AstroNotes 2021 June Vol: 60 issue 06

Editor’s Message . Ottawa Skies . The Ottawa Observatory . Member Profile . Monthly Challenge Objects . Submitted Images . Members in the News . Carp Star Parties . FLO Star Parties . Next Meeting . Centre Information



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Volume 60 – No. 6 – June 2021

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All copyrights, including the photographs, belong directly to the authors. No reprints without permission.

Editor’s Message

Out of fear of oncoming trains, I am a little afraid to stick my head into the tunnel again. That said, the tunnel doesn’t appear as dark as it did a short while ago, so maybe. COVID infections are dropping and more of us are getting vaccinated. In another week every eligible member of my family will have received their first dose and I will be fully vaccinated on Canada Day. I suspect that many of you are in a similar situation and with the Province accelerating the second dose I think most of us will be fully vaccinated by the end of the summer which means that most of us will be able to participate in the FLO 50th Anniversary Event that is being planned for Saturday, September 11. Mark your calendars now because you won’t want to miss it. We will have lots of special events, workshops, a guest speaker or two, a special Observing Challenge list and a Star Party. If you haven’t been in 20 years, you will want to walk down this memory lane. If you haven’t been, now is the time. More details will be in the July issue.

It looks like the province restrictions on outdoor gatherings will be eased on Friday, June 11 and we will be allowed 10 people at the FLO Star Party scheduled for Saturday, June 12. Based on those two pieces of information you might want to be sure you have your umbrella with you if you go anywhere on the weekend. GO/NOGO call will be made about noon Saturday.

This month we continue with Rick Scholes series on the history of the FLO as seen through the logbooks. This month brings us to the present day. As well we have a Member Profile of long-time member, Barry Matthews. You will be amazed at what he is doing these days.

Don’t forget about the eclipse Thursday, June 10. The event will be underway at 5:15AM when the Sun rises and be all over by 6:40AM. Details in Ottawa Skies. Please view safely.

Clear skies and stay safe,


Ottawa Skies

By David Chisholm

Full Moon June 24th - 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 18:40 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Strawberry Moon because it signaled the time of year to gather ripening fruit. It also coincides with the peak of the strawberry harvesting season. This moon has also been known as the Rose Moon and the Honey Moon. This is also the last 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.

French astronomer Jean Louis Pons discovered this comet in June 1819, which was then rediscovered in March 1858 by German astronomer Friedrich Winnecke. Comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke belongs to the Jupiter family of comets, short-period (6.4 years) comets with orbits primarily determined by Jupiter.


Not Visible until July 4.

Rise/Set 06:16/21:34 -> 04:15/19:00

July 4 - Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation. above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.


Visible in the evening.

Rise/Set 06:26/22:05 -> 07:22/22:24


Visible in the evening.

Rise/Set 08:24/23:44 -> 08:05/22:43


Visible before sunrise

Rise/Set 01:27/11:47 -> 23:30/09:55


Visible late evening and through night.

Rise/Set 00:41/10:10 -> 22:41/08:10



Visible before sunrise.

Rise/Set 03:58/18:03 -> 02:08/16:16



Visible before sunrise

Rise/Set 02:14/13:40 -> 00:20/11:47


The Ottawa Centre Observatory:
A History – by Rick Scholes

Book 6: The FLO Reaches its Fifth Decade (2006-2019)

The year 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the Ottawa Centre 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 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].

During this era Al Seaman stepped down as Observatory Director after 12 years, and the venerable 16” telescope was retired from service after 46 years.

I would like to retroactively thank Richard Taylor for generously providing the ‘archive’ photos taken at the 1998 FLO dedication ceremony which appeared in my previous article on book 5 in the May Astronotes. Thanks to Duncan Seaman and Dave Lauzon for providing photos, and to Brian McCullough for making connections.

More Tree Clearing

The spring of 2006 was a wet one. Al Seaman reported a slushy road plus “grass and bugs have been growing like crazy.” Only two members, Matt Weeks and Paul Wefers Bettink, made observing entries in May. The latter’s entry was, “Did some imaging. 6 other people were here observing.” None of those six made log entries.

