by John McDonald
a great International Year of Astronomy (IYA) we are having in Victoria.
The Bay Centre display exceeded all my expectations for the quality of the
displays. The interest shown by the public in the videos, paintings and
interactive material was evident from the moment the event was set up and it has
not stopped. Many of the visitors had a special Galileo experience discovering
just how challenging it could be to look through the replica Galileo telescope
and make out a tiny image of Jupiter that was pasted up on a column some
distance away. It was an impressive demonstration of the achievements Galileo
made with optical gear that seems so primitive 400 years later. Thanks to
everyone from NRC, UVIC, RASC and the local colleges who organized, created, and
volunteered to make this event a huge success.
The good stuff is not over. By the time you read this the Airport display will
be in full swing and many more events are scheduled for the coming months. Check
out the evolving schedule.
One coming event gives me great personal pleasure. We are joining with the
Cowichan Valley Starfinders Astronomy Club to have a joint Island Star Party
this summer. It will be a special IYA-oriented event to attract more of the
public and I am very glad that we can do it in partnership with the Starfinders.
They have always had finely run star parties and it will be great to work
closely with them on this one. Costs of rental for the Fish and Game site have
risen and this will impact registration fees but the event will still be the
best star party bargain you are likely to find. Early Bird savings will be
available to keep the costs down. Check the
Island Star Party page on our
website to get the latest information.
As a result of our IYA events, we have attracted a number of new members. On
behalf of our Centre, I offer a warm welcome to all who have recently joined. We
are glad to have you with us and look forward to sharing our love of the night
sky with you for years to come.
With all that has happened, and so much more that is planned, it is clear that
this IYA year is having an good impact on our Centre and on the citizens of the
region. It is your year to celebrate - Enjoy!