President’s Message – July 2022

Posted by as President's Message

Randy Enkin - Luna Cognita
Randy Enkin – Luna Cognita

The first science images from the James Webb Space Telescope were released to huge fanfare last week. I’m not surprised that my social media was filled with the news, commentary, analysis, and silly memes. My favourite is the melding of Van Gogh’s Starry Night into the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster. What surprised me was how much the images caught on with the general public. The images are indeed beautiful, and the public relations teams know how to get the message right. But there is a clearly a desire, a fascination to follow the story of this telescope and its potential.

I used to be “the general public”. When they went to the moon during the Apollo missions, I realized I had to learn all I could about astronomy. Most importantly, I decided to become a scientist. And through good fortune and a fair amount of work, I got to make a career as a research scientist – in geology rather than in astronomy, but my fascination with astronomy never left.

Is astronomy important? I really don’t know. But science and science literacy certainly is, and quite possibly the James Webb Space Telescope will attract the general public to find out more. People will look at the beautiful images and ask what is going on. They will learn about how 30 years of science and engineering went into producing the images. They will find out about the scientific edifice which has built up over millennia to place the new research in context.

The first batch of images masterfully span the range of subjects that the space telescope will research: the birth of stars, the death of stars, the structure of galaxies, and the early universe. The fifth image, or actually spectrum, reveals an application that could only have been dreamed of when the
instrument was designed – composition of an exoplanet spectrum.

Exoplanet: WASP-96 B

They weren’t even sure that exoplanets could be located when the space telescope was first designed.
We amateur astronomers get to play an important role as more space telescope data get released. Let’s keep up with the research and help our wider community understand what it means. Let’s help with outreach events whenever possible. Let’s do astronomy.

Astro Cafe Logo

On that note, the Victoria Centre Astro Café went virtual for two years. It was a tonic to our isolated lives during the worst of the covid-19 pandemic. Many thanks to Chris Purse and Joe Carr for their devoted work to keep Astro Café up and running so well! In May, we ran our first attempts at hybrid meetings, in person at the Fairfield Community Centre and online over Zoom. The response has been very positive, and we will continue the hybrid Astro Café format every Monday evening (except statutory holidays) at 19:30 starting September 12. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS. The roles are not onerous, but they are essential. Each evening we will need a host and a tech. Please be brave. Please be generous.

Look Up,
Randy Enkin, President@Victoria.RASC.ca

President’s Message – June 2022

Posted by as President's Message

This week, the citizens of the Earth were given a wonderful present. The Gaia Data Release 3 was publicized at 9 UT, June 13. And yes I was awake at 2 in the morning to watch the event. The Gaia satellite has been mapping 2 billion (!!!) points of lights in the sky – stars, galaxies, quasars, and solar system objects. They are measuring positions, distances, motions, colours, and spectra. For an Astro Café talk I prepared about the Gaia Data Release 2, I displayed a plot of the number and angular precision of catalogued stars. From the Hipparchus’ catalog of 1000 stars in 150 BCE to the best Earth-based collections from last century, there was a continuous but slow improvement. But with space-based measurements over the last 20 years, the catalogs have improved by orders of magnitude! And Gaia should continue collecting data through to 2025 to continue this trend.

Gaia Data Release 3 - group photo
Gaia Data Release 3 – group photo

The branch of amateur astronomy pejoratively labeled “armchair astronomy” sounds very passive, but we delight in the personal journey to discovery, which the professional astronomers afford us by collecting and analysing these extreme data sets. One of my passions is following the trajectory of knowledge from the early astronomical observations to the present. For example, I love to learn how the first stellar spectra measured in the 19th century led to Annie Jump Cannon’s stellar classifications (Only Bad Astronomers Forget Generally Known Mnemonics), leading to the Hertzsprung-Russell colour-magnitude diagram, and further leading to amazing insights such as the age of stars. And now such analyses can be extended to hundreds of millions of stars with the public release of the Gaia data.

The Gaia mission is akin to a gothic cathedral. It is a huge edifice, erected with major societal investment that was accomplished by many, many ordinary people who each do their small part. This edifice is a public good which inspires, and makes us bigger and better human beings.

