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A S T R O N O T E S
The Newsletter Magazine of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC
Vol. 24, No. 3 April 1985
Editor....... Rolf Meier..... 4-A Arnold Dr...... 820-5784
Addresses.....Art Fraser......92 Lillico Dr.......737-4110
Circulation...Robin Molson....2029 Garfield Ave...225-3082
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - MARCH
Chairman Doug George opened the meeting at 8:15 p.m. with 55 people in attendance of whom 41 were members.
entre president Brian Burke was up to ask people to distribute posters to alert the public that Astronomy Day is coming up on April 27. The next centre meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00 p.m. and is entitled "Observations of Double Elliptical Galaxies".
Rolf Meier then explained what to expect from Halley's Comet as it approaches and becomes brighter at the end of this year. At 40° North latitude it will be most spectacular at around March 25th, 1986 reaching an estimated 4th magnitude, but there will also be a full moon nearby at the time. He then projected overheads on what not to expect of Halley’s Comet.
Simon Tsang presented a slide and tape show on the explorations of Voyager 1 as it approached Saturn.
Pierre Deguire showed 10 deep sky and planetary slides and described how he took them.
Doug George declared March 21/22 as Messier Marathon night since there will be a new Moon and the Sun will be in Pisces. The object of the Marathon is to find as many Messier objects as possible. The Messier Marathon night might be expanded to a few days if skies are not favourable. As the Sun sets, the objects about to set will be observed, including M31, 32, 33, 110 and the difficult objects M74 and M77. The observations will be followed by the Coma-Virgo cluster of galaxies which will be tough to discern. Programme information was available at the front.
Occultation co-ordinator, Brian Burke, reminded everyone that on Wednesday, April 10th, an 11th magnitude star will be occulted by a 12th magnitude asteroid, and that on Sunday, April 14, an SAO 7th magnitude star will be occulted by a 12th magnitude asteroid.
Vice-Chairman, Sandy Ferguson, showed slides she took of the exposition in Hull and sky diagrams of constellations showing how to locate some naked eye variables.
Rob McCallum proposed a survey to see when the next Annual Dinner Meeting should be held, Doug George closed the meeting at 10:03 p.m. when everyone was offered refreshments.
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MEETING ATTENDANCE DATA
The meeting attendance data (number of members, number of non-members) from December, 1982 to March, 1985 were collected to draw a graph of the number of total people, members, and non-members attending meetings, and to tabulate the information contained in the table.
On the graph it is easy to see the peak in October, 1983 when it was the start of a new membership year. In 1984, however, the membership peak occurred in November,
- 2 -
Number of people
CENTRE MEETINGS - FEBRUARY & MARCH
Members and friends of the RASC attending the Centre Meetings for February and March enjoyed a change of scene, as the National Museum of Science and Technology hosted the presentations on both occasions in its Auditorium.
On Monday, February 18th, the Museum presented the film "Dr. Hawking's Universe" , a documentary on Dr. Stephen Hawking of Cambridge University, England. Following an introduction by Dr. Paul Feldman of HIA/NRC, who met Dr. Hawking during his own stay at Cambridge, the film gave an account of the studies of Dr. Hawking and his team of gifted students on black holes, and their continuing research on the unification of quantum mechanics and general relativity, two great, but incompatible theories of modern physics.
Dr. Hawking's work becomes all the more outstanding when one realizes he suffers from the crippling disease amotrophic lateral scleriosis, which confines him to a wheelchair and necessitates communication through a student interpreter. As the author of over 100 papers and books and the winner of several awards, it is probable that Dr. Hawking’s brilliant research could lead to his winning the most prestigious award of all, the Nobel Prize.
On Wednesday, March 20th, Mr. Jeffrey Hayes, a former member of the Ottawa Centre (now Halifax Centre), now working in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine, gave a highly informative talk on his work with double elliptical galaxies. Using charged couple device imaging and spectroscopic equipment, Mr. Hayes observed nine of these groups of galaxies, and in his presentation described the results obtained on five of the nine observed. (Poor weather prevented thoroughinvestigation of the remaining four). A series of slides showing details of each galaxy pair and illustrations of the rotation curves for each accompanied his talk, and it was interesting to note the differences discovered in these curves when comparing one galaxy to another.
