to reconstruct an interaction of galaxies over billions of years
  • ALMaQUEST – ALMA MaNGA Quenching & Star-Formation Survey
    • How mergers power starbursts?
    • Extra stars and extra gas
    • Studying post-merged galaxies
    • How do mergers trigger the birth of new stars?
    • AGN or starbursts when fuel is pulled into the centre of a galaxy
  • Q&A

Resumption of monthly meetings and speakers at UVic – Reg Dunkley

  • NEW EARTH Lab – Find Life on Exoplanets | RASC Victoria – Dr. Christian Marois, NRC, UVic
  • Oct 11th 7:30PM at Bob Wright Centre, Room A104, University of Victoria
  • Meeting will not be streamed, so please attend in-person
  • After the meeting, adjourn to the Elliott Building 4th floor Astronomy lounge for coffee, cookies and discussion
  • Lauri will have solar eclipse glasses to give to members

Annular Solar Eclipse – Oct 14, 2023 – Lauri Roche & David Lee

  • Solar Eclipse 2023 — Annular Eclipse, October 14 – Time & Date info page
    • Start: 8:03AM PDT
    • Maximum: 11:00AM PDT
    • End: 1:56PM PDT
  • Event at the Centre of the Universe
    • Observe the eclipse
    • Breakfast snacks supplied
    • Kids activities
    • Vignette talks
    • Event tickets on sale from FDAO through Eventbrite
    • Solar telescopes – dependant on RASC volunteers
    • Will supply solar eclipse glasses to attendees and other people hosting events can come to pick up the glasses
    • Best observing spot will likely be from the lower parking lot, not the Plaskett or Centre of the Universe parking lot
  • For observing yourself from other locations, seek a site with visibility to the east, low in the sky
  • Use solar eclipse glasses to directly observe the Sun, or use telescopes or binoculars with solar filters
  • Practice ahead of time
  • Discussion about timing and observing
  • Solar Eclipse Eye Safety – American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • RASC National 2023 calendars – Lauri has ordered 35 calendars, so contact her to sign up for a copy – roche.lauri@gmail.com

Victoria Centre Observatory (VCO) report – David Lee

  • 20″ Obsession – guiding working, collimation is near-perfect
  • 12″ Dobsonian also available
  • Takahashi – available to members for photography and visual observing
  • Discussion about parking issue at VCO – Garry Sedun

AstrophotosDave Payne

  • SH2-157 Lobster Claw nebula in narrowband
  • Shrimp nebula
  • Heart Nebula and beyond

Oct 16th is the next time to attend Astronomy Cafe – in two week’s time.

NEW EARTH Lab – Find Life on Exoplanets

Posted by as UVic Meetings

Dr. Christian Marois has agreed to deliver a presentation for our October 11th UVic Meeting. It is an exciting topic from a renowned Astronomer. What a great way to relaunch the RASC Speaker Program at UVic! – Reg Dunkley, Past President, RASC Victoria Centre

Date/Time: October 11, 2023, starting at 7:30PM

Location: Bob Wright Centre, Lecture Theatre A104, University of Victoria. Park in Lot 1 (pay parking) and cross Ring Road.


“The NRC NEW EARTH Laboratory, and the Quest to Develop the Tools to Find Life on Exoplanets” – Dr. Christian Marois, NRC

New Earth Lab - NRC

Are there Earth-size exoplanets orbiting nearby stars? Is there life as-we-know-it on these Worlds? The exoplanet field is rapidly progressing toward having the required technology to discover rocky Earth-size exoplanets orbiting nearby Sun-like stars, and search for life signatures. I will describe my NRC NEW EARTH team progress over the last few years to test new innovations, and deploy them in two frontier instruments, the SPIDERS pathfinding at the Subaru telescope, and the CAL2 instrument at the Gemini North observatory. I will also describe our new breakthrough concept, STARLITE, that could dramatically speed-up the discovery and search for Earth-like exoplanets using current and future ground-based telescopes. I will finally discuss possible roles that Canada could play in the ~2040 NASA Habitable World Observatory, a ~6m Hubble Space Telescope successor that is optimized for imaging and characterizing Earth-size planets.

