Astronomy Cafe – Feb 5, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Jeff Pivnick
  • EnceladusAPOD Feb 5, 2023 – Jeff Pivnick
    • Smaller moon of Saturn discovered by William Herschel
    • The Great Forty 48″ reflector in Slough near Windsor – Herschel’s telescope
    • Cassini Mission
      • Discoveries: magnetic field disruptions, jets of water from “tiger stripe” fissures, wobbly orbital period caused by loose crust
      • 2:1 resonance with Dione results in elliptical orbit and interior heating of the ocean below the crust
      • Cassini division in Saturn’s rings – named for Gian Domenico Cassini, discoverer
      • Mimas 1:2 resonance with Cassini division
    • Diameter 504 kms, 14% liquid water
    • Discussion
  • Randy Enkin
  • Annual General Meeting – RASC Victoria Centre – Randy Enkin
    • Feb 12 7:00PM – Zoom meeting – info and special link to be sent to members
    • Victoria Centre’s Annual Report – contact Randy Enkin with your report president@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Financial Report
    • Election – Reg Dunkley
      • Chris Gainor has agreed to stand for President
      • We now have a full slate, but further nominations will be sought at the AGM
      • New Council will be seeking involvement from members for volunteering
      • We need a quorum of 25 members. If you cannot attend, contact Randy president@victoria.rasc.ca (or another member attending) to be your proxy for voting purposes.
  • Social Dinner – RASC Victoria Centre – Four Mile Pub – Feb 26th
    • Large parking lot, but please carpool if possible
    • Sound system with microphone and speaker will be used for speakers
    • Attendees please contact Marjie to RSVP by Feb 21st
  • SIGs – David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Beginners SIG – tomorrow night’s presentation by Randy Enkin on observing the Moon
    • Citizen Science SIG cancelled
    • Astrophotography SIG – 4th Wednesday – hosted by Brock
  • Astronomy Books – David Lee
    • Observer’s Sky Atlas – Erich Karkoschka
    • 21st Century Atlas of the Moon – Charles Wood, Maurice Collins
  • Astronomy Cafe – March 4th
  • Scitech Daily
    • Perseverance Mars Lander – sedimentary layers discovered by ground penetrating radar and samples taken
    • Ingenuity helicopter has crashed

Next Astro Cafe – March 4th – none for the rest of February

Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024

Posted by as Observing Highlights

2017 Total Solar Eclipse - plasma streamers at totality - photo by John McDonald
2017 Total Solar Eclipse – plasma streamers at totality – photo by John McDonald

A Total Solar Eclipse is a rare astronomical event (2017 was the last one), and it is even rarer for one to occur in locations that are easy to travel to. Although only a partial eclipse is observable from western Canada, the eclipse tracks diagonally across North America (southwest to northeast) on April 8, 2024. In fact, everyone in North America is within striking distance of being able to observe this amazing event, where the Moon slides in front of the Sun for a few brief minutes, suddenly and totally obscuring the Sun.

If you haven’t observed a Total Solar Eclipse, this is your chance!

Location

The eclipse tracks diagonally across North America, starting in Mazatlan, Mexico, across Texas and other states in the middle of the USA, tracking across southern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Dedicated eclipse chasers are seeking the best prospects of clear skies by travelling to Mexico, but there are lots of Canadians planning to observe from locations near home, despite the chance of clear skies being poor at that time of year.

Map of eclipse track across North America
Eclipse track across North America – Jay Anderson, Eclipsophile

Time and Date’s 2024 Total Solar Eclipse site gives all the facts and figures required to find and enjoy the eclipse, including an interactive zoomable map showing the eclipse track and links to livestreams if you want to experience this eclipse from the comforts of home.

What if you can’t travel to the track of totality?