Look Up,
Randy Enkin, President
(email)

Astronomy Cafe – May 30, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of the meeting

  • Telescopes – David Lee on behalf of Sid Sidhu
    • There are telescopes for loan to RASC VIctoria Centre members
    • Members who have spare eyepieces, please contact Sid, since we need more selection for loaners
  • Kitt Peak – David Lee
    • PixInsight workshop review
    • Kitt Peak is reopening, offering remote telescope images
    • OGS 12.5″ telescope, Paramount ME and 294MC OSC imaging camera – available for rent approximately US300/night for exclusive use
    • McMath Pierce Solar Telescope – now a public outreach facility, supporting Noirlab feeds
  • Brave New World – New Scientist – Ken Atkinson
    • TESS images – citizen science opportunities
    • zooinverse.org – see planet hunters
  • Astronomy Public Outreach – Randy Enkin
    • Island Star Party – last weekend in August at Bright Angel Park in southern Cowichan Valley – will be co-sponsored by Cowichan Valley Starfinders, RASC Victoria
    • Saanich Fair astronomy outreach – need volunteers
  • Meteor Storm Tonight – May 30, 2022 – Randy Enkin
    • Debris from Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, a Jupiter family comet
    • No observations after 1930, until 1979 again
    • Period: 6.5 years
    • In 1995 brightened 400x – Hubble Space Telescope imaged the pieces of the comet
    • In 2006 Spitzer Space Telescope imaged
    • 2022 apparition could be spectacular
    • How about observing this apparition? Cloud cover may be a factor.
  • Star Parties at the DAO/CU – Lauri Roche
    • June 4 – next star party
      • Need some volunteers with telescopes
      • Speaker: White Dwarfs – Simon Blouin
    • Last Star Party – thanks to Dave Payne and David Lee for working on the Celestrons, Sherry Buttnor operated the 16″, solar telescopes were operating early in the evening.
    • Centre of the Universe displays – many are disabled due to old age. Needs a refresh, but requires funding. Skilled volunteers would be very welcome.
  • RASC General Assembly – June 24, 2022 – Lauri Roche
    • Tickets are now available – $20 for members for 4 days
    • Lots of interesting speaker, workshops, social events, and AGM business meeting
    • For those of us who live in the Pacific Time Zone – runs between 9AM and 4PM
    • Some sessions will be recorded, to be viewed later
  • Last Astronomy Cafe 
    • Thanks to the volunteers who have hosted Astronomy Cafe
    • Need volunteers when Astro Cafe restarts in the Fall
    • Hybrid format is working – in-person and Zoom
    • Sep 12th – first Astro Cafe meeting
    • Alex Schmid laptop (from UVic), external speakers and microphone
  • Galactic Poster – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman 

Astronomy Cafe – May 16, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Special General Meeting for RASC Victoria Centre – Randy Enkin
    • Have a quorum of over 25 Victoria Centre members in attendance
    • Changes to ensure our bylaws are consistent with the national bylaws and BC Society’s Act requirements
    • Call for volunteers to work on more revisions to Victoria Centre bylaws over the next few months
  • Need volunteers for Astronomy Cafe – contact Randy Enkin
    • Zoom host – recording and posting the video transcripts online
    • Meeting host – tracks and runs the meetings
  • Star parties at Observatory Hill – Lauri Roche
    • May 21, Jun 4, 18 – hybrid party in-person and online on Zoom & Youtube
      • May 21 – Early Discoveries made by the Plaskett Telescope – Jim Nemec
    • Every Saturday night after the July 1st break for the summer
    • Volunteers needed: telescopes in the parking lot, RASC welcome table, Plaskett dome tour hosts, 16″ telescope operators, other roles – contact Lauri
    • Electronically-Assisted Astronomy – start planning to use at the Star Parties in future – contact Dave Lee
  • Nanaimo Astronomy – Janeane MacGillivray
    • Astronomy From Kitt Peak – David Lee presenting at upcoming meeting
    • RASC Victoria members are welcome – send an email
  • Total Lunar Eclipse reports from members – May 15/16, 2022
    • Cloudy photos from Saanich after being skunked at Cattle Point – David Lee
    • HDR smartphone photos through eyepiece, join observations from Cosmic Generation group – Nathan Hellmen-Mestleman
    • Lunar Crater transits & mare cookies – Randy Enkin
    • Cloudy photos from Sidney – Chris Gainor
    • Observed from Brentwood Bay while raining – Lauri Roche
    • Just a glimpse from Taylor Beach in Metchosin, but spotted ISS – Bill Weir
  • Plaskett Images – Dan Posey
    • Composite image of the images over last few years 
    • Whirlpool Galaxy, Whale Galaxy, Deer Link Group NGC 7331, Fireworks Galaxy NGC 6946, M100, M63 Blackeye, NGC 3718 Arp galaxy, Hickson 44
    • Plaskett nights are for enjoyment and a reward for RASC Victoria members and volunteers
    • Review of techniques to process Plaskett image data into nice images
  • Skynews magazine – Bruce Lane
    • Review of upcoming articles
    • Please send Total Lunar Eclipse observing reports to Bruce (Editor)
  • Black Holes – Randy Enkin
    • M87 Black Hole – April 22, 2019 – Event Horizon Telescope
    • Sagittarius A* Supermassive Black Hole – May 16, 2022 – BBC Science Focus article
    • Galactic nucleus observed by Karl Jansky in 1931 – published in Nature, 173, 985-987, 1954
    • Angular resolution problem solved by the Event Horizon Telescope
    • Motion analysis of objects and energy near the Event Horizon of a black hole
    • Lauri Roche’s “black hole” birthday gift