Dr. Christian Marois
Dr. Christian Marois

Dr. Christian Marois, NRC astronomer and University of Victoria adjunct professor, has revolutionized how we view the universe by pioneering direct imaging of exoplanets. He invented the most powerful high-contrast techniques, methods that are now widely used by the community, and he led an international team of astronomers to make the ground-breaking discovery of the first images of planets orbiting a star other than the Sun, the HR8799 planetary system.

Dr. Marois is the founder and principal investigator of Canada’s only high-contrast imaging laboratory, NEW EARTH, a one-of-a-kind facility for innovation. He is involved in international collaborations, including the Gemini Planet Imager instrument survey team, and is working toward developing frontier technologies for current and future 30-m class telescopes, focussing on the discovery of Earth-like exoplanets and search for life outside our Solar system. He is currently leading the development of three projects, SPIDERS, a pathfinder for the Subaru telescope, CAL2, a facility-class sensor for the Gemini Planet Imager, and STARLITE, a system for imaging Earth-like exoplanets orbiting Sun-like stars using ground-based telescopes.

Astronomy Cafe – May 15, 2023

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Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Jeff Pivnick
  • To the Moon, with Robots and HumansDr. Gordon “Oz” Osinski, Dept. Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario
    • Sailing ships to space missions – history of human exploration
    • The Moon has thousands of meteorite impacts
    • 2019 announcement by Canadian government
      • Canadarm 3 on Lunar Gateway outpost
      • Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) – Canadian lunar rover
    • Artemis I – launched last year
      • Lots of images from this mission
    • Artemis II – orbit Moon
      • Canadian astronaut – Jeremy Hansen
      • Crewed test flight to the Moon and Earth high orbit
      • Engineering mission, not a science mission
      • Launch – late 2024 or early 2025
    • Artemis III – land on the Moon
      • Geology training for astronauts
      • 18 astronaut candidates
      • 13 candidate landing sites – all near Lunar South Pole
      • Geological samples will return to Earth with the astronauts
      • Canada has 30 out of 200 impact craters found on Earth
      • Mistastin Lake impact structure – best analog to lunar craters since anorthosite ejecta is found here, same as on the Moon (light material)
    • Canadian Lunar Rover Mission
      • Canadensys – contractor for 30kg prototype
      • Science instruments will take about 5-6kg
      • South Pole – geology and mineral resources
      • Volatiles – water
      • Permanently Shadowed Regions – no sunlight
      • Radiation monitoring to ensure astronauts’ health, both on the Moon and future Mars missions
      • Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter – images showing deep lunar shadows
    • Q & A
  • Island Star Party 2023 – Dave Payne
    • August 11-13, 2023
    • In-reach – socializing with fellow members
    • Location: Bright Angel Park – south Cowichan
    • Activities
      • Solar observing
      • Nature walks
      • Kinsol Trestle
      • Lots of activities in Cowichan Valley
      • Telescope walk, how to use a telescope, observing skills
      • Speakers – one each night
    • Perseid Meteor shower
    • T-shirts – contact Joe Carr to preorder
    • Volunteers needed – contact Dave Payne
    • ISP Volunteer Email List
  • Victoria Centre Observatory – Reg Dunkley
    • Last night – 10 Active Observers
    • Both visual and photography
    • Become an Active Observer – contact Chris Purse
  • Occultation of Jupiter by the Moon – David Lee
    • Wednesday, May 17th 4:52am – 5:33am
    • Moon 3º above the eastern horizon during the occultation
  • Astrophotography by local members
    • Astronomy Day slideshow – Ken McGill
    • Brock Johnston
      • Orion & Flame Nebula widefield
      • M94 – halo
      • Cat’s Eye Nebula & NGC 6552 barred spiral galaxy
  • Randy Enkin
    • Deep Sky Filter – a Lumicon “UHC” legacy visual filter
    • Orrery – kit build
  • Observations – Marjie Welchframe
    • Kemble’s Cascade
    • Spring double stars

No Astro Cafe next week due to the Victoria Day statutory holiday. The last Astro Cafe before the summer break will be held on May 29th.

