Astronomy Cafe – July 19, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • ISS Transits of the Moon – Randy Enkin
    • Enkins Daily Moon on Facebook
    • Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse with ISS transiting – Thierry Legault
    • ISS Transit Finder
    • Photo of the ISS and Mars – by Tom Glenn
  • Hubble status – Chris Gainor
    • Hubble HST Computer Problem is solved with the swap to the backup Control Unit/Science Data Formatter
    • First images from rebooted Hubble
    • Operating on 3 out of 6 gyros
    • James Webb and Kepler space telescopes discussed
  • FDAO Star Party – Lauri Roche
    • Solar observing early at 7:30PM – David Lee & Sid Sidhu
    • 8-11PM this Saturday – history of the Plaskett telescope by Dan Posey
    • Scott Wilkinson and Dennis Crabtree – narrator and Ask An Astronomer
    • Event info
  • RASC National – Lauri Roche
    • RASC Robotic telescope demo of acquiring exoplanet data – Samantha Hewitt and Jenna Hinds -Wed nights starting in August –  more info
    • Aug 29th – EPO Astrophotography processing workshop for data from the Mars Perseverance mission – info pending
  • Diane Bell Tribute – planned for Aug 15th, Sunday afternoon at the Aviation Museum – tour by Gord Bell
  • UVic Observatory Open House this Wednesday evening – David Lee
  • NOVA – New Observers of Visual Astronomy program – Lauri Roche
    • Modules are being revamped so it is both virtual and in-person
    • Being done over about four months
  • Edmonton photo – noctilucent clouds – presented by Dave Robinson
  • Victoria Centre photos
    • Venus & Mars conjunction – Mike Webb
    • Solar prominences & surface features – John McDonald
    • Test photos using the new telescopes at Victoria Centre observatory – John McDonald
  • Observing Planets
    • Planets in good positions at 3AM
    • Visual observing of planets at more civilized hours coming up in a few weeks’ time
  • Moon observers – Lauri Roche
    • Completing the RASC Lunar Observing programs
    • Lunar atlases that are useful for finding features
  • The Last Stargazers a book by Emily Levesque – David Lee
  • Resuming in-person meetings discussed
    • Astronomy Cafe in Fairfield – likely to resume mid-September in hybrid form (online & in-person)
    • Monthly meetings at UVic – no plans in place yet
    • Annual picnic at Pearson College observatory – possibly late August, depending on Bill Weir’s schedule

Astronomy Cafe – July 5, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Intro – Chris Purse
    • Next week’s Astro Cafe – Lunar session – Randy Enkin & Mike Nash
    • Photos of the July 4th fireworks from Lopez Island by Randy Enkin
  • Astrophotography of the Year 2021 – Royal Observatory, Greenwich – a short list by Barbara Lane
  • Edmonton Astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Moonsweep – rising Moon over Edmonton time lapse – Luca Vanzella & Alister Ling
    • Solar images – Abdur Anwar using a solar filter and C8
    • Solar sunspot sketches – Berta Beltran
    • All sky display of noctilucent clouds time lapse – Murray Paulson
  • Dave Payne’s M57 image data reprocessed – John McDonald
  • SIGs – David Lee
  • Hubble – David Lee & Chris Gainor
    • Uses 386-based processors, upgraded to 486
    • Video on Hubble current status – an explanation of what’s happening
    • Discussion about Hubble systems and updates
  • Henrietta Leavitt Memorial Horizon Watch – July 4th, 2021 – Reg Dunkley
    • Lopez Island fireworks display
    • 28 kms away eastward
    • 5 members setup at Cattle Point
    • Sequence of photos of fireworks
  • Victoria Centre Observatory report – Reg Dunkley
    • Work party getting the two new telescopes operational
    • Refining the pointing accuracy of the Paramount ME with the new telescopes now mounted
    • Discussion about removal of existing Takahashi focuser so Feathertouch focuser can be mounted and used
    • Servicing the Paramount gearing
  • DASCH: Digital Access to a Sky Century – Harvard’s photographic plate collection
  • UVic Observatory Open House – this Wednesday – history of astronomy – zoom info provided in the chat

