AstroNotes 2021 April Vol: 60 issue 04

Frank Roy and Fred Lossing with the 16” IRO telescope
Ottawa Skies . Member Profile . Humble Images . Monthly Challenge Objects . Submitted Images . Announcements . Estelle’s Pick of the Month . Carp Star Parties . FLO Star Parties . Next Meeting . Centre Information

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Editor’s Message

Who’d a thunk it? Fourteen months in a we are into our third wave and another lockdown. If I had known that we would have this many waves I would have bought a surfboard.

While the “Stay at Home” order means we have suspended the scheduled April Star Party at the FLO it doesn’t mean the FLO is closed or that you can’t go. The site is certainly large enough to accommodate several people while still maintaining safe social distancing. And what better activity for your mental wellbeing than an evening alone under the stars? All we ask is that you post your intentions to the Centre’s group email address (rascottawa@googlegroups.com) so others know if there are already enough people there.

As we have mentioned in previous issues, this is the 50th Anniversary of the Ottawa Centre’s observatory but how many of you spotted that this is also the 60th year of publication of this newsletter?

In this issue Rick Scholes continues his review of the logbooks from the Indian River Observatory and another comet discovery. In out Member Profile we look at past president Dr. Al Scott. As well, our Assistant Editor shares some of his recent imaging successes. And of course, we have all our regular features with some new Challenge Objects for you. Enjoy.

Please remember that we welcome both submitted articles and images for this newsletter. If you have anything written or visual that you would like to share, please send it along. We would love to hear your ideas and see your images or sketches, no matter how Hubble humble.

Clear skies and stay safe,

Gordon

Ottawa Skies

By David Chisholm

April 27 - Full Moon. The Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This phase occurs at 03:33 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. This moon has also been known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Growing Moon, and the Egg Moon. Many coastal tribes called it the Fish Moon because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn. This is also the first of three supermoons for 2021. The Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth and may look slightly larger and brighter than usual.

The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861. The shower runs annually from April 16-25. It peaks this year on the night of the night of the 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The nearly full moon will be a problem this year. Its glare will block out all but the brightest meteors. But if you are patient you may still be able to catch a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra but can appear anywhere in the sky.

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 been 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 second quarter moon will block out some of the faintest meteors this year. But if you are patient, you should still be able to catch quite a few good ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Viewing window begins in mid-March just before dawn. Circumstances slowly improve as the comet heads northwest across Aquila and brightens, reaching magnitude 9 by the third week of April. Closest approach to Earth (0.46 a.u.) occurs on April 23rd. A 6-inch telescope should nab it.

Around mid-April, ATLAS bounds into the evening sky and dashes across Corona Borealis and Boötes while quickly fading.

Mercury

Not visible.

Rise/Set 06:25/17:54 -> 06:23/21:18

 

Venus

Visible just after sunset at end of month.

Rise/Set 06:57/19:31 -> 06:22/20:50

 

Mars

Visible in the evening.

Rise/Set 09:34/01:12 -> 08:54/00:38

 

Jupiter

Visible before sunrise second half of month.

Rise/Set 05:06/15:03 -> 03:24/13:36

 

Saturn

Visible just before sunrise.

Rise/Set 04:35/14:00 -> 02:46/12:15

 

Uranus

Visible early evening first half of month.

Rise/Set 07:50/21:45 -> 06:00/20:00

 

 Neptune

Visible before sunrise later part of month.

Rise/Set 06:10/17:32 -> 04:18/15:43

The Ottawa Centre Observatory:

A History – by Rick Scholes

 

Book 4: The Indian River Observatory in the 1990s (1989-1997)

The year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of what is now known as the Fred Lossing Observatory, located on MVCA grounds near the Mill of Kintail on the Indian River, near Almonte, Ontario. This history summarizes the observatory logbook highlights, which are presented in chronological order, and again have been cherry-picked for their interest, significance, or humour. Additional information from a source other than the logbook has occasionally been inserted in [square brackets]. My thanks to Linda Meier and Art Fraser for confirming some details, and Chris Teron for loaning council historical records.

Logbook 4 brings us into the 1990s. During this period, a fifth comet was discovered with the 16” telescope, the flat clubhouse roof was finally upgraded, and a new cadre of observers with new interests began using the site. Messier Marathons and locating deep sky objects became easier with the addition of a computerized RA/DEC display and object database. After 24 years of good use, the 16” mirror was removed for refurbishment.