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Looking back through my log book since returning from Arizona, I had a total of nine solar observations from the beginning of February to April 1st, 1985. There were probably more clear days, however I didn’t take advantage of them. It wasn't until March 25th that the sun showed any activity, showing a fairly large spot and residual fainter ones near the western limb. On March 30th another check showed the spot progressing along the disc and having remained more or less similar, although some very faint spots that I saw earlier seemed to have completely faded. Also, I noted some faculae on the western limb which may mark the developing of a new spot - something to watch for in subsequent days.
There was a very brief aurora on the night of March 22nd, during the Messier Marathon, showing some spikes and slight motion. It was not very spectacular, however, with Spring we should expect to see more aurorae.
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At the end of March, we saw Mercury and Venus zip out of the evening sky and in front of the sun. During April, both will reappear in the morning sky. On March 24, Venus and Mercury were observed to be close together. Venus had an obvious phase when seen in 7 x 50 binoculars on that evening. Also, the crescent moom was quite close to Mars.
The planet Saturn is the one best placed for observation during April. The rings will be wide open this year. A hinderance to good views of Saturn will be its rather low altitude. But keep observing because on a night of good seeing the view will be worth it.
Pluto will be in opposition on April 23. This faintest of all the planets will require an 8 inch or larger telescope to be seen at magnitude 13.7. Refer to the map in the Handbook or in Sky and Telescope. Notice that on April 10, Pluto passes near the galaxy NGC 5638.
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In March, I attempted to photograph Halley's Comet, I used 3M1000 slide film at the prime focus of the 16 inch, taking 15 minute exposures on two different nights. The limiting magnitude I estimated to be 18th, which I thought would be adequate, based on a prediction of 16th magnitude for the comet’s brightness, according to the March Sky and Telescope.
However, no strong image appeared on the predicted path of the comet. When my April issue of Sky and Telescope arrived, I discovered why. Steve O 'Meara had estimated the comet's magnitude at 19.6 on January 27, and it is doubtful that it would have brightened much by March. I would recommend reading the exciting account of Steve's visual recovery of Halley using a 24 inch on Mauna Kea.
In preparation for my photographs, I first plotted the path of the comet on the SAO Star Atlas. Since all the ephemerides I could find were for epoch 2000.0, I first converted the positions to epoch 1950.0 for plotting purposes. Then I located the star field in the sky and proceeded to expose the film. At home, I built a PROBLICOM to help in the identification process, when I blinked the slides, I found no Comet Halley at the predicted position. However, Linda and I found a number of objects which did jump. These were probably asteroids, or perhaps defects in the film.
I will make another attempt at photographing Halley before it goes behind the sun later this Spring, this time using black and white film.
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The biggie for April is the Lyrids, occurring on the 22nd. The moon is new, so the show could be good. Sky and Telescope points out that although the normal rate is 10 meteors per hour, rates as high as 75 have been observed for brief periods, so you never know what to expect. A meteor session will likely be planned, either for Quiet Site or IR0.
In May, there is a shower called the Eta Aquarids. This shower normally has a rate of 20 per hour, but this year and next might be different. Why? Because this is one of the showers (the Orionids is the other) which is associated with Halley's Comet. So, the rate could well be increased due to his effect of spewing out more junk near the sun. Stay tuned.
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Articles for the May issue of Astronotes are due by April 22nd.
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c / o H e r z b e r g I n s t i t u t e of A s t r o p h y s i c s
