AstroNotes 1981 January Vol: 20 issue 01



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ISSN 0048-8682
The Newsletter Magazine of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC
Vol. 20, No. 1
$5.00 a year
January, 1981
Editor....... Rolf Meier...... 4-A Arnold Dr
Addresses... . . R ob in M o lso n . . . . 2 0 2 9 G a r f i e ld .
Circulation...Barry Matthews...2237 Iris St.
Doug George
Ted Bean
Barry Matthews
Bob Caswell
Stan Mott
Rob Dick
Rob McCallum
Brian Stokoe
Dave Fedosiewich
Fred Lossing
Pierre Lemay
Frank Roy
Rolf Meier
Dave Vincent
4.5-inch relfector with all accessories for $350.
3-inch sonotube 56 inches long painted flat black inside
for $5. Call James Black at 224-2891.
60mm refractor, call Mike at 749-9367.
Bill Bradfield does it again! In December he
discovered a 5th-magnltude comet in the constellation
of Scorpius. Congratulations to Bill down and under.Renee M eyer and Mary Geekie
Chairman Robt D ick opened the meeting at an unkown
time, with many people in attendance, several of whom were
The first speaker of the evening was Andrew Agar, who
delivered the theme talk on NASA. Andrew articulated on
the various facets of the NASA organization, including its
budget, pioneering efforts, problems, and its elaborate
and surrealistic plans. Perhaps one of the most interesting
paradoxes is that according to the American fiscal budget,
137 billion dollars is spent on defense, while a measly
5 . 6 billion dollars is allotted to the environment.
Andrew concluded that he believes it would be easier and
more practical to build colonies in the arctic and to
develop third world countries than to establish "self-
supporting islands in space".
Frank Roy presented his monthly celestial slide
quiz. Featured this month were the California Nebula,
Lyra, Orion, the Pleiades, and more, taken with an f/ 2 . 8
24-mm lens. Frank then informed the group of the upcoming
Quadrantid meteor shower on January 3, immediately
following the January meeting. This spectacle will be the
biggest meteor shower next year will see. Frank also in­
formed the group that the Springhill Meteor Observatory
will be available for use for the Geminids.
Back from a recent space voyage, Rolf Meier pro­
ceeded with his monthly talk on astrophotography -
projection of the moon and planets. He explained various
methods of photographing these objects, including enlarging
the prime focus image using negative or positive lenses.
Rolf then displayed various excellent astro slides of the
moon, Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Rolf also dis­
played his second Tuthill Comet Award for the discovery
of his third comet, Comet Meier, 1980q. Congratulations,
Captain Solstice!
Jim Gall of Gall Publications was next on the agenda.
Jim disclosed the details of two similarly different
eclipse tours to the Soviet Union next year. These tours
include visits to Japan, Lake Bakal, Russia, Moscow,
Vancouver, and Brussels (for an astronomical convention).
Cost of the tours range from $2000 to $4000. Jim also
displayed various astronomical literature and offered the
group discount prices. Jim kindly handed out issues of
his astronomical directory, free of charge. And we tookthem all, because we’re cheep. Thank-you, Jim.
Next was Dave Fedosiewich with the comet update.
Three comets will return this month: Encke , Stephan-
Oterma, and Tuttle, and all should be quite bright.
Dave then showed the assembled crowd a Fedosiewich Film,
a documentary on the Indian River Observatory and
various other astronomical stuff.
Rob Dick adjourned the meeting to coffee, cookies,
coke, calories, and cigarettes at 9:37 pm.
Thank-you for the memories.
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Frank Roy
The Geminids were observed at Springhill Meteor
Observatory on December 13/14 by Susan Argue, Linda
Warren, Jamie Black, end myself. Although the temperature
went down to -25°, the heated coffins proved adequate
(Linda would have said otherwise). In one hour and
forty-five minutes of observation, I saw 35 meteors,
although clouds interfered with the last 3⁄4 hour. The
Geminids are rated for 50 meteors per hour when the
radiant is overhead, but during this session the radiant
was 40° above the horizon.
On one occasion I saw 2 meteors at once streaming
out from the radiant, and thus the location of the
radiant became obvious.
It is a rare occasion that one gets to use the
heated coffins at Springhill, and it is disappointing to
see that after two articles in Astronotes and two talks
at meetings only four people show up. Hopefully we can
do better next time.
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It has been decided that we will accept commercial
advertisements in Astronotes in order to raise money.
If you have a commercial advertisement, please contact
a member of council for details.
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Articles for the February issue of Astronotes are
due by January 23.President
K. F. Tapping
593 - 6060
68k - 1186
C. R. Molson
225 - 3082
100 Sussex Drive, N.R.C.,
Ottawa K1A 0R6, Ontario
Thursday, December 18, 1980
8:15 p.m.
The Sun
During this century t h ere have been very great strides made in solar astronomical
techniques and in solar
shown by the films made at various
times during the period, knowing the state of research then current. Seve
films will be shown. The first was made in the early 1900's and the latest in
the 1970's.
Wednesday, January 14,
Dr. Sun Kwok
Herzberg Institute
of Astrophysics
8:15 p.m.