Yet Another Comet

Book 4 begins on 30 July 1989 with Frank Roy vacuuming the observatory. Yes, even observatories, and clubhouses too, need to be vacuumed. As with each era, names come and go. People appear, some become regular for a while, then move on, occasionally returning ... or not. During the late 1980s the names Frank Roy, Dave Fedosiewich, Doug George, and Richard Wagner appear most frequently, whereas Rolf Meier appears rarely. [In 1988 Rolf and Linda had bought property in Carp and were observing from there while constructing their home and personal observatories].

Frank Roy and Fred Lossing with the 16” IRO telescope

The total lunar eclipse on 16-17 August attracted at least 13 people including a Winnipeg Centre member (“love the observatory + 16””) and 5 members of local media from CBC Radio and CJOH television. An annual picnic is mentioned occurring on 2 September. CJOH returned in September with Doug George. The 17th annual Deep Sky Weekend on 29 September, however, drew only a couple of members despite skies rated at “8.5/10.”

The perennial problem of the leaky flat clubhouse roof was finally rectified by the addition of a peaked roof, innovatively attached to the flat roof with hold-down wire and eyebolts. This work was led by Robin Molson, helped by different people, from September through November 1989. During this time there were many complaints about sticky locks and the gate and even the observatory door being left open. No harm or vandalism resulted, however.

The decade ended on another sensational note. On the night of 17 December, Doug George ended a short entry with, “Discovered Comet!!” After two cloudy nights, he and others observed what became known as Comet Skorichenko-George on four successive nights leading up to Christmas Eve. Eleven people signed in for the year’s final star party on 29 December. Richard Wagner noted “more green aurora” and “sky not very transparent, limited to galaxies brighter than 14.8.”

Stalwart RASC members and night sky guardians Pat and Hilderic Browne made their first appearance with Doug George in January 1990. In February, a visitor from the Netherlands wrote “Speechless” followed by a glowing review of their evening written in Dutch.

Upgrades and Aurora

In April 1990 Mike Dacey happily noted, “NGC success! Success! Over 30+ objects. Now I can DIE!” In May Fred Lossing and Frank Roy removed the secondary mirror for re-aluminizing by Peter Cerevolo. A photo of the 1/4 wave interferogram is taped into the logbook.

Robin Molson continued leading the maintenance efforts on the new roof, replacing the stairs [which no longer exist], adding a railing, painting, road work, and changing the locks. Sandy Ferguson reappeared after a long absence to assist with this, along with Doug George, Bill Dey, and others. Gord Grummet, Fred Lossing and their wives paid an inspection visit in June. These efforts turned out to be the lead up to the RASC General Assembly hosted by Ottawa that year, during which a page’s worth of attendees from across the country signed in on Canada Day 1990.

There are frequent mentions of aurora interfering with observations that summer and the next. Despite this, Comet Levy 1990c was appreciated by many observers. Photos of it taken by Frank Roy with an 8” Celestron Schmidt camera are glued into the logbook in October (along with one of M101 the following June). That winter Jupiter was particularly good. In March of 1991 we find the first mention of a CCD being used, by Doug George. High school groups and field naturalist groups continued to visit the site. The star party in May 1991 saw over 25 cars on site under 9/10 skies. That year Fred Lossing and Bill Dey checked out and adjusted the 16” alignment and balance, after Mike Dacey noted that collimation was good but went out when the upper tube was rotated.

Rare occurrence: a photo (M101 by F. Roy) pasted in to the June 1991 pages of Log Book #4

The NGC Max

In summer 1992 a donated NGC Max – a small digital RA/DEC readout with an EEPROM object library – was installed by Doug George and others. The RA drive was removed for repairs by Lossing and Dey. Fred’s sense of humour remained intact: “Painting my small observatory. If you see any white-striped crickets do not be alarmed - it is not a genetic problem.”

Robin Molson [Observatory Committee chair] wrote, in October 1992, “Re: annual report and just looking around.” [That report noted the gate lock had been changed from key to combination, annual fees for clubhouse access were $20 and for clubhouse plus telescope were $35. There were only 8 telescope key holders. Decreased site usage in the early 90’s was blamed on weather, declining centre membership, less radio astronomy activity, and increased gas prices.]

