Download PDF version:
ASTRONOTES ISSN 0048-8682
The Newsletter Magazine of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC
Vol. 21, No. 1 $5.00 a year January, 1982
Editor....... Rolf Meier...... 4-A Arnold Dr..... 820-5784
Addresses.... Art Fraser...... 11-860 Cahill Dr... 737-4110
Circulation...Barry Matthews... 2237 Iris St...... 225-6600
OBSERVER'S GROUP MEETING - DECEMBER 3, 1981 Susan Argue
Brian Burke opened the final Observer's Group meeting
of the year at 8:17 pm with 55 people in attendance, 46 of
whom were members. The second flight of the space shuttle
Columbia was mentioned in the introduction.
Brian had some slides from the Grande Star Night,
showing the hamburgers being cooked, served, and eaten.
There was also a slide showing the presentation of a
picture of the Dumbell Nebula to Fred Lossing by Frank Roy,
and the revealing of the plaque on the telescope for
dedication of 10 years’ usage.
Art Fraser stood up for a moment to let everyone know
that the 1982 Observer’s Handbook was available to members.
Alan Reddoch spoke of the November 11 aurora as he saw
it from Beacon Hill North. It was a full moon and yet some
colour showed up, and a few people reported seeing red.
Frank Roy was up next with slides. Among them were
the Pleiades, the North American Nebula, M 35, the Double
Cluster in Perseus, the Horsehead Nebula, M 31, the Orion
Nebula, and Venus at sunset.
Rob McCallum was up as Variable Star Coordinator. He
is attempting to come up with a couple of eclipsing
binaries for people to observe.
Jamie Black had some slides and an analytical rundown
of the constellations and stars in them. Included were
Venus, a slice of the moon, Cygnus, Cassaeopia, Lyra,
Orion, Andromeda, the Pleiades, and then a series of the
sun from October 22 to 31.
Rob Dick showed his graph of solar activity containing
all recorded data since last January. He said that there
had been some activity before November 11 and that there
was lots more coming up. He went over his new filter
-1-system for his telescope and discussed the benefits of
different coloured filters.
Ken Tapping gave a small talk about whistlers. These
whistling nodes follow the earth’s magnetic field, created
by magnetic storms. He went over the equipment required to
record them, and told a few stories of experiences
attempting to do so. By calculations, he showed that he
must be about 170 miles from hydro lines in order to
eliminate their interference. He played a recording made
in Antarctica of whistlers, so we all got to hear them.
Brian was back up to finish off the meeting with an
announcement of a grazing occultation on December 14, and
read some reasons why occultations are funny.
The meeting closed at 10:15. I now hand over the
recording job to Dave Fedosiewich. Good luck, Dave.
OBSERVER'S GROUP AWARDS - Part 1 Ted Bean
Traditionally, during the Annual Dinner Meeting of the
Ottawa Centre, awards are presented to two happy members of
our Observer’s Group in recognition of their observational
activities during the past year. A third award, honouring
a member who has given outstanding service to the group
over a period of time is infrequently presented.
The awards listed below are in the original wording of
the sponsor. If known, the sponsor and the date of the
motion are included.
Observer of the Year Award Sponsor unknown. 1965
Moved: "The distiction Observer of the Year be awarded
annually to the member of the Observer’s Group who has
contributed most to the advancement of astronomy in
An article by Fred Lossing, Instrumentation Coordinator, in Astronotes for March, 1967, states that the purpose
of the award is to stimulate a keener interest in
observational astronomy among members of the group. The
article further suggests that selection of the
award-winning member should be based primarily on that
member’s actual observations and their value to our group
as observers. Of secondary consideration, the construction
of a useful piece of apparatus; capable of producing
results of scientific value, together with the
communication of such results to the proper authorities in
the case of certain observations, or to the Observer’s
- 2-Group in other cases; should also be considered a valuable
The award - a nicely-designed, and suitably-engraved
In the concluding paragraph of his article, Fred
recommended the appointment of a selection committee of
three members from the group. This committee would then
make a choice from among the members who aspired for an
award. Each aspirant would be required to submit a 2 or 3
page summary of his or her observational and other records
of achievement to the committee, before a deadline
specified by the group chairman.
