Astronomy Cafe – May 16, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Special General Meeting for RASC Victoria Centre – Randy Enkin
    • Have a quorum of over 25 Victoria Centre members in attendance
    • Changes to ensure our bylaws are consistent with the national bylaws and BC Society’s Act requirements
    • Call for volunteers to work on more revisions to Victoria Centre bylaws over the next few months
  • Need volunteers for Astronomy Cafe – contact Randy Enkin
    • Zoom host – recording and posting the video transcripts online
    • Meeting host – tracks and runs the meetings
  • Star parties at Observatory Hill – Lauri Roche
    • May 21, Jun 4, 18 – hybrid party in-person and online on Zoom & Youtube
      • May 21 – Early Discoveries made by the Plaskett Telescope – Jim Nemec
    • Every Saturday night after the July 1st break for the summer
    • Volunteers needed: telescopes in the parking lot, RASC welcome table, Plaskett dome tour hosts, 16″ telescope operators, other roles – contact Lauri
    • Electronically-Assisted Astronomy – start planning to use at the Star Parties in future – contact Dave Lee
  • Nanaimo Astronomy – Janeane MacGillivray
    • Astronomy From Kitt Peak – David Lee presenting at upcoming meeting
    • RASC Victoria members are welcome – send an email
  • Total Lunar Eclipse reports from members – May 15/16, 2022
    • Cloudy photos from Saanich after being skunked at Cattle Point – David Lee
    • HDR smartphone photos through eyepiece, join observations from Cosmic Generation group – Nathan Hellmen-Mestleman
    • Lunar Crater transits & mare cookies – Randy Enkin
    • Cloudy photos from Sidney – Chris Gainor
    • Observed from Brentwood Bay while raining – Lauri Roche
    • Just a glimpse from Taylor Beach in Metchosin, but spotted ISS – Bill Weir
  • Plaskett Images – Dan Posey
    • Composite image of the images over last few years 
    • Whirlpool Galaxy, Whale Galaxy, Deer Link Group NGC 7331, Fireworks Galaxy NGC 6946, M100, M63 Blackeye, NGC 3718 Arp galaxy, Hickson 44
    • Plaskett nights are for enjoyment and a reward for RASC Victoria members and volunteers
    • Review of techniques to process Plaskett image data into nice images
  • Skynews magazine – Bruce Lane
    • Review of upcoming articles
    • Please send Total Lunar Eclipse observing reports to Bruce (Editor)
  • Black Holes – Randy Enkin
    • M87 Black Hole – April 22, 2019 – Event Horizon Telescope
    • Sagittarius A* Supermassive Black Hole – May 16, 2022 – BBC Science Focus article
    • Galactic nucleus observed by Karl Jansky in 1931 – published in Nature, 173, 985-987, 1954
    • Angular resolution problem solved by the Event Horizon Telescope
    • Motion analysis of objects and energy near the Event Horizon of a black hole
    • Lauri Roche’s “black hole” birthday gift

Total Lunar Eclipse – May 15/16, 2022

Posted by as Observing Highlights

On Sunday, May 15th, 2022, we will be able to view a total eclipse of the Moon (weather permitting) from Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The Moon will be in full eclipse after rising from the southeastern horizon, remaining fully eclipsed for about an hour before transitioning into a partial phase as it climbs in altitude and moves to the south. The Lunar Eclipse will end just before midnight.

Enlarge this video to view details for the Lunar Eclipse timing and phases. Depiction of this particular Lunar Eclipse is as viewed from Victoria – generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 8 and captured using Snagit 2022.

This is a perfect opportunity to visually observe this beautiful celestial event, and possibly capture some photographs from a location with an unobstructed view to the east and south.