Partial Solar Eclipse from SW British Columbia
Partial Solar Eclipse from SW British Columbia – Time and Date’s interactive eclipse map

You can still see a partial solar eclipse from anywhere in North America. Use Time and Date’s interactive eclipse map to get the calculated timing for the eclipse in the area you plan to observe from. Click and zoom to your area, then click on your observing spot to see a popup telling you how long the eclipse will last and what you will see.

From our location in southwest BC in Canada, a small notch out of the solar disk will appear on eclipse day – obscuring about 17% of the Sun. Not exciting compared with the dramatic Total Solar Eclipse observed from the centreline, but still an interesting apparition to observe, assuming the 76% chance of cloud cover doesn’t prevail!

Weather

Weather always plays a big part in any solar eclipse, so being mobile is key to improving the odds of actually seeing the event should clouds threaten to obscure the Sun at the critical moment. Our very own Jay Anderson (former RASC Journal editor) is a weather expert, and specializes in forecasting weather for solar eclipses. His Eclipseophile website offers sage advice backed up with maps and charts depicting weather prospects for each eclipse happening in the world for the next several years. Read Jay’s analysis of the area you propose to observe from, so you understand how the weather might behave on eclipse day. Topography, elevation changes and local factors play into how the weather evolves throughout the day for a particular locale. Become a local weather expert, and you increase your chances for success!

Map showing the probability of clouds along the eclipse track
Probability of clouds along the eclipse track – Jay Anderson, Eclipsophile

Observing

Observing a Total Solar Eclipse is pretty easy, however that said, if you haven’t done it before, it’s nice to have experienced eclipse observers around to help you get the most out of your time under the Moon’s shadow. Obviously the time of total eclipse is the main event, however other things happen beforehand, afterwards, and during an eclipse that are worthwhile.

Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, eclipsed Sun, Venus, Neptune, Saturn - diagram from Starry Night Pro Plus 8
Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, eclipsed Sun, Venus, Neptune, Saturn – diagram from Starry Night Pro Plus 8

Although the eclipsed Sun is the main target, look around in the darkened sky for planets and other bright celestial objects. There is a good chance eclipse observers will be able to see: Uranus, Jupiter, Comet Pons-Brooks (12P), Mercury, Venus, Neptune and Saturn! Of course, the sky only darkens for the observer if they are in the path of totality, so anyone observing a partial eclipse won’t see any solar system bodies (except the Sun itself).

Be sure to try out any gear you propose to take with you before you leave. Make sure you have proper solar eclipse filters for any binoculars (or your eyes), camera lenses and telescopes you are bringing along. Remember, you only have a few minutes to see totality!

Finally, relax and enjoy the day. Arrive early. Try to manage your stress level. Just sit back in a reclining chair, have your solar glasses handy, and enjoy!

Safely observing a solar eclipse – read about how to safely observe a solar eclipse

DIY Box Pinhole Projector – to safely observe the eclipse with only a box and some aluminum foil!

Victoria RASC eclipse chasers on the field observing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Oregon
Victoria RASC eclipse chasers on the field observing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from Oregon

Photography

If this is your first time experiencing a Total Solar Eclipse, don’t risk missing the eclipse by fiddling with cameras! Observing through (filtered) binoculars is a low risk way to capture the moments of totality in your memory.

For dedicated photographers, using their gear to capture a Total Solar Eclipse can be a right of passage, and has the potential to either be a highlight of your lifetime photography experience (if you succeed) or end up being a point of shame you never want to talk about again (if you fail). Take test photos of the Sun weeks beforehand, so you know your photo gear will work as expected. Always have a backup plan for when (not if) gear breaks, or you simply can’t get it to work properly. Here are some scenarios for consideration for those who are brave enough to want to multitask during totality – a once-in-a-lifetime event (least difficult listed first):

