Bill Almond – 1933-2022 – in memorium

Posted by as In Memoriam, Memories & history

With great sadness the family of Bill Almond announce his passing.
Lovingly remembered by his wife Janet; children Carol (Dave) John (Barb) Dawn (Mike), Alison (Colin); 11 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and many friends.
He was loved by all and remains forever in our hearts.

Frederick W. Almond – June 12, 1933 – July 03, 2022 – obituary (Legacy/Times Colonist)

Bill became a member of RASC in 1989, and soon became involved in Victoria Centre, sharing his passion for astronomy with both his fellow members and the public. He lead Victoria Centre as President from 1997 to 1998. Bill was awarded the Newton-Ball Award in 2003 for his exemplary service to Victoria Centre. He enthusiastically helped build Victoria Centre Observatory (VCO) atop Observatory Hill, and provided valuable advice about what gear would reliably serve our members’ needs. Bill was thrilled when the VCO officially opened in 2008.

Bill worked with CCD imaging since the early 1990’s and was published in CCD Magazine with his images of M27 The Dumbell Nebula and M8 The Lagoon Nebula. He was an early leader in digital imaging at a time when the technology had very limited capability, and the gear was often beyond the means of amateur astronomers. Bill encouraged members to tackle the learning curve called astrophotography, often hosting members and groups at his home and observatory. Bill’s astrophotography

Bill Almond presents a copy of his Victoria Centre history to RASC Archivist Randall Rosenfeld

In order to commemorate Victoria Centre’s centennial, Bill applied his writing skills acquired during his career with our local newspaper The Times-Colonist, to compile historic records and media, and write and publish the history of RASC Victoria Centre. This was a daunting task, considering our Centre’s long history!

In 2021, Bill decided it was time to wind up his personal observatory, which was built beside the family home in Colwood in 1992 as a “watch tower”, and featured a Meade 10″ SCT, and later a 12″ LX200. Cameron Burton and Lisa Miester took on the considerable task of moving the observatory to their home on Elk Lake, and have rebuilt the observatory in the process. Moving and installing Bill Almond’s observatory – May 31, 2021 AstroCafe – a 1 hour video presentation by Cameron and Lisa.

What a wonderful video of Cameron and Lisa realizing the significance of my fathers hard work and combining that dome with the passion that Lisa’s father passed on to her. Thank you to the RASC Victoria members in this video who spoke fondly of my father.

John Almond (Bill’s son) – May 31, 2021

Bill Almond – in memorium – a collection of photos from Bill’s involvement in RASC Victoria Centre


Victoria Centre members remember Bill

Remembering Bill’s skill and generosity. So sad to hear that Bill is gone. I knew him from his Times Colonist days, from his diaper service, and from the RASC Victoria. Take care. – Sandy Barta

I’m very sad to hear that Bill has left us. He was president of the Centre when I came to Victoria, and of course he wrote the history of our Centre more recently. – Chris Gainor

I too am sad to hear the news about Bill. He did a fine job on the Centre History that Chris mentioned and he was helpful with advice and tips for those of us starting out. He also gave us some excellent advice when we were considering what telescope to get for the VCO. It was that we should pay the most attention to getting a quality mount. He pointed out that telescopes can be replaced but without a good mount no telescope would do a great job. – John McDonald

Bill was a leader for those of us who were exploring taking photographs of the celestial objects in the night sky. He was a great mentor, a good friend, and a generous man. – Joe Carr

I am so sorry to hear about Bill. He was knowledgable and always helpful to RASC members who were new to astronomy. I was privileged to see Bill´s Observatory Dome just last weekend at it´s new home overlooking Prospect Lake. His legacy will continue. – Lauri Roche

When I joined RASC Victoria in the early `90s I remember Bill would often host evenings at his home in Colwood which of course included a visit to his dome. He will be missed. – David Lee

Astronomy Cafe – Sep 20, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Remembering Ed Maxfield – David Lee
  • Earth – Potentially Habitable Planet – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • Earth is pretty small…some comparisons with larger celestial objects
    • Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, Alpha Centauri, the Sun, Sirius, Vega, Bellatrix, Pollux, Sagittarius A, Beta Centauri,  Arcturus, Aldebaran, Rigel, Deneb, Rho Cassiopeia, Betelgeuse.
    • Red Hyper-giants:  Uy Scuti, Stephenson 2-18
    • Supermassive Black Holes: Cygnus A, Messier 84, Hercules A
    • Primary ultra-massive Black Holes: Messier 87, OJ 287
    • Ton 618 – Hyper-luminous Quasar (13.1 billion Light Years away)
  • M33 – The Triangulum Galaxy – Reg Dunkley
    • Unusual rotation indicated Dark Matter (first proposed by Vera Rubin)
    • Part of the Local Group of galaxies
    • Since it’s so faint visually, Reg uses photos to observe this galaxy – a stack of over 6 hours of subframes
    • M33 in Hydrogen Alpha photo by Dan Meek, Calgary Centre
      • NGC 604 and 595 – knots of stellar activity – nebulae and star clusters
    • Dave Payne’s photos showing NGC 604 and 595
    • Dorothy has sketched M33 from a dark observing site
  • Photos by John McDonald
    • Deer Lick Group and Stefan’s Quintet – test photo from the two telescopes at the VCO
    • Comparing the distances of the objects – millions of Light Years away
    • Eta Carina nebula photo – newly processed using PixInsight – with and without stars, and original
    • UGC12127 – nearby cluster of galaxies suggested by Dorothy & Miles Paul
    • Starnet++ – a standalone app to remove stars suggested by Dave Payne
  • Edmonton Centre photos – Dave Robinson
    • NGC 1499 – California Nebula (2 orientations) by Tom Owen 
    • Jupiter sequence of photos – Abdur Anwar and Arnold Rivera
    • Saturn – Abdur Anwar and Arnold Rivera
    • Andromeda Galaxy taken with a simple, non-tracking setup using camera and lens – Alister Ling
  • Hubble deep field photo – Brock Johnston
  • SIGs – meeting online
    • Astrophotography – Wednesday
    • Makers – Thursday
  • Fall Fairfield – RASC Victoria will be at this FGCA public event in the field – Sunday at Noon – Randy Enkin to email a notice to members