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President's Message - April 2004

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April 2004

Chris Gainor

Now that April is here, it's time to make sure that your telescopes are ready for spring and summer observing. Weekend public observing at the Centre of the Universe is back, and this month we are meeting on top of Little Saanich Mountain to get to know the new CU staff and renew acquaintances with the other staff members.

Despite the usual mixed bag of weather that we had this past winter, I hope that few of our telescopes collected dust over that time, because the winter constellations contain many treasures. I know that many of us took part in the successful March 9 observing event at South Park School in James Bay.

Jupiter and Saturn put on dazzling shows over the winter, culminating in the March 28 triple shadow transit on Jupiter. That night in Fairfield the clouds covered Jupiter just moments after Ganymede's shadow joined Io's and Callisto's shadows on the disc of Jupiter. In that time and in the few moments afforded me by sucker holes in the clouds, I could find two but not three moons in my little ETX. Time for a stronger eyepiece, more aperture and fewer clouds!

Now we are focusing on Astronomy Day, which takes place Saturday April 24 at the Royal BC Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is our biggest public outreach event of the year, and we want to make sure that this year's event builds on the successful Astronomy Days we have had in recent years.

Astronomy Day is a lot of work, but it's work that leaves one with a feeling of accomplishment. Our reward is opening the eyes of many people to the wonders of the universe. I'm sure that in the crowds we see on Astronomy Day are future members of our centre and even a couple of future astronomers and perhaps space explorers.

Sid Sidhu, who is organizing this event with his trademark flair, is already making sure that we enjoy the usual great Astronomy Day weather. The other important ingredient in our success is you. Please make sure that you volunteer to help out with this important day. You'll be glad you did.

We are also moving ahead on discussions about a permanent observing site for the Victoria Centre. Please make sure to let Dave Bennett and his committee know what you would like to have in an observing site. Dave's new email address for this work is site@victoria.rasc.ca  Other committee members are Bruno Quenneville, David Lee, Sandy Barta and myself.

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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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