| Observatory |
The July 2015
from David Player...
We’ve turned the corner and nights are becoming longer. Although late nights are required the
warm temperatures make for comfortable conditions at any time of night. Guy Mackie
composed an information letter regarding your Okanagan Observatory which is included in
the next section. I encourage you to read and take part. See you at the Observatory !
Colleen has arranged many Outreach events for the summer. Please do try to make yourself
available and give Colleen a hand when she posts the dates for these events.
Time to make plans to attend the Mt. Kobau star party to be held August 8 – August 16.
Members may use the observatory at any time they choose. Please advise one of the security
team before proceeding to the observatory so alarms can be turned off/on in advance. Please
let the public know about the Friday night public nights and to ensure they listen to the
message on the Okanagan Observatory Event Phone, at 250-300-8SKY (8759) before they
proceed to the observatory.
The Okanagan Observatory director Guy Mackie composed the following message for your
Soon, the nights will be getting longer and the Okanagan Observatory patiently awaits your
senses to sharpen.I am planning to get up there for personal observing this summer and
invite all OC members to likewise take advantage of the dark sky and safety of the
observatory grounds. Nothing is more challenging or frustrating to entry level or
experienced observers than light pollution, everything is <way> easier with dark skies.
The observatory offers many safety features for those that cannot just wander out to the
back yard in a rural location. You can lock yourself in, thus protecting yourself from the
most dangerous animal in the woods – other humans. There is reliable WiFi service so you
can call out anytime you want, as Mark Force and I did last Friday when he stayed after the
public night for personal observing and we shared in his observing accomplishments. Also
you can carry a security fob which offers one-button call out to security monitoring and
You have in place a members observing night every Saturday night, so this would be the
best night to attend if you want the company of others that are likewise afflicted. If you are
an OC member and want a key to the entry gate all you have to do is ask me for one,... and
PLEASE do inform the “security team” anytime you are going to visit the grounds so that
we stand down when your presence is registered on the motion detectors and cameras.
In addition to an excellent location you also have access to a wealth of instruments to
enhance your observing abilities. You can draw on a number of medium aperture
dobsonians in the OC rental fleet, and some SCT’s if you want to give them a try. You can
use the 25” telescope for deep sky challenges and the pier mounted and precisely driven
5.1” Astrophysics is waiting for those with astro-photo designs. Speaking of which, you
own a Mallincam video CCD camera that can be used for your photography goals. The
radio program is nearing a sharing threshold, which would allow you to explore our
galaxy’s hydrogen clouds from the comfort of your home-based desktop. And if there is
some other asset that may enhance your astronomy appreciation all you have to do is join
the Okanagan Observatory committee and make it happen. Joining the committee is as
simple as just asking to join!
Friday Public nights at the observatory are a hoot! Last week we had a small group of
guests that generated hugs for volunteers, expressions of amazement at the sight of Saturn’s
rings and many many “thank you’s” for such a fun and memorable night. As an OC
member you can take part in creating these lifetime memories for guests by operating your
(or a club) scope, helping at the welcome desk, helping with parking, helping with
coordinating the monthly mobility challenged bus service, or by helping other members
doing all of the above.
Your observatory is one of VERY FEW in North America that offers complete inclusion for
people using wheelchairs, and we need a volunteer to help coordinate the monthly bus
service for mobility challenged guests.
In addition to the many nighttime assets of the observatory there are also many fun
maintenance and building events that you welcome to take part in. So far this year there
have been many security and communications tasks completed, the motion detectors have
been weatherized, fences have been built for the radio towers and the entry road has seen
some minor repair to erosion damage. Soon up on the agenda, maybe as soon as this
coming weekend, a second radio tower will be assembled and the 25” will be dismantled
for maintenance. Further down the road there are a lot of paint and polish tasks that make
for a nice way to pass the time in the fresh air and sunshine, in the company of your
associates. Always outstanding is an invitation to anyone with a techno-talent to join the
security team in managing the many facets of the security gem.
The opportunities for volunteer contributions and personal development are many, the
Please feel very welcome to utilize the many assets at the observatory, and exercise your
right to participate in the development of this very special community resource.
Guy Mackie firstname.lastname@example.org 250-469-3112
Hugh Pett email@example.com 250-762-3858
Grant Rice Grant Rice
Kelowna – Tuesday September 22, 2015 7:30pm in Room C368 at Okanagan College on
KLO road Kelowna.
Topic and Speaker: TBA
Penticton – Thursday September 24, 2015 7:15pm in Room C02 Sunoka Bldg at Okanagan College on Duncan Ave. West in Penticton
Topic and Speaker: TBA
Vernon - Wednesday September 30, 2015. 7:30pm
**** PLEASE NOTE: NEW VENUE FOR THIS MEETING!
The first Vernon meeting of the fall season will go on the road to Murray Haimer's New Observatory,
John Karlsson and Jim Kanester will present a Mystery Constellation and
The Pre-Meeting Session at 6.30pm will be a Review of Summer Observing Activities including summer observing challenge results and star parties as well as outreach activities by each of our members.
The address of Murray's home will be given to members closer to the date of the meeting or you can call Jim at 250-558-0845 to get this information.
All details including dates, time and places are located at http://www.ocrasc.ca/meetings.html
Picture of the Month
Despite constraints in available summer time, Picture of the Month Selection Committee
members Mark Force and Sharon Carter duly reviewed the many picture candidates on our
Zenfolio website to make their selection for the month of July. When the smoke cleared it
turned out to be from fireworks and one of Harry Dixon’s clever photo combinations of
fireworks and the Moon (#7) was selected to mark July 1st Canada Day.
Among the runners up on Mark and Sharon’s short list were Shawn Berglund’s Gibbous Moon
(#4), Peter and Debra Ceravolo’s Lunar Eclipse (#2), Jim Failes’ Sails and Moon (#19), Dave
Gamble’s Horsehead Panorama and Hugh Pett’s Green Flash (#7).
Also available to review in the Zenfolio gallery are several recently uploaded pictures
including Shawn Berglund’s image of Jupiter, several by James Kanester including the Leo
Galaxy Trio, together with one of M16 and another of The Markarian Chain by David Player.
The above pictures can be found in our Zenfolio gallery at
http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/f166015629. Additional pictures by Dave Whalley (June) and Jerry
Thompson (May) were ineligible due to our two month waiting period.
Editor Hugh Pett welcomes submissions of astronomy observations, experiences and other ideas and topics. Deadline for material is the 8th of the month, to be published on the 15th, September to June.
Website www ocrasc ca
The club website is updated by Andrew Bennett and Dave Gamble with a view to providing everything you ever wanted to know about Okanagan Centre RASC. 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 on particular 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.
Remember to check out Dave Gamble’s ‘What’s Up’ page for a whole month full of observing musts as well at pictures contributes to by Jim Failes. As well, Dave will be regularly sending What’s Up information to everyone on the AstroOkanagan email discussion group. 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. You can start to receive the messages by contacting Guy Mackie at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mikkel Steine at email@example.com.
President, RASC OC