Astronomy Cafe – May 9, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting video transcript

  • Astronomy Day thank you’s to volunteers – Lauri Roche & David Lee
    • The in-person interaction was an engaging experience 
    • The younger volunteers were a real delight
    • Sidewalk astronomy from the museum plaza, with very good weather
    • History of Astronomy Day at the Royal BC Museum – Sid Sidhu
    • UVic, Camosun, Victoria High School, Shawnigan Lake School was a good collaboration
    • Galileo Moments
      • Daytime at the RBCM: more than 800 – 231 outside, 654 inside
      • Evening on Observatory Hill: 29 volunteers and more than 100 members of the public
    • A lessons learned meeting with leads – David Lee
    • Publicity worked pretty well – Chris Gainor
    • Hubble history book will be available at Astronomy Cafe next week – Chris Gainor
    • Public lectures – about 40 attendees for each of 4 presentations – Randy Enkin
    • Video recording for lunar observing national feed – David Lee recorded Randy Enkin and Bill Weir
    • Attendance compared with previous Astronomy Days? 
      • Despite a shorter day at RBCM, attendance was very good
      • Previous attendance was between 1,700-2,000 at our bigger events
    • A high quality experience for attendees and children’s activities front-and-centre was a good idea – Jim Hesser
    • Met some interesting people who were very interested in astronomy – Dave Payne
    • Offered to help people to make use of their telescopes – Dave Robinson
    • Astronomy Day – event info and photo gallery
  • M33 Triangulum Galaxy image – Randy Enkin & John McDonald
    • HII star formation region
    • Compared with Barnard’s Loop shock wave (10º)
    • Bubble is the form the shock wave takes caused by multiple stars
    • M33 is a floculant galaxy – clumping of hydrogen material
    • What is a “typical” galaxy? – Dorothy Paul
    • April 2017 Skynews article (PDF) – Orion’s Aura – Orion Eridanis Super Bubble – Reg Dunkley
  • James Webb Space Telescope progress report – Chris Gainor’
    • Image sharpness check completed for all instruments
    • Instrument Modes Check Off – happening next
    • Images will likely start in June or July
    • Diffraction spikes in the images – causes?
    • Difference fields of view for each camera/sensor
  • Special General Meeting at May 16th Astronomy Cafe – Randy Enkin
    • Need a quorum of 25 Victoria Centre members in attendance
    • Changes to ensure our bylaws consistent with the national bylaws
    • Our Secretary Jill Sinkwich is finding several parts of Victoria Centre bylaws that will need to be changed
    • Proposed changes are already sent out to members
  • Need volunteers for Astronomy Cafe – Randy Enkin
    • Zoom host – recording and posting the video transcripts online
    • Meeting host – tracks and runs the meetings
  • Star parties at Observatory Hill – Lauri Roche
    • May 21, Jun 4, 18
    • Every Saturday night after the July 1st break for the summer
    • Volunteers needed: telescopes in the parking lot, RASC welcome table, Plaskett dome tour hosts, 16″ telescope operators, other roles
    • Electronically-Assisted Astronomy – start planning to use at the Star Parties in future – contact Dave Lee
  • National General Assembly – June 24-27 (online) – Lauri Roche
    • Speakers, co-current sessions, virtual field trips
    • AGM
    • Seeking submissions from members to give half hour talks about their passion – submit form by May 15th – contact Lauri