  1. Use a smart phone on automatic mode to take photos or videos of the scene around you
  2. Use a camera and wide angle lens mounted on a tripod to record the landscape, people and the eclipsed Sun (and perhaps stars and planets) in the sky. Take a random series of shots or set the camera to shoot automatically at regular intervals to create a time lapse series.
  3. Use a camera and moderate telephoto lens on a tripod to shoot video of the eclipse in the sky. Keep the telephoto lens short (80mm to perhaps 135mm) to let the eclipsed Sun pass through the frame.
  4. Use a camera and long telephoto lens on a tripod to shoot photographs of the eclipsed Sun. Take photos of the eclipse at the important moments: plasma streamers, Bailey’s Beads, Diamond Ring, totality, and partial eclipse phases.
  5. Use a telescope on a tracking mount with a camera on the back to capture closeup details of the eclipse events such as Bailey’s Beads and the Diamond Ring.

Expansion of the list above, with important details about setup, rehearsing, and special gear you may wish to consider purchasing can be found in this article: How to photograph a solar eclipse, with Alan Dyer – EarthSky.

Travel

RASC Eclipse chasers setup in the Libyan Sahara - March 29, 2006
RASC Eclipse chasers observing from the Libyan Sahara – March 29, 2006

Dedicated eclipse chasers and tour operators have made reservations at least two years ago at all the prime locations for this eclipse along the centreline where the weather is best. That’s not to say last-minute travellers are shut out from experiencing this eclipse – by planning carefully and compromising a bit, it can still work. Flights to hotspots like Mazatlan a couple of days before to a couple of days after April 8th will be fully booked, as will hotels and guest houses. Flying to nearby airports and staying in accommodation outside the centreline can make sense. Driving into the track of totality early on eclipse day can work for many who have not planned ahead.

Many of the USA states the eclipse track runs through will not have crowds of people once you are on country roads. With careful planning using the interactive eclipse and weather maps, it is certainly possible to observe the eclipse from the side of the road, parking lots, campsites, or farmer’s fields. Interstate highways which are in the track of totality will experience congestion, depending on how close to civilization the location is. When driving, expect long delays even for 24 hours or so after an eclipse as all those eclipse chasers try to get home! To avoid that anxiety, plan to stay a day or two longer near your observing site before commencing your road trip home.

Help!

If this will be your first time observing a total solar eclipse, no doubt you have many questions and concerns, and don’t know where to start. The resources presented here may be overwhelming. Please ask any questions you might have about eclipses at Astronomy Cafe, held each Monday evening by RASC Victoria Centre. Your fellow RASC members have observed solar eclipses before…they can help!

If you are reading this from other locations, find your local RASC Centre in eastern Canada which have posted eclipse events and information – Eclipse 2024 RASC.

Resources

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 22, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcipt of meeting

  • Intro – Jim Cliffe
  • Space Telescopes – Chris Gainor
    • How Long Will Hubble Last? – Sky & Telescope article
    • US Postal Service issued two stamps with images from JWST – $30.45 and $9.85 for their express service
  • David Lee
    • Inside the Star Factory – book profiling JWST by Chris Gunn (photography) & Christopher Wanjek
    • Makers SIG – meeting online this Thursday
      • Citizen Science – transitioning from analog to digital recording for occultations – IOTA
      • Imaging computing platforms – including Astroberry
    • Astrophotography SIG – meeting online this Wednesday – Dave Payne
      • Camera settings
      • Photo showcase
      • Q&A
  • Canadian stamp for the Total Solar Eclipse – Lauri Roche
    • March 14th issue day
  • Eclipse viewing glasses – Lauri Roche
  • Astrophotos
    • Dave Payneonline gallery
      • Flying Dragon Nebula – molecular cloud in Cygnus – taken last summer
      • Medusa by Garvacchio
      • Medusa Planetary Nebula in Gemini – RGB and narrowband taken earlier this month
    • Brock Johnstononline gallery
      • Christmas Tree and Fox Fur Nebula
      • Network Nebula – part of the Veil Nebula
      • Crab Nebula
    • Astrophoto Processing – discussion by Ken McGill, David Lee, Brock Johnston, Jim Cliffe
  • Astronomy Information Sources – Susan Grady posed the question to the group
  • Panic! Early results regarding the morphological and structural properties of galaxies seen with the James Webb Space Telescope – UVic, Wed, March 13 – Dr. Leonardo Ferreira, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physics & Astronomy
  • Young people’s astronomy club? – question by Garry Sedun
    • Some High schools and Middle schools offer astronomy groups
    • Discussion about how to reach out to younger people
    • Youth under 18 need family member who is also a member if VCO visit is desired – Chris Purse
    • Using smartphones on a telescope for imaging – simple mounting platforms work well
  • FDAO – Lauri Roche – roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Games Night at this Saturday’s Star Party – 6:30-10PM – NRC, FDAO & RASC teams
    • FDAO Strategic Planning coming up
  • Victoria Centre – upcoming events– Reg Dunkley & Lauri Roche
    • AGM – Feb12 7:00PM – online zoom to all members
      • Election
      • Financial Report
      • Awards announcements
    • Social Evening – Four Mile Pub – Feb 28th – sign up with Ken Atkinson secretary@victoria.rasc.ca
      • Socialize with your fellow astronomers and friends over some good food and drink
  • Lunar and Mars Missions – group discussion