The Brownes continued to hold sessions for visitors and Al Seaman conducted spring and fall training sessions for nine new users. [That year, there were 24 key holders and 416 Ottawa centre members.] “Headland” makes the first mention of a Mallin Cam Pro. Pat Browne, Chris Teron, and Al Seaman did prep work for tree clearing, which was then carried out in February 2007 by MVCA staff. Geoff Meek wrote, “The tree cutting has had an incredible effect on the star gazing experience. It seems much more open.” Later in April Al reports that they also “cut down the big trees along power line. Looks much better.”

Panorama from the observing mound in 2008 (looking E, SE, and S), showing “Fred’s Shed”, a portion of the old rail fence, and felled trees (photo: Al Seaman)

Doug Luoma returned that spring and wrote an amusing entry: “1st time out in a long time. Very enjoyable! Bino observing with my 22x100’s and Dob chair mount. Orion Neb fantastic with the ultrablock filters engaged. Pleasantly surprised by Saturn with rings and Titan - not just a football.” Dave Fedosiewich returned for made regular visits to view Perseids, galaxies, and comets. The name column in the log was still too narrow to fit Dave’s full name! Always one to carefully report on sky conditions, Glenn LeDrew recorded ‘Sky Quality Meter’ values each time he visited that year. The value on a good night was 21.3 mag/arcsec2.

A Sense of History

In the summer of 2007 Frank Roy returned after a long absence. He left a number of entries showing his sense of history and attention to detail.

13 June: “Tree rings indicate 22 yrs c.1985” (referring to the trees that had recently been cut), and

“Road almost gone!!” (referring to the original access road from the adjacent farmhouse.)

1 August: “30 Anniversary of the Great Move NMO -> IRO”

13 October: “35th Annual Deep Sky Weekend Very Clear 10/10 cool 3C Where is everybody???”,


“lim mag zenith 6.2-6.3, in 1977 lim mag ~7.0”

The winter of 2007-8 will be remembered for its very large snow accumulation. Beginning in late November all the entries relate to snow clearing by Al Seaman, assisted by Geoff Meek. No observing was recorded from December until 28 February, when Geoff snowshoed in to observe with a new UHC filter. Al finally got a contractor to clear another 2-3foot snow dump on March 12th.

In April and November of 2008 “Astronomy Class” was held by Doug George. Pat Brown assisted and also did other outreach sessions. Al held a scope training session for eight members. Strangely, relatively few visits were logged by the new trainees.

International Astronomy Year: 2009

In late March 2009 Geoff Meek attempted a Messier Marathon in skies that started out clear but got soupy. “I think I got 95 Messiers, but it was tough. Seven other people here tonight but I am the only one to sign the log!” My own first recorded visit appears on 24 May 2009. The Browne’s and Brian Ventrudo were my hosts, and I was hooked. The 16” telescope opened up a whole new universe compared to my 10cm reflector!

The director role transitioned from Al Seaman to Bryan Black that year. Dave Fedosiewich took over much of the grass mowing (“Fun with mowers”) and electrical repair work (“Fixed stuff”). In April power to the observatory failed. Ken Smith connected up an extension cord temporarily, then installed a new underground cable in June, and a new armored cable to the telescope in September. The latter was wedged into the ever-widening crack in the observatory floor and covered over with concrete patch. Ken also repaired the hand controller. Al Seaman’s second last log entry was on 4 July with Ron St. Martin. Ron took over the annual lock change and key fee collection, while Pat and Hilderic Browne assumed the scope training role.

Bryan Black brought his carpentry skills to bear, installing new shelving in both the clubhouse and the observatory, as well as rebuilding the observatory roof flaps which had been causing problems for years. Measurements, fabrications, installation, and painting all took over 30 hours of effort. Of the observatory shelves, he wrote, “I hope they hold up forever.” They have so far.

