Awards to members for 2022

Posted by as Meetings

Over 40 members of RASC Victoria Centre enjoyed a social dinner and awards ceremony at the Moon Under Water Pub on March 27, 2023. Photo gallery

Newton Ball Award 2022 – Deborah Crawford

Randy Enkin awarding Deb Crawford
Randy Enkin awarding Deb Crawford

An active member of the Victoria Centre, Deborah Crawford served on Council as Secretary from December 2012 to November 2014, Second Vice President from December 2016 to November 2018 and then as Treasurer from December 2018 until the spring of 2023. She has a talent for turning events into joyous occasions. Deb organized several AGM banquets and two Star Party “StarBQ’s”. During the 2014 General Assembly Deb oversaw a large buffet at the Centre of the Universe complete with a cake replica of the DAO dome. It was the highlight of the GA.

Ernie Pfannenschmidt Award 2022 – Dave Payne

Randy Enkin awarding Dave Payne
Randy Enkin awarding Dave Payne

For the invention of the Generalized Hyperbolic Stretch (GHS) an innovative software tool that allows the controlled transformation of pixel intensity. It has been embedded in key astrophotography software packages such as Pixinsight. Astrophotographers around the globe have adopted this powerful tool.

Astrophotography Award 2022 – Dave Payne

Foxmascone Nebulae (NGC 2264) in SHO – The Foxfur and Cone Nebulae and Christmas Tree Cluster in SHO with RGB Stars (Monoceros) – October, 2022 A total of 17.5 Hours in Narrow Band H,S,O filters and 3.75 Hours in R, G, B Filters using a Planewave CDK12.5 Telescope and an- AIS6200MM Camera

Randy Enkin awarding David Lee
Randy Enkin awarding David Lee

Certificate of Appreciation in 2022 – David Lee

In addition to the leadership David displayed during International Astronomy Day, the Dark Sky Survey, and the formation of Special Interest Groups he amazed the Victoria Centre for the perseverance he demonstrated photographing a Lunar Eclipse while a snow storm kept more timid RASCals indoors.

Certificate Of Appreciation 2022 – Randy Enkin

In appreciation of his Organization, Leadership and Guidance so capably rendered as the Centre’s President for 2021 and 2022.

Reg Dunkley awarding Randy Enkin
Reg Dunkley awarding Randy Enkin

Astronomy Cafe – March 20, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of the meeting

  • Vernal Equinox Today – Jeff Pivnick
    • Caused by axial tilt of the Earth
    • Celestial Equator intersects with the Ecliptic
    • Babylonians picked 12 constellations 3,000 years ago, but Ptolemy named them later
    • Declination and Right Ascension coordinates are referenced to the equinox
  • Astronomy Day – Lauri Roche
    • Sunday, April 30th 11AM – 4PM at Bob Wright building lobby at UVic
    • Free parking on outside of the Ring Road in Lot 1
    • Setup is Saturday afternoon
    • Leads
      • UVic Site Manager – Sam Fielder
      • Technical Support – David Lee
      • Welcome Table – Marjie Welchframe
      • Telescope Show & Tell – Bill Weir
      • Children’s Astro Crafts – Rachel & Ryan Holmes
      • Astrophotography – Brock Johnston & Dan Posey
      • Responsible Lighting – Dave Robinson
      • Planetarium – need a lead to used Starry Night on TV
      • Solar Observing outside – Alex Schmid, Sid Sidhu
      • Ask An Astronomer –  need a lead and 3 or 4 astronomers (UVic students?)
      • Speakers – Lauri Roche
        • 3 speakers signed up, 3 to go
        • 20-minute talks
    • FDAO, NRC, Science Venture, Camosun College, Mt. Doug High, Vic High & Oak Bay High
    • Tour of the Bob Wright telescope
    • Need volunteers – 2-3 shifts is ideal – contact Lauri Roche
    • Saturday, April 29th 7-11PM Star Party on Observatory Hill
  • Open House – Centre of the Universe – March 25 – Lauri Roche
  • Victoria Centre Observatory – Randy Enkin
    • Will open to members once the road is open
  • Standing Where Ansel Adams Stood – Randy Enkin
    • Moon and Half Dome – Dec 28, 1960
    • When the Light, Shadow and Stars Aligned: Standing Where Ansel Adams Stood – Kim Beil, NY Times
    • Ansel Adams joined Sierra Club Outings
    • Kim Beil found the exact spot where Ansel Adams took his famous Moon and Half Dome photo, and determined four possible dates based on the star field and Moon
    • 6:47AM on Aug 6, 1936 – date/time of famous photo
  • Meetings
    • Social Dinner – March 27th – contact Randy to attend at Moon Under Water Pub on Bay St.
    • Council Meeting – March 28th – 7:30PM
      • Open to all members
      • Budget for coming year – we have funds to spend!
  • Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair – Dorothy Paul
    • April 16th
    • 100 projects, 150 students
    • Need some specialty judges from RASC – about 2 hours
  • Astrophotos from members
    • Moonrise from Clover Point – Randy Enkin
    • Jones-Emberson 1 Bubble planetary nebula – Brock Johnston
  • 2023 RASC General Assembly – May 5th – May 7th, 2023
    • No business meeting, just fun meeting and interacting with everyone – Bill Weir
    • Speakers list almost complete – Lauri Roche
    • $35 admission for members to participate for three days
  • Vic High Astronomy Deck – Clayton
    • Mitigate the light pollution at the site – discussion of strategy
    • New 12″ Skywatcher funded by a generous donation
    • City of Victoria will install shields on the streetlights

There will not be an Astro Café next week in order for the RASC Victoria Centre Social Dinner to take place. Please RSVP to Randy by March 19 if you would like to attend.

