Space-Based Far-Infrared Telescope – Dr Doug Johnstone

Posted by as UVic Meetings

The Need for a Space-Based Far-Infrared Telescope – Dr Doug Johnstone, NRC

Date/Time: Wednesday December 13th starting at 7:30PM

Location: Bob Wright Centre, Lecture Theatre B150. Park in Lot 1 (pay parking) and cross Ring Road.

Meeting video recording

Far infrared astronomy has been referred to as: the science of the cold, the old, and the dusty. In this talk I will discuss the importance of the far-infrared for astronomy investigations of young stars, distant galaxies, and the granular dirt responsible for rocky planets and, potentially, life! I will give a little history of the space-based missions that have already taken place and provide a glimpse into the difficult task of ensuring a future mission, and Canadian involvement. Along the way I will enumerate the significant complexities of far infrared measurements that lead to the requirement of expensive space-based observatories.

Dr. Doug Johnstone is a Principal Research Officer at NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics (HAA) and the NRC; President’s Science Advisor; Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria.

Doug has been an astronomer at HAA for over twenty years, studying star and planet formation with ground and space-based telescopes. For two years he was the Associate Director of the sub-mm James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii.

Most recently his research has focused on the mass assembly of young stars, monitoring the brightness changes of deeply embedded protostars from the mid-IR to sub-mm. He also has guaranteed time observations with JWST, searching for forming planets around young stars.

Buy & Sell at Astronomy Cafe – Nov 27, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Buy&Sell

Astro Cafe Logo

A sale for used (and new) astronomy gear is being hosted by RASC Victoria Centre at our usual venue for Astronomy Cafe at the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association. There will be no Zoom feed for this in-person only event.

Date/Time: Nov 27, 2023 7:00PM to 9:00PM

We expect more astronomy equipment to be offered for sale, however the following sellers have shared some of the gear they plan to offer:

  • John McDonald
    • One Manfrotto tripod- $50
    • Canon 6D modified by Hutec to capture H-alpha- $900
    • Canon EF 100 macro f/2.8 lens- $400
    • Canon EF 70-200 f/4 lens-$600
    • ZWO Manual filter wheel with set of filters- $100
    • Tripod Pan head with 3 axis movement – $150
    • Nikon flash -$30
  • Doug MacDonald
    • Selection of eyepieces – $20 – $300
    • Filters
    • Several astro cameras ~$1,200
    • Explore Scientific 5″ refractor and an i-Optron CEM-60 mount for sale. Will not bring to sale, but we can discuss.
  • Joe Carr
    • Canon Rebel T2i – Hutech-modified for astronomical imaging – $350
      • IDAS EOS in-camera screw-in adapter
      • IDAS UIBAR-II 37mm Hα Enhanced UV IR Blocking filter – mounted
      • 2 LP-E8 batteries & charger – genuine Canon brand
      • 2Gb SD standard memory card
      • Camera is in like-new condition and comes with original packaging
      • Camera remains capable of conventional photography when using manual white balance, or even when the UIBAR-II filter remains in place using modest white balance adjustment in post processing.
    • QHYCCD PoleMaster Electronic PolarScope – $250
  • Terry Flight
    • Meade LX-90 telescope, mount & accessories – Asking $3,000
      • Meade LX-90 8” f/10
      • Telrad
      • Kendrick Dew Heater Dual Channel with 3 heaters: Corrector, Telrad and EP Kendrick Battery Pack
      • Bob’s Knobs – Collimation
      • 2” Star Diagonal (Astro-Tech)
      • Baader Hyperion Mk IV Zoom
      • TeleVue 55mm Plossl
      • TeleVue x2 Barlow
      • Meade 9mm EP
      • Chinese 32mm Plossl
      • 11⁄4” Star Diagonal (Meade)
      • AstoTech 10 x 5 RACI Finder and Base
      • Illuminated Reticle EP
      • Observing Chair
      • Comes in a fitted plastic box
      • Photos in Buy & Sell listing
  • Dorothy & Miles Paul
    • 21mm Ethos (100° AF of V) 2” $1,207 at KW Telescope excellent condition $600
    • 3.7 mm Ethos (110° AF of V) 2” $849 at KW Telescope pristine condition $425
    • 12mm Nagler Type 1 suggest $200
    • 9mm Nagler Type 1 suggest $150
    • 4.8mm Nagler Type 1 suggest $150
    • 5.0mm Orion Ultrascopic suggest $100
    • Orion 10×50 Vista Binocular (5.3° field) $50
    • Filters
    • Teleview 2” Bandmate OIII $100
    • Teleview 2” Bandmate Nubustar $100
    • Orion 2” H-beta $100
    • Celestron C8 1990 vintage telescope, tripod, setting circles and tracking – not “goto”; many accessories including homemade solar filter
  • Sid Sidhu
    • 6”, 4” & 60mm Refractors
    • 6” Reflector
    • Complete 6” mirror grinding kit
    • Homemade Binocular Parallelogram mount
    • The and most of these are free for the taking – value of these will be based upon a best price offer. Donations go to RASC Victoria Centre.
  • David Lee – new RASC publications
    • 2024 Almanac $17
    • Explore the Moon w Bino $12
    • Explore the Moon w small telescope $12
    • 2024 Calendars $15

