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The February 2017
President's Message


   James Kanester, a Vernon member of the RASC-OC, has created a monthly list of Viewing Challenges. What! You don’t know about them! Jim offers a monthly challenge for both the novice and expert.
   First, go to the following link. It is a section of the RASC-OC website:
http://www.ocrasc.ca/observing.html. Then, go to the Observing Challenges link.
    The February 2017 challenge is Pleiades M45. The slides include a history of the “Seven Sisters” and how to locate this open star cluster. The Easy challenge is to see how many stars you can see with the unaided eye. I live in Kelowna and so I am limited by all that light pollution. How many can you see? The difficult challenge is to observe or photograph the nebulosity around the stars Merope, Alcione, Maia and Electra.

Have a look at previous Observing Challenges. They include:
- November: Andromeda Challenge and,
- December: Cassiopeia Challenge (including the Owl Cluster, Caroline’s Rose and the Pacman Nebula)
  These challenges give some direction to our observing and a good reason to get outside in the cold night air and peer through breaks in the ever-present winter valley clouds.
   Thank you Jim K. for your efforts and inspiration.

David Hawkins, RASC-OC President 2017
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca


Not new – but, just in case you are wondering—yes, that Telescope Equipment Manager position is still available!
  RASC-OC Annual Gala volunteers needed for the June 10th, 2017 Event
  First meeting of the committee will be on Sunday February 12th at 1pm. Those wishing to join the committee, please contact David Hawkins (see below).

  The annual speaker and dinner meeting will be on Saturday June 10th (corrected date) at the Kelowna Curling Club. Our guest speaker will be Richard Christie and he will be presenting “Archaeoastronomy – A Personal Fascination”.
We require volunteers to assist with all aspects of the event including ticket sales, room set-up and for seeking donations for the auction.
   New volunteers may either assist or take over jobs that have been performed by the same members for the past several years. Please consider this opportunity.

David Hawkins
Chair, 2017 Gala Committee
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca


Penticton: Thursday February 16, 2017
-  7:15pm. Okanagan College Penticton Campus
-  Room CO2 SunOka Building
-  Speaker: Wendell Shuster “Historical Supernovae”

Kelowna: Tuesday February 21, 2017
-  7:30pm. Okanagan College KLO Campus
-  Room C-368
-  Dennis Krause: 2017 Annual RASC OC Budget
-  Main: Anita Carpenter “NASA’s Newly Selected Missions of Discovery to Asteroids”

Vernon: Wednesday February 22, 2017
-  6:30pm. Novice Pre-Meeting   -  James Kanester “The Sundial Project”
-  7:15pm. Meeting. Okanagan Science Centre, Vernon (Heritage Hall)
-  Speaker: Guy Mackie “The Okanagan Observatory “

Please see the RASC-OC website for meeting updates. www.ocrasc.ca


  John Kerr and Jim Tisdale are busy working at informing and making presentations to the City Councils to stress to them the importance of wise lighting.
  Kelowna has several street that offer a good look at the options. Jim T. says there are five streets to look at and compare lighting. They are: Rose, Patterson, Francis, Wardlaw and Birch—between Richter and Ethel (see map below).
  There are three different lights: HPS (high pressure sodium); LED 4K and LED 3K. The current and widely used HPS are not energy efficient and will soon be replaced. The considerations are 4K lights (too bright—not good) and 3K. The ideal would be to use a 3K light with proper cutoff fixtures. Can you pick out which lights on these streets are 3K? Hint: the 4K lights are very bright if you look directly at the light fixture.
  Thank you to John K. and Jim T. for the efforts monitoring these changes and keeping us informed at the monthly meetings.


  The club website is updated with a view to providing everything you ever wanted to know about RASC-OC. As well as Outreach and many other club activity pages, the What's Up page provides heads up notes of what is in the sky nights. The About Us page links to the club Library and other services. The website is also a portal to many links including our Zenfolio Image Gallery.


Dave Gamble: “NGC 2244 and Rosette Nebula”

  You can find this picture along with many other member’s astronomical photos in the Zenfolio section at: http://www.ocrasc.ca/image_gallery.html
  If you have a picture that you would like considered for Picture of the Month be sure to upload to your Zenfolio Gallery and then alert Zenfolio moderator Dave Gamble at trailspublishing@telus.net so it will be in the running.


  Friday night public viewings will start in the spring of 2017. The opening date is dependent on the depth of snow and other weather and viewing conditions.
  RASC-OC Members may use the observatory site at any time they choose. However, members must advise one of the security team before proceeding to the observatory so alarms can be turned off in advance.


  Editor Hugh Pett welcomes submissions of astronomy observations, experiences and other ideas and topics. The deadline for submission of material is the 8th of the month. Focus is published on the 15th of each month from September to June.
  Non-members may be included on the Focus mailing list. If you know of a non-member who may be interested in receiving a copy of Focus by email, please let Hugh know.
Contact: Hugh Pett hughirenep@gmail.com


  Another great reason to join in!
   The Google Discussion Group is a real-time link between members of our OC RASC meeting groups. A message might give you a heads-up on a new celestial phenomenon, an alert about an Outreach event you could take part in or other timely news.
Contact: Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca


David Hawkins david-hawkins@shaw.ca