Astronomy Cafe – Jan 15, 2024

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Intro – Brock Johnston
  • DAO Virtual RealityLight Wave ObserVR – Darren Delorme
    • Photogrammetric capture using Drone Deploy to create a point cloud of the outside of the observatory site
    • Modelled the telescope and mount inside using Blender from smart phone imagery and archival images
    • Working on windows, dome shutters, viewing platform, surrounding buildings and terrain
    • Unity – star catalog data – currently using 100,000 stars
    • VR headsets and hand motion tracking
    • VR tour starts at Elk Lake built on Lidar data
    • Multi-user experience/star party (up to 64 people), rooms, Meta platform launch
    • Inspired by Loki on Disney+
    • Next step is to create the stories and lessons
    • Perhaps add John Plaskett as a tour guide
    • Discussion of next steps, project milestones, first use, terms of use
  • Games night at FDAO Star Party – Jan 27th
  • The Colours of Uranus and Neptune – Randy Enkin
    • Are the two planets the same colour?
    • Uranus discovered by Herschel in 1781
    • Neptune discovered by several people in 1821, 1845 and 1846
    • Voyager 2 space probe has visited both planets in 1986 and 1989
    • Modelling the seasonal cycle of Uranus’s colour and magnitude, and comparison with Neptune – Patrick G. J. Irwin et al
    • Members relate their observations of Neptune and Uranus
    • Chris Gainor reminisced about being at JPL as a press reporter for the planetary encounters by Voyager 2. Both Hubble and JWST now observe the two planets regularly
  • David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
    • Occultations – citizen science
      • NEO
      • Int’l Occultation Timing Assoc – occultations.org
      • New DIY kits available
    • Makers SIG – Jan 25th
      • Imaging computing platforms – convergence and DIY solutions
  • FDAO – Lauri Roche roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Star Party on Jan 27th
    • Strategic Planning for FDAO coming up
    • Send suggestions for new activities for the FDAO
  • RASC Victoria Centre Events – Lauri Roche & Reg Dunkley
  • Herschel Museum  – Reg Dunkley
    • Near Paddington Station, London, UK
    • Treadle lathe, mirror grinding, forge for mirrors
    • Catalog of stars
    • Site of discovery of Uranus in the garden
    • Musical instruments