Road plowing was inconsistent that winter. Eric Benson “Had to observe from gate due to 3-4 inches of snow on Boxing Day, and Rick Wagner “Skied in from road” in March. There is only a single log entry in the 1993 months of January, February, and June, and none at all in August. Dave Lauzon did bring out a couple of groups of children for viewing in July. In September [Observers Group chair] Glenn LeDrew reported, “Crowd from Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists and Ottawa Field Naturalists had a great time looking at moon, Saturn, and brighter M-objects.” LeDrew and Al Neilson returned in October and wrote, “Veil Nebula was not to be believed. Saw 2 dust lanes in Andromeda!” The scope optics were performing well, and the skies were truly dark(er).

Site use remained low during the winter of 1994. The weather was so cold the roof wheels froze and prevented the roof from rolling off. Even skiing in was difficult.

Marathons

Messier Marathons had become popular in the early 1990s. They were attempted on two nights in early March 1994, despite temperatures of -5 to -20C. Mike Dacey reported being “cold, unrested, and hungry” and thought “if Messier were alive today, he would not do a Messier Marathon.” Nonetheless, Ajai Sehgal noted, “72 Messiers then clouded up.” At different times Glenn LeDrew brought out a spectroscope for “Spica, Arcturus, a-Herc, and Vega!!!” (reported by the Browne’s) and a UHC filter to “unveil the Veil Nebula,” (reported by Anthony Dore and Doug Luoma). Rolf Meier made his first visit in nearly three years in June 1994, to do some comet hunting, perhaps hoping the 16” would again bring him luck.

The night of 5 August 1994 saw ten people out to view the dramatic results of the impact of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. Paul Klauninger is one of the names. In a short window of good seeing someone, probably Eric Benson using his 16” Dob, has sketched the impact sites in the logbook. A smaller group that included LeDrew, Luoma, and Benson made good use of the next two nights to view a variety of objects such as Saturn, the Saturn Nebula, “Seyfert’s Sextet 3/6 seen for sure”, and the “central star on Ring [M57] at 700x!”

The New Guard

The names LeDrew, Luoma, and Benson dominate the log entries for the next year, though of course joined at various times by Richard Wagner, Rolf Meier and his son Matthew, Anthony Dore, and others. This changing of the guard happened periodically over the years. In a parallel trend, the log entries tend to change. In this period, they become both lengthier and more technical, with detailed lists of observed objects, magnifications, and filters used. Star Nites, on the other hand, all but vanished. [They were often being held at other sites around the valley in that era.]

I was amazed to read that on 10 October 1994 the trio of LeDrew, Luoma, and Benson managed, “Horsehead no filter!” Another landmark occurred on 9 December when LeDrew, Luoma, and John Ellis noted, “the air tonight is the steadiest I’ve ever seen. At 4:30AM EST Glenn + Doug viewed Mars at 1400x ... excellent sub-arcsecond seeing.” Mars was good that winter. LeDrew reported seeing Barnard’s Loop (or part of it), and often noted Zodical Light and Gegenshein.

Eric Benson attempted a Messier Marathon again on 25-26 March 1995 and got all but ten of them; 4 were obscured by trees and 3 by moonlight. Two nights later LeDrew and Luoma claimed “5 (five) nights in a row at IRO - a new record!” Rolf Meier was also on site that night, comet hunting, so perhaps he confirmed the “record”? The same duo was back again on 31 March, sleeping over in the clubhouse from morning twilight until 1pm, then going for breakfast at J.R.’s in Almonte. Anthony Dore made a beautifully descriptive comment that year: “Seeing very steady. Saturn nailed to the sky.”

Governance and Site Changes

Robin Molson continued to log occasionally, though not to observe. He mowed the grass, changed the locks, cut trees back on the lane, and took notes for his annual report to council. [By 1994 the Observatory Committee had shrunk to just one person, Molson, from its typical size of 4-5 people. In 1995 the Ottawa Chapter by-laws needed a major overhaul and council drafted a completely new constitution. The position of the Observatory Director was proposed. Molson was at that time a counselor, and the de facto director.]

Robin Molson, Observatory Committee member, Chairperson, and Director from ~1980-1998

In November 1994 Molson led a work team to relocate and erect two additional small observatories [donated by Art Fraser and Bob Houghton in1992]. The main observatory roof cable broke in March 1995 and needed replacement. John Thompson and John Ellis both led or helped with maintenance work.

On 23 June 1995 Arnie Weeks and Lee MacDonald brought their own gear to observe and left detailed notes, ending with “recommend that Light Pollution Committee issue sharp cutoff lights to local fireflies.” To this day fireflies put on a great show every summer at FLO. In September the Meier family noted “what big trees!” After 18 years, the pastures were filling in.

