President's Message - June 2013

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Nelson WalkerThe next three months could be called the �Star Party Months.� Indeed, there are two of them easily available to us here on the island, and two more a scenic day�s drive away. For the more star-crazed among us, another two more are within day-and-a-half driving reach (the Oregon Star Party, and the Golden State Star Party in Northern California).

I urge you to set aside weekends for the local gatherings, the CVSF Island Star Party, and our own RASCals Star Party in Metchosin Star Party. The CVSF party is August 3-4 at Bright Angel Park near Duncan, a site that has turned out to be quite nice. It is dark (a surprise, since it is so near Duncan), if a bit dewy, and CVSF puts on a good event.

Our RASCals Star Party is August 30 � September 1 at the usual location in Metchosin, a mere thirty minutes from town. Our spot is not quite as dark as Bright Angel, but sports a great view of the Southern sky. We are hosting, this year, a three night event �. And if we start our chants to the weather demons early, perhaps we won�t be blessed with a 30 knot wind!

For the slightly more-determined among us, both the Merritt Star Quest and Mt. Kobau Star Party offer truly dark skies within a reasonable driving distance. Primitive camping is the order of the day for both of these, and each is an hour away from supplies, but hey ���. This is the year to cross the Horsehead Nebula off your list.

I have, in the past, left one or the other of the island parties, and driven straight to a ferry, and spent the rest of the week at either Merritt, or Kobau. It makes for a nice week of high-quality observing, plus you can pick up a few cases of peaches on the way home.

This is the summer to start (finish?) the Messier list, so as to clear the decks for the �RASC Finest NGC� list, surely one of the best around.

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Last updated: January 29, 2014

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