| Observatory |
The August 2015
from David Player...
Albeit a bit late in the evening, these past few weeks have provided comfortable temperatures and reasonably clear skies to pursue our hobby. However, nights are becoming noticeably longer while overnight temperatures remain pleasant.
Please note, the information letter submitted in late June by Guy Mackie is worth re-reading. Consequently I have repeated it in this August issue. You will find the letter in the next section. I encourage you to read and take part. See you at the Observatory !
Please consider taking a few minutes and send Hugh Pett a note regarding your summer astronomy experiences for inclusion in the Focus news letter.
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.
Mount Kobau star party starts this weekend running from August 8 to 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 information.
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 emergency response.
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 rewards,... priceless.
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 email@example.com 250-469-3112
Hugh Pett firstname.lastname@example.org 250-762-3858
Grant Rice Grant Rice
Kelowna – Tuesday September 22, 2015 7:30pm in Room C368 at Okanagan College on
KLO road Kelowna.
The main meeting will feature a presentation by Dave Gamble titled 'Romancing the Moon', an anthology about our nearest celestial neighbour beginning with how it formed, and tracing its influence on human life. Get set to explore lunar myths, superstition, romance and lunar exploration as human life reached out to literally touch the Moon.
Watch this space for details of the Constellation of the Month.
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
For our August Picture of the Month, the Selection Committee of Mark Force and Sharon Carter have selected Jim Failes’ picture of ‘The Sails and the Moon’ which captures our satellite above the Kelowna lakeshore’s familiar ‘Sails’ sculpture. Sharon noted the photo has a style of its own surrounding the Moon with the geometrical shapes of the Sails which was echoed by Mark.
Also remarked upon as a finalist was John Karlsson’s sketch of NGC 6888. Other front runners included Shawn Berglund’s picture of Jupiter, Peter Ceravolo’s capture of Venus and Jupiter above the lights of Osoyoos, Dave Gamble’s ‘Horsehead Panorama’, James Kanester’s ‘Leo Triplet’, Guy Mackie’s ‘Sundogs in Saskatoon’, Vlado Neykov’s ‘Saturn April 18, 2014’, Hugh Pett’s ‘Almost Gone’ picture of the green flash in Hawaii and David Player’s M16. As Mark noted ‘That took a lot of pondering.”
The above pictures can be found in our Zenfolio gallery at http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/f166015629. Additional pictures by Harry Dixon (July) and Dave Whalley (June) 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 email@example.com or Mikkel Steine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, RASC OC