Total Eclipse Begins8:29PM
Moon Rises8:42PM – probably visible 10-15 mins later
Greatest Eclipse9:12PM
Total Eclipse Ends9:54PM
Partial Eclipse Ends11:51PM
Above Eclipse times are for Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) for the west coast of North America, and are calculated from UT as presented in the Observers Handbook 2022, pages 127-131.
Lunar Eclipse diagram – NASA

What’s Happening

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon. During a lunar eclipse the Moon’s position traverses the Earth’s shadow. The Moon’s first contact with the Earth’s shadow is at the outer band of the shadow called the penumbra. The light falling on the Moon is progressively blocked until at the moment of total eclipse the Moon is completely in the darkest central area of the Earth’s shadow called the umbra. At the point of total eclipse the process starts to reverse itself until the Moon is totally out of the Earth’s shadow.


Glossary

  • limb – the outer edge of the Moon
  • penumbra – the outer band of the Earth’s shadow
  • umbra – the darker central area of the Earth’s shadow
  • partial eclipse – the Moon is positioned within the penumbra
  • total eclipse – the Moon is positioned totally within the umbra

Observing Tips

What do you need?

Everything from your eyes, binoculars and telescope are suitable. Bear in mind this is a long process, so dress warmly and bring a chair if you want to be comfortable.

Find yourself a location that has a clear horizon view to the east and south especially if you wish to view the early fully-eclipsed stage. Observing from a hill will help you spot the rising Moon earlier than if you observe from lower elevations or sea level.

Keep a log of what you see and note the time. Pay attention to how much of the light on the moon is obscured and if there are any colouration changes. During the total eclipse the Moon will take on a deep orange-red colour. The colour of the Moon is a function of contaminants in the atmosphere and varies from year to year.

A good observing project for this long-lasting eclipse will be to observe the craters on the Moon as the eclipse progresses. Craters will be immersed and emerge from the Earth’s shadow on the Moon at times specified in the Observers Handbook 2022, page 131.

2019 Total Lunar Eclipse from Victoria – composite photo by Joe Carr

Photographic Tips

Equipment

Any camera with the capability of setting shutter speeds and aperture settings manually will do fine. The ability to use interchangeable lenses will be an advantage for more detailed images of the Moon. For the darker parts of the eclipse, eg. totality you should use a tripod support for best results. If you have access to a telescope you can try capturing the event using prime focus techniques through the telescope optics.

Settings

Today’s digital cameras are very sensitive to light reflected by the Moon. Use ISO 400 to ISO 800 and a long telephoto lens or zoom setting. Smartphones and point-and-shoot digital cameras will not produce rewarding photos of the eclipsed Moon, but can be useful for taking panoramic shots of your surroundings which include the eclipsed Moon.

Technique for smartphone cameras

Smartphone cameras typically do not support manual settings, so using them to capture a lunar eclipse will be less rewarding than using more capable cameras. That said, smartphone cameras can be held up to a telescope eyepiece to capture an image of the Moon. Aligning the tiny lens to the eyepiece can be tricky, however there are platforms made to clamp onto an eyepiece barrel which will hold smartphones steady enough to take acceptable photos of the Moon, including the eclipsed Moon.

Technique for interchangeable lens cameras

The simplest eclipse pictures can be taken with manual settings on your camera and a normal lens, preferably supported by a tripod. For best results use a cable release to minimize vibration. Images taken in this fashion result in a small lunar image. This is why it is preferable to use a telephoto lens to photograph the Moon.

For a full frame camera try a 200mm lens or even better, a 500mm lens or higher. You may also use teleconverters to increase magnification, these typically come in 1.4x and 2x strengths. Their downside is they reduce the effective aperture of your optical system. A 1.4x teleconverter will decrease your effective exposure by 1 stop, a 2x teleconverter will decrease your effective exposure by 2 stops. Work out your effective aperture of your optical system ahead of time so you don’t have to think about it on the night of the eclipse.

Note for the smaller sub-full frame sensors of some digital cameras you gain an extra advantage as the focal length of the lens is effectively magnified by a factor. For example a Nikon DX body your 200mm lens would be effectively 300mm.