Astronomy Cafe – Apr 25, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Discussion about Astro Cafe’s new hybrid online and in-person meeting, room characteristics
  • Astronomy Day – May 7 – Lauri Roche
    • Museum 10AM-3PM
    • Online Lunar cross-Canada event – 5:00-6:30PM – RASC National, David St. Jacques (Canadian astronomer)
      • David needs some video clips from members observing the Moon, so he can assemble a short video feed if the weather is bad.
    • Observatory Hill – 7:30-11:00PM
      • Star party with observing
      • Hubble & JWST by Chris Gainor
      • Masks recommended
    • Please volunteer – contact Lauri Roche (email) or David Lee (email)
  • Astrophotos – Brock Johnston
    • Supernova in galaxy NGC 4647, near M60 in Virgo
    • M82 galaxy showing Ha emissions thanks to narrowband filters
  • Astrophotos – Dave Payne
    • M81 Bode’s galaxy
    • Needle galaxy NGC 4565
    • Asteroid 5116 Korsor passes in front of NGC 3384 galaxy
    • M65 & M66 odd couple of galaxies
    • Rejection frame analysis
  • Astrophotos – Martin Gisborne
  • Discussion about Astro Cafe’s new hybrid online and in-person meeting
  • James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
    • Still about a month away from scientific images and data
  • “The Great Debate” – Lauri Roche & Chris Gainor
  • Ballooning satellite populations in low Earth orbit portend changes for science and society – April 22, 2022 Physics Today article – John McDonald
  • Debate on contentious issues surrounding space tourism and other space exploration – Lauri Roche, Chris Gainor, Martin Gisborne

Astronomy Day 2022 – Victoria

Posted by as Special Events

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Royal BC Museum present

International Astronomy Day

at the Royal BC Museum, virtual online, and Observatory Hill, Victoria, BC, Canada

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Amazing Astronomical Activities for all Ages!

Press Release – contact Randy Enkin, President (email)

2022 Astronomy Day in Victoria
2022 Astronomy Day in Victoriaposter (88Mb PDF) & poster suitable for printing (3Mb PDF)

Telescope at Astronomy Day 2017

Royal BC Museum – 10AM to 3PMevent

675 Belleville Street, Victoria

  • Interactive activities outside on the plaza
    • View the Sun safely through solar telescopes (weather permitting)
  • Interactive activities inside in Clifford Carl Hall (Museum main level)
    • Telescope show-and-tell – try out telescopes and ask questions
    • Astrophotography – take photos of the night sky with your own camera and see our members’ work
    • Children’s astro crafts – kids make their own astronomy and space souvenirs
    • Ask an Astronomer – find answers to those questions about astronomy and space you always wanted to ask
    • Responsible Lighting – get pointers on how to reduce your own light pollution, and feel better for it

Public Lectures in Newcombe Auditorium

  • 10:30AM – Tracking the Moon for 30 Years – Randy Enkin, President, RASC Victoria Centre
  • 11:30AM – Observing the birth of planets in the universe – Ruobing Dong, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria
  • 12:30PM – Cosmic Collisions and the Fate of the Milky Way – Mallory Thorp, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria
  • 1:30PM – Demystifying Machine Learning – Karun Thanjavur, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria

Please Note:

  • All Astronomy Day activities are FREE and available to the general public. Membership in RASC is not required.
  • Regular admission applies to the Royal BC Museum exhibits and IMAX Theatre.
  • A concise handout for beginners: Interested In Astronomy?
  • After visiting our Astronomy Day in Victoria event, please let us know what you thought – survey – thanks!
  • We host public events with measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Please do not come if you are sick or have been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. We strongly recommend wearing masks while inside buildings with crowds. Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required by BC public health. Wearing a mask is a personal choice.

Asteroid Hunters – IMAX Theatre (admission applies)

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (Star Wars), Asteroid Hunters ventures into deep space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world.

Written and produced by Phil Groves, produced by Jini Durr and directed by W.D. Hogan, Asteroid Hunters introduces asteroid scientists – the best line of defense between Earth and an asteroid’s destructive path – and reveals the cutting-edge tools and techniques they use to detect and track asteroids, and the technology that may one day protect our planet. The effects of an asteroid impact could be catastrophic and while the current probability of an event in our lifetime is low, the potential consequences make the study of asteroids an incredibly important area of scientific research. Witness the latest in planetary defense and how science, ingenuity and determination combine to explore the world’s most preventable natural disaster.