Clubhouse and observatory shelving built and installed by Bryan Black in 2009 (photos: R. Scholes)

Dave Fedosiewich managed to observed double-transits on Jupiter twice, on 19 and 26 August. Ron St. Martin became a very regular user, often arriving late after others had left and staying all night to observe and image.

A New Decade

In May of 2010 the grounds were assessed by Brian Black and Ross Fergusson (MVCA) in preparation for tree clearing, road leveling, and parking lot expansion. Some heavy equipment did the initial work in May. Rob Relyea and Geoff Meek assisted with grounds work some observatory repainting. Bryan had a commercial-grade outhouse installed in July with the help of Dave F. and Sanjeev Sivarulrasa.

Pat Browne wowed a large crowd of about 14 neighbours in July, assisted by Gordon Webster and Geoff Meek. The 10” DOB (refurbished in 2001) is mentioned being used by Bryan and others that year. That fall Sanjeev made a salient entry: “Good run of clear skies at FLO this November (other sites to the west were unavailable due to hunting season).” Another advantage of a conservation area!

On 18 December 2010 Bryan wrote, “Trees cut - southern horizon.” (I’d love to know which trees and see a photo of these results, because by 2019 it had to be done all over again.) That winter Ron St. Martin was a regular user, despite temperatures as low as -28C. A late snow on 7 March 2011 forced him to walk in.

Pat Browne trained a sprinkling of new observers that spring but very few subsequently made log entries. Dave Fedosiewich gave Televue a good review; “Saturn was awesome with the 8mm Ethos.” Shinya Sato made a few visits “for imaging”, as did Sanjeev, but other than that the bulk of the 2011 entries were made by Bryan, Dave, and Ron. Bryan organized road improvement work with local contractor Oliver Toop and on 13 July reported, “Road work completed.” Presumably gravel was added – details were not recorded. The MVCA cleared brush along the hydro line in October (and did it again in 2020).

On Christmas Eve 2011 Bryan Black recorded, “Ploughed. Everything ok... Good to see Shinya coming out. I hope to have the road ploughed every time it snows, so people can come out whenever the mood motivates them.” We do value the logbook entries since they validate our site maintenance efforts. [Regular snow clearing is now standard practice all winter.]

I do appreciate the difficulty of making legible, coherent log entries when your brain and hands are tired and cold. My own writing is barely legible. After starting many entries, I realize I
should have thought through the comments before picking up the pen. We only ask users to do their best. Consider starting your entry at the beginning of the evening, with the intention of adding to it later, as some have done over the years. One of my better entries can be found on 20 Feb 2012 when I spent a couple of hours on my Messier hunt: “Nice evening. Road is great, path treacherous —> the bobsled run! Sand? Venus, Jupiter, Messier hunting - 19 found.” Succinct, descriptive, and lighthearted.

In April Bryan installed new commercial grade carpet in the warm room, noting, “Clubhouse smells better.” He also lamented, “I don’t know how to eliminate the yearly infestation of lady bugs?” In May he wrote a heartfelt entry to say that the directorship had been handed off to Ron St. Martin. Bryan hoped that he had “left FLO better than when I found it”, and ended with, “So until we bump again in the dark, look up, way up, and marvel at the night sky.”

Commemorative historical poster featuring the Ottawa Centre and FLO, framed and donated by Bryan Black. This now hangs in the clubhouse at FLO. (photo: R. Scholes)



The 16” Gets a New Coat

In June 2012 Ron removed the 16” optics for its second re-coating, the first having been done in 1996 during Al Seaman’s tenure. This job took 3 months. There was a lull in usage while the telescope was down, though Shinya and others brought their own gear and Dave Fedosiewich used the 10” DOB. Pat Browne held a neighbor appreciation night when the 16” was re-opened. That fall Ron mentioned “visit from a fox” and also a rare aurora “massive green ... lasted till 3:15 WOW”. Bryan Black made a couple of final entries to return binders of observatory information and ensure the road was being ploughed.