National R esearch Council of Canada
1 0 0 Sussex Drive
O tta w a Canada
K 1A 0R6
136 DUPONT ST.
INDEX TO ASTRONOTES VOLUME 20 (1981)
GAS HYPERSENSITIZATION IN ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY; FRANK ROY? MAY? 27
COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND NOVAE
ASTEROIDAL OCCULTATIONS IN 1981; BRIAN BURKE; FEBRUARY; 6
OCCULTATION OF SAO 142674 BY 129 ANTIGONE; BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 28
OPTIKS: MARCH; 2
OPTIKS; MAY; 2
ON ASTRONOTES; FEBRUARY; 1
ON ASTRONOTES; MAY; 1
10 YEARS AGO IN ASTRONOTES; SEPTEMBER; 9
ON ATRONOTES; OCTOBER; 1
A SIMPLE AMATEUR RADIO TELESCOPE; DAVID FEDOSIEWICH; MAY; 22
A SUPERNOVA PROJECT FOR THE SIXTEEN? FRANK ROY; MAY; 30
ILLUSTRATIONS AND PHOTOS
THE 1981 GEMINIDS; JANUARY; 4
CARTOON; FEBRUARY; 8-9-10
RADIO FRINGES; MARCH; 7-8
THE 1981 QUADRANTIDS; MARCH: 10
DECLINATION METER; MARCH; 14
GRAZE OF ZC 930; MAY; 7-8
SOLAR RADIO ACTIVITY; MAY; 11
SOLAR BURSTS; MAY; 13
SOLAR DISC; MAY; 15-16
SOLAR DISC EXPLANATION; MAY; 17
SOLAR DISC MEASUREMENTS; MAY; 19-20
YAGI ANTENNA; MAY? 24
DIPOLE DETAIL: MAY; 25
OCCULATION OF SAO 142674 BY ANTIGONE; MAY; 29
SOLAR DISC; JUNE; 3-4
SOLAR RADIO ACTIVITY; JUNE? 5
SOLAR RADIO ACTIVITY; JULY; 3-4
SOLAR DISC: JULY; 5-6
RADIO FRINGES: JULY; 7-8-9-10
THE PLANETS NEAR SUNSET; AUGUST; 3
SOLAR DISC? AUGUST; 5-6
SIDERAL TIME SCHEMATIC? AUGUST; 7-8
CARTOON? AUGUST; 9-10
SOLAR DISC; SEPTEMBER; 5-6
MAP TO I.R.O.; SEPTEMBER; 7
I.R.O. DRAWING; SEPTEMBER; 8
SOLAR DISC; NOVEMBER; 3-4
SOLAR RADIO ACTIVITY; NOVEMBER; 4
10TH ANNIVERSARY PLAQUE; DECEMBER; 3
SOLAR RADIO ACTIVITY; DECEMBER; 6
SOLAR DISC; DECEMBER; 7-8
CARTOON; DECEMBER; 12-13-14
SIDEREAL TIME BASE; FRANK ROY; AUGUST; 4
A DIGITAL READOUT FOR THE 16-INCH; FRANK ROY? SEPTEMBER; 4
IRQ GOES DIGITAL; FRANK ROY; DECEMBER; 9
MEETINGS, CONVENTIONS, STAR NIGHTS
THE 1981 OBSERVER'S GROUP COORDINATORS; BRIAN BURKE; JANUARY; 6
STAR NIGHT AT I.R.O.; BRIAN BURKE; FEBRUARY; 1
COORDINATORS MEETING; SUSAN ARGUE? FEBRUARY; 3
OTTAWA CENTRE COUNCIL MEETING; ROBIN MOLSON; FEBRUARY; 4
CENTRE MEETING; ROBERT DICK; MARCH; 3
MARCH CENTRE MEETING; ROBERT DICK? APRIL; 2
A BOOST FOR STAR NIGHTS; BRIAN BURKE; APRIL; 3
UPCOMING PHOTOMETRY SYMPOSIUM; BRIAN BURKE; APRIL; 3
THE 1981 GENERAL ASSEMBLY; BRIAN BURKE; APRIL; 4
DR BURBRIDGE ON REDSHIFTS; MAY; 4
MARCH STAR NIGHT AT I.R.O.; BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 5
TWO STAR NIGHTS THIS MONTH; BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 5
MASCON 1981; MAY; 10
PUBLIC STAR AT I.R.O; BRIAN BURKE; JULY; 1
DATE CHANGE FOR SEPTEMBER MEETING; BRIAN BURKE; AUGUST; 2
AUGUST STAR NIGHT FOR THE PUBLIC; BRIAN BURKE? AUGUST; 2
DEEP SKY WEEKEND; AUGUST; 2
10TH ANNIVERSARY PLANNED; BRIAN BURKE; SEPTEMBER; 1
SEPTEMBER PUBLIC STAR NIGHT; BRIAN BURKE; SEPTEMBER; 1
THE 46TH ANNUAL STELLAFANE CONVENTION; SEPTEMBER; 3
DEEP SKY WEEKEND? SEPTEMBER; 8
AAVSO; OCTOBER; 5
THE SUMMER STAR NIGHTS; BRIAN BURKE; NOVEMBER; 2
TENTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION; BRIAN BURKE; DECEMBER; 3
ANNUAL DINNER MEETING, NOVEMBER 13; DECEMBER? 4
9TH ANNUAL DEEP SKY WEEKEND HELD; DECEMBER? 11
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING- DECEMBER 5 1980; RENEE MEYER MARY GEEKIE; JANUARY