The 16” mirror was removed on 24 July 1995 [to be re-figured and re-aluminized]. It was not replaced until 8 months later on 26 March 1996. [Problems occurred during re-figuring in Peter Cerevolo’s shop.] Log entries did continue that summer and early fall since more members were bringing their own telescopes to the site by then but dropped to zero from November to March. To host a large group from the Ottawa Field Naturalists, LeDrew had to use the 10” scope. Panoptic and Nagler eyepieces are mentioned (in glowing terms) for the first time in late 1995. On a somewhat bittersweet note, Lossing and Dey “made some efforts to use FPL’s small observatory - not too successful! Saw both sides of Veil Nebula in Glenn’s scope.” In October 1995 Fred Lossing made his very last logbook entry during the annual site inspection with Molson.

In the spring of 1996 Comet Hyakutake put on a splendid show for members and guests. In October 1996 a group of only three, Rolf and Matthew Meier and Lee McDonald, note, “The Secret Deep Sky Weekend.” The popularity of these had waned. Al Seaman [future director] made his first entry that November, repairing the control box and learning to use the 16” telescope. Book #4 ends on 13 March 1997 with Seaman enjoying views and photographing Comet Hale-Bopp.

Next Month: Book 5 – The IRO becomes FLO (1997-2006)

A Few Humble Images 

by

Douglas Fleming 

Here are some first serious efforts on my part, taken under clear skies and good seeing from my back deck in suburban Ottawa this winter (Bortle 7 skies). Even though these are modest in comparison with our colleagues, I am happy with them.

They demonstrate what can be done when keeping one’s rig out all winter (under a blanket, tarp and with a single red lightbulb) and wired up and controlled from the coziness of one’s basement (beverages optional).

Thanks to the advice given by our colleagues, I have left the rig outdoors since Xmas, covering everything with a thick blanket and waterproof cover. A red tinged light bulb keeps the mechanics from getting too stiff. The dew heaters were going full blast while imaging and needed a second Powertank battery to get through the evening.  

The targets were the ones I could profitably concentrate on close to the zenith in the narrow band between the rear of the house and my neighbor’s trees. Polar alignment was tricky since I don’t have a clear view of Polaris and had to rely chiefly on drift alignment. Achieving polar and star alignment, in fact, took several pain-staking evenings before I could confidently put the mount into home position at the end of the night. 

All shot with Canon 750D; prime focus (35mm); no filters, flats or darks (will know better next time!); ISO 1600; 10 sec exposures (except single moon and scopes); DeepSkyStacker 4.25 (to obtain best 40 images for each) and Gimp 2.10.18 (to improve contrast). Celestron C-8” Newtonian Astrograph and Skywatcher Maksutov 5” (for Beehive); HEQ5 mount. 

The Moon needs no introduction.

The rest of my targets were all photographed using a Celestron C-8 Newtonian Astrograph 8-inch, f/5, except as noted: 

M36 (NGC1960) Pinwheel Open Cluster in Auriga. Apparent magnitude 6.3; 4,100 light years distant; 25 million years old; 178 members to magnitude 14; discovered by Hodierna; catalogued by Messier in 1764. 

M37 (NGC2099) Open Cluster in Auriga. Apparent magnitude 6.2; 4,500 light years distant; 346-550 million years old; 150 members to magnitude 12.5; discovered by Hodierna; catalogued by Messier in 1764. In antipodal direction opposite the galactic centre. 

M38 (NGC1912) Starfish Open Cluster in Auriga. Apparent magnitude 7.4; 3,480 light years distant; 290 million years old; 100 members; discovered by Hodierna; catalogued by Messier in 1764. 

Photographed using a Skywatcher Maksutov 5-inch, f/10:

M44 (NGC2632) Beehive; Prasesepe; Manger; Gap in the Hair; Mansion Pushya; Ghost; Breath of Corpses Open Cluster in Cancer. Apparent magnitude 3.7; 11.4 light years distant (nearest cluster to earth); 600-700 million years old; 1000+ members; visible naked eye; first telescopically observed by Galileo; catalogued by Messier in 1769. Two exo-planets discovered within system in 2012.

February 12 (-21C; wind 10kph out of NW).

On to more challenges! Clear skies, Doug 

Member Profile – Al Scott

Could you give our readers a little bit of info about your background?