TOPIC: White Dwarf, Neutron
or Black Hole - The effects
of Mass Loss on Stellar Evolution
In recent years there has been a revolution in our knowledge of stellar evolution.
It has long been known that the life of a star, particularly its later phases,
depends critically on the mass of the star. It has recently been disc o v e r ed that
stars may lose enough material to significantly change their evolution, due to
various processes. Small stars such as the Sun end their lives in a relatively
docile fashion; those with large masses - unless they lose enough material to avoid
it - end in a catastrophic collapse and explosion, leaving behind a White Dwarf,
Star or even a Black Hole. In this talk, the speaker will describe his
theory concerning the effects of Mass loss on stellar evolution and outline his
theory on the origin of planetary Nebulae.
M o n d a y , 16
February 1981
Dr. Allan Cooke
8:15 p.m.
TOPIC: "Voyager Fly-by
of Saturn"
The wealth of new information obtained via the Voyager spacecraft has significantly
advanced our knowledge of the Saturn system. It has also produced some of the best
photographs of Saturn, its rings and moons yet obtained. In this talk the new data
will be discussed and some of the pictures shown. Members will remember the similar
talk given by Dr. Cooke on the Voyager fly-by of Jupiter.
All meetings will be held in the Main Auditorium, N.R.C., 100 Sussex Drive, Ottawa.
Admission is free; Members and visitors are welcome.
Please note that whenever possible, meeting notices and other information sheets
will be distributed inside "Astronotes".During the past year the members of the Observer’s
Group have shown that they are still the most enthusiastic
group in Canada. Members have made the chairmanship
enjoyable. Often my problem was to limit speaking time
in order to permit the informal discussions to take place
after the Observer’s Group meeting.
But the Observer’s Group does not exist just for the
meetings. Observing projects have been carried out by
various members. Brian Burke has organized several
grazing occultation expeditions. Rolf Meier continues
his comet hunting and supernova search programs, with the
result this year being his third comet, 1980q . Frank Roy
has been the almost exclusive user of the Radio Telescope
at IRO, often publishing his observations in Astronotes.
He has also organized meteor observing sessions at Spring-
hill Meteor Observatory. Ken Tapping, Jim Fillinsky,
Chip W iest and myself have carried out solar observations
at optical and radio wavelengths. I know there are many
other members out there who have carried out their own
observation programs. Let’s hear about them!
We had monthly star nights this year, with several
being held within the city. The latter were of benefit to
those members who don’t have the transportation to IRO.
The IRO star nights attract visitors from the Almonte area,
as well as our own members. Star nights are a great way
for members to see many different telescopes in action.
The Eigth Annual Deep Sky Weekend was held this year in
Thanks to Rob McCallum for the organisation of our
outstanding showing at the General Assembly Display
Competition. Winners included Rob McCallum, Mike Roney,
Rob Dick, Doug George, Rolf Meier, Renee Meyer, Mary
Geekie. Also, Stan Mott received the service award of
the Society at the General Assembly.
Other award winners this year were Niel Hunt for his
Stellafane showing, and Rolf Meier for the Variable Star
Award for 1980 and the Tuthill Comet Award.
Instrumentation was an active area this year.
Thanks to Frank Roy for a new drive system for the
Indian River Observatory. Pierre Lemsy, Ted Bean, and
Bill Donaldson were others who presented details of their
work on instrumentation.
I would like to wish the best of luck to Mike Poney,
who is spending two years in Sierra Leone, and to Dave
and Noeline Penchuk, who were married this year.As for the future, I would like to see more
observation reports in Astronotes. These would really
inspire new members to observe.
I would like to thank all the coordinotors for their
contributions in the past year. Mary and Renee have done
a good job in reporting on meetings.
Good luck to the
new Chairman and Coordinators.
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# # # # # #
Brian Burke
The Observer’s Group Coordinators were elected at
the November meeting. They are as follows:
Chairman..................... Brian Burke
Vice-Chairman................ Dave Fedosiewich
Recorder..................... Susan Argue
Instrumentation.............. Ted Bean
Astrophotography............. Rolf Meier
Occultations................. Brian Burke
Radio Astronomy.............. Frank Roy
Asteroids, Novae, Comets...... Dave Fedosiewich
Deep Sky..................... Rolf Meier
Solar and Aurora............. Robert Dick
Meteors............. ........ Frank Roy
Variable Stars............... Robert McCallum
Lunar and Planetary........ ...Barry Matthews
The coordinator’s responsibilities are to inform
members of astronomical events relevant to their
coordinatorships and to answer questions about their
area of interest. Keeping members informed is done by
presenting talks at the Observer's Group meetings and by
writing articles for Astronotes.
Coordinators should write articles for Astronotes on
a regular basis because this is the only way of being
sure that all members of the Ottawa Centre are aware of
our activities. Astronotes is an excellent medium for
explaining concepts in astronomy, suggesting observing
projects, and reporting observations.
Presenting talks is something any member can do,
not just the coordinators. I would like to see more
members actively participating in Observer's Group
meetings. If you would like to give a talk, give me a
call at 521-8856 . I am looking forward to hearing
from you and seeing your articles in Astronotes.ASTRO NOTES
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