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JANUARY 2 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; FEBRUARY; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - FEBRUARY 6 1981; SUSAN ARGUE? MARCH; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - MARCH 19 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; APRIL; 1
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - APRIL 3 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; MAY; 3
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - MAY 1 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; JUNE; 1
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - JUNE 5 1981; SUASN ARGUE; JULY; 1
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - JULY 3 1981; LINDA WARREN; AUGUST; 1
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - AUGUST 7 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; SEPTEMBER; 2
OBSERVER’S GROUP MEETING - SEPTEMBER 11 1981; SUSAN ARGUE; OCTOBER; 6
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - OCTOBER 2 1981; BRIAN BURKE: NOVEMBER: 1
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - NOVEMBER 6 1981; LINDA WARREN; DECEMBER; 1
METEORS AND AURORA
THE 1980 GEMINIDS: FRANK ROY; JANUARY: 3
THE 1981 QUADRANTIDS FROM SPRINGHILL; FRANK ROY; FEBRUARY; 7
THE 1981 QUADRANTIDS FROM ARIZONA; ROLF MEIER; MARCH; 9
THE 1981 QUADRANTIDS FROM COLORADO; CHRIS MARTIN; MARCH;11
SPRING METEOR SHOWERS; FRANK ROY; APRIL; 5
FOR SALE; JANUARY; 1
OBSERVER'S MANUAL; ROBERT DICK; MARCH; 3
KEEPING WARM DURING WINTER OBSERVING (HUMOR); FEBRUARY; 8
FOR SALE; MARCH; 4
SHUTTLE FLIGHT A SUCCESS: MAY; 13
FOR SALE; OCTOBER; 5
PREVIEW OF GRAZES IN FIRST HALF OF 81: BRIAN BURKE: FEBRUARY: 5
THE JANUARY 20 LUNAR ECLIPSE; FRANK ROY: FEBRUARY; 7
OBSERVING THE PLANETS IN FEBRUARY: JAMES BLACK; MARCH; 4
SOLAR SYSTEM SCAN; B. MATTHEWS; MARCH; 12
TWO GRAZES NEXT WEEK; BRIAN BURKE; APRIL; 6
THE GRAZE OF ZC 930; BRIAN BURKE; MAY; 6
THE PLANETS NEAR SUNSET; ROLF MEIER; ROLF MEIER; AUGUST: 3
TIME TO GRAZE; BRIAN BURKE; DECEMBER; 12
RADIO SOURCES; FRANK ROY; MARCH; 5
RADIO TELESCOPE PICKS UP HERCULES A; FRANK ROY; JUNE; 2
RADIO SOURCES; FRANK ROY? JULY; 4
OBSERVATIONS WITH THE 46 METRE DISH AT ARO; FRANK ROY; NOVEMBER; 5
REPORTS, LETTERS, COMMENTS
CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW OF 1980; ROBERT DICK; JANUARY; 5
NOTICE RE I.R.O. OBS; FEBRUARY; 4
NOTICE TO KEYHOLDERS; THE OBSERVATORY COMMITTEE; MARCH; 3
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE FINANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE; MAY; 21
PLANNED SAVINGS IN ASTRONOTES: JUNE: 6
OBSERVER’S GROUP QUESTIONNAIRE; BRIAN BURKE: DECEMBER; 2
SOLAR ACTIVITY OF MARCH; ROBERT DICK; MAY; 10
SOLAR ACTIVITY OF APRIL; ROBERT DICK; MAY; 12
DISC TEMPLATES: ROBERT DICK; MAY; 14
SOLAR DISC MEASUREMENTS; B. MATTHEWS; MAY; 18
SOLAR ACTIVITY OF APRIL; ROBERT DICK; JUNE; 6
RECENT SOLAR ACTIVITY; ROBERT DICK; JULY; 2
SOLAR DISC; ROBERT DICK; AUGUST; 5
SOLAR OBSERVATIONS; ROBERT DICK; SEPTEMBER; 4
SOLAR ACTIVITY; ROBERT DICK; NOVEMBER; 4
SOLAR ACTIVITY; ROBERT DICK; DECMEBER; 5
TABLES AND LISTS
LIST OF KEYHOLDERS FOR THE INDIAN RIVER OBSERVATORY; JANUARY; 1
KEYHOLDERS TO THE INDIAN RIVER OBSERVATORY; MAY; 26