I come from an apple farm near Leamington Ontario where the skies used to be very dark. I was inspired by the beauty of the stars and the wonder of what is out there. I went on to get a BSc in Physics, followed by a PhD in Astrophysics.

How did you get into amateur astronomy?

The wonder of the stars inspired me. I read as much as I could on astronomy.  My dad bought me a tiny department store telescope when I was just a little guy. Somehow, he was able to show me Haley's comet, and that was a moment I'll never forget. I tried to use the telescope myself, and had some fun looking at the moon, but was quickly turned off of amateur viewing through the tiny eyepiece. I memorized all the facts about the solar system and stars that one could get in the 'Our Universe' glossy coffee table books. Unfortunately, without the internet or a university-level mathematics background, there was no way to progress beyond those introductory simple facts.  All the books I found in the library were either glossy fact books, or scientific papers. Over the years I fell away from astronomy. After that, I got the opportunity to take astronomy courses in University and for the first time since I was 12 years old, I was able to start learning new stuff about the universe.  I volunteered to help with crowds of viewers at the campus Observatory viewing comet Hyakutake, showing Saturn and the moon through smaller amateur scopes.  Once I graduated from University I came to Ottawa for a job with CAL, and that was when I first joined the RASC and became involved with amateur astronomy once again. I was looking for a way to stay connected with the field of astronomy, and to keep abreast of the science. I served for several years as a councillor and took on the responsibility of running the Ted Bean telescope loan library and over time we replaced many of the older persnickety scopes with more user-friendly modern versions. I then served as Vice President, and President of the Ottawa Chapter. I recently received the best Presentation award, and the Ottawa Chapter Service Award.

What excited you about it?

Originally, I was just excited to learn as much as I could about the Universe and our place in it. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know the limits of our knowledge, as it seemed that scientists knew everything. I was surprised to learn how little we actually know and how much there is still available to be discovered.

What excites you still today?

I really love to share the wonder of astronomical science and what we know about the Universe with the general public. Doing the Astro-News segment at monthly meetings has been a lot of fun. To know that the Universe is mind bogglingly large, with endless star systems and planets in an endless array of galaxies over immense regions of space provides me with a sense of awe. The fact that we can learn so much from the paltry trickle of photons we receive from objects at the edge of the cosmos fascinates me. I love translating my excitement about science to the world.

What aspects of the hobby have particularly held your interest?

I've been particularly interested in large existential questions, cosmology, and philosophy. What is our place in the universe, what is our purpose, and where is the universe going? The mapping of the cosmic microwave background to discover the structure in the distribution of the echoes of the big bang was a truly ground-breaking discovery.  Now, the discoveries with the LIGO observatory detecting merging black holes billions of light years away is opening up a new window on the universe.  In the amateur observing sense, however, my favourite experience was experiencing the Leonid meteor showers early in this millennium.

What kinds of observing do you do?

I love looking at the planets and the few Messier objects I know how to find whenever I get a clear opening in the clouds and sharing the joy of this hobby with my wife and kids. I love sitting by the fire on summer evenings and just looking up at the sky, maybe even scanning the Milky Way with a pair of binoculars.  Seeing the recent conjunction with both Jupiter and Saturn in the same telescopic field was a high point in my observing.

What connections has the hobby made to the rest of your life?

I've been inspired by the amazing photos provided each month by our amazing members. I've made many professional contacts through my time in the club. Our membership includes world-class professionals in optical and astronomy-related fields. I've also started a weekly podcast called "The Rational View" where I've been interviewing people in a wide variety of fields including friends from the club, to get their opinions on important social issues. My work in the RASC and popularizing astronomy has played a not insignificant part in my being recently named as Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada for 2021.

What advice would you give to novice amateur astronomers?

Don't buy a department store telescope. Come to the RASC meetings and learn from us. Our members know how to do amateur astronomy at all levels and have great advice to help you progress through the hobby.

Tell us about your Podcast, The Rational View. 

I started the podcasts in the summer of 2020. I had, for a long time, been pondering what I wanted to do with my life, and I had been dismayed by the rise of anti-science anti-knowledge sentiments on internet discussion forums. I have been fighting against these trends unsuccessfully for decades.  I was getting frustrated that my one-on-one battles with internet trolls were having very little impact in stemming the flood of ignorance.  I had built up a background of several issues that I wanted to discuss in front of a larger audience, and I felt with the way the US was going that I didn't have much time left if I wanted to make a difference.  So, that was the motivation. Public policy should not be left to politicians and popular opinion. I believe that too many decisions are based not on a rational assessment of public good, but instead on knee jerk populism, or worse on personal greed and corruption. So, I wanted to help popularize rational thinking and the scientific method and show how it could be applied to public policy. Also, there are lots of cool ideas that I wanted to share with a larger audience.