Astronomy Cafe – Oct 30, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • New members
    • Matt – astrophotographer
    • Ewen, Michaela – Swiss visitors
    • Cameron, Lisa, baby Max
    • Carlos
  • Eclipses – Randy Enkin
    • Geometry of eclipses
    • Types of solar eclipses
    • The Saros Cycle
      • Lunar Months – Sidereal, Synodic, Draconic, Anomalistic
      • Every 18 years, the solar eclipse cycle repeats, but the track moves a third around the Earth
    • Antikythera mechanism (~200 BCE) – predicts Saros cycles
  • What is a conjunction? David Lee, Marjie Welchframe
    • It’s a conjunction if the two objects share Right Ascension
    • derekscope.co.uk – list of all conjunctions to 2025
    • A large number occur during daylight
    • Discussion of how to observe conjunctions during the day
  • Makers SIG  – this Thursday- David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Telescope Clinic – Nov 18 at FDAO Star Party event at the Centre of the Universe
    • Need some RASC volunteers to help attendees use their telescope
    • Contact Lauri Roche roche.lauri@gmail.com
  • Victoria Centre Observatory – Reg Dunkley, David Lee
    • Oak tree encroachment on the observatory is now trimmed back, thanks to NRC
    • MICs need to be trained on the new equipment and procedures
    • Workflows for imaging are now in place
    • Picnic table – new one in the budget
  • Amateur Radio and the ISS – Jim Cliffe
    • Image broadcast from ISS to amateurs – Slow Scan TV
  • Pearson CollegeAstronomy Outreach – Bill Weir
    • Westshore Walmart parking lot
    • Moon, Jupiter, Saturn
  • James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
    • M1 Crab Nebula – Hubble image vs Webb image
  • 2024 RASC Observers Calendars – Lauri Roche
    • $15 each – still some available – contact Lauri roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Lauri will also distribute calendars at the monthly meeting at UVic on Nov 8th
  • Nov 8 monthly meeting at UVic – Reg Dunkley

Astronomy Cafe – Oct 23, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • John McDonald
    • NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe– book review and recommended for beginners in astronomy. Perhaps a Festive season gift?
    • Annular Eclipse event at Berwick Elk Lake
      • Thanks for the eclipse glasses (Jeff Pivnick)
      • Residents hadn’t observed a solar eclipse before, so there was lots of excitement
  • Astronomy Outreach and Events – Patrick
    • International Dark Sky designations
    • Astronomy events near Hope
    • Bonneford, Alberta
    • Now resides in Victoria
  • Nucleosynthesis – Jeff Pivnick
  • Planetary Nebula images
    • Dave Payne
      • Proto-planetary nebula
      • Planetary Nebulae visual differences: larger, two explosions, classic, cosmic wind dispersion
    • Brock Johnston
      • M57
      • NGC 7293 Helix Nebula
      • M97 Owl Nebula
      • NGC 651 Little Dumbbell Nebula
      • M27 Dumbbell Nebula
      • NGC 6888 Crescent Nebula
      • Soap Bubble Nebula
    • Use these images at the Centre of the Universe displays? Lauri Roche
  • Lauri Roche
    • 2024 RASC Observers calendars have arrived. Cost is $15 each, with some still available. Contact Lauri roche.lauri@gmail.com
    • Thanks to everyone who attended the FDAO AGM a couple of nights ago.
  • Special Interest Groups – David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca
  • Famous Eclipses in History – Randy Enkin
    • Some during BCE Era?
    • Mar 1, 1504 Lunar Eclipse in Jamaica – Christopher Columbus
    • 1868 solar eclipse – Janssen observed helium in the solar spectrum before element was identified on Earth
    • 1919 solar eclipse – Eddington confirmed General Relativity
  • Eclipses from Enkin’s Daily Moon – Randy Enkin
    • Art, photos, juxapositions
  • Weather Forecast for just-past Annular Eclipse – Reg Dunkley
    • GOES-West satellite cloud cover loop shows the eclipse darkening
    • DAO Current Weather – Sky Camera
  • Sunspot Groups – David Lee
    • Sunspots emerge through magnetic fields
    • Individual sunspots and groups of sunspots
    • AAVSO sunspot – online reporting