The reason for the date deadline is to give the
committee time to choose award winners, and to pass on
their choice to the council via the group chairman, in
order that the awards may be presented during the Annual
In December, 1972 Astronotes, Rick Lavery published a
listing of the various award winners for the years 1965 to
1971 inclusive. Since no updated listing has been
published since 1972, it is time that the readers of
Astronotes see a complete list of the dedicated award
winners who have added so much to the lustre of the group.
Here is the updated listing of Observer of the Year
Award winners from 1965 to 1981 inclusive:
► Rick Salmon
. Les MacDonald
. Rick Lavery
That is all for now. In the next issue will appear
Part 2 of the Observer’s Group Awards.
* * *
-3-CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW OF 1981 Brian Burke
The year 1981 began with an observing session at the
Springhill Meteor Observatory immediately following the
January meeting. We managed to observe part of the
Quadrantid meteor shower over a four-hour period with the
temperature at about -35° C. Two other members had the
right idea; they observed the Quadrantids from the
The Observer’s Manual went on sale at the April
meeting. The aim of the 77-page book is to introduce
astronomy to new members. I would like to thank all the
members that helped write and put together the manual.
Star nights were very successful in 1981. The star
nights at IRO in February and March were great due to the
very pleasant weather for that time of year. We also had
public star nights at the Observatory during the summer
with the August one being the most successful. There were
more than 70 people at the August star night, most of whom
came to see Steve Dodson’s 22-inch f/7 Newtonian.
Steve’s telescope won an award for mechanical design
at Stellafane. Other winners from Ottawa were Dave Penchuk
who won awards for mechanical design and construction for
his 6-inch Newtonian, and Neil Hunt who won the Porter
There were not any Observer’s Group members at this
year’s General Assembly in Victoria, but Frank Roy sent a
display of observations made with the radio telescope at
The Solar Coordinator, Rob Dick, presented his
observations and photographs of the sun and kept the group
informed of any solar activity. He also compared visual
observations with those made at radio wavelengths.
At last we observed a grazing occultation last year.
Although we did not expect much success in observing the
marginal graze, three events were observed by Ravi Mahta
during the mid-April graze. There will be future graze
expeditions planned and more participants are always
Fred Lossing introduced the concept of
hypersensitizing film to reduce reciprocity failure. This
technique is very useful for photographing deep sky objects
which require a very long exposure.
Throughout the year, Frank Roy displayed many
excellent photographs he had taken using the 16-inch
telescope. Frank compared the results obtained when using
hypersensitized film with normal film. He also illustrated
the difference obtained when using different brands of
At the September meeting, Pat Brewer described the
adventures that he and two other members had when they
travelled to Siberia to observe the total solar eclipse at
the end of July. Pat showed the group many photographs of
the Soviet Union and of the eclipse. He also compared the
July eclipse to the 1980 eclipse in Kenya.
We celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Centre’s
16-inch telescope with a Grande Star Night at the Indian
River Observatory on October 24th. A plaque attached to
the telescope was unveiled at that time. The plaque is
dedicated to those that took the dream of a large telescope
and an observatory for the Ottawa Centre and made it into a
reality 10 years ago. The telescope has undergone some
changes over the past 10 years with the most recent being
the addition of a digital display for R.A. and Dec. This
new display was built by Frank Roy and Fred Lossing.
At the Annual Dinner Meeting, the winners of the
Observer’s Group awards were announced. The Observer of
the Year Award winner was Rob Dick and the Variable Star
Award winner was Rolf Meier.
Although the quality of articles in Astronotes
remained high, the quantity was low throughout most of the
year. Perhaps one of the best issues was the May, 1981
issue in terms of both quality and quantity of articles. I
am sure more issues can be like the May issue with a bit
more effort from more members.
Finally, there are plans within the group to build a
photoelectric photometer for use at the observatory. You
will hear more about this in the months ahead.
Thus 1981 was an enjoyable year for me as Chairman and
it was great to see many members continue to be very active
although greater participation by more members is always
* * *
SOLAR REPORT Rob Dick
Once again radio data is the basis of this month's
solar report. I don't want to alienate the budding solar
observers by continually refering to radio data, but when
the sky is cloudy it is the only information that is up to
Between November 10 and December 9 (29 days) there has
been a fairly constant level of radio activity. At visual
(continued on page 9)
-5--6-SOLAR DISC Rob Dick
This is the final disc in the series which started in
the May, 1981 issue of Astronotes. The 2° disc will be of
little use in January. This month you will need the discs
for beta = 3, 4, 5, and 6. (July to November issues
contain these discs.)
