Summer Star Parties at the DAO – July 18, 2015

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Summer Saturdays at the DAO
Program for Saturday, July 18, 2015

 Event Info

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is open from 7:30 to 11:00 pm with last entrance at 10:00 pm

In the Centre of the Universe:

Exhibits Open: 7:30 to 10:45 pm
Planetarium Shows – every half hour from 7:45 to 9:45 “Constellation Stories”

Auditorium Presentations:

8:00 pm  & 9:00PM “Pluto: Once a Dot of Light, Now a World” – Dr. Michele Bannister, University of Victoria

Bio: Dr Michele Bannister is a planetary astronomer at the University of Victoria and NRC Herzberg who specialises in the study of the outer Solar System. She is the postdoctoral fellow for the Outer Solar System Origins Survey, a Canadian-led effort to discover hundreds of new icy worlds in the Kuiper belt.

In the Dominion Observatory:

Historical Tours of the Plaskett Telescope, the computer room and the Dome – new tours begin every twenty minutes from 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Plaskett Telescope will open (weather permitting) at approximately 9:45 and presentations that show what the telescope is seeing will be given on an ongoing basis until 10:45 pm

In the Parking Lot:

Telescopes will be set up for Solar Viewing and for Night Sky viewing by members of the RASC all evening.


A reminder that there is NO SMOKING on the hill at any time.

Please dress warmly as it gets very cool after it gets dark.

There is limited parking for those with mobility issues at the top of the hill. Please ask the Commissionaires when you arrive if you need one of these spaces. We cannot guarantee a spot at all times but visitors may be dropped off and picked up if necessary.

There is limited parking at the top of the hill. Most of the parking is in the lower lot. Please be advised that there are a number of stairs to climb to get to the entrance to the Centre of the Universe building and the DAO.

New Horizons Pluto fly-by celebration – July 14th

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Tuesday July 14 is going to be an historic day. The New Horizons spacecraft will make its long-awaited flyby of Pluto, obtaining the first closeup photos and data from this mysterious world.

In honour of this event, I am arranging an informal and fun event at Pluto’s Restaurant (“The Hottest Food from the Coolest Planet”) in Victoria, BC, Canada at 6 p.m. on July 14. This will be a dinner and celebration, including an update with the latest news from Pluto.

If you are interested in taking part, please let me know, so I can give the restaurant people an estimate of how many people they can expect. Once there, you can order off the menu and pay for your meal as usual.

About the time we sit down for dinner, the first transmission from New Horizons after its flyby is due to arrive on Earth. I am also trying to arrange for an expert speaker to give us a very brief update on the findings from New Horizons.

Pluto’s Restaurant is at 1150 Cook St., at the corner of View St. near downtown Victoria.

This flyby will be an historic event, no matter how you classify Pluto. This will be the last first-time flyby of what some call a “classical planet” and the first of one of the many smaller planets in the Kuiper Belt. Interestingly, the first flyby of a planet (other than Earth) was Mariner IV’s flyby of Mars on July 14, 1965, exactly fifty years before the New Horizons flyby of Pluto.

If you are planning to attend, please let me know or join the Facebook event. Family and friends are also welcome!

Chris Gainor

 

Summer Star Parties at the DAO – May 30, 2015

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Summer Saturdays at the DAO
Program for Saturday, May 30, 2015

 Event Info

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is open from 7:30 to 11:00 pm with last entrance at 10:00 pm

In the Centre of the Universe:

Exhibits Open: 7:30 to 10:45 pm
Planetarium Shows – every half hour from 7:45 to 9:45 “Constellation Stories”

Auditorium Presentations:

7:45 pm “Vermin of the Skies: Near Earth Asteroids and other Feisty Interlopers” – Ivar Arroway- University of Victoria
8:15 pm “ Twenty-Five Years of Hubble” – Dr. Chris Gainor RASC Victoria Centre
8:45 pm “Vermin of the Skies: Near Earth Asteroids and other Feisty Interlopers” – Ivar Arroway- University of Victoria
9:15 pm “ Twenty-Five Years of Hubble” – Dr. Chris Gainor RASC Victoria Centre

In the Dominion Observatory:

Historical Tours of the Plaskett Telescope, the computer room and the Dome – new tours begin every twenty minutes from 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Plaskett Telescope will open (weather permitting) at approximately 9:45 and presentations that show what the telescope is seeing will be given on an ongoing basis until 10:45 pm

In the Parking Lot:

Telescopes will be set up for Solar Viewing and for Night Sky viewing by members of the RASC all evening.