Astronomy Cafe – May 8, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Marjie Welchframe
  • Centre of the Universe Volunteer Coordinator – Aimee Rossen (info@centreoftheuniverse.org)
    • Volunteer waivers – need to have everyone sign the form after viewing the safety video
    • Volunteer list – access to Observatory Hill
    • Volunteers should arrive before 7pm on Saturday night to avoid congestion at the access gate
  • ORCASatProf. Justin Albert
    • This microsat was built at UVic and launched six months ago to the ISS, where it was deployed – ORCASat — Launch
    • ORCASat should burn up next month after six months of operation in low Earth orbit
    • Background
      • Modern cosmology started in 1929 Edwin Hubble’s assertion that the Universe is expanding
      • Cepheid variable stars tell us the absolute magnitude, hence the distance away from Earth. Henrietta Swan-Leavitt’s research enabled this process.
      • Observing past 10*7 Parsecs means using Type 1A SuperNova (White Dwarf), since Cepheids are no longer bright enough to use as a standard candle.
      • Limitations of our Knowledge of Dark Energy 73% of Universe’s mass
      • Calibration of brightness measurements are needed – flux as a function of colour
      • Dark Matter 23% of Universe’s mass
      • Atoms 3% of Universe’s mass
      • The Dark Side of the Universe
      • Supernovae are one of the powerful probes for understanding the eventual fate of the Universe
    • ORCASat is in an ISS-like orbit
      • Needs good coverage above ground observatories, so they can observe Orcasat
      • Photometric calibration – Orcasat’s absolute brightness is compared with standard stars
    • ALTAIR – Airborne Laser for Telescopes Atmospheric Interference Reduction
      • Photometric Calibration using a high altitude balloon
    • A laser photometric ratio star (LPRS) – exciting the Sodium layer
  • I Need More Space-Time – review of a science fair project by Nathan Hellner-Mestleman
    • Predict when our Universe will end
    • Used Wiseman Observatory data for Type 1 SN
      • Spectral lines: Hydrogen epsilon, Hydrogen delta
      • Examined Supernovae 30 million LY to 40 billion LY
      • Found the Hubble Constant to vary from 20 km/sec/Parsec to much bigger
    • Using Slooh data didn’t work out, since Supernovae data levels are too low
    • Project tried to infer how long the Universe will last from changes in brightness of Supernovae
    • Consensus from WMAPS
  • Q&A for both Justin and Nathan
    • Is the Universe finite or infinite? We don’t know, and possibly will never know.
    • Hot, dense start to the Universe – ratio of Hydrogen and Helium verifies this process, as does Nucleosynthesis with Quarks and Gluons (DOE Explains…Quarks and Gluons | Department of Energy).
    • LIGO and other Gravitational Wave observatories should verify how the Universe started (inflation).
  • Events
    • RASC General Assembly – Lauri Roche
    • Beaveree at Camp Barnard – May 27th (9am-2pm) – Bill Weir
    • Island Star Party – Aug 11-13 – Dave Payne
      • Permit for park use is in place
      • More details at next week’s Astro Cafe

Astronomy Cafe – April 24, 2023

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Video transcript of the meeting

  • Pendulum Experiment To Measure Local Gravity – Kemi Daniel (Grade 5, PCS)
    • Gravity in her house is slightly lower than earth’s gravity
    • Science Fair winner
  • Astronomy by Night – A new Canadian website for amateur astronomers. hosted by Carina Ockedahl (former editor of Skynews)
    • Reached out to contributors – Chris Vaughan, Dan Kusz, Alan Dyer, Charles Ennis, and others
    • AstroPhoto of the Week – not just for Canadians
    • Newsletter
    • Collaboration with SkySafari
    • This Week’s Night Sky
    • Gear Reviews & Tech
    • Columns
      • World’s Asterisms
      • Research
    • Profile
    • Podcast – 2 per week
    • Video – interviews
    • Star chart – from Heavens Above
    • News – both from International and Canadian sources
  • International Astronomy Day/Weekend – David Lee, Lauri Roche
    • Speakers are lined up
    • Local astronomy organizations will be there
    • Observatory Hill on Saturday night – 29th
    • UVic on Sunday daytime – 30th
  • SpaceX Starship Launch on Apr 20, 2023 – Chris Gainor
    • Huge amounts of smoke and debris at launch
    • Disintegrated 4 minutes into the flight
    • Rocket left a huge crater at the launch site
    • Questions and discussion
  • Hybrid Solar Eclipse – April 20th – Randy Enkin
    • 1 minute duration
    • Total & Partial Solar Eclipse
    • Solar maximum corona, so lots of plasma streamers visible
    • Time & Date – particulars of this eclipse
    • Photos & video of eclipse chasers
  • Other events and discussion

