- WE are a group of men, women and sometimes youths, from varied backgrounds, who meet in the Bob Wright Centre building of the University of Victoria, at 7:30 p.m., every second Wednesday in the month. Ever since the Centre’s founding in 1914 we have enjoyed a close relationship with the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and also, since its founding, with the University of Victoria.
- In January 2014 the Centre was given permission to use the observatory and 32″ telescope on the roof of UVic’s Bob Wright Centre
- Our monthly meetings highlight astronomical audio-visual presentations given by Centre members including visiting speakers from UVic’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the NRC-HIA Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.
- New members joining the Centre often have little practical astronomical knowledge. If they attend meetings regularly, ask questions, get involved, borrow one of our telescopes and read astronomy magazines that problem will often take care of itself in no time at all.
WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
The Victoria Centre’s Sid Sidhu and his many assistants have developed a very successful program with regional school districts, promoting astronomy by taking our telescopes and astronomical knowledge into numerous schools during daytime and into the evening. We are kept very busy with schools asking to be included in the program.
Our members are becoming more involved than at any time in our past history. For instance, a few years ago we received permission to build an observatory for our own use on previously untouchable land–on an unused area next door to the federal Dominion Astrophysical Observatory! This high location was a dream come true. Permission to use the facility was given with the understanding that we would police ourselves regarding security and behavior, which we tightly adhere to. When communication problems have been resolved it is our plan to make the telescope a goto facility!
Over the years member Joe Carr and others have developed a superb web site.
WHAT WE ARE STILL AIMING TO ACHIEVE
Along with other projects our Centre is diligently pursuing an important matter: the controlling of nighttime light pollution. Poorly designed street and home lighting allows too much light to escape into the sky instead of being directed to the ground. This wastage results in a loss of taxpayers money and washes out all but the brightest objects in the night sky. Telescopes cannot be used to their best potential in a city and all too often children grow up never having seen the beauty of a night sky. Our web site will give you the latest on what we are doing to address this problem.