Astronomy Cafe – June 21, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Thierry Legault’s Astrophoto Guide
  • RASC GA and AGM – Registration site
  • Geocaching and Public Outreach for Astronomy – Malcolm Scrimger
  • Summer Solstice – Randy Enkin
    • The Solstice happens at different times 
      • Actual time depends on time zone person is in
      • Gregorian calendar causes timing anomalies (Leap Years)
      • Earth’s eccentric orbit, astrophysical and geophysical components affects seasonal timing too
      • Sun setting angles in the north – https://metcam.navcanada.ca
  • Astrophotography
    • Astrophotography SIG – John McDonald
      • This Thu 7:30PM
      • M101 Monthly Challenge
      • Beginners Introduction to planetary imaging and processing using PixInsight
    • Victoria Centre astrophoto – Brock Johnston
      • Ring Nebula M57 & galaxy (IC 1296) in the field using LRGB – Dave Payne
      • Ring Nebula M57 – more detail from narrowband Hydrogen (Ha), Oxygen, Sulphur wavelengths – Dave Payne
      • Visually observing the galaxy (IC 1296) – Dorothy Paul
      • Ring Nebula M57 – Brock Johnston
      • Eagle Nebula – narrowband using Hubble palette – Brock Johnston
      • Hercules Cluster M13 – Brock Johnston
      • Sunspot and granularity on Sun’s surface in Ha – John McDonald
      • Eagle Nebula M16 from Slooh Chile- Joe Carr
      • Recent astrophotos by Victoria Centre members
    • Edmonton Centre astrophotos – Dave Robinson
      • Dimming of Betelgeuse (ESO link) – Larry Wood 
      • Lightning storm June 15th – Stephen Olesen
  • FDAO Star Party this Saturday (youtube & zoom) – new IMT building at the DAO – Lauri Roche
  • Diane Bell’s astronomy equipment – Lauri Roche
  • Variable Star visual observing – David Lee

Astronomy Cafe – June 14, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Annular Eclipse – review of photos
    • Iqaluit photos by David Aglukark & Vinnie Karetak – presented by Chris Purse
    • Worldwide photo collection – presented by Randy Enkin
  • CRD Bike Trail Widening & Lighting – Dave Robinson
    • Dave has a meeting scheduled with the project team
  • Photos from Edmonton – Dave Robinson
    • Crescent Moon & Venus over the city – Alister Ling
    • Animation of Jupiter – Abdur Anwar
  • General Assembly & AGM – Chris Gainor
    • More info is posted online about the events
    • Register for GA and AGM separately. AGM is no cost.
    • Looking for Centres to host the next GAs – Bill Weir
    • Starts on June 25th – end of next week!
    • Registration site
  • Library photos – Alex Schmid
    • Historic slides and projector
    • Brass eyepieces
    • Stereo viewer
    • WW II astronomy books
    • Construction cranes on UVic building site
    • Email Alex if any member wants to borrow a book
  • SIGs – David Lee
    • Makers SIG – being held this Thursday online – contact David Lee or Jim Cliffe to join in
  • Juno mission update – Reg Dunkley
    • Spacecraft flew within 625 miles of Ganymede recently
    • Close encounter with Europa and Io planned
    • Imagery is freely available to amateurs
  • Observatory update – Cameron Burton
    • Replaced the winch and made new rollers for the shutter
    • Dome bearings to be rebuilt next year, in order to implement automation
    • Discussion within group
  • FDAO Star Party – Lauri Roche
    • Thanks to volunteers at last star party
    • June 26th – next star party
      • The DAO’s “Green Building” virtual tour by Jenny Attwood and Scott Roberts
  • RASC National website – Chris Purse
    • Centre membership is now available
    • Expanded merchandise is now being offered
  • RASC Service Award for Diane Bell’s family will now happen since the pandemic rules are relaxing. Perhaps a picnic later this summer?

Astronomy Cafe – June 7, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

  • Chit chat
    • Planetary imaging discussion
    • Saanich News reporting Lucky Budd’s daytime shot of Jupiter
  • RASC GA & AGM – Chris Gainor
    • Last weekend in June 25-28
    • Good speakers on all four days
    • Sunday 3PM – AGM & election – no charge
    • Monday – Virtual tours of observatories
    • Mars panel discussion
    • Registration site
  • The Sun and Stars – Randy Enkin
    • Star Dances
      • Defocus stars to see their colours when photographing them
      • Jiggle camera setup to see deliberate star tracks
      • Staying at Magic Lake on Pender Island last week – looking south
      • Jiggle the tripod to see colours in the star tracks
  • CRD lighting of bicycle trails – Dave Robinson
    • Widening trails from 2-3 metres to 6.5-7 metres
    • Lighting the whole system of trails – 3 segments
    • Please respond to the  online survey by June 13th
    • LED lights, warm colour, down-facing, 4.5m poles
    • PBX Engineering – consulting engineers – Dave wants to talk with them
    • It appears traffic volumes will increase significantly and bicycle speeds are bound to increase with e-bikes
  • Edmonton Observatory – Dave Robinson
    • Roman Unyk installing the azimuth bearing in the mount for the 32″ telescope – a time lapse video and discussion.
    • Black Nugget Lake observatory, near Riley, Alberta.
  • FDAO events – Lauri Roche
    • Star Party – this Saturday, June 12th – Is Anybody Out There? Life outside the solar system – James Di Francesco
    • Summer Solstice celebrations – June 20th
    • Annular Eclipse photos
    • Ask An Astronomer – Scott along with the RASC EAA group (David Lee, Brock, Dave Payne)
    • More star parties – ever 2 weeks for awhile, then monthly
  • Buy & Sell – Reg Dunkley
    • Gord Bell (brother) is selling Diane Bell’s astronomy gear – binoculars, telescope, eyepieces
    • Nelson Walker is selling his Tele Vue 101 apo refractor, classic tripod, and eyepiece collection
    • Both listings will appear on our Buy & Sell page soon
  • Gianluca Massi – Virtual telescope from Rome – looking for contacts here in Canada who plan to take photos of the annular eclipse for his live broadcast on Thursday – contact Randy Enkin or Gianluca directly ASAP
  • Juno orbiting Jupiter – Reg Dunkley
    • Mission extended for several more years
    • Recent close encounter with Ganymede – 625 miles!
  • 2012 Transit of Venus review – Joe Carr

