President's Message - March 2008

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by Joe Carr

The roof is on our observatoryObservatory Project

The roof is on the observatory, and the building phase of the project is coming to an end.  There are a few details to take care of, then the installation of the steel pier will happen. At that point, we move into the next phase of our Observatory Project - deciding on a telescope, and installing our Paramount ME along with the computer systems.  We continue to be under budget and on time for this project, thanks to our dedicated group of volunteers.


Lunar Eclipse compositeThe Total Lunar Eclipse on Feb 20th was a wonderful event. Several Victoria Centre members setup at Cattle Point in Oak Bay, and there were several other dedicated observers setup at other locations. The Moon rose in the east already partially eclipsed, with totality beginning at 7:00pm PST.  The weather cleared literally an hour before the Moon rose, so I believe everyone saw a very good show.  Check out the RASC Victoria Centre Lunar Eclipse 2008 Photos online gallery for photos and observing reports from several of our members.

On a personal note, I have just returned from observing in Costa Rica.  Gary Seronik, Contributing Editor for Sky and Telescope magazine (and a Victoria Centre member) has coordinated a five day "Southern Sky Fiesta" tour at a dark site on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica for the last five years. I decided to travel down there this year.  The site is indeed very dark (magnitude 6 or better), and since the location is only 10� above the equator, a good portion of the southern hemisphere's sky is visible.  It was a real treat to observe wearing a t-shirt in February! For those of you who want more details, please read my JoeTourist blog - click on the "First week..." link on the right side.


International Astronomy Day will be celebrated on May 10, 2008.  The venue for this year's event will be the Centre of the Universe (CU), atop Observatory Hill.  In past years we have held the daytime event at the Royal BC Museum and the night time event at the CU, but this year we will run the whole day at the CU.  This represents a fresh start for this annual event, so please stay tuned for more information about the exciting program we have planned for this year.  As always, we will need lots of volunteers to make this day special for the public (as well as ourselves), so please mark this day on your calendar.

Other events coming up:

bullet Night Sky Viewing - Mar 17, 2008 at Sir James Douglas School - the public is invited to Astronomy Cafe
bulletCRD Summer Solstice - June 21, 2008 - solar observing and info about the solstice, co-sponsored by CRD Parks and Victoria Centre
bulletIsland Star Party - July 4-5, 2008 - hosted by our friends Cowichan Valley Star Finders; location is the Victoria Fish and Game Association, Malahat, BC
bulletRASCals Star Party - August 20-31, 2008 (tentative date) - hosted by Victoria Centre; location is the Victoria Fish and Game Association, Malahat, BC


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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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