2014 General Assembly in Victoria

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Join Now!


President's Message - Feb 2007

Victoria Centre is part of the national Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is dedicated to bringing information about astronomy to the general public.

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by Joe Carr

We have made some progress finding members to do some of the jobs in the Job Jar. Charles Banville agreed to run the Lending Library for periodicals, books and audio-visual materials.   Thanks Charles, and welcome to Victoria Centre's Council.  Bill Almond agreed to take on the Membership Coordinator role.  Bill is already a Member-at-Large and our Centre's Historian, so he is contributing lots of time to the cause already.  Why don't you volunteer to take one of the remaining jobs?

bulletMake coffee after the monthly meetings
bulletRASCALs Star Party Coordinator

Our Honourary President George Ball died on January 19th.  The tributes are many to this man who gave so much to astronomy, and Victoria Centre in particular.  George illustrated just how much difference one person can make when they are dedicated and selfless. His memorial service had good representation from Victoria Centre member, and Sid Sidhu spoke on behalf of us all.  We will have a short memorial for George at our Feb 14th meeting.  Online: George Ball Condolences

I have some exciting news to report about Observatory Hill.  Over the last year, our members have observed from the Hill under a License to Use Land Agreement we signed with the National Research Council in October 2005.  Your Vice Presidents and myself recently held a meeting with National Research Council representatives Jacqueline Porter (Manager of the Centre of the Universe), Jim Hesser (Director of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory), and Kevin Farris (Coordinator, Administration and Communications).  At that meeting, we agreed to put a two year agreement in place which will be based on the existing Agreement.  NRC also very generously offered to build a roll-off roof observatory for our exclusive use at the old 16" site!  This presents some exciting possibilities for our members, and it will certainly enhance our use of the Hill in future, irrespective of what equipment we decide will be housed in our new observatory.

A few months ago Victoria Centre applied to the BC Gaming Commission for funds to purchase a new 16" goto telescope.  The proposal states that this scope will be used to offer public outreach through online access.  It would obviously be desirable to install this new scope in our new observatory atop Observatory Hill.  Time will tell if this all comes to pass, however I'm optimistic that either BCGC will grant us the funds, or we will raise the funds from our members to make this happen.  George would certainly be proud to see Victoria Centre finally have an observatory for our members to use.  The online access to this facility will be a bonus to our members who can't observe in the field, and this type of access will also serve the local community well.  Ottawa Centre already operates such a facility (SMARTscope), and I'm sure Victoria Centre can be just as innovative and SMART!

Observing has been spotty over the first few weeks of 2007, however our members have  managed to do some observing and have captured some superb astrophotographs.  Please be sure you browse the main page of our website, which always features the latest images from our members. A chronological listing of our members observations and photos can also be found on the website under Observing Highlights.  My personal observing highlight over the last few weeks was certainly the Great Comet McNaught C2006 P1, which is now fading fast, but still visible from the southern hemisphere. What a show!

Joe Carr


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Last updated: December 12, 2013

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