I hope everybody has been looking up recently. What a show our skies are giving us (if and when the rains cease)! It’s too bad that the skies have not been clearer to see the aurora just lately from the increased solar activity but this spring’s dance of the planets has been good enough to make up for it. Jupiter and Venus are closing in to each other in the south west each night. Mars is shining red in the east. If you were quick enough or lucky enough to have a good western horizon you were even able to see Mercury for a while. No wonder it’s named after the fleet-footed winged messenger. And, of course, the wonderful views of Saturn are just beginning, if you can keep awake long enough to see it rise around midnight. People are fascinated by what is going on and if you happen to be out with friends in the evenings, take time to point out the planets and tell them a little bit about them. It’s an easy way to do sidewalk astronomy.
Please keep Saturday April 28th free so that you can join us, either as a volunteer or just to drop by for International Astronomy Day, being held this year in the Bob Wright building at UVIC. During the day from 10am to 3 pm we will have display tables, solar viewing and day time viewing with the big telescope on the roof, hands-on demonstrations, astrokids crafts, short lectures and Café Scientifique discussion groups. Don’t forget our lottery draw for the 12 inch Dobsonian telecope as well, so make sure you have your ticket. And then… drum roll please….we are very excited to welcome Mr. Bob McDonald of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks as our guest speaker in the evening from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. His presentation entitled “Vacations In Space: The Hottest Holiday Spots in the Solar System” will be an entertaining travelogue of what we might look forward to in the future when we will go into space for fun and not just for science. Count me in for that trip! Night time viewing will begin on both the big telescope and on RASC members’ telescopes after the presentation. So come out and help us to bring our fascination with Astronomy to the public. Get in touch with Sherry Buttnor for more information or Sid Sidhu to volunteer. See you there.
And remember…keep your eyes on the skies this spring.