| Observatory |
The May 2013
from Colleen O'Hare...
Are We Alone??
by Dr. Seth Shostak
of the SETI Institute.
(Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence)
Tickets are selling fast! Don’t be disappointed, get yours soon!
“The scientific hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence is now into its fifth decade and we still haven’t uncovered a confirmed “peep” from any cosmic company. There is good reason to expect a discovery of organisms on other worlds soon and that we could uncover evidence of sophisticated civilizations within a few decades. Why this might be more than wishful thinking and what contact would mean are the subjects of this talk on the continuing efforts to establish our place in the universe of living things.”
The Second Annual Okanagan Observatory Fundraising Dinner will be held May 25, 2013 at the Kelowna Curling Club. Our very special speaker for the evening will be Dr. Seth Shostak of SETI. A wonderful dinner, Silent Auction and Door prizes will round out the evening.
This is the major fundraising event for the OO. Last year we raised $2800 that went towards operating expenses.
We need your help! Silent Auction items and Door Prizes are needed! These can be anything. Last year we had books, wine, pictures, jewelry, gift certificates and lots of other items. They don’t need to be astronomical in nature. Think what businesses you come in contact with every day and ask them if they’d like to advertise by donating an article for the Silent Auction.
We can also make up baskets for them with books, wine, chocolates etc. that they can purchase and then personalize with something from their business. Maybe you have something around the house that would be appropriate. Just let the Dinner committee know and we will gladly pick it up.
There are also posters and handouts available to help you as you visit businesses that you frequent as well as friends and neighbours who you know would love to advertise this way. Let me know and I will get them to you.
Tickets for this event are $40 each and are available from any Dinner committee member: Grant (email@example.com), Guy (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jim T (email@example.com), Penny (firstname.lastname@example.org), Frank S (email@example.com), Jean (firstname.lastname@example.org), Patricia (email@example.com) and Colleen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
And, of course, you can always join the committee and help put this great evening together!
Okanagan Observatory Opens for 6th Season
The Okanagan Observatory will open on May 3rd to start its 6th season of providing free public viewing at a dark site. See www.okanaganobservatory.ca for full details.
Kelowna meeting Tues. May 28
The main presentation will be by OC RASC member Anita Carpenter who will speak on 'Coming Attractions: A Preview of a Few Upcoming NASA Missions' which will reveal details about recent NASA science missions. Anita will discuss insights she has gained as a member of the evaluation panel for such missions as OSIRIS-Rex, InSight, and possibly an Explorer Exoplanet Mission.
Also on the agenda is a Constellation of the Month (COTM) presentation by Grant Rice who will report on the 'Okanagan Observatory Fundraising Dinner'.
The meeting will be held at 7:30pm at the Okanagan College Kelowna Campus in Lab Room C 234, the same location as recent meetings.
Vernon meeting Wed. May 29
The main theme of the meeting will be COMETS, including a retrospective of stories,
sketches and photos of Comet PanSTARRS. It will also be an opportune time to
look ahead at the prospects for Comet ISON which will be a prime object of
interest to everyone this fall.
A regular feature of Vernon meetings is a pre-meeting 'Beginner's Telescope Session' which starts at 6.30pm. If there is a telescope topic you would like to learn more
about, contact Vice President Jerry Thompson.
The regular meeting will start at 7.15pm, also in the basement of the main building
of the Okanagan Science Centre on the east side of Polson Park just off Highway 6.
The entrance to the nicely appointed room is from the rear of the building.
Penticton meeting Thurs. May 30
The main presentation will feature Dave Gamble who will present 'A Spaceflight to Mercury'. Bring your sun block and fire proof shoes.
The meeting will be held at 7pm in the usual C O2 meeting room in the Sunoka building of the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.
Discover the Universe
Discover the Universe is pleased to continue its 2013 webinar series with a very popular topic and a renowned guest speaker.
Are there Earth-like planets elsewhere in the universe? Could these new planets support life? How do we know?
Join us for a special webinar on exoplanets (planets outside our Solar system). Our guest speaker, Jason Rowe, is a Canadian astrophysicist now working for the Kepler telescope and the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute. Over the last few years, the Kepler telescope has been making the headlines regularly for its many discoveries of interesting exoplanets, some of which might have the right conditions to support life.
This is an opportunity not to be missed!
Wednesday, May 8 at 1:30pm (EDT) - 10:30am (PDT)
The webinar will be recorded for those who cannot join us live. You still need to register - it's free! Register on our website: www.discovertheuniverse.ca
RASC Centre Newsletter Archive
Back in the olden days (i.e. before the Internet), Centres used to mail copies of their newsletters to other Centres and to national office. The paper copies mailed to national office are still there as part of the library, but this collection has since been eclipsed by the online digital collection of 2100+ issues of Centre newsletters at rasc.ca/newsletters. (Note: this collection is accessible to members only, since not all Centres make their newsletters available to the public.)
In order to make this collection as complete and as up-to-date as possible, the Information Technology Committee is putting out a call for help. What is needed is one member from each Centre to assume the task of tending to the collection of their centre's newsletters on rasc.ca, uploading the newest issues on an ongoing basis. If you are interested, please contact Colleen at email@example.com. On behalf of Walter MacDonald and the IT Committee
Editor Hugh Pett welcomes submissions of astronomy observations, experiences and other ideas and topics. These should be forwarded to him by May 8. The issue will be sent out on March 15. He is particularly interested in observing reports.
Picture of the Month
Watch for the new May Picture of the Month on our OC RASC website
to be announced in a day or two.
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.
What's new in our Zenfolio gallery is that the temporary gallery on Comet PanSTARRS has now been closed since the main activity has passed. This concept was very successful however, and it is anticipated that a similar temporary gallery will be set up for Comet ISON later this year to act as a clearinghouse for observations, charts and photographs.
Meanwhile, a new temporary gallery at the bottom of the 'All My Photos' page has been set up for 'The Dragon's Mouth' lunar phenomenon observed by Dave Gamble on April 22. Dave and Alister Ling of Edmonton are hoping other observers will look out for it during the next favourable opportunity on June 20, and an invitation will be included in the coming RASC Bulletin. The gallery now includes Dave's sketch of the object, a chart of coming timings with the same lunar colongitude calculated by Alister, together with a number of photos of the region.
More pictures to be checked out on the Zenfolio site include photographs and sketches by recent Picture of the Month winners who were ineligible due to our two month waiting period.
Remember to check out Dave Gamble’s ‘What’s Up’ page for a whole month full of observing musts. 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!
A new innovation continues on the 'What's Up' page. Jim Failes is now contributing pictures from his vast collection to illustrate some of the coming celestial events.
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