President’s Message – May 2012

Posted by as President's Message

Well, that was quite a party we had for Astronomy Day. Even though the day and evening were clouded out it didn’t matter to the nearly 700 people who came to UVIC at some point in the day or evening. A big thank you to everyone who made the day such a success: to Sherry Buttnor who was our fearless leader, Sid Sidhu, the wizard of volunteer recruitment, Russ Robb and UVIC students who worked tirelessly in a multitude of areas all day, Eric Chilsholm from the Centre of the Universe who had everyone enthralled with an infrared camera, and Nazim Aҫar with students from Pearson College who demonstrated how series of lenses worked. Thanks also to Stephen Courtin with his wonderful Planet Walk display in front of the Bob Wright building, to Bruno Quenneville and Scott Mair for their lively presentations on constellations and planetarium programs and our six professional astronomers from HIA and UVIC who fielded all kinds of questions at the “Ask an Astronomer” booth.

We thank the students from Science Venture who came and challenged and delighted children with hands-on activities. We can’t forget all the RASC volunteers who chatted with the public about how mirrors are made, how telescopes work, gave astrophotography tips and offered information, hand-outs and welcome to all. To top it all off, Bob Mc Donald gave a fantastic presentation in the evening. He proved why he is one of the best science journalists anywhere. He packed enormous amounst of scientific facts and concepts into an entertaining look into space travel, but in the end, showed us all how we are so very lucky to live right here on planet Earth. Thank you to everyone for a job wonderfully done.

But, as they say, no rest for the wicked. I joined a large group of people enjoying the “Super Moon” on Saturday evening at Island view beach. You could hear the clicking of cameras from all directions. Oh, that we had had that clear night for Astronomy Day. But wait, there’s lots more! I hope you will all plan to come out and watch the Solar Eclipse on the 20th of May and the Transit of Venus on the 5th June. Check the website for times and venues as we plan on being at several different sites for those events. It is such an interesting time to be an Astronomy enthusiast. Enjoy!

Lauri Roche

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