| Observatory |
The March 2015
from David Player...
Late Winter or Early Spring?
The unseasonably warm weather through much of February resulted in a significant decrease
in the snow level at the observatory. However, even so it will likely be several weeks before
the road is passable with a car. There have been several nights recently to get out and enjoy
the amazing free show overhead whether you view naked eye, use binos or a scope or are
imaging. Remember if you need to rent a scope, please contact Guy M.
Open to club members as per usual, but is now closed to the public until the snow is gone.
Kelowna Tuesday March 3
7:30pm in Room C368 at Okanagan College on KLO road Kelowna.
COTM: In a follow-up to his presentation of May 2014, Hugh Pett will catch us up on the
progress made this past year on the radio observatory project.
Presentation: One of our newer members, Gio Andreis, was attached to the Vancouver
Centre for more than twenty years and now makes his home in Kelowna. Gio is an avid astrophotographerand will be presenting “Wide Field for Astrophotography“. He will discuss
how he got stared with basic equipment followed by different types of set-ups and more
advanced equipment. Finally he will share some retouching techniques to help you get your
photos ready for presentation. Gio will illustrate his presentation with a variety of his own
photographs and will throw the floor open to questions and discussion on conclusion. Astrophotographers,old hands, newbies and wannabes alike, should not miss out on this
opportunity. If you only learn one thing, it’s one thing more than you knew before.
Penticton Thursday March 5
7:15pm in Room C02 Sunoka Bldg at Okanagan College on Duncan Ave. West in Penticton
The Penticton meeting on March 5 will feature astronomer Tony Willis who has been involved
with radio astronomy for over 40 years and is a leading authority on black holes. As a frequent
collaborator at DRAO, he is no stranger to Penticton RASC meetings, and he will present a
talk on ‘Black Holes: A Current Status’ to the meeting, a repeat of the presentation he will
make on March 2 in conjunction with the Okanagan College.
At one time scientists thought that black holes were just a mathematical curiosity. However
astronomers now believe that black holes are largely responsible for many of the violent
phenomena that are seen in the universe. Advances in technology are also enabling
astronomers to get ever closer to detection of emission from regions close to a black hole’s
‘event horizon’. Tony’s talk will discuss some of the recent observations of events believed to
be caused by black holes.
Vernon - Wednesday March 25 -
The pre-meeting session at 6.30 PM will feature a video about the Merritt Star Quest star party which will be held this year between September 11 -20.
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
exploration as human life reached out to literally touch the Moon.
John Karlsson will present a Mystery Constellation and Observing Challenges for March.
The pre-meeting gathering begins at 6.30pm with the regular meeting starting at 7.15pm, in
the Heritage Hall of the Okanagan Science Centre (building to the right of the main Science
Centre entrance on the northeast side of Polson Park just off Highway 6).
All details including dates, time and places are located at http://www.ocrasc.ca/meetings.html
Calendars will be available at the meeting, reduced well below $20. Pictures from members
Debra and Peter Ceravolo are featured on the cover and for April and November.
Picture of the Month
Picture of the Month Selection Committee members Mark Force and Sharon Carter were
unanimous, both in their selection of the March Picture of the Month as well as in describing
the breadth and depth of the many candidate pictures which they said made their task both
enjoyable and difficult.
At the end of the day it was Debra and Peter Ceravolo’s photograph of Crepuscular Rays that
claimed the honour of March Picture of the Month. Debra explained, “I took this wide angle
shot with a Canon 60D on a tripod one evening in the summer of 2012 near Carp, a small
town west of Ottawa back when we used to go on little photo excursions. Peter was there too
testing mirror lenses during that sunset. You can see the photos he took on this page from our
Wikipedia defines crepuscular rays as “rays of sunlight that appear to radiate from the point in
the sky where the sun is located. These rays, which stream through gaps in clouds, are
columns of sunlit air separated by darker cloud-shadowed regions. Crepuscular comes from
the Latin word “crepusculum”, meaning twilight.” Among other finalists were pictures from the
Zenfolio galleries of Shawn Berglund (#1 partial solar eclipse montage), Jim Failes (#9
Kelowna Moon), James Kanester (#3 M45 the Pleiades), John Karlsson (#2 Satellite Family),
Guy Mackie (Saskatoon Sundogs), Vlado Neykov (#2 Moon), Hugh Pett (#12 Green Flash)
and David Player (#2 Messier 97 which Mark Force mentioned he had observed himself a few
nights before). It is worthwhile to visit those pictures to appreciate the wide choice that Sharon
and Mark faced: http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/f166015629. In addition there are new pictures by
Dave Gamble (Feb.) and others by Harry Dixon (Jan.) which 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
President, RASC OC