  • APS-C Nikon DX, Pentax : 1.5x
  • APS-C Canon EF-S : 1.6x
  • Four Thirds : 2x

Example:

 Focal Length ApertureEffective Focal Length
with 2x teleconvertor
Effective Aperture
with 2x teleconvertor
 180mm 2.8 360mm 5.6
 480mm 6.8 960mm 13.6

To achieve any higher magnification than what is stated above you will have to use a telescope at prime focus. For this your manual camera does need to have the capability of using interchangeable lenses. For prime focus you will use the telescope optics as your interchangeable lens. To attach your camera to your telescope you will need two things a T-adapter that fits your camera and a telescope camera adapter that fits your telescope.

The telescope camera adapter is designed to fit in the focusing tube of your telescope and is threaded to accept the T-adapter of your camera. With the magnification involved with telescopic optics it is likely that you will need to use a tracking mount. Preferably the mount should be able to track at lunar speed as opposed to sidereal but if the shutter speeds chosen are shorter than 1 or 2 minutes this is not critical.

Exposure times are the next consideration. The following exposure times are based on a medium ISO setting and an effective aperture that would be common with a long telephoto and teleconverter combination. Exposures may vary with your equipment based on ISO speed and effective aperture. The Danjon Lunar Eclipse Luminosity Scale has been included to provide better guesstimates for totality.

Exposure Times: based on ISO 400
Full Moon1/500 second at f/16
1st Contact1/250 second at f/16 see note 1.
2nd Contact1 second at f/16 see note 2.
Totality
*see table below
L = 4 : 4 seconds at f16  L = 3: 15 seconds at f16  L = 2: 1 minute at f16  L = 1: 4 minutes at f16
3rd Contact1 second at f/16 see note 2.
4th Contact1/250 second at f/16 see note 1.
* Danjon Lunar Eclipse Luminosity Scale
 L = 1dark eclipse; lunar surface details distinguishable only with difficultly
 L = 2deep red or rust coloured eclipse; central part of the umbra dark but outer rim relatively bright
 L = 3brick-red eclipse; usually with a brighter (frequently yellow) rim to the umbra
 L = 4very bright copper-red or orange eclipse, with a bluish, very bright umbral rim

Note 1. 1st and 4th contact times given for the partial phases are biased for the light part of the Moon. Remember you are dealing with vastly different exposures between the light and dark parts of the Moon during eclipse. The bias of about 1 stop minus avoids overexposure of the dominant bright area of the Moon.

Note 2. 2nd and 3rd contact times given for the partial phases are biased for the dark part of the Moon. The bias of about 1 stop plus is a good strategy for negative film not quite so good for slides and digital capture given they don’t tolerate overexposure well.

The exposure times are only recommendations. Remember the cardinal rule about photography … bracket. Always try exposures plus and minus your chosen exposure. This gives you a better chance at getting usable results. Let’s all hope for clear weather. If you have any questions please send email to David Lee at davidflee7331@gmail.com.


David Lee – original text
Joe Carr – updated for 2022
Brenda Stuart – illustrations


More information:

Astronomy Cafe – May 2, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Randy Enkin
  • Astronomy Day – David Lee
    • Final check-in this Wednesday evening for leads before Saturday events
    • International Astronomy Day – May 7, 2022
  • Vancouver Island Science Fair intro to awardees – Randy Enkin
  • VI Science Fair: Light At Night – Beata Ariana-Minniti (Cedar Hill Middle School student)
    • Creating a bus stop light using natural resources
    • Parts: Thermoelectric generator, voltage regulator, LED light
    • Heat storage: sand in an insulated box
  • Canada-wide Science Fair: Lower CubeSat orbit could Protect Space Infrastructure – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • CubeSats collide, creating dangerous space debris that orbits the Earth – Kessler Syndrome
    • Quantifying the collisions
    • Lowering the hazard: choosing best orbits, adding micro-thrusters to CubeSats to change orbit or de-orbit
  • Astrophotos from southern Arizona – John McDonald & Garry Sedun
    • Caldwell 30 galaxy
    • M33 Triangulum Galaxy
    • NGC 2903 barred spiral galaxy
    • IC 433 Jellyfish Nebula
  • Eclipse Crater Timing – Randy Enkin
  • James Webb Space Telescope Update – Chris Gainor
    • All onboard instruments are now in focus
    • Commissioning of instruments next, then science projects begin