The majority of entries in 2013 were by Ron (particularly in the winter), Shinya Sato, and Dave Fedosiewich (who helped with grass mowing). Oscar Echeverri began to observe regularly. Comet Pan-STARRS made its appearance. Pat Browne and Doug George continued their courses and outreach efforts. A visitor in early 2014 wrote, “Space is beautiful, ** like still snowflakes in the sky ****.” Paul Sadler made his first entry in March 2014.

For the 12 months from May 2014 through April 2015 Ron St. Martin probably set a record for site usage, accounting for over 60% of the logbook entries, mostly imaging into the wee hours and also doing the necessary snow clearing and road repairs. His son Carl added, “Love this place” to one entry. Gordon Webster conducted several tour groups through in the spring of 2015. Pat Browne also brought a grating for spectroscopy and demonstrated it for her night sky course. [In 2014 Pat had also looked into relocating Paul Boltwood’s observatory to FLO. The project did not come to pass.]

Veterans and Newcomers

May 2015 saw the return of two FLO veterans: Al Seaman and Rob Dick. Even though they were daytime visits they were conscientious enough to fill out the log. Al wrote, “Quick afternoon visit to check mounting for slow motion drive and a dog walk.” Rob wrote, “How long has it been? Maybe 20 years? It has changed so much. There is forest now, but it seems more intimate for observing - neat.”

Two members who would become very active users made their first visits that summer: Konstantin Popov and Taras Rabarskyi. Konstantin made his first visit as a solo user of the 16” on 11 July 2015. He recorded a long entry about the sky conditions, objects observed, comparison to his own scopes, and ended with, “The evil has name, by the way. That name is ... mosquitos.” Taras made his first entry in August 2015, using the 16” for prime focus photography. A couple of times that fall Ron arrived around midnight, observed and then stayed on to mow the grass before leaving at midday.

In July I held an outreach session with four visiting friends and then later collected M7, M69, M70, and M54 in Scorpius. This left me one Messier short of completing the list. To get the low declination Messiers I had scouted the site earlier in July in order to calculate at what time they would appear in the gap of trees that were obstructing the southern horizon, and written, “Need to trim trees.” In mid-September I located M55 to complete the hunt, having failed to find it earlier that month. “Opened at 8:30, close 9:30pm. Off to celebrate!”

The MVCA did a little tree cutting to the southwest of the observing mound in December 2015. No details were recorded, but it can’t have been a substantial amount. (That would happen in 2018.)

Log entries in the winter, spring and summer 2016 were dominated by Ron, Taras, and Konstantin. Another indication of site usage occurs on 11 March 2016. Only two members left entries, though many more were present: Andrew Brown wrote, “First time out to this observatory. Wonderful skies” and Stuart Glen, who wrote, “First evening under the stars in months. About 7-10 people overall.” It was a busy summer, with Saturn, Mars, and mosquitoes all prominent. Dave Fedosiewich left a one-word entry on 30 June: “Bugs!”

In August Dave Lauzon returned, and wrote, “Out for astrophotography - 1st time since the 90’s!” On 24 September Gordon Webster noted, “Star BQ”, the first one mentioned in many years. Attendance was not recorded. The only other entry was by Rick Wagner: “Great to be back here @FLO after so many years!!” [Two veterans who would no longer visit were Al Seaman and Rolf Meier, both of whom died in 2016.]

On 19 December 2016 the electronics for the 16” drive system failed. This spelled the beginning of the end for the venerable workhorse which had served the club so well since 1971. Site use continued through the winter and spring with people mostly bringing their own gear. Pat Browne and her team performed troubleshooting and attempted repairs throughout April 2017 but were unsuccessful. This didn’t prevent the scope being used manually for her night sky course and other outreach.

Big Changes

May 2017 was notable for Dr. Who and the Daleks both passing through and leaving log entries. Also, member star parties started up (and continue to this day, in months when weather permits.) After a call for volunteers, Dave Lauzon and I agreed to share the role of FLO Director. It was at this time that I learned that council had decided to retire the 16”.

