AstroNotes 2018 May Vol: 57 issue 05

Editor’s Message . Ottawa Skies . Commandments . Carp Star Parties . Monthly Challenge . AstroNotes Bookshelf . Announcements . FLO Star Party Schedule . Next Meeting . Centre Information



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The Newsletter of the Ottawa Centre, RASC

Volume 57 – No. 5 - May 2018

Editor’s Message

The warm weather finally appears to have arrived and with it, if
the skies cooperate, will be lots of observing opportunities. In this
issue we have the schedule for the Public Star Parties at the Carp
Library as well as the schedule for the Members Star Parties at the
FLO. With that in mind I thought it might be a good time to
reprint the Ten Commandments (or at least the Astronomy
version of them). It is best to obey them lest ye be condemned to
cloudy skies forever.


In January we introduced the Monthly Challenge Object and
invited people to participate by submitting their observations to
the Observers Reports of the monthly meeting and for publication
here. We are beginning to get a steady response. Once again this
month we have several images of the Challenge Objects and a
new set for you to attempt.

This position continues to be a learning process for me. It constantly presents me with new challenges
that I must deal with but then, that’s half the fun of any undertaking worth doing isn’t it? My challenge
this month was content. A couple of articles I was hoping for have not been received and I didn’t have
any in reserve. The result is a somewhat thinner issue than I was hoping for. That said, I still think
there is lots of information here even if it is a little later in the month than I had been planning.
As always, I welcome any and all comments and submissions. Enjoy.

Clear Skies,

Gordon Webster

Ottawa Skies

By Dave Chisholm

The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet Halley, which has
known and observed since ancient times. The shower runs annually from April 19 to May 28. It peaks this year on the night of May 6 and the morning of the May 7. The waning gibbous moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year, but you should be able to catch quite A few good ones if you are patient. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Not Visible
Rise/Set 5:10/17:34 -> 05:01/20:04

Visible all month just after sunset.
Rise/Set 07:10/22:31 -> 07:38/23:20

Visible in the early morning.
Rise/Set 01:49/10:27 -> 00:36/09:23

Visible all night.
Rise/Set 20:40/06:25 -> 18:23/04:06
At opposition (closest to Earth) on May 9th

Visible in late evening/early morning all month.
Rise/Set 00:43/09:25 -> 22:35/07:21

Visible in the early morning.
Rise/Set 05:30/18:56 -> 03:36/17:06

Visible in the early morning.
Rise/Set 04:01/16:56 -> 02:04/13:11

International Space Station
How to figure out best viewing date…

Make sure you set your location to Ottawa in the upper-right-hand corner


With the warmer weather ahead of us (really it is coming!), the public star parties are starting up again As well, more people are now visiting the darker sites in our area, I felt it was wise to reprint the TEN COMMANDMENTS originally printed in AstroNotes in 2001 lest the wreath of a light blinded neighbour or a wronged spouse befall you. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!
The Ten (or so) Commandments for Amateur Astronomers

  1. Thou shalt have no white light before thee, or to the side of thee whilst sharing the night sky with thy fellow stargazer
  2. Thou shalt not love thy telescope more than thy spouse or thy children; as much as, maybe, but not more.
  3. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s telescope, unless it exceeds in aperture, or electronics, twice that of thy wildest dreams.
  4. Thou shalt not read Astronomy or Sky & Telescope on company time, for thine employer makes it possible to continue thine astronomical hobby.
  5. Thou shalt have at least two telescopes so as to keep thy spouse interested when he or she accompanies thee under the night sky or on eclipse expeditions to strange lands where exotic wild animals doth roam freely.
  6. Thou shalt not allow either thy sons or thy daughters to get married during the Holy Days of Starfest.
  7. Thou shalt not reveal to thy spouse the true cost of thy telescope collection; only the individual components and that shall be done with great infrequency.
  8. Thou shalt not buy thy spouse any lenses, filters, dew shields, maps, charts, or any other necessities for Christmas, anniversaries, or birthdays unless thy spouse need them for their own telescope.
  9. Thou shalt not deceive thy spouse into thinking that ye are taking them for a romantic Saturday night drive when thou art heading for a dark sky site.
  10. Thou shalt not store thy telescope in thy living room, dining room, or bedroom, lest thou be sleeping with it full time.
  11. Verily, observe not through thy neighbour’s AP or Tak, lest thee be utterly consumed by the lust of APO-fever for thy brain and thy bank account shall shrivel and wither like branches in a flame.
  12. Verily, observe not through thy neighbour’s Dob of Goliath lest thee be lain bare to the fires of aperture fever and thy sanity, thy sacroiliac and thy life savings be crushed as ye grapes of wrath.
  13. Thou shalt not partake of the fruits of the eyepiece, when it is written in the Holy Book (IMO Meteor Calendar) that thou should’st be observing a minor meteor shower of meager ZHR, even unto ye lawn chair of righteousness.
  14. Thou shalt neither read from nor post to, nor vouchsafe thyself to be posted from thy astronomy club’s email list at thy labours, lest a righteous vengeance be poured out on thee by ye corporate e-mail police.

