It’s October! The nights are longer. The moon is higher. And lots of events are happening for our amateur astronomy community.
The big one is the Annular Solar Eclipse which will happen on the morning of Saturday October 14. The moon will nibble away at the sun starting at 8:07AM, half an hour after sunrise in the east. The maximum here will be at 9:19AM with a whopping 85% of the sun in eclipse. And the show is over at 10:38AM.
The Victoria Centre is not running any official viewings. Members are invited to help the Friends of the DAO with their Eclipse Breakfast at the Centre of the Universe. Note, we have 1,000 solar-viewing glasses to hand out, so we encourage members to go to good east-viewing sites (e.g., Clover Point, Cattle Point, Mount Tolmie) with a handful of these glasses. Contact me (email) or Lauri Roche (email) to get your glasses. Lauri will also be handing them out at the University on October 11.
What a great segué! Finally, after a 3½ year hiatus, we are back to holding monthly Wednesday evening talks at the University of Victoria. The first will be on Wednesday October 11, at 19:30, in the Bob Wright Centre, Lecture Theatre A104. We have a very exciting speaker, Christian Marois, who led the international team of astronomers that first imaged extrasolar planets. His topic is “The NRC NEW EARTH Laboratory, and the Quest to Develop the Tools to Find Life on Exoplanets”. Let’s have a big crowd join in this talk. And afterwards, everybody is welcome to chat in the Astronomy lounge in the Elliott building, and have access to our library for the first time since the lockdown. Many thanks to Alex Shmid and Reg Dunkley for organizing the event.
After a 2-week break, the weekly Monday evening Astro Café continues on October 16 with Jeff Pivnick as our host. Join online with Zoom, or better still join in person at the Fairfield Community Centre and enjoy the cookies!
The last point I am pleased to make is that the Victoria Centre Observatory is up and running better than ever. Use the wonderful telescopes up there or bring your own, and join the community looking at the sky together. Note that you must be on the “Active Observers List” to be allowed up to the VCO (Members Only). Contact our Membership Chair, Chris Purse (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get on the list. Members on the Active Observers List get emailed when the sky is predicted to be clear and one of the Members in Charge opens it up.
We are so fortunate to have such a vital community in the Victoria Centre. Do seize the opportunities.
And as always,
Randy Enkin (email)