A reminder that there is NO SMOKING on the hill at any time.

Please dress warmly as it gets very cool after it gets dark.

There is limited parking for those with mobility issues at the top of the hill. Please ask the Commissionaires when you arrive if you need one of these spaces. We cannot guarantee a spot at all times but visitors may be dropped off and picked up if necessary.

There is limited parking at the top of the hill. Most of the parking is in the lower lot. Please be advised that there are a number of stairs to climb to get to the entrance to the Centre of the Universe building and the DAO.

DAO Summer Star Party – May 23, 2015

Posted by as Events, Special Events

Summer Saturday Star Party Activities

In the Dome:

Tours of the historic dome and the Plaskett computer room begin every 20 minutes from 7:45 through to about 9:45 pm. After this the Plaskett telescope will be opened and visitors are welcome to come up to the second floor to see in real time what the telescope is looking at. Volunteers from the RASC and the Friends of the Observatory will be on hand to give information about the images that are being screened on the dome walls.

In the Centre of the Universe Building:

Exhibits are open from 7:30 to 11:00 pm.

Planetarium shows will be ongoing from 7:45 through to 10:15 pm. These are 15 to 20 minutes in length. Approximately 25 people can be accommodated at any one time in the little dome.

Astronomy presentations are in the Auditorium from 7:30 through to 9:30.

Here are this weeks lectures for May 23rd

  • 7:30 pm An introduction to the Night Sky David Lee
  • 8:00 pm “Shine on Silver Moon” Lauri Roche
  • 8:30 pm An introduction to the Night Sky David Lee
  • 900 pm “Shine on Silver Moon” Lauri Roche

On the Deck:

RASC Volunteers will have their solar telescopes out until the sun goes down and then will put up their nightsky telescopes for viewing the moon, the planets and the stars. This is ongoing from 7:30 to 11:00 pm

Please come and join us. We invite you to share our information on social media.

A reminder to Dress Warmly! It cools down after the sun goes down up on the hill.

Event Info

May 9, 2015 – Presentations at the CU

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Presentations in the Centre of the Universe Auditorium

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Speaker: Garry Sedun, HIA

Presented as part of the Summer Star Parties on Observatory Hill event

8:15 pm – Weird Things in Space

1) Come and see how big the universe is
2) Look though a real time machine
3) How can you make your friends look blue or red by travelling really fast
4) How could you grow old way slower than your friends by travelling in space
5) How far apart are the stars?
6) What happens when galaxies hit each other?

And please come up with your own “Weird Things” and we’ll see if we can find them.

9:15 pm – Up Close to REALLY BIG THINGS in Space

1) What do the rings of Saturn look like really close up?
2) What does a comet look like really close up ?
3) What does our sun look like really close up?
4) What does a back hole look like? ( How close can we go?)
5) What can swallow 300 million suns and not even have indigestion? Open up……

Summer Star Parties at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in 2015

Posted by as Events, Special Events

The historic Plaskett telescope
The historic Plaskett telescope

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria Centre
with the support of The National Research Council of Canada, Herzberg
Presents

Summer Star Parties

at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory
5071 West Saanich Road

September 12th, 2015

7:30 PM TO 11:00 PM (Gates close at 10:00PM)

FREE ADMISSION

  • Tours of the historic Plaskett telescope
  • Astronomy lectures and presentations
  • Music in the dome
  • Night sky viewing
  • “Constellation Walks”

Please download and print the poster as a reminder for these events!


For safety reasons, we are limited to hosting 200 visitors at the Observatory at a time. If you arrive and are turned away, please try again later, or on another Saturday evening. We are open twelve Saturday evenings this summer to help accommodate you. Our apologies for any inconvenience.

Please note there is absolutely no stopping or parking along West Saanich Road adjacent to the Observatory entrance. Smoking anywhere on Observatory grounds is also prohibited. Please, foot traffic is NOT allowed on the road up to the top! Visitors may not park at the bottom gate or on W.Saanich Rd and walk up to the top.