Astronomy Cafe – Oct 16, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • Resumption of monthly meetings and speakers at UVic –  Jeff Pivnick
  • Unexpected Results from James Webb Space Telescope – Chris Gainor
  • Annular Solar Eclipse from Victoria on Oct 14, 2023 – Randy Enkin, Lauri Roche, David Lee
    • Lots of families at FDAO event on Observatory Hill
    • Randy gave 10-minute eclipse basics talks
    • Pre-eclipse report and time lapse video by David Lee
    • FDAO eclipse event report by Lauri Roche
      • Streamed images from David Lee’s telescope in lower parking lot
      • Streamed images from Time & Date website
      • Homemade waffles, fruit and parfaits were popular
      • Lots of RASC members
      • About 150-200 public attended
    • Eclipse Images by members
      • Impromptu event from Cattle Point – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman
      • Sid Sidhu’s Highlands neigbourhood event – David Lee
      • Gordon Head sketches – Dorothy Paul
      • Observatory Hill photo series – Brock Johnston
      • John McDonald’s photos – David Lee
      • Cattle Point – Alex Schmid
      • Partial Solar Eclipse 2023 – RASC Victoria online gallery
    • Eclipse photos from online sources – Randy Enkin
    • Eclipse reports from members
  • Total Solar Eclipse – April 8, 2024 – Discussion about this upcoming event
  • SIGNALS – Star-formation, Ionized Gas and Nebular Abundances Legacy Survey – CFHT – Laurie Rousseau-Nepton, Principal Investigator
  • FDAO Star Party AGM, 2024 RASC calendars or workbooks – contact Lauri Roche (roche.lauri@gmail.com)
  • Beginners’s SIG – Algol Minima – David Lee

President’s Message – October 2023

Posted by as President's Message

It’s October! The nights are longer. The moon is higher. And lots of events are happening for our amateur astronomy community.

The big one is the Annular Solar Eclipse which will happen on the morning of Saturday October 14. The moon will nibble away at the sun starting at 8:07AM, half an hour after sunrise in the east. The maximum here will be at 9:19AM with a whopping 85% of the sun in eclipse. And the show is over at 10:38AM.

Ring of Fire - Cedar City, Utah on May 20, 2012

The Victoria Centre is not running any official viewings. Members are invited to help the Friends of the DAO with their Eclipse Breakfast at the Centre of the Universe. Note, we have 1,000 solar-viewing glasses to hand out, so we encourage members to go to good east-viewing sites (e.g., Clover Point, Cattle Point, Mount Tolmie) with a handful of these glasses. Contact me (email) or Lauri Roche (email) to get your glasses. Lauri will also be handing them out at the University on October 11.

What a great segué! Finally, after a 3½ year hiatus, we are back to holding monthly Wednesday evening talks at the University of Victoria. The first will be on Wednesday October 11, at 19:30, in the Bob Wright Centre, Lecture Theatre A104. We have a very exciting speaker, Christian Marois, who led the international team of astronomers that first imaged extrasolar planets. His topic is “The NRC NEW EARTH Laboratory, and the Quest to Develop the Tools to Find Life on Exoplanets”. Let’s have a big crowd join in this talk. And afterwards, everybody is welcome to chat in the Astronomy lounge in the Elliott building, and have access to our library for the first time since the lockdown. Many thanks to Alex Shmid and Reg Dunkley for organizing the event.

After a 2-week break, the weekly Monday evening Astro Café continues on October 16 with Jeff Pivnick as our host. Join online with Zoom, or better still join in person at the Fairfield Community Centre and enjoy the cookies!

The last point I am pleased to make is that the Victoria Centre Observatory is up and running better than ever. Use the wonderful telescopes up there or bring your own, and join the community looking at the sky together. Note that you must be on the “Active Observers List” to be allowed up to the VCO (Members Only). Contact our Membership Chair, Chris Purse (membership@victoria.rasc.ca) to get on the list. Members on the Active Observers List get emailed when the sky is predicted to be clear and one of the Members in Charge opens it up.

