I would like to wish the best of the season to everyone and hopes for a healthy
and happy New Year. As we turn over to 2011 there are thoughts of where we have
been and resolutions for where we are going.
Last year was somewhat quieter for our Victoria Centre but besides our regular
monthly meetings with some interesting speakers, we also held weekly Astronomy
Cafes and participated in many nights up at the Centre�s Observatory. I
particularly remember some awesome early summer evenings up there with old
friends and new members as we perused the skies. Astronomy Day in April was
somewhat rained out at Swan Lake but we had a very successful star party at the
new site in Metchosin, thanks to the efforts of a great team led by Nelson
Walker and Sherry Buttnor. School programs flourished but our school star
parties were put on hold a number of times as we waited for clearer skies. The
new Light Pollution Abatement initiatives got off the ground and are beginning
to show some successes.
The highlight that we nearly didn�t see at all was the Lunar Eclipse just before
Christmas. It was a cold and stormy night out there at Cattle Point as a game
number of observers braved the elements to talk to the people who came out to
see the Eclipse. We were lucky to be able to have at least the first part
somewhat visible but clouds got in the way as totality came on. There were but 3
or 4 cars left in the Cattle Point parking lot by 1 am so it was home we went to
get the last views as the full moon rounded back out again. Some members were
able to get some nice shots and need to be applauded for their tenacity and
patience (and maybe something extra in the hot chocolate to help keep warm!).
But isn�t that what astronomers are all about?
For 2011 we are looking forward to some thought provoking and innovative
presentations at our meetings, a new Messier observing program, a well developed
plan of action for our Light Pollution group, and a continued valuable presence
in community involvement as we share our interest in Astronomy to the public.
And NASA has declared this year to be �Year of the Solar System� so I hope we
will be tuned in to the many different flyby�s and landings and launches so that
we can better know our nearest neighbours. This is one of my New Year�s
I hope you will all join in to some or many of the activities this year. Your
talents and passion are needed to make 2011 another �astronomical� year for the
Hoping for clear skies.