Under the guidance of Gordon Webster and Stephen Nourse, Dave and I led volunteer work teams to perform a new series of renovations and upgrades. On 3 June the rusting metal observatory roof was given a fresh coat of white paint and loose roofing screws were tightened or replaced. The wooden roof ends were sanded and repainted. On 10 June the steel beams for the roll off roof were cut at the clubhouse flange and reattached with adjustable plates, in order to level them and reduce friction during roll off. The clubhouse walls were scraped and repainted, caulking was added around the door frames, and concrete sealant to the observatory wall cracks. On 21 June I built a simple fence along the east and south edges of the observing mound to replace the original which had long since fallen down.

On the night of 21 June 2017 Dan Vasiu, myself, and visitor Donna Christie were present for: “Nostalgic last view using the original 16” telescope. Clear skies, cool night kept bugs away. We looked at M4, M13, M51, M57, Albireo, Jupiter, and Saturn.” On 24 June another work team removed the 16” to offsite storage. The fate of the 16” will be reported in a future article.

16” telescope decommissioned and disassembled, June 2017, showing left to right: Gordon Webster, Stephen Nourse, Rick Scholes, Dan Vasiu (photo: David Lauzon)

Site improvements continued. A storage shed for the lawnmower and other tools was installed beside the clubhouse. Old magazines and papers, along with many mouse droppings and dead lady bugs, were purged from the clubhouse. On 28 September a contractor poured a new concrete floor for the observatory and the clubhouse door lock was changed to a programmable Schlage unit - no more keys! Finally, on 1 October 2017 the observatory received its “new-to-us” telescope, an 18” Starmaster Dob. It had been donated by Mike Wirths and refurbished by Attilla Danko, Richard Harding, and Ingrid de Buda.

18” Starmaster DOB installed at FLO in October 2017 (photos: R. Scholes)

In the meantime, site use had continued with personal telescopes or even just binoculars and a lawn chair (J. O’Hanley, 22 Sept.). At the members star party on 23 September Dave Lauzon noted with satisfaction, “best guess ~ 20 cars + 35-40 people over the night. VERY SUCCESSFUL night. Many 1st timers?” Pat’s night sky course continued, and the McCoun Field Club was given an outreach session.

As training began on the Starmaster, various adjustments had to be made to the telescope and the user guide. Thanks to 25% more light collecting area and the excellent figuring of the 18” mirror, regulars Pat, Taras, and Konstantin, all gave rave reviews. On 27 November Taras wrote: “M42, M1, M15 look GREAT! M1 still pretty dim. NB: colour tint was noticed independently by me and Konstantin while observing M42 ... Starmaster 18” RULES!”

The downside of a telescope designed and built in Kansas [by Rick Singmaster, who died in 2020] did become apparent that winter. The heater built into its computer controller does not cope well when temperatures plunge to the -20C range that are routine in our winters.

In May 2018 the directors met on site with Ross Fergusson of the MVCA to discuss another round of tree clearing to improve the southern view. Dave Lauzon recorded a logbook sketch which mapped out the area between the power line and the blue hiking trail. It was hoped this large area would be cut that spring. Eventually that October a narrower swath of trees was cut by the MVCA, lowering the tree line to about 10° above the horizon over an azimuth span of about 20°, as viewed from the observatory. MVCA also agreed to cut the parking lot grass with their ride-on mower. Shinya Sato donated a brand-new lawnmower to FLO for mound and lane way cutting. Barry Matthews donated a whipper snipper. Member generosity is always appreciated, and charitable donation receipts can be provided!

Lawnmower donated by Shinya Sato (pictured) and new sign by Gordon Webster (photo: R. Scholes)


Logbook entries increased in frequency that year. The 18” was used often by all the new trainees, the 10” occasionally, and many brought their own gear for astrophotography. Some entries include long lists of objects observed, cameras and software used. Members star parties were regular and well attended. Vesta was picked up by both Philip Aubin and Taras Rabarskyi that July - minor planets are rarely mentioned in the logbooks.


