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The May 2017
President's Message



2017 GALA IS APPROACHING
AUCTION ITEMS NEEDED!


  The Gala is almost here. In only five weeks, we will be gathering to fight it out for those auction items. However, we do need donations to make it work.

SILENT AUCTION AT GALA
  Guy Mackie is our Gala Auction coordinator and we are still looking for items and services for the auction.
  The silent auction is an enjoyable part of the evening, but it also contributes significantly to our Okanagan Observatory annual funding. This year, we need additional funding beyond our usual because of the required B.C. Environmental Assessment that is to be submitted. This is a requirement for use of Crown Land. RASC-OC did a similar one 10 years ago and this new one will be for 30 years. The next one will be due when I am 90 years of age! The cost will be between $5,000 and $6,000. So, unless you are feeling particularly generous with your cheque book, then we need to have plenty of auction items to work toward that goal.
  Perhaps you have friends or family in business? Having them donate an item or gift of a service not only benefits our organization but also their business. It is advertising for them with the benefit of supporting a non-profit charity (ours). Just ask them, it doesn’t hurt!
Auction Coordinator: Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca
  Thank you for your efforts to acquire items for this year’s auction. With your help, the 2017 Gala can be a success.

David Hawkins, RASC-OC President 2017
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca MAY 2017 ∞ 3

NEW AND NOTEWORTHY
 
1. The search is on for a new Merchandise Manager. Scott Thomson has decided to let another member take over the position. Hey, that could be you! RASC has several items including T-shirts, hats, calendars that help to bring in funds for our club. In addition, there are some new items just released to celebrate RASC 150. If interested, please contact me, David Hawkins, or Dennis Krause.

2. New RASC 150 items. As mentioned above, these are limited release items to mark the 150th year of RASC. Please order these items through Dennis Krause (or the new Merchandise Manager, if that isn’t you) as this offers a shipping discount.

3. Richard Federley was Kelowna’s speaker in April. He was in the running to be one of the next two Canadian astronauts. Unfortunately, on April 24, 2017, we found out that Rick did not make it into the final 17 candidates. However, even to make it to the final 32 was still quite an achievement.

4. Focus! Angela Squires will be working on creating the next Focus Newsletter. She has some experience working with publishing programs. Her current plan is to release the new Focus about three times per year, not monthly. Should you have any suggestions or perhaps thoughts about how you could contribute to the publication, please contact Angela.

5. Radius! Hugh Pett released a new newsletter about Radio Astronomy at the Okanagan Observatory. If you would like a copy or put on a future mailing list, please contact Hugh Pett.

2017 ANNUAL RASC-OC GALA

  What’s in your European Carry-All? Is it a 2017 RASC OC Gala Ticket?
  The annual speaker and dinner meeting will be on Saturday June 10th at the Kelowna Curling Club.
  Guest speaker: Richard Christie: “Archaeoastronomy – A Personal Fascination”, with host Jim Failes.
  Only $40 for a dinner, social evening and an interesting presentation. It’s a deal, and no price increase either! Colleen oversees ticket sales.
  Gala tickets will be available for sale (cash or cheque please) at the May Kelowna and Penticton Member Meetings. Otherwise, please contact Colleen O’Hare: chohare@shaw.ca
David Hawkins
Chair, 2017 Gala Committee
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca

Okanagan Observatory Overnight (OOO-17): First Annual?

  The details are in the works for a group member observing night on Saturday September 16th, 2017 (moved to September 23rd if weather does not cooperate – but NOT on both nights). Last year, Vernon members had a very successful overnight observing session and the OOO is an extension of that. This year we are looking to have members from all three Okanagan city groups involved. Details to follow.

Members involved so far include:
• Roman Dusil (Vernon) – Lead    rdusil50@gmail.com
• David Hawkins (Kelowna)         david-hawkins@shaw.ca
• Guy Mackie (Kelowna)

Please let both Roman and myself (Dave H.) know if you wish to be on the event mailing list or if you wish to volunteer to help at the OOO-17.

ONGOING 
  Not new. Yes, that Telescope Equipment Manager position is still available! Wouldn’t it be a worthy use of that open area in your basement? Should you wish to stop seeing this sentence in the future, then you – or anybody, must take on this activity.
 

UPCOMING RASC-OC MONTHLY MEETINGS: MAY 2017

  Please note that the May meetings for Kelowna and Penticton are the last group meetings before the summer break. For Vernon, there is no group meeting in May. The last Vernon group meeting before summer break will be on Wednesday June 14th (after the Gala).

Kelowna: Tuesday May 16, 2017
THIS IS THE LAST KELOWNA MEETING BEFORE SUMMER BREAK
• 7:30pm. Okanagan College KLO Campus • Room C-272; Lab Building
- COTM: Jim Failes “Introducing the Moon”
- Main: Dave Gamble “Journey to the Nearest Stars”


Penticton: Thursday May 25, 2017
NOTE CHANGE IN DATE!
THIS IS THE LAST PENTICTON MEETING BEFORE SUMMER BREAK
7:15pm. Okanagan College Penticton Campus
• Room C O2; Sunoka Building
- Dr. Paul Scholz, DRAO: “FRB’S - Fast Radio Bursts”
  Short, bright bursts of radio waves that appear to come from outside our galaxy. What is causing them?

Vernon: Wednesday June 14, 2017
THE LAST VERNON MEETING BEFORE SUMMER BREAK IS ON JUNE 14
- No meeting this month

Please see the RASC-OC website for meeting updates and further details. www.ocrasc.ca/meetings.html

WEBSITE
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.
www.ocrasc.ca

PICTURE OF THE MONTH: May 2017
- Selected by Mark Force and Sharon Carter
Jim Kanester: “Blue Moon Rising Near the Blue Nose”

The May Picture of the Month chosen by Mark Force and Sharon Carter is 'Blue Moon rising near the Blue Nose' taken from Vernon by Jim Kanester. The photo was captured on July 31, 2015 using an 80mm Equinox refractor and a Canon 70D camera.
Congratulations to Jim Kanester on his winning photo which can be found here: http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/p69764755/h5179d60f#h5179d60f .

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.


MONTHLY OBSERVING CHALLENGE
 – by Jim Kanester
These challenges give some direction to our observing and a good reason to get outside in the cool night air and peer through breaks in the ever-present spring valley clouds.
Find out more details of the Challenges at our website: www.ocrasc.ca . Then click on link to Observing (left hand column) and then go to Observing Challenges.

MAY: M53 and M64
Details about this Observing Challenge are available on our web site.
http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/p516245471
These two Messier Objects are found in the constellation of Coma Berenices.
“I can’t observe it, because I can’t pronounce the constellation’s name”.
Now you can!
For directions on how to find these two Messier objects, go to the Zenfolio website. There are several slides created by James Kanester to assist you in finding them.

OKANAGAN OBSERVATORY
Friday public viewings nights will re-start sometime this spring. The opening date is dependent on the depth of snow and other weather/viewing conditions at the OO site. Perhaps mid to late May this year?
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 the alarms can be turned off in advance.
www.okanaganobservatory.ca

ASTRO OKANAGAN E-MAIL 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.
Contact: Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca

MINUTES ADOPTED: KELOWNA MEETING
• March 2017: see pdf attachment send with this Message

LINKS
www.ocrasc.ca/links.html

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE CONTACT:
David Hawkins david-hawkins@shaw.ca