We are so fortunate to have such a vital community in the Victoria Centre. Do seize the opportunities.

And as always,
Look Up!
Randy Enkin (email)

Astronomy Cafe – Sep 25, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

Fuelling Galactic Powerhouses – Dr. Mallory Thorp

  • Mallory is a postdoctoral researcher the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie (AIfA) at the University of Bonn; MSc & PhD at UVic
  • Hubble Deep Field – how do all those galaxies interact with each other?
  • Spitzer Infrared Nearby Galaxies Survey (SINGS)
  • Galaxy Zoo – internals to galaxies
  • Baryon Cycle – gas, dust, stars
    • Inter-stellar Medium – gas and star formation
  • Sloan Digital Sky Survey
    • huge number of galaxies
    • great for big picture studies
  • Phangs – high resolution studies of individual galaxies covering the complete Baryon Cycle
    • Uses multiple telescopes for source data, including both space and ground telescopes – ALMA, JWST, HST, MUSE
    • NGC 628 / M74
      • Voids in the galaxy – biggest is The Phantom Void (1kpc across)
      • Recently formed stars on the edge of voids at these “shock fronts”
      • How stars form has now been observed, thanks to JWST
    • Out of 74 galaxies only a dozen are mergers
    • NGC 3637 – example merger galaxy
  • Catastrophic events impact interstellar medium
    • Strong star formation when the galactic structure is essentially destroyed
    • Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) – eventual result of interaction between galaxies
    • Jets of gas leave the galaxy
    • AGN is likely responsible for star formation
    • Galaxies turn off – why?
    • Try to reconstruct an interaction of galaxies over billions of years
  • ALMaQUEST – ALMA MaNGA Quenching & Star-Formation Survey
    • How mergers power starbursts?
    • Extra stars and extra gas
    • Studying post-merged galaxies
    • How do mergers trigger the birth of new stars?
    • AGN or starbursts when fuel is pulled into the centre of a galaxy
  • Q&A

Resumption of monthly meetings and speakers at UVic – Reg Dunkley

  • NEW EARTH Lab – Find Life on Exoplanets | RASC Victoria – Dr. Christian Marois, NRC, UVic
  • Oct 11th 7:30PM at Bob Wright Centre, Room A104, University of Victoria
  • Meeting will not be streamed, so please attend in-person
  • After the meeting, adjourn to the Elliott Building 4th floor Astronomy lounge for coffee, cookies and discussion
  • Lauri will have solar eclipse glasses to give to members

Annular Solar Eclipse – Oct 14, 2023 – Lauri Roche & David Lee

  • Solar Eclipse 2023 — Annular Eclipse, October 14 – Time & Date info page
    • Start: 8:03AM PDT
    • Maximum: 11:00AM PDT
    • End: 1:56PM PDT
  • Event at the Centre of the Universe
    • Observe the eclipse
    • Breakfast snacks supplied
    • Kids activities
    • Vignette talks
    • Event tickets on sale from FDAO through Eventbrite
    • Solar telescopes – dependant on RASC volunteers
    • Will supply solar eclipse glasses to attendees and other people hosting events can come to pick up the glasses
    • Best observing spot will likely be from the lower parking lot, not the Plaskett or Centre of the Universe parking lot
  • For observing yourself from other locations, seek a site with visibility to the east, low in the sky
  • Use solar eclipse glasses to directly observe the Sun, or use telescopes or binoculars with solar filters
  • Practice ahead of time
  • Discussion about timing and observing
  • Solar Eclipse Eye Safety – American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • RASC National 2023 calendars – Lauri has ordered 35 calendars, so contact her to sign up for a copy – roche.lauri@gmail.com

Victoria Centre Observatory (VCO) report – David Lee

  • 20″ Obsession – guiding working, collimation is near-perfect
  • 12″ Dobsonian also available
  • Takahashi – available to members for photography and visual observing
  • Discussion about parking issue at VCO – Garry Sedun

AstrophotosDave Payne

  • SH2-157 Lobster Claw nebula in narrowband
  • Shrimp nebula
  • Heart Nebula and beyond

Oct 16th is the next time to attend Astronomy Cafe – in two week’s time.