Astronomy Cafe – April 17, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Regional Science Fair – report by Randy Enkin
    • 3 prizes awarded
    • Measured the period of the pendulum
    • Supernovae red shift analysis – Nathan Mestleman-Keller
    • Double Di-pole Radio Telescope – Io/Jupiter generates – Evan Warburton, Oak Bay High School, Grade 12
    • Distinguished Service Award to Randy
  • Astronomy by Night – new astronomy website hosted by Carina Ockedahl (former editor of Skynews), Chris Vaughn, Charles Ennis, and more contributors
  • JUICE – Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer launch – Randy Enkin
    • ESA launched this mission to Jupiter on Friday
    • Lunar-Earth flyby a year from now
    • Venus and Earth flyby
    • Arrives at Jupiter – July 3031
    • Multiple flybys of Jupiter’s icy moons
    • Orbit Ganymede for 3 years
    • 10 instruments onboard
  • SIGs – David Lee
    • Makers SIG
    • Astrophotography SIG
  • International Astronomy Day – Lauri Roche & David Lee
  • Neutron Stars – The Quest to Understand the Zombies – a book by Katia Moskvitch – review by Ron Fisher
    • Latest research and very interesting story
    • Research in Italy
    • NGC 4993- emitted radio waves and captured visual light from neutron star collision
    • CHIME – fast radio bursts
  • Astrophotos and Sketches
    • Double Transit – John McDonald
      • Planets and shadows visible
      • Moon Shadows on Jupiter – video
    • SkAc1 faint Planetary Nebula – Dave Payne
      • Challenge by Bill Weir
    • Double Transit sketch – Bill Weir
    • Orbital Motion of Venus – Marjie Welchframe
    • Bode & Cigar Galaxies, Horsehead & Flame Nebulae – Ken McGill

Astronomy Cafe – Apr 3, 2023

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Meeting transcript video

  • SIGs – David Lee
  • Mallory Thorp – profile by Marjie Welchframe
  • Island Star Party 2023 – Dave Payne
    • Speakers TBA
    • Telescope tours and tutorials
    • Make suggestions for activities
    • Tue, April 11th – kick off meeting
    • Contact Dave (email) or

      Randy Enkin Email

      to help out with this fun event
  • Fast Radio Cosmos lecture by Victoria Kaspi – Reg Dunkley
    • Uses the CHIME radio observatory near Penticton
    • 3 additional outrigger radio telescopes:  160 kms from Penticton, Green Bank, WV, and Hat Creek, CA
    • Good Q&A at the end of the lecture video
    • Skynews – Feb 2017 issue highlights the CHIME instruments
    • DRAO open to the public starting April 8th
    • Discussion of radio interference when using radio telescopes
  • Astronomy Day – Lauri Roche
    • FDAO Star Party – Observatory Hill – April 29th – evening hours
      • Need astronomers with telescopes to volunteer 
      • Starlink speaker
    • UVic – April 30th 11AM-4PM
      • Lots of volunteers have signed up, but everyone welcome to help, especially someone to lead the event promotion and communications – contact Lauri by email
      • Astronomy labs open
      • 6 speakers 
      • Free parking
  • Virtual General Assembly 2023 – May 5-7
    • Jeremy Hansen, CSA astronaut – speaker
  • RASC Victoria Hopes & Dreams – Randy’s list