Next Astronomy Cafe in 2 weeks – April 3

President’s Message – March 2023

Posted by as President's Message

Randy Enkin
Randy Enkin

I’ve been something of an amateur astronomer since I was little. I like to say it was the Apollo missions that sparked my interest – all my friends wanted to be astronauts – but I thought the astronomers on the ground had the really interesting jobs. My observations of lunar phases started back in 1990 and I have dabbled in other astronomical projects since. After the 2017 Solar Eclipse, I decided to buy a better telescope, and then another, and now we’re at a dozen!

But the biggest thing that happened after the eclipse, was getting invited to give at talk at the Victoria Centre Astro Cafe. And I got to meet this wonderful community – this set of interesting and entertaining people. And then, two years ago, you elected me President of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. There’s nothing like being president to get to know people and learn what’s going on in a group! Fortunately, our community is strong with enthusiasm and volunteerism. We get stuff done!

We successfully made the transformation to online events and then to hybrid events. We have continued outreach events, such as the International Astronomy Day, the Saanich Fair, and the Fall Fairfield. We have started new programs like our Special Interest Groups and the Sky Darkness Survey. We have combined our star party with the Cowichan Valley Starfinders’ star party to develop a unified Island Star Party, which we hope can thrive for decades.

We have successfully developed and ushered in a new set of bylaws, to bring our community into the electronic age and provide for a smaller, more supple board of directors. And we have a promising set of executives and directors nominated to lead us into the future.

Thank-you for two excellent years. I often feel more like a cheerleader than a leader. But mostly, I feel I have found my people. I look forward to seeing photos and sketches of the sky: in emails, social media, and in SkyNews. I love learning about the sky at Astro Cafe. I love having people with whom I can share my learning about astronomy.

As we look forward to the new year of the Victoria Centre, we also remember to Look Up!

Look Up,
Randy Enkin,

Astronomy Cafe – March 6, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Randy Enkin (video recording)
    • Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
      • Some great photo taken of the conjunction both by members and others
      • Venus can be up to 47º away from the Sun
      • Venus-Jupiter Conjunctions 1990-2060
      • March 1st conjunction – Venus-Jupiter had 0.5º separation
    • Victoria Centre’s Annual General Meeting – March 13th (virtual)
      • Need 25 members for a quorum
      • Links to Zoom sent to members along with supporting documents
      • Social dinner at the Moon Under Water Pub to be held on March 27th
  • The Hunt for the Culprit  – Part 2 – Reg Dunkley
    • Jan 9th – Part 1 was presented
    • Iron 60 and Supernovae relationship
    • Are Supernovae responsible for climate change on Earth?
    • Star formation near the Sun is driven by expansion of the Local Bubble by Catherine Zucker, et. al. – Jan 2022
    • Caroline and William Herschel
    • GAIA – astronomical big science, inspired an astronomical gold rush
      • ESA video on GAIA
      • 3D map of the Milky Way
      • Photometric instrument
      • Measures: Brightness, positions, proper motions, radial velocities, spectra
      • 11 years of data, 150 complete surveys of the sky
      • How this data is being used – a review
    • Interstellar Extinction
    • H-R Diagram: Colour Index vs Magnitude
    • 3D Mapping of Interstellar Dust
    • The Local Bubble – dust map
    • Traceback of Star Cluster
    • Idealized Model for Local Bubble Evolution – Stellar and Solar Orbits animation
    • Location of the Culprit
    • Summary of Zucker et al findings
    • A Golden Opportunity!
      • Data freely available along with analysis routines
      • Do some citizen science?
    • Radcliffe Wave by Brian Ventrudo
  • Special Interest Groups – David Lee
    • Beginners SIG – tomorrow evening
    • Citizen Science SIG – Thursday evening – sign up with David Lee
  • Photos & Observations by members
    • Venus-Jupiter conjunction from Hawai’i – photo of closest approach (0.5º) by Dave Payne
    • Jones-Eberson Bubble planetary nebula – photo by Brock Johnston
      • Jones 1 in Pegasus – next object to try for – Bill Weir
    • Explore the Universe observing program – Marjie Welchframe
    • Moon-Jupiter-Venus conjunction on Feb 23 – iPhone photo taken from the city by Doug Hardy
    • Photos – Ken McGill
    • Moon-Jupiter-Venus conjunction on Feb 23 – Marjie Welchframe
  • Reports – Lauri Roche
    • Centre of the Universe Open House on March 25-26
    • RASC Online General Assembly (no AGM)
      • Virtual tours of DDO and DAO (7-8pm on Fri)
      • Poster sessions – April 1st call for papers
    • RASC National AGM – June 25th (virtual)