Astronomy Cafe – Sep 11, 2023

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

  • Saanich Fair – Lauri Roche
    • Sep 2-4, 3 days
    • Thanks to all the volunteers, but we could use more for next year
    • 3,500-4,000 people visited the booth and telescopes
    • Solar telescopes used to show the public the Sun
    • Clear and beautiful weather except for Sunday afternoon rain
    • Telescope raffle
  • Island Star Party – Reg Dunkley
    • Very good attendance 70 + 200
    • Dave Payne project lead
    • Cloudy skies on Friday but some sucker holes
    • Pristine skies on Saturday night
    • Zero gravity chairs were popular with cheers from the crowd when the Perseid meteors streaked across the sky
    • Volunteers from Cowichan Valley Starfinders did a great job
    • Two interesting speakers on Friday and Saturday night
    • Next year: 1st weekend of August
    • Donations more than covered our expenses
    • Grand prize of a telescope and mount
  • CU Star Parties – Lauri Roche
    • Weekly events – mid-May to mid-Sep
    • Good attendance every Saturday event
    • Presentations every week – either in-person or virtual
    • Monthly events during off-season
    • Saturday FDAO Star Party (Sep 16th) – Mary Beth Laychak, CFHT Outreach will be presenting
  • Plaskett Observing – Sep 16th
    • Contact Dan Posey email
    • Starts at 11:30pm
    • Must be a member and registered as an Active Observer to participate
  • Personal Observing Reports
    • Brock Johnston – photos
      • Helix Nebula
      • Solar disk in Ha – discussion
      • Jupiter – good seeing on Saturday
      • Saturn – 3 images showing changing ring tilt
    • Explore the Universe observing group – Marji & Jill
      • 110 celestial objects
      • Observe and/or draw at least 55 objects
      • There is also an Explore the Moon workbook
      • Group of 6 observing from Cattle Point
    • Moon – Randy Enkin
      • Sinus Iridium & Jura Mountains – comparing Mike Nash’s image & Randy’s sketch
    • Island Star Party astronomy images review
  • Announcements
    • Teacher’s Workshop – Lauri Roche
      • Mary Beth Laychak, CFHT Outreach will be leading the workshop
      • Monday – 4:30-7:00pm for teachers
      • Monday after the teachers – present at Astro Cafe
      • 2019 AGM presenter
    • Council meeting – Randy Enkin
      • Tomorrow night – all members welcome
    • UVic Wednesday night monthly meetings restarting – Alex Schmid
  • Minima of Algol – David Lee
    • Eclipsing binary
    • Short cycle of 3 days
    • Magnitude 3.4 to 2.1
    • Dates coming up – ref S&T
  • Partial Solar Eclipse – Oct 14th – David Lee and Lauri Roche
    • Observe from the Centre of the Universe – 8am to 10:30am
    • Solar observing glasses
    • Safety briefing
    • Breakfast beverages and snacks
    • Activities for kids and adults
    • $5/person – registration through Eventbrite
    • Rain or shine event
    • Volunteers needed
  • Blake Nancarrow remembrance – Randy Enkin
    • Memories from Bill Weir
      • Black was Chair of RASC Observing Committee
      • RASC Double Star program – designed for small aperture urban observing
      • David Dunlop observatory champion
    • Memories from Peter Jedicke
    • Memories from David Lee and Jill Sinkwich
      • Stellarium courses
    • Double stars tribute – Randy
      • Different colours of binaries
      • Splitting the doubles, triples and quads – challenging technique
      • A Tribute to Double Star Observer and Our Friend Blake Nancarrow –The Actual Astronomer Podcast – Chris and Shane
      • Lyra – 3 doubles – Marjie Welchframe