In the summer of 2018, the Starmaster began to exhibit various drive motion problems that took two years to fully solve. There were a number of root causes: wiring and connectors not designed for outdoor use; wear-out and improper charging of the 12V batteries; excess friction on the azimuth bearing surface leading to the telescope stalling during motion and divots being dug in the wooden ground board by the metal pinion gear.


Significant site expansion was begun in the fall of 2018. The slightly raised area to the north of the parking lot, now referred to as the “north mound”, was cleared and leveled by a contractor. A work team led by Andrew Brown and Chris Teron then build a 12’x12’cedar deck in December. The following April a purchased SkyShed Pod and a Meade 14” SCT telescope (from the clubs donation collection) were installed. Also, the 18’ observatory door was changed to a Schlage electronic lock.

FLO deck construction 1.JPG

Andrew Webster (5yrs old), Andrew Brown, Chris Teron & Oscar Echeverri building the North Observatory Deck – photo by Gordon Webster.

Deck and Skyshed Pod on new ‘north mound’

(photo: R. Scholes)

Chris Teron with Meade 14” SCT (photo: R. Scholes)


Boxing Day 2018 contains one of my favourite log entries, made by Gordon Dewis, a regular observer of the monthly challenge objects. Things did not go as planned yet his sense of humour shone through. A photo of his entry appears below. There was a postscript to the story: the skies cleared during his drive home, but he chose not to return!


Log book #6 entry by Gordon Dewis, December 2018 (photo: R. Scholes)

On 1 February 2019 I noted, “Day time visit to shovel path. Again. Set a record for January snowfall this year (97cm).” By this time however the lane way and parking lot were being cleared by a plowing contractor [$80 per visit]. The remaining entries to the end of logbook 6 in July 2019 are a flurry of references to 18” maintenance and training, grass mowing, setup and testing of the Meade 14”, along with members star parties and some observing by the regulars.


Next month: Book 7 – The FLO turns 50 (2019-2021)


Member Profile




Barry Matthews:

A Biography


My interest in astronomy began when I joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1955 as a Radar Technician and was called on sometimes to assist the officers of the watch, as a “Navigators Yeoman”. The use of a sextant and a knowledge of the night sky were necessary to get a fix on our position, and so I was first introduced to studying the sky while bobbing around the North and South Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Arctic Oceans!


I left the Navy in 1965 to work for Maritime Telephone, and after a couple of years was loaned to Trans Canada Telephone and moved to Ottawa. While touring the Dominion Observatory here, I was greeted by a lady who realized I had an interest in astronomy, and suggested I join the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. She was a member of the Ottawa Centre, and I felt a bit overwhelmed as I was new to astronomy. But she encouraged me, so I filled out the application form and joined.


So started my many years as an active member of the Observers group of the RASC Ottawa Centre.


Around 1970, I returned to Halifax and my job with Maritime Telephone. I met up with an informal group of astronomers who got together in Halifax and met many interesting people there. The suggestion was made to become a Centre of the RASC, and I was pleased to attend the GA that year to make a formal application for a Centre in Halifax.


Due to some health concerns of a family member, the decision was made to move back to

Ottawa after a short time. I have lived here ever since. I found a job with Bell, and eventually moved on to working on government contracts, mostly for DND and Health Canada. I became quite involved again with the RASC Ottawa Centre. At that time many members were actively making their own telescopes, and I was encouraged and guided through making my own 6” Newtonian telescope. My observing interests were double stars, and I made my own Filar Micrometer, which I used for many years. I was lunar coordinator, and wrote many articles for AstroNotes, as well as having an interest in the sun and planets.


I enjoyed traveling down to Stellafane each year for their convention, along with other members from the Centre. Ottawa members had an excellent reputation for winning awards for telescopes they had built in those days, and it was a wonderful experience to meet so many other amateur astronomers.


I became an Ottawa rep. for the RASC National Office and enjoyed attending the annual GA’s held in many locations having RASC centres in Canada. Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting astronomers from all across Canada.