Astronomy Cafe – Apr 11, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of the meeting

Chris Boar is a self professed Apollo program space nerd, having met 12 Apollo astronauts including 4 moonwalkers. This presentation is about his visit to Johnson Space Center in Houston back in November 2019, interspersed with tales of meeting the Apollo Astronauts. Chris attended the JSC Level 9 VIP tour, which includes visits to NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab, where current astronauts train for spacewalks. Also visiting “Building 9” containing mockups of the International Space Station, Soyuz, and SpaceX hardware. And finally visiting the current ISS Mission Control Center, and personal highlight of the tour for Chris, stepping inside the recently restored historic Apollo Mission Control room, a designated US National historic landmark.

Chris Boar – Apollo Mission Control room

Chris Boar is the President of the Nanaimo Astronomy Society and an avid Apollo space nerd along with being a keen astrophotographer. Chris is a full time professional photographer living in Nanaimo shooting weddings and real estate. 

  • 2019 visit to Johnson Space Center in Houston
    • VIP Level 9 Tour – 4-5 hours
    • Lunar Exploration Module (LEM)
    • Neutral Buoyancy Lab
    • Met Micheal Collins: Gemini 10, Apollo 11
    • ISS Mission Control
    • Saturn V rocket with F1 engines
    • Apollo 8 mission
    • Jim Lovell – Gemini 7, 12, Apollo 8, 13
    • Space Vehicle Mockup building – ISS, SpaceX, Soyuz
    • Apollo 9 mission
    • Alan Bean, Apollo 12 LMP, Skylab II
  • 2016 Spacefest
    • Restored historic Apollo Mission Control room – all original and working consoles
    • Apollo 13 mission – Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Jack Swigert
    • Apollo 15 mission – Dave Scott, LEM
    • Apollo 16 mission 
    • Apollo 17 mission – Gene Cernan, the last man on the Moon
  • Q&A

Members’ Reports

  • Edmonton Astrophotography – Dave Robinson
    • M81, M82, NGC 2976, NGC 3077, other galaxies – Arnold Rivera
    • M64 – Tom Owen
  • Astronomy Day – May 7th – David Lee
    • Royal BC Museum – 10AM – 3PM
      • Most activity areas will resume with this in-person public event
      • Speakers in the Newcombe Auditorium
    • Cross-Canada Lunar/Artemis Webinar – RASC National – midday
      • Live feed from Victoria weather permitting
      • Static video of lunar observing needs to be created as a backup in case of poor weather – contact David Lee
    • Public event – DAO on Observatory Hill – evening
  • Volunteers List – Marjie Welchframe
    • Need more volunteers for various events Victoria Centre participates in
    • Have about 25 volunteers already
    • Telescope clinic for new observers – Dave Robinson
  • Artemis Lunar Star Party – April 16 7-9PM – Lauri Roche
    • Co-hosted by RASC and FDAO
    • Ask a selenophile – Randy Enkin
    • Speaker – Chris Gainor
  • Astronomy books to give away – contact Bill Weir
    • Large star atlas, and more
  • Astronomy & space exploration books – recommended by Martin Gisborne
    • Fundamentals – Then Keys to Reality – Frank Wilczek
    • Black Hole Survival Guide – Janna Levin
    • A Man On The Moon – Andrew Chaikin
    • Moon Dust – Andrew Smith
    • Carrying The Fire – Michael Collins
    • The Last Man on the Moon – Gene Cernan
    • Apollo 13 – Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger
  • Henri Van Bentum death – Lauri Roche, Jim Hesser
    • Natasha – Henri’s wife, assisted Victoria Centre with International Year of Astronomy 2009
    • Letter of condolence to be sent to Natasha on behalf of Victoria Centre
  • Astronomy Cafe – TV to be installed tomorrow in our new room at FGCA – Chris Purse
  • No Astronomy Cafe next week due to the Easter weekend – see everyone on April 25th

Artemis Star Party – Apr 16, 2022

Posted by as Special Events

The RASC Victoria Centre and the Friends of the DAO invite you to join us for a “Shooting to the Moon” Artemis Star Party.