Asteroid Hunters has a run time of 38 minutes and is presented by IMAX here in Victoria in association with Huahuang Pictures.


Shooting for the Moon – 4-6:30PM – cross-Canada RASC webinar

The party begins at 4 pm PDT on Zoom with a pre-recorded talk and a live Q&A with Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques from the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal! Following the Q&A, at 5 pm PDT, we will start our National Livestream on both Zoom and Youtube, featuring live views of the Moon from across Canada (including Victoria), RASC Member’s moon content, and more! Register here


Centre of the Universe and the Observatory – 7:30PM to 11PM

The Hon. Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor looking through Chuck Filnesss' telescope

Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Road, Saanich

Reserve Your Tickets (free) – only ticket holders will be admitted to this evening event. (Daytime events at the Museum do not require tickets!)

  • Plaskett telescope tours
  • Observing through telescopes
  • Presentation – 8:30PM & 9:30PM – The Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope – Dr. Chris Gainor
    • Summary: The stories of the two largest space telescopes: The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990 and is still operating after 32 years, and the James Webb Space Telescope, which is about to begin operations in space after its launch last December 25.
    • Biography: Christopher Gainor is a historian of technology specializing in space exploration and aeronautics. He has written four books on the history of space exploration and two on Cold War history. His most recent book is a history of Hubble Space Telescope operations published by NASA. Gainor is editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. From 2018 to 2020, he was President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and he is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Gainor holds a Ph.D. in the history of technology from the University of Alberta, and has worked as a history instructor at the University of Victoria and the Royal Military College of Canada.

Astronomy Day 2022 photo gallery

Press Coverage

Astronomy Cafe – Apr 4, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Super PupZ kids’ series – David Lee
    • Netflix series shot on southern Vancouver Island, including the Plaskett observatory
    • Dave Balum an advisor for the series
  • Astronomy Day – May 7th – David Lee
    • Our first in-person event for the last couple of years is being planned
    • Day event at the Royal BC Museum – public welcome, inside and outside
      • Welcome desk
      • Telescopes Show and Tell
      • Astrophotography
      • Children’s Astro Crafts
      • Responsible Lighting
      • Planetarium
      • Solar Observing from the plaza outside
      • Ask an Astronomer
      • Speakers in the Newcombe
      • Friends of the DAO
      • NRC/DAO
      • University of Victoria
      • Science Venture
    • Cross-Canada RASC National virtual event – Victoria to contribute
    • Evening event on Observatory Hill (pending NRC approval for public event)
    • Volunteers are welcome – contact David Lee (email) or Lauri Roche (email)
  • SIGs – David Lee
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Solar Sunspots in both Ha & white light – Arnold Rivera
    • Future presentation to Astro Cafe on solar activity and features – Chris Purse
  • Aurora – Randy Enkin
    • Alex Taalman aurora photos from March 30th – pending display
    • Sunspotter viewer
    • Sunspot frequency and historical observations
    • Space Weather Essentials – Sun and Earth
    • How Aurora happens
    • Aurora: Mysteries of the Northern Lights – Robert L. Lysak (Youtube)
    • Aurora stories from members
  • Astronomy Cafe – Joe Carr
    • Astro Cafe mugs for sale for $15 – contact Joe (email)
    • History of Astronomy Cafe – David Lee
    • New room for Astro Cafe will be used for in-person meetings within a few weeks
    • Need volunteers for both hosting the meeting and the Zoom session – contact Randy Enkin (email) or Chris Purse (email)
  • Astrophotos – Martin Gisborne
    • Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights – Dr. Melanie Windridge – Amazon
    • Saving the Starry Night – Patrizia A. Caraveo – Springer
    • Astrophotos – Martin’s gallery
      • Hercules Cluster M13
      • NGC 4565 – edge-on galaxy, and other galaxies
      • M106 galaxy
      • ISS streak
      • Widefield view of many galaxies in Markarian Chain region
      • IC405 nebula
      • M101 Whirlpool Galaxy
      • M42 Orion Nebula – reprocessed 2019 image and recent 2022 versions
      • M81 & M82
      • M81 galaxy
    • Selling his Celestron CGEM mount soon

President’s Message – Mar 2022

Posted by as President's Message

What is it that links our community together? Every year, we recognize a few members of the Victoria Centre and present them awards of appreciation and excellence. We announced the recipients at the Annual General Meeting. I had the pleasure last week of driving around Victoria handing out their framed certificates. I enjoyed seeing these stellar members of our community in their home settings. It is one of the great privileges of being president. Everyone was proud and delighted, and often surprised at the recognition. We are far greater than the sum of our parts. These members have gone an extra length to make our community stronger and more active. Thank-you!

