President's Message - March 2009

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by John McDonald

What 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!


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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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