Date: Saturday, April 16th, 2022

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm Pacific Time

Guest Speaker: “The Artemis Missions and Canada’s Future Role in space” – Randy Attwood, RASC, Mississauga Centre

  • Send your photos of the Moon into our Tre”moon”dous Lunar Photo Give Away Contest
  • Try your luck in a special Moon Quiz
  • Find out how to take great photos of the Moon with your cell phone
  • Ask an Astronomer your questions with admitted selenophile, Randy Enkin

YouTube Link – watch event


Artemis Star Parties – RASC

Artemis Missions – Canadian Space Agency

Astronomy Cafe – Feb 28, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Lisa Dang, PhD Student McGill – Marjie Welchframe (Women in Astronomy series)
    • 1st principal investigator to use JWST using MIRI (Mid-Infrared Instrument)
    • Hot Jupiters’ atmospheres gas giant exoplanets with very short orbital periods
  • Erin Gibbons presentation : Perseverance First Year on Mars – RASC Montreal Centre online – Jeff Pivnick
    • Erin is an Astrobiologist
    • Payload specialist for the Supercam remote sensing instrument aboard Perseverance
    • Search for life on Mars – primary mission
    • Ingenuity drone is being used to scout routes for the rover
    • Stromatolites on Mars
    • Perseverance landed on west side, inside of Jezero Crater – indications of flowing water
  • John McDonald
    • Changes at Ross Place – building a construction crane
    • Photo of the Orion Nebula and Lunar surface taken by the new Victoria Centre Observatory’s OGS telescope and QHY camera
  • Cosmic Generation – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • Youth astronomy group being formed
    • First meeting was Feb 13th
    • Next meeting is Mar 13th – sign up
    • Outreach and building members phase
    • Website, magazine and social media coming soon
    • Want to hold monthly webinars
  • OCCULTATION OF ZC2118 on 22 FEB 22 observation report – David Lee
    • High winds and very cold, so used light weight rigs – camera and lens, and small refractor for visual
    • Video of Alpha 1 & 2 Librae stars ingress and egress
    • Observing reports from Sid Sidhu, Nathan Hellner-Mestelman, Chris Purse and Randy Enkin
    • IOTA lists occultations and grazes
  • Lauri Roche
    • Artemis Mission Launch coming up – Canadian Space Agency is looking for promotion to the public by RASC. April 16th FDAO event is proposed with a speaker from CSA.
    • GA is online again this year – June 24-27
      • Virtual observing across the country on two evenings – solar observing from Victoria?
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Bi-marathons – Messier & running marathon in the same night
    • Andromeda Galaxy & Ha regions & Cepheid Variable VI – Abdur Anwar
  • Lunar Occultation – 2 photos 48 seconds apart – Mike Webb
  • Chris Gainor
    • James Webb Space Telescope Report
      • Pointing and focusing 18 mirrors progressing nicely
      • Now resolving a single star with completed image stacking
      • More work on focusing required
    • Artemis Mission – probably a May launch – Chris Gainor
      • Artemis 2 mission will take humans around the Moon
    • The Ukraine war will probably affect space launches from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Russia. Other space exploration may be affected. Discussion about International Space Station.
  • Bill Weir
    • Equatorial Poncet platform for the 20″ Truss Dobsonian built by Guy Walton is now working again
    • Will be used at the Centre of the Universe for public viewing when restrictions permit events
  • SIGs – David Lee
    • Beginners SIG – tomorrow evening
    • EAA SIG – Thursday – discuss a National RASC public outreach initiative using EAA

