President's Message - January 2011

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January 2011

by Lauri Roche

I would like to wish the best of the season to everyone and hopes for a healthy and happy New Year. As we turn over to 2011 there are thoughts of where we have been and resolutions for where we are going.

Last year was somewhat quieter for our Victoria Centre but besides our regular monthly meetings with some interesting speakers, we also held weekly Astronomy Cafes and participated in many nights up at the Centre�s Observatory. I particularly remember some awesome early summer evenings up there with old friends and new members as we perused the skies. Astronomy Day in April was somewhat rained out at Swan Lake but we had a very successful star party at the new site in Metchosin, thanks to the efforts of a great team led by Nelson Walker and Sherry Buttnor. School programs flourished but our school star parties were put on hold a number of times as we waited for clearer skies. The new Light Pollution Abatement initiatives got off the ground and are beginning to show some successes.

The highlight that we nearly didn�t see at all was the Lunar Eclipse just before Christmas. It was a cold and stormy night out there at Cattle Point as a game number of observers braved the elements to talk to the people who came out to see the Eclipse. We were lucky to be able to have at least the first part somewhat visible but clouds got in the way as totality came on. There were but 3 or 4 cars left in the Cattle Point parking lot by 1 am so it was home we went to get the last views as the full moon rounded back out again. Some members were able to get some nice shots and need to be applauded for their tenacity and patience (and maybe something extra in the hot chocolate to help keep warm!). But isn�t that what astronomers are all about?

For 2011 we are looking forward to some thought provoking and innovative presentations at our meetings, a new Messier observing program, a well developed plan of action for our Light Pollution group, and a continued valuable presence in community involvement as we share our interest in Astronomy to the public. And NASA has declared this year to be �Year of the Solar System� so I hope we will be tuned in to the many different flyby�s and landings and launches so that we can better know our nearest neighbours. This is one of my New Year�s resolutions.

I hope you will all join in to some or many of the activities this year. Your talents and passion are needed to make 2011 another �astronomical� year for the Victoria Centre.

Hoping for clear skies.


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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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