I have an interest in the history of astronomy, and eventually became chair of the National Council History Committee.

In 1998 my wife Cecilia and I started our own company, repairing and servicing microscopes, binoculars and telescopes. We traveled through Northern and Eastern Ontario to schools, hospitals, veterinary clinics, and other laboratories for a job we both greatly enjoyed. We often took a telescope along to take advantage of the dark Northern skies.


During this period, I made up a 5” f11.2 Mead refractor. We designed and built an observatory in our backyard, for it. We named it Inukshuk observatory. The GoTo drive was powered by two solar panels. While a location in the city is not ideal for observing, it certainly made up for it in convenience, and I enjoyed having my telescope set up and ready go whenever I wanted to use it.


Now at 83, I find it too cold, or wet, or buggy, or late... to go out and observe.


But I have found a hobby related to astronomy that I enjoy. I am making “to scale”, model replicas of famous telescopes. The average size of each model is about 6” or 8”. They are mostly made of brass, and some wood. I research the history of a telescope, and who owned it. I have made models of telescopes belonging to Winthrop, Helivus, Captain Cooke, Maria Mitchell, and Einstein, to name a few.


I have met many interesting astronomers, both amateur and professional, and made many wonderful friends as a result of my time with the RASC. There is nothing like a common interest to bring people together, and I recommend joining the RASC to anyone with a budding interesting astronomy.


Ed. - Here are a few samples of the models Barry is making.


Picture 27

Herchel First planet discovered with a telescope.

Hevelius Solar scope 1600s


Hevelius refractor 1600s


Cap. Cook 2 scopes taken to Tahiti.


Maria Mitchel. First woman to discover a comet.

Monthly Challenge Objects

By Oscar Echeverri

Submitted Images



The Moon and Mercury, May 13. 2021 - Howard Simkover

Richard Taylor

I was taking pictures of the first quarter moon in May, and when I processed them, it made me recall a similar picture that I took previously. I searched through my files and found that I had photographed a similar phase of the moon last October. But when I compared the two photos, I was amazed at how different they were due to libration! I think this pair of photos really shows how much the moon wobbles. We DON'T just see one side of the moon!


Both pictures were taken with my 8" Bausch and Lomb SCT and a Canon EOS M100 camera but using quite different processes. In October I took a low resolution video and stacked the best frames using PiPP and Autostakkert!, then I used "wavelet" sharpening in Registrax. This May, I took a few hundred full resolution jpg images, Stacked the best 10% in Autostakkert!, then used Photoshop Elements to sharpen the stacked image.



M 64 - Oscar Echeverri

M 4 Cat’s Eye – Bob Olson

M 23 Bob Olson

M 20 The Trifid Nebula – Bob Olson

M 22 Sagittarius Cluster – Bob Olson


NGC 4565 – Bob Olson

M 85 and company – Bob Olson

Partial Eclipse May 20, 2012 – Paul Klauninger

Paul Klauninger

Moon with Leibnitz Beta Massif at South Pole May 14, 2021 – Paul Klauninger

Members in the News



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


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.


  • May 15 – Waxing Crescent, 3 days, 12.6% illumination NO GO due to Lockdown

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

  • July 10 – The day after New Moon, .06% illumination

  • August 7 – The day before New Moon, .5% illumination

  • September 11 – 50th Anniversary Event – details coming soon

  • October 9 – Waxing Crescent, 3 days old, 16.6% illumination

  • November 6 – Waxing Crescent, 2 days old, 6.5% illumination

  • December 4 – New Moon


Next Meeting

7:30 PM Friday July 9, 2021 This will be A VIRTUAL MEETING ON ZOOM. Watch for email updates. Note there will be no $4.00 parking fee. 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 ( ) please contact .


The Ottawa Centre 2020 Council
President: Stephen Nourse (
Vice President: Dave Chisholm
Secretary: Chris Teron (
Treasurer: David Parfett (
Centre Meeting Chair: Dave Chisholm (
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 (

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 (
AstroNotes Editors: Gordon Webster & Douglas Fleming (