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 31, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Delivery of Calendars & Handbooks – Lauri Roche & Chris Gainor
    • Delivery of RASC 2022 Calendars for Victoria Centre should happen tomorrow
    • 4 members present still don’t have their Observers Handbooks – Duane Weaver, Brock Johnston, Bill Weir
    • The last Board meeting was dedicated to getting the delivery issues resolved
  • Pastel Paintings of the planets – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • Jupiter – from Juno mission image
    • Earth and the Moon from space
    • Saturn in monochrome
    • Mars – Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris juxtaposed
    • Discussion about artistic technique
  • Cordillera Mountains & Mare Oriental lunar features – Randy Enkin
  • A Lunar Alpine Quest – Reg Dunkley
    • Original presentation to Victoria Centre on Nov 6, 2017 
    • Dorothy Paul – sketch of lunar mountains from the 2017 Solar Eclipse
    • Reg took a photo of the same area at  the 2017 Solar Eclipse and measured the height of one of the mountains on the Moon and the height of the solar chromosphere
    • Identified the particular mountain using Solar Eclipse Maestro software and some trigonometry from Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter (LRO)
    • Schluter Crater is likely the candidate for the gap in the corona imaged by Reg
    • Brock Johnston showed a photo of the partial eclipse featuring similar “bumps” in the partial eclipse line
  • Edmonton astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • JWST telescope in a star field time lapse imaged by Anwar Abdur
    • Jan 28, 2022 text observing report from Luca Vanzella – Orion & Auriga and NGCs in Cancer, Gemini, Monoceros
  • SIG meetings – David Lee
  • James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – Chris Gainor
  • Victoria Centre AGM – Randy Enkin
    • Monday, Feb 21st – starting at 7PM online
    • Keynote Speaker: Life and Times of the Sky Quality Meter – Doug Welch

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 17, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video of the meeting

Meeting notes

  • A Woman of Astronomy – Marji Welchframe
    • Urania, Muse of Astronomy
    • Seal of the RASC – “Quo Ducit Urania” (i.e. where Urania leads, we follow)
    • Urania is 1 of 9 Muses of the Arts in Greek Mythology
    • Uranometria star atlas by Johann Bayer (1603) – published and sold by Sky & Telescope (Willman Bell section)
  • Early computer memories
    • LGP-30 tube-based computer used at the University of Alberta in Edmonton by John McDonald in 1958
    • Reminisces from various members about early computers, calculators, slide rules, and other computing devices and programming languages they used decades ago.
  • Lunar Puzzles – Randy Enkin
    • 100-piece from NASA
    • 1000+ piece from Cobble Hill
    • 1000 piece from Four Point
    • 3-D printed Moon puzzle – Randy and his daughter assembled it
  • Reports  from Lauri Roche
    • 2022 RASC Calendars have still not arrived
    • Sky Cultures of the World: RASC World Asterisms Program – Charles Ennis, 1st VP with RASC National – FDAO Star Party – this Sat, Jan 22nd 7-9PM – available on Zoom and Youtube
    • Eclipses for 2023 and 2024 – Education & Public Outreach Committee task force headed by Randy Attwood. Thousands of eclipse glasses will be available and sent to RASC Centres. Members can participate on the committee – contact Lauri.
  • JWST Update – Chris Gainor
    • Mirror Segment Deployment Tracker – activating the actuators behind the mirror segments
    • JWST enters a halo orbit around L2 position this Sunday, Jan 23rd
  • Astro Cafe next week – Jan 24, 2022
    • Dr. Tanya Harrison, “a professional Martian” – our Astro Cafe speaker next week
    • David Lee will be hosting
  • Scarlett Caterpillar Club – a parasitic fungus Bill Weir found near the observatory at Pearson College

Extras

  • NASA 3D Resources – 3D models of equipment, models of celestial and solar system objects, space missions (like JWST). Various media for download: fly-throughs, interactive visualizations, 3D printer files, stereo images.

President’s Message – Dec 2021

Posted by as President's Message

Ah 2021. What a strange trip around the Sun! I am writing this letter on the day of the winter solstice. There is a waning gibbous moon shining high in the east, when I go to bed, and it is high in the west to greet me in the morning. I take great solace in watching and thinking about the dependable motion of the Earth through the Universe, while so much of life and news this year has left me feeling unsettled.

