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The December 2016
President's Message


Your bible or your doorstop?
  By now all RASC OC members should have received their copy of the 2017 Observer’s Handbook. It is included with your regular membership.
   What is this book that you get each year?
  For those who have not investigated the contents, it is time that you do. It is packed full of information for astronomers. It is published annually to keep up to date and the editor and contributors work diligently all year to maintain the high quality of content.
  This year’s Handbook was edited by James Edgar. As you may remember he was a guest speaker (then RASC National President) at a Kelowna RASC OC meeting on April 26, 2016. I recall how proud he was of the Handbook and the effort his team made in making this coming years Handbook the best one to date.
  Local members have written articles for the 2017 Handbook. Ken Tapping and Hugh Pett contributed “Radio Astronomy and Radio Sources” (page 338) and Alan Whitman wrote “Southern Hemisphere Splendors” (page 330).
  There are sections on Time, Optics, The Sun, The Deep Sky, location of planets, dwarf planets and minor planets and many more. A 24-page section “The Sky Month by Month” gives a listing of events for each month of 2017.
  Last night I picked up my book and read Ken Tapping’s “Solar Activity” (page 189). Why are some aurorae red and others green? Find out on page 191.
  If you don’t already refer to this book, then grab your copy and flip through it. I am sure you will find many things of interest.
David Hawkins, RASC-OC President 2016-2017

  RASC OC Volunteer Positions still available (Help!):

    1. Light Pollution Abatement Committee volunteer for South Okanagan: Penticton/Oliver/Osoyoos. There are currently two volunteers from each of Vernon and Kelowna. We need a second representative from the South Okanagan [see President Message October 2016]  Contact: John Kerr kerrj@shaw.ca

    2. Telescope Equipment Manager. [see President Message November 2016] Contact: Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca


Penticton: Monday December 5, 2016

  7:00 – 8:30pm. Okanagan College Penticton Campus in the Ashnola Building. Lecture Theatre PL107
OC Penticton Speakers Series presents:
  Gordon Lacy: “The Composite Radio Telescope Project at DRAO, an Update”. By donation to the “Dire Straits Fund” for Okanagan College students in need
Following the talk, there will be a RASC-OC Penticton Meeting in Room PL109 (across the hall)

Vernon: Wednesday December 14, 2016

 6:30pm. Pre-Meeting. - Jerry Thompson: TBA
  7:15pm. Meeting. Okanagan Science Centre, Vernon (Heritage Hall)
- Topic: James Kanester: “50 Ways to Polar Align Your Telescope”.

Kelowna: Tuesday December 20, 2016

  6:00pm. Pre-Meeting: Annual Christmas Dinner Gathering. Restaurant: Masala Fusion (Cuisine of India) #103-2106 Harvey Ave, Kelowna. Across highway from Orchard Park Mall. Must book with Colleen before December 13. Max: 16 guests. Cost $20.
 Contact: Colleen O’Hare chohare@shaw.ca
- 7:30pm. Okanagan College KLO Campus (Lab Building Room C-272) NOTE ROOM
-  COTM: David Hawkins: “Carrington Event 1859”
-  Main: Colleen O’Hare: “Virtual Particles – And Why I Believe in Them”

Penticton: Wednesday December 21, 2016

-  Celebrate Winter Solstice with Angela Squires.
-  3:00pm. At Pen Henge on Munson Mountain. Rain or shine!

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

Be sure to check out photo of the month!
  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. 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.

  A link to SkyNews Magazine website has been added. SkyNews was purchased by RASC in 2015. SkyNews is the Canadian magazine for amateur astronomers and is the only popular, English-language science magazine for adults published in Canada. Hey, isn’t that the one you receive with your RASC membership 6 times a year? Yup. www.skynews.ca

 Friday public viewing nights have now ended for 2016. There had not been any cloud free nights for weeks and the snow of November 15th finally put an end to any further opportunities for public nights.
  Friday night public viewings will start in the spring of 2017 with the date dependent on 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. Deadline for 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


CONTACT: David Hawkins david-hawkins@shaw.ca