If you require assistance while at the Observatory, please ask any of the Commissionaires, or RASC members on site. RASC members can be identified by their safety vests.


For more information about these events, please contact Sherry Buttnor president@victoria.rasc.ca

 

Messier Marathon – March 20 or 21, 2015

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The Messier Marathon will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2015 here in Victoria, hosted by Michel Michaud, our Observing Co-Chair. If the weather looks poor for Saturday, Michel may move the event ahead a day to Friday night (the 20th). RASC members should be designated Active Observers, since this event will be held at our observatory (and other locations) on Observatory Hill, which is behind a locked gate. Michel will send out go/no go notifications on our email list for Active Observers.

Members-only Event

RASC Victoria Centre also encourages the general public to participate in your own Messier Marathon. All you need is a dark site to observe from with an unobstructed view of the souther half of the horizon. Click on the above event for useful information about how to observe celestial objects in an efficient manner, so you have a chance to see all 110 objects on the list!

Solar Eclipse Viewing – Oct 23, 2014

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News Release 14 October 2014

 

RASC Victoria Plans Viewing of Solar Eclipse Thursday October 23

 

RASC Victoria Centre: Joe Carr &emdash; Partial Solar EclipseMembers of the RASC Victoria Centre plan to have their telescopes and viewing equipment out on Mount Tolmie for the solar eclipse that will be visible from Victoria the afternoon of Thursday, October 23.

The Moon will move across the face of the Sun as seen from Victoria starting at 1:32 p.m. that day and ending at 4:19 p.m. At the midpoint of the eclipse at 2:58 p.m., about 55 per cent of the Sun’s surface will be covered by the Moon as seen from Victoria.

It is most important to note that solar eclipses should only be viewed only through specially filtered telescopes or filtered glasses. Looking at solar eclipses without this equipment could result in serious damage to the eyes.

All RASC members will use the proper filters when viewing the eclipse. It should also be noted that even with more than half the Sun being covered, the eclipse will not be noticeable to people who are not viewing the Sun.

RASC Victoria members will gather on top of Mount Tolmie to view the eclipse if weather permits throughout the length of the eclipse, and it is possible that RASC members may set up their telescopes elsewhere around Greater Victoria. Telescopes will be fitted with solar filters, and glasses with solar filters will be available for use.

For more information, contact: Sid Sidhu 250-391-0540

If you are observing on your own, here is an information brochure.

OUR STAR PARTY THIS WEEK – WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND IT!

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HI RASCals –

Our annual star party is coming up this week, and I urge you to support it. Event details

Here’s why:

1.  It is unique.  It is literally an “urban star party” (“semi-urban?”)

2.  It’s close.  It’s twenty minutes from Victoria.

3.  It’s low key (it is organized by a tiny committee which barely knows who its own members are).

4.  The weather provides plenty of opportunity for excitement.  Up to thirty knots of wind has been recorded on the telescope field.

5.  Good speakers, poetry possibly excluded.  Good workshops.

6.  Lots of prizes.  Lots of prizes for the kids.

7.  It’s free (although some pressure for donations might be applied by the “committee” until the cost of the privies is covered).

8.  Camping, and it too is free.  Many of the campers will be local families.

9.  A good turnout by the locals who are eager to look through your scope.

10. It is appreciated as a community event by the community of Metchosin.

11. There is a good restaurant a five minute walk away, plus pizza.

It is easy to find things to criticize about our star party.  It isn’t dark.  The weather is unpredictable. It isn’t advertised nationally.  But I have been to every one of our star parties since 2005 (lots of members have been to many more), and I have also been to the Oregon Star Party (many times), Merritt Star Quest, the Golden State Star Party, and Mt. Kobau.  None of these is a community star party.  None of these is twenty minutes from my house.  None of these has pizza nearby.  And as to darkness …. I have logged many hundreds of deep sky objects from the Metchosin field.  It is certainly as dark as it needs to be to do any list of double stars, or the Messier list, or the Finest NGC list, or even the H-400 list, all of which you are doubtless working on.

Come and join us at what may be the only star party in Canada which is twenty minutes from your front door.

Event details