    Randy Enkin Email

    • Open Council meetings. Now that we have a smaller Council, we should make more effort to advertise the meetings to the entire membership – and possibly lay the foundation for more recruitment to leadership.
    • Closer ties to UVic. I often hear that members want to get back to meeting at the University. I also think we should offer programs that encourage undergrad students to be active in the RASC-VC.
    • Closer ties with the FDAO. We have overlapping mandates and volunteer bases. Closer coordination will benefit both organizations.
    • More in-person events, especially under the night sky.
    • More scheduled and ad hoc evenings at the VCO
    • More diversity in membership and leadership.
    • A budget!
    • Revised Statement of Goals of the Society.
    • Calendar on the website
    • Documented Council job descriptions
    • October 14 Solar Eclipse event
    • Display of Astrophotographs
    • Support Vic High club, Oak Bay, Mount Doug
    • Prizes or other activities with UVic students (Volunteerism, Outreach)
    • Using the telescope collection to support School Clubs.
    • Help with the telescope lending library
    • Recruitment and Retention of membership.
    • Sustainability of Volunteers and Council members
    • Organize the Google Drive. Make more complete.
    • Member survey
    • Diane Bell Award for Astrosketching
    • Car share to VCO
    • NOVA program!
    • Schools Program – with FDAO?
    • Liaisons with school groups
    • Mentors with school groups
    • Join in school-group observing nights
    • Prizes and goodies for school groups
    • Support for Science Fair – volunteers for judges, prizes, handing our RASC bookmark etc.
  • Sky At Night Podcasts – Bill Weir & David Lee
    • Lance Bass  (nSync boy band) – selected to be a Russian cosmonaut! “The last Soviet citizen”
    • JWST podcast series
  • Victoria Centre Observatory (VCO) – Reg Dunkley
    • Active Observers to have access soon
    • Tech committee needs to check on the health of systems up there first
    • No more than 16 people at a time, with social distancing and health precautions (personal choice)
    • Ad hoc observing sessions for favourable weather to start with
    • Scheduled observing sessions later
    • Must be an Active Observer and must adhere to safety procedures
    • Gate codes for existing MICs have been refreshed for the coming year
  • Astrophotos during galaxy season – Dave Payne
    • M94 galaxy – elliptical shape and outer ring of material
    • M106 and friends – 4 arms in M106
  • National Council – Chris Gainor
    • Complete staff turnover at the National office is ongoing
    • Randy Atwood is interim Executive Director, working with the Board to recover
    • Annual Report – Victoria Centre’s report still needed
    • Skynews magazine is still being wound up

There will not be an Astro Café next week as it is a holiday Monday. We will be back on Monday, April 17