Acceptable payment is to be arranged directly between buyers and sellers. RASC Victoria Centre is not responsible for errors, misrepresentations or non-payment for goods.

Vendors and buyers at Buy & Sell Astronomy Cafe
Vendors and buyers at Buy & Sell Astronomy Cafe

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 ( ahead of time so we can promote the event
  • Website Infrastructure – project leader needed – Randy Enkin
    • Determine the scope of the project, coordinate the technical details, help Council select a new web provider
    • Talk to Joe Carr Webmaster for details (
  • 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 (
  • 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 – Nov 6, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript

  • Even & Michaela Sedman
    • Astronomy in Switzerland
      • 50 observatories
      • 51 astronomy societies
      • 10 research institutes
    • Societe D’Astronomie du Haut-Leman SAHL
      • Created 1970
      • About 160 members, ~50 active
      • Similar aims to RASC
      • Observatory – currently 14″, soon to be 16″ SCT, other telescopes
      • Astrophotography
    • Dark Sky Switzerland
      • Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne emit the most light pollution
      • Urban areas are now turning their street lights down or off
      • Light pollution is reducing slowly – both private and public initiatives
      • Government reacted to energy crisis caused by Russian invasion of Ukraine
    • Stars for All – SAHL Working group
      • Why – impact on humans and environment
      • How – focus on themes with direct impact on communities
      • Citizen science – measurement of the quality of the night sky
      • Population density affects light pollution levels – Vancouver Island and Switzerland comparison
      • Education activities – conferences and roundtables
    • Alphi Saves the Night – Alphi Suave la Nuit
      • Children’s book
      • Profits from the book are donated to the charity – Twinkle
      • Supports education and awareness
  • Council meeting – Nov 14 – Randy Enkin
    • Meeting is open to all members – link sent to members by the secretary
    • Upcoming AGM
    • Succession – new volunteers for Council are being sought
  • Monthly Meeting at UVic – Reg Dunkley
  • SIGs – David Lee –
    • Getting Started in Astronomy SIG – this Tuesday – observatories in Europe visited by Brian Barber
    • Citizen Science SIG – this Thursday – introduction to data collection
  • FDAO Monthly Star Party – Lauri Roche
    • Telescope clinic – Nov 18th
      • Bring your unused or broken telescope to get help
      • Tips on how to observe
    • Planetarium and Plaskett dome tours
  • Upcoming Equipment Swap – Nov 27th – Randy Enkin
    • Gifts before the holiday season?
    • Location: Astronomy Cafe venue at Fairfield Community Association
  • Deep Sky IMAX Theatre documentary – Chris Gainor
    • Features the James Webb Space Telescope
    • Nov 17-26, 2023 – tickets
  • Astronomical Images
    • Brock Johnston
      • NGC 206 – region of Andromeda galaxy
      • M33 – Triangulum Galaxy
      • Jupiter
      • Elephant Nebula
      • Fireworks Galaxy
      • NGC 7142, 7149 – reflection nebula, open cluster and galaxies in the star field
      • Horsehead Nebula
      • M31, 32, 110 Andromeda Galaxy – wide-field
    • Ken McGill
      • V298 Cephei – region in NGC782
      • Bubble & Lobster Claw Nebulae
      • Heart & Fish Head Nebulae
      • M31, 32, 110 Andromeda Galaxy – 3-frame mosaic
      • Soul Nebula
    • VCO Image – David Lee & Reg Dunkley
      • First light with our new Narrowband filters
      • 90º away from a Full Moon
      • M27 Dumbbell Nebula
  • Ghost Crater in Ptolemaeus – the Moon – Randy Enkin
    • Process
      • Find an area of interest on the Moon – Dial-a-Moon
      • 6″ Newtonian, EQ mount
    • Sketching technique & tools
      • 2H sharp pencil
      • Start with a white pencil (from Lee Valley)
      • 2B dull black pencil
      • Annotate with sharp pencil
    • Mare, craters filled in by volcanic basalt rock

No Astronomy Cafe next Monday due to statutory holiday for Remembrance Day.