Randy Enkin using his sextant
Randy Enkin using his sextant

Nearly as dependable as the astronomical objects has been you, our astronomical community. I am so pleased when I see the 30 or 40 of us gather each Monday evening at our virtual Astro Café. We are an appreciative and supportive community. Look at all the different skill sets and experiences that get shared every week. And look at those beautiful photos and sketches that we have created. I particularly wish to mention the personal observatories (I know of 3!) that are getting designed and built by members of our centre, as well as the fantastic work by our technical committee in upgrading the Victoria Centre Observatory.

Our group has motivated me to try new astro-projects – whether observing sunspots with a solar telescope borrowed from the Centre (thanks to the capable curation of our telescope collection by Sid Sidhu), or star hopping to those faint fuzzies that you deep space observers like. And I love the expressions of appreciation when I show off my lunar sketches to our crowd.

Do remember that our community survives on the strength of our volunteerism. We have a specific requirement this year for a new secretary and a new vice president. Don’t feel you aren’t up to the job! I still feel like a newbie in the role of president, but there is no shortage of good council from the many past executives who continue to be active. Come join us on the inside, and you will feel even more affection for the Centre.

I wish us all a fruitful and fulfilling new year, with many clear skies.

Look Up,
Randy Enkin, President@Victoria.RASC.ca

Astronomy Cafe – Dec 20, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Updates – Chris Gainor
    • James Webb Space Telescope – launch on Dec 24th 4:20AM – NASA TV & Youtube live streaming
    • Parker Solar Probe – 5 min video from NASA
    • RASC Board of Directors reportNational office moved last week to College Street in central Toronto
      • RASC Centre orders for bulk 2022 Calendars – 7 centres have received their boxes, but delivery to BC centres may be delayed further
      • Observing certificates sent out today
  • Astrophotos – Ken McGill
    • Orion Nebula – ZWO 1600MC, ASI Air Live View
    • Andromeda Galaxy – Oct 30th 
    • Pleiades
  • My Astronomy Sketch of the Year 2021 – Dorothy Paul
    • Observed Nov 28-Dec 1, 2021 from the west side of Eureka Valley (NW corner of Death Valley National park)
    • Remote, dark (Mag 6.5) and cold (-5ºC)!
    • Sky Critters – Canis Major, Hydra, Leo, Ursa Major – sketched from memory, like being in a theatre
    • They had Dorothy’s Dobsonian telescope with them, but didn’t end up using it 
  • Astrophotos – Brian Barber
    • Full Moon – using a NexYZ for mounting a smartphone, PIP software to centre & size, AutoStakkert software to stack the photos
  • Building the MCD Observatory – Michel Michaud
    • Presentation to Club d’astronomie de Rimouski
    • Started July 26
    • 14′ long 4×4 timbers and special smaller door
    • Built cases over the exposed rails to protect from rain and ice
    • Paramount MX to arrive in Feb
    • Celestron Edge HD 14″ – March – Summer 2022
    • First projects
      • Photometry
      • Asteroids
    • Restarting his Pleiades project when the 14″ scope arrives
    • Currently using his Meade LX-55 mount and a 66mm refractor
  • Report on astronomy activities – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
    • NerdAnomaly – online cartoons
    • Learning sketching at school
    • Casual public outreach – telescope setup on the sidewalk outside the house
  • Report on astronomy activities – David Lee
    • Pivoting to maintain community – formed Victoria Centre’s SIGs
    • Personal study – astrophotography, observing, space exploration
    • VCO Technical team – work to be ready when we can open to members again
    • FDAO – collaborations with UVic – Dave Payne, Mike Nash, Dan Posey, Brock Johnston
    • Variable Star Observing – completed 3 AAVSO certificates
    • Australian sketching workshop – Dorothy Paul

Victoria Centre needs a new Vice-President and Secretary for 2022 – to stand for election, please contact Randy Enkin or Reg Dunkley

Astronomy Café will resume on Monday, January 10, 2022