Did COVID have anything to do with you starting the podcast? 

Yes, I think the COVID pandemic gave me the perspective and push that I needed to make the jump into podcasting.

Are you getting the response you desired? 

The podcast reception has been great. I have 46 weekly episodes so far and over 32,000 downloads. It takes a few hours every week to keep producing new content and locating interviewees. In terms of feedback, I've rubbed a few people the wrong way with my opinions, but that is not unexpected when you challenge pre-conceived notions with evidence. My largest following is in the eco-modernist community where I've argued strongly for the need for new reactors to respond to the climate change crisis.  I've been invited to be a guest on a few other podcasts discussing my podcast, and eco-modernism. 

Here’s a link to the podcast:

 https://therationalview.podbean.com

Monthly Challenge Objects

By Oscar Echeverri

Submitted Images

from Howard Simkover

Jupiter and Mercury

Mars & the Pleiades

The Moon, March 1st

from Andrea Girones

IC 405 – The Flame Nebula

M1 – the Crab Nebula

NGC 4725

Needle Galaxy

from Bob Olson

M63 – The Sunflower Galaxy

M64 – The Blackeye Galaxy

from Paul Klauninger

Zodiacal light on March 14, 2021

Apollo 15 landing site at Hadley Rille

South polar lunar mountains on March 16, 2021

Announcements

Estelle’s Pick of the Month

The Library is closed until our physical meetings resume.

Carp Star Parties

We are looking for a Public Star Party Co-ordinator. If you are interested in taking on this fulfilling position please contact our new President, Stephen Nourse at president@ottawa.rasc.ca

FLO Star Party Dates for 2020

  • Our Ottawa Centre’s Members’ Star Parties at the FLO will continue this winter. 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. The GO/NO GO call will be made on the Centre mailing list, about noon the day of the star party.

SUMMER & FALL DATES

  • February 13 – Waxing Crescent, 2 days old, 4.5% illumination NO GO

  • March 13 – Waxing Crescent, 30 days old, 0.3% illumination NO GO

  • April 10 – Waning Crescent, 28 days, 2.3% illumination due to COVID restrictions

  • May 15 – Waxing Crescent, 3 days, 12.6% illumination

  • June 12 – Waxing Crescent, 2 days, 4.3% illumination

Next Meeting

7:30 PM Friday May 7, 2021 This will be A VIRTUAL MEETING ON ZOOM. Watch for email updates. Note there will be no $4.00 parking fee so you have now saved over $50. The meeting runs until 9:30 pm

PLUS: all our regular meeting features: Ottawa Skies, 10-minute Astronomy News Update, Observation Reports and, sadly, no Door Prizes!

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

To subscribe (or unsubscribe) to our members-only discussion list (rascottawa@googlegroups.com ) please contact secretary@ottawa.rasc.ca .

The Ottawa Centre 2020 Council
President: Stephen Nourse (president@ottawa.rasc.ca)
Vice President: Dave Chisholm
Secretary: Chris Teron (secretary@ottawa.rasc.ca)
Treasurer: David Parfett (treasurer@ottawa.rasc.ca)
Centre Meeting Chair: Dave Chisholm (meetingchair@ottawa.rasc.ca)
Councillors: Carmen Rush, Gerry Shewan, Jim Sofia
National Council Representatives: Paul Sadler, OPEN
Past President: Mike Moghadam

2020 Appointed Positions
Membership: Art Fraser
Star Parties: OPEN

Fred Lossing Observatory: Rick Scholes (flo@ottawa.rasc.ca)
Light Pollution Abatement: OPEN
Public Outreach Coordinator: Jean-Sebastien (JS) Gaudet
Hospitality: Art & Anne Fraser
Stan Mott Astronomy Library: Estelle Rother
Ted Bean Telescope Library: Darren Weatherall
Webmaster: Mick Wilson (webmaster@ottawa.rasc.ca)
AstroNotes Editors: Gordon Webster & Douglas Fleming (astronotes@ottawa.rasc.ca)