from: AstoNotes August/September 2001


. Saturday April 21st -- Special theme: International Astronomy Day @ the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum
People asked for an East End event, so here it is! The outreach people are making arrangements for this event, combined with lots of other Centres across Canada, and so this is the easiest one of all for me as I'm deferring to them!
• Backup dates: None
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA
2. Friday May 11th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on Venus @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Saturday May 12th / Friday May 18th / Saturday May 19th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA Extra dates for sidewalk viewing:
• TBA - Preference for East End (any volunteers?)
3. Friday June 8th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on Jupiter @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Saturday June 9th / Friday June 15th / Saturday June 16th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA -- Preference for "special" one at Mill of Kintail (any volunteers?)
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA
4. Friday July 13th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on Saturn @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Saturday July 14th / Friday July 20th / Saturday July 21st
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA -- Preference for South End (any volunteers?)
5. Saturday August 4th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on Mars @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Friday August 17th / Saturday August 18th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA -- Preference for "special one" at Plevna or North Frontenac (any volunteers?)
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA
6. Saturday September 8th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on Uranus and Neptune @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker ** Day after RASC meeting
• Backup dates: Friday September 14th / Saturday September 15th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: Friday September 28th / Saturday September 29th -- Multiple pop-up astronomy focus on the moon (TBC)
7. Friday October 5th -- Suggested theme: Spotlight on the Moon @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Saturday October 6th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for special events: Joint public evening with AstroPontiac @ Luskville -- Saturday October 13th
8. Friday November 9th -- Suggested theme: Space is cold and so are we? @ Carp Public Library / Diefenbunker
• Backup dates: Saturday November 10th / Friday November 16th / Saturday November 17th
• Extra dates for members-only viewing: TBA
• Extra dates for sidewalk viewing: TBA
Thanks all, clear skies.
Paul Sadler
Public Star Party Coordinator / Dictator for 2018

Monthly Challenge Objects

Last months Challenge Objects were: M44 (the Beehive Cluster); NGC 3079 and Double Quasar; Planetary Nebula Mink 1-7 (PK189+71); the Lunar Challenge was the Crater Cepheus. Here are the submissions we received.

M44 - Photo by Paul Klauninger
NGC 3079 and the Double Quasar - Photo by Paul Klauninger

NGC 3079 - Sketch by Gordon Webster
March Lunar Challenge
Sketch of Crater Cepheus (top right) by Gordon Webster

April Deep Sky Challenge

AstroNotes Bookshelf -Estelle’s Pick for May



We will be continuing the Ottawa Centre’s Members Star Parties at the FLO again this year. If you haven’t attended before, be sure to mark at least one of these dates on your calendar. You are welcome to bring family members or a guest.

FLO STAR PARTY Dates for 2018


May 18 - waning crescent Moon – 10.6% rises 4:30 AM
June 9 - waning crescent Moon - 22.5% rises 2:57 AM
July 14 – waxing crescent Moon – 3.4% sets 10:11 PM – can you spot it?
August 11 – NEW MOON – for those who don’t make it to Starfest
September 8 – waning crescent Moon – rises 4:52 AM
October 13 – waxing crescent Moon – sets 9:28 PM


November 10 – waxing crescent Moon – sets 7:03 PM
December 8 – waxing crescent Moon – 1.8% sets at 5:42 PM – can you spot it?
January 5, 2019 – New Moon & Partial Solar eclipse
February 9 – Waxing crescent – 19.5% sets at 10:09
March 9 – Waxing Crescent – 8.4% sets at 9:05
April 6 – One Day Moon 1.7% sets 9:02 PM

Next Meeting

7:30 PM Friday June 1, 2018 at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (directions). Note there is a $3 parking fee for museum parking. The meeting runs until 9:30 pm.
PLUS: all our regular meeting features: Ottawa Skies, 10-minute Astronomy, Observer Reports, and of course, the beloved Door Prize!

All RASC monthly meetings are free and open to members and non-members alike. Refreshments will be available and this will be a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends who share a common interest and chat in a relaxed, stimulating and fun environment. Please join us!

Centre Information

General enquiries:
To subscribe (or unsubscribe) to our members-only discussion list ( ) please contact .

The Ottawa Centre 2018

Council President: Tim Cole (
Vice President: Mike Moghadam
Secretary: Chris Teron (
Treasurer: Oscar Echeverri (
Centre Meeting Chair: Oscar Echeverri (
Councilors: Carmen Rush, Gerry Shewan, Jim Sofia
National Council Representatives: Robert Dick, Karen Finstad Past President: Gordon Webster

2018 Appointed Positions

Membership: Art Fraser
Star Parties: Paul Sadler
Fred Lossing Observatory: David Lauzon & Rick Scholes (
Light Pollution Abatement: OPEN
Public Outreach Coordinator: Lathif Masoon and Danel Polyakov
Hospitality: Art & Anne Fraser
Stan Mott Astronomy Library: Estelle Rother
Ted Bean Telescope Library: Darren Weatherall
Webmaster: Mick Wilson (
AstroNotes Editors: Gordon Webster & Douglas Fleming (