The disc for beta = 7 is not available so
observations for the end of February
and beginning of March will have
to be fitted to a 6° disc.
Catalog for Discs
May '81 4°
Jan '82 2°wavelengths it was evident that this activity was due to
two large active sectors separated by approximately 60° of
longitude (see figure 1). The reception from the leading
(western) sector faded as the radio emissions from the
trailing sector became "visible" in Ken' radio telescope.
The slight dip in radio reception (about November 24) may
have been due to the overlapping of signals from these
sectors (see figure 2).
Doug Welch reported seeing an aurora in Toronto on the
night of December 17/18, 1981. Although it wasn’t a bright
display it was extensive, that is, visible over much of the
sky. The time of this aurora is marked on figure 2 as an
Around this time there were several small sunspots
approaching the centre of the sun’s disc. There were a few
scattered filaments on the disc on both the western and
eastern limbs. Several prominences were seen in H-alpha
light. These prominences on the eastern limb may be signs
of still more activity for the month of January.
* * *
Articles for the February issue of Astronotes are due
by January 22.
* * *
THE ARO RESULTS Paul Feldman, Frank Roy
Last October I had the opportunity to use the
Algonquin Radio Observatory’s 46-metre radio telescope.
Paul Feldman and I observed several variable stars at 6390
MHz with a 139 MHz bandwidth.
In the first graph, II Pegassi reached 65 mJy.
Anything below 30 mJy is considered noise, so it is highly
probable that II Pegassi was detected and produced a
burst. The vertical line for the plotted point indicates
the probable error, and the points with the large probable
error indicate bad weather and instability in the receiver.
On graphs 2 and 3, HR 1099 produced several small
bursts reaching 200 mJy. The last graph is a summary of
all the observations of HR 1099.
Thanks go to Paul Feldman for producing the graphs.
* * *
PO BOX 624 5 STA. J
OTTAWA ONT.K2A 1T3
ASTRONOMY CALENDAR 1982-------------- $ 6.25
CELESTIAL MICROCHARTS(TELESCOPICS CAL.)
MESSIER CATALOGUE 106CHARTS---------- 1 3 .50
SHARPLESS " 313 CHARTS--------- 24.00
BARNARDS DARK NEBULA 182 CHARTS------ 1 7 .50
GLOBULAR CLUSTERS 119 CHARTS--------- 14.00
TELESCO PICS MICROFICHE VIEWER--------9 3 .00
(WATCH FOR PLANETARY NEBULA E ,GALAXIES &
COMET HALLEY 1982-1985)
ATLAS 2000 (TIRION)DESK ED.---------- 1 5 .00
ATLAS 2000 (TIRION)FIELD ED.---------1 5 . 00
ATLAS 2000 (TIRION)DELUX COLOUR ED.--39.00
AAVSO VARIABLE STAR ATLAS------------ 5 5 .90
ALL ABOUT TELESCOPES (BROWN)---------- 18.00
KELLNER 6 , 9 ,12,l8,25&40 mm------------20.00
ORTHOSCOPIC 4,6,9,12,18 mm------------30.00
KONIG 8,12,l6,&24mm------------------- 43.00
KONI G 32mm, 1/4"BARREL----------------- 63.00
COMPLETE 6"f6 OR f8 DRIVEN TELESCOPE
WITH YOUR CHOICE OF 2 KELLNER EYEPIECES 63 0.00
COMPLETE 8"f6 DRIVEN TELESCOPE WITH YOUR
COICE OF 2 KELLNER EYEPIECES---------770.00
ATM MAGAZINE (ASTRONOMY QUARTLY)----- 2.50
(BACK ISSUES AVAILIABLE)
WRITE FOR OPTICKS CATALOGUE FOR MANY OTHER
SUPER S P E C I A L S ------------------------2 . 00
REFUNDABLE WITH YOUR FIRST PURCHASE
ASK FOR BARRY AT ANY OF THE R.A.S.C MEETINGS
OR TELEPHONE(AFTER 6 :30) 613-225-6600
SORRY I CANNOT ACCEPT
COLLECT TELEPHONE CALLS
MS. ROSEMARY FREEMAN CAST
THE ROYAL ASTRON. SOC. OF CAN
124 MERTON STREET
TORONTO, ONTARIO M4 S 2 Z2
c/o Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
National Research Council of Canada
100 Sussex Drive
K 1A 0R