Astronomy Cafe – March 6, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Randy Enkin (video recording)
    • Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
      • Some great photo taken of the conjunction both by members and others
      • Venus can be up to 47º away from the Sun
      • Venus-Jupiter Conjunctions 1990-2060
      • March 1st conjunction – Venus-Jupiter had 0.5º separation
    • Victoria Centre’s Annual General Meeting – March 13th (virtual)
      • Need 25 members for a quorum
      • Links to Zoom sent to members along with supporting documents
      • Social dinner at the Moon Under Water Pub to be held on March 27th
  • The Hunt for the Culprit  – Part 2 – Reg Dunkley
    • Jan 9th – Part 1 was presented
    • Iron 60 and Supernovae relationship
    • Are Supernovae responsible for climate change on Earth?
    • Star formation near the Sun is driven by expansion of the Local Bubble by Catherine Zucker, et. al. – Jan 2022
    • Caroline and William Herschel
    • GAIA – astronomical big science, inspired an astronomical gold rush
      • ESA video on GAIA
      • 3D map of the Milky Way
      • Photometric instrument
      • Measures: Brightness, positions, proper motions, radial velocities, spectra
      • 11 years of data, 150 complete surveys of the sky
      • How this data is being used – a review
    • Interstellar Extinction
    • H-R Diagram: Colour Index vs Magnitude
    • 3D Mapping of Interstellar Dust
    • The Local Bubble – dust map
    • Traceback of Star Cluster
    • Idealized Model for Local Bubble Evolution – Stellar and Solar Orbits animation
    • Location of the Culprit
    • Summary of Zucker et al findings
    • A Golden Opportunity!
      • Data freely available along with analysis routines
      • Do some citizen science?
    • Radcliffe Wave by Brian Ventrudo
  • Special Interest Groups – David Lee
    • Beginners SIG – tomorrow evening
    • Citizen Science SIG – Thursday evening – sign up with David Lee
  • Photos & Observations by members
    • Venus-Jupiter conjunction from Hawai’i – photo of closest approach (0.5º) by Dave Payne
    • Jones-Eberson Bubble planetary nebula – photo by Brock Johnston
      • Jones 1 in Pegasus – next object to try for – Bill Weir
    • Explore the Universe observing program – Marjie Welchframe
    • Moon-Jupiter-Venus conjunction on Feb 23 – iPhone photo taken from the city by Doug Hardy
    • Photos – Ken McGill
    • Moon-Jupiter-Venus conjunction on Feb 23 – Marjie Welchframe
  • Reports – Lauri Roche
    • Centre of the Universe Open House on March 25-26
    • RASC Online General Assembly (no AGM)
      • Virtual tours of DDO and DAO (7-8pm on Fri)
      • Poster sessions – April 1st call for papers
    • RASC National AGM – June 25th (virtual)

Astronomy Cafe – Feb 6, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Silent Sky at Langham Court Theatre – performances Jan 25 to Feb 11
    • Positive comments from RASC members who attended performances, especially Sara Ellison’s presentation at the end of the Sunday afternoon performance.
    • Full bus from Berwick House attended the Sunday afternoon performance
    • Lots of seats are available for Wed, Thu & Fri upcoming performances
    • History of the production by Jim Hesser
  • Welcome from Jeff Pivnick
  • Beginners’ SIG – tomorrow evening – David Lee
  • Special General Meeting – Feb 13, 2023 – Randy Enkin
    • Need to adopt new bylaws for Victoria Centre
    • Presentation: A Brief History of Galaxies… – Sara Ellison
  • Black Holes
    • How can a black hole conserve angular momentum? – Randy Enkin
      • Conservation of angular momentum examples
        • Solar system
        • Earth-Moon system
      • Black Holes – 1915 Albert Einstein, 1916 Karl Schwarzchild (point singularity), 1963 Roy Kerr (ringularity)
    • What really happens at the black hole singularity? – John McDonald
      • Black Holes can be explained somewhat by Gravity (very large things) and Quantum Theory (very small things)
      • What happens to information that falls into a Black hole? We don’t know.
      • Black Holes are not likely a singularity, so it’s unknown what form they actually take
      • Entropy – measure of the disorder of things
  • Uranus – Jeff Pivnick
    • Relative distances of planets in solar system
    • Distance from the Sun to Saturn is about the same as the distance from Saturn to Uranus
    • Photos of Uranus taken by John McDonald and Lucky Budd – Zenfolio | RASC Victoria Centre | Search
    • William Herschel, an astronomer, reflecting telescope maker, musician and composer
      • Discovered Uranus on March 13, 1781
      • Discovered infrared light
      • Caroline Herschel – first professional astronomer (paid by the king)
      • NGC list was first compiled by the Herschels
  • Horizons – Dorothy Paul
    • Observed from the White Mountains of California in October 2022
    • Camped for 10 days with 7 days of good observing skies
    • SQM at least 21.8, with good transparency and stability
    • Dorothy and Miles observed the southern sky from 38.5º north, observing the Grus constellation at -50º altitude!
    • Observed stars right down to the True Horizon at -51.5º
    • Discussion of the term Astronomical Horizon
  • Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) photos – Dave Payne
    • Globular Cluster discovered by Caroline Herschel
    • Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) on Jan 28th
    • Diatomic carbon causes the green colour in many comets, including this one
  • RASC Victoria AGM tentatively to be held on March 13, predicated on the new bylaws being passed.