Awardees (clockwise from top left): John McDonald, Chris Purse, Alec Lee, Bruce Lane, Barbara Lane, Cameron Burton.

We have a wide range of backgrounds and interests. We spend our time with a variety of aspects spanning the range of amateur astronomy. I particularly like the feeling of connection with people around the world and throughout time. Some are interested to produce the best image of an astronomical object. Some are keen to know their way around the constellations.

There is a huge hunger for astronomical knowledge out there in the bigger public. This was made very clear this last week with front page articles and television features about our friend and astro- buddy Sid Sidhu; on the occasion of having an asteroid named after him. Sid has been central to our public outreach and society in- reach activities over a period of decades!

What is it that links our community together is that the wonders of the sky fill us with awe and with pleasure.

Look Up,
Randy Enkin (email)

Astronomy Cafe – Mar 21, 2022

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of the meeting

Deborah Lokhost presented to us about the Dragonfly Telephoto Array. She is an Instrument Science Research Associate at the NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre in Victoria, BC. During her PhD in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, she worked with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array to observe and study galaxies. She designed an upgrade to Dragonfly and built a pathfinder telescope based on this design which she then used to study gas in the surroundings of galaxies. She is currently leading the construction of a full-scale upgrade to the telescope which has the ultimate goal of imaging gas in the “cosmic web” of dark matter.

Dragonfly Telephoto Array

  • Reasons for Dragonfly
    • Large galaxies with low luminosity (surface brightness)
    • Light scattering is the main problem
    • Reflecting telescopes don’t help, since they scatter light
    • Refractors have a limit in size
  • Design
    • Canon using nano coatings to reduce light scatter for their long telephoto lenses
    • Using 48 Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L – split between two Paramounts/observatories
    • Mexico Skies Observatory – site
    • Astroplanner – mission planning and execution
    • Been in operation for 6 years
    • Comparison between Dragonfly and Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • Diffraction Limited SBIG CCD cameras
    • Intel stick computers talk to a master computer for data collection
    • Filter 1/2 G and 1/2 R (Sloan clone)
  • Science
    • Main target is galaxies
    • What is Dark Matter? 90% of the Milky Way is Dark Matter
    • Dark Matter first detected by Vera Rubin
    • Ultra Diffuse Galaxies – new discovery by Dragonfly team
    • Looking for Globular Clusters in these ultra diffuse galaxies
    • First field images – Coma Berenice cluster of galaxies
    • NGC 1052 diffuse galaxies – very little Dark Matter – unusual!
    • Modified Newtonian Galaxy – alternate theory to Dark Matter
  • What about outside galaxies? – Deborah’s main study
    • Detecting faint gas emissions using ultra-narrowband filters
    • Simulated Ha observations from EAGLE cosmological simulation that should be possible using Dragonfly
    • Mounting the ultra-narrowband filters in front of the lenses would improve the result, and tilting the filter improves performance
    • Discovered a new Ha shell around M81/M82
    • 0.8nm filters will be used on new array
    • 30 new lenses to start with for testing and fine tuning

Members Reports & Presentations

  • Edmonton astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • NGC 4565 Needle Galaxy with many tiny galaxies in the field – Denis Boucher
    • Comet C/2020 L3 (Atlas) – Alister Ling
    • NGC 281 emission nebula – Tom Owen
  • Galactic Atmospheres gallery – Jim Hesser
  • SIGs – David Lee
    • Astrophotography – Wed
    • Makers – Thu – using Arduino microprocessors
  • Gov’t of Canada Citizen Science Portal – David Lee
  • James Web Space Telescope update – Chris Gainor
    • Pointing, focusing and alignment of the mirrors is complete
    • Now aligning the various instruments and guidance sensors
  • “Not Yet Imagined” History of Hubble – printed book now available from Chris Gainor (email)
  • Next week’s Café on March 28 – Jeff Pivnick
    • Invited a guest speaker. Vickie Siegel of Stone Aerospace who will be speaking about exploration using remote autonomous vehicles.
    • Crybots and AUVs intended for exploring Europa’s subsurface seas