Astronomy Cafe – May 31, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of the meeting

  • CRD lighting of Galloping Goose Trail from Selkirk Water to Lochside/Borden and Spectrum School – Chris Purse & Dave Robinson
    • Dave has given CRD feedback – dark adaption is adequate, so opposed
    • Members should give CRD feedback through the online survey
  • Moving and installing Bill Almond’s observatory – Cameron Burton & Lisa Meister
    • Disassembly
    • Moving from Bill & Janet’s home
    • Installation at Cameron and Lisa’s home
    • Victoria Centre’s history with Bill Almond and reminisces from members
  • Total Lunar Eclipse – Randy Enkin 
    • Review of online photos (since we were clouded out)
    • Diameter of the Earth’s shadow is larger than expected – more to come
  • Edmonton photos – Dave Robinson
    • NGC 6946 Fireworks Galaxy – Tom Owen
    • Moon over Edmonton – Alister Ling
    • Sunspots – Arnold Rivera
  • Edmonton Centre’s new observatory – Dave Robinson
  • SIGs – David Lee

Astronomy Day 2021

Posted by as Special Events

A celebration of International Astronomy Day in Victoria, BC, Canada was held on May 15, 2021 as a virtual online event, sponsored by the Friends of the DAO and RASC Victoria Centre. Hundreds of people attended this live-streamed 4-hour event through both Zoom and Youtube.

The program lineup

  • Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) Virtual Tour
  • Live Solar Viewing from the DAO with David Lee, Sid Sidhu & Chris Purse
  • Guest Presentation – “Fossils in our Galaxy” by Dr. Kim Venn, a specialist at UVic in observational stellar spectroscopy, and the chemo-dynamical analysis of stars in the Galaxy and its nearby dwarf satellites. Stars contain a fossil record of the chemistry of the Universe at the time and place where they were born. Stars formed early in the universe contain very low amounts of elements heavier than Helium, and astronomers call these stars ‘metal-poor’. They are the fossils of ancient star formation in the galaxy. By studying the most metal-poor of these stars, we can read that fossil record to learn about the origin of the elements and formation of the Galaxy. Dr. Venn discussed the recent results on the metal-poor galaxy, including newly discovered streams in the halo, very metal-poor stars found in the Galactic Centre, and metal-poor stars in the Galactic disk that orbit in the opposite direction.
  • University of Victoria Telescope Tour with Karun Thanjavur
  • Ask an Astronomer (or two) with Jason Beaman and Nathan Hellner-Mestelman, hosted by Amy Archer
  • Astrophotography Gallery with Marjie Welchframe, David Lee and friends featuring music from Vox Humana, Jeff Enns (composer)
  • Planetaruim Show from the CU – Draco & Hercules – Aaron Bannister & the constellation blanket
  • Live Stream from the Plaskett Telescope, the Centre of the Universe (CU) and other locations featuring David Lee, Dan Posey, Dave Payne, and Brock Johnston – the RASC Electronic Assisted Astronomy Group and hosted by Ruhee Janmohamed
Thanks to everyone who made this event a success!
Thanks to everyone who made this event a success!

Astronomy Cafe – March 29, 2021

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Meeting transcript video

  • Announcements – Chris Purse
    • No Astro Cafe next week – Easter weekend
    • The Moon At Noon observing program – hosted by RASC National
  • Nathan
    • Combined 6 photos taken at each phase of the Moon
    • “Lines connecting the stars” – really dark skies of the ancients!
    • Water rockets – project for science fair
      • 100 metres maximum height reached
      • project involves balancing the amount of water and air for maximum height
        • 500ml was optimal for his configuration – 1:14 ratio
        • leaking bottles, lost red fins, air pump broke, lost the altimeter
        • Used a launcher with a remote switch and an air pump
  • The dates of Passover and Easter – Randy Enkin
    • Jewish calendar is lunar
    • Passover – 15th day of Nissan, starting on the first new moon of spring
    • Easter – 1st Sunday after Full Moon on or after March 21st (vernal equinox)
    • Saanich First Nation’s calendar
  • Amateur Astronomy Courses – Marjie Welchframe
    • Marjie completed all five courses – now available on youtube (see linked article)
    • My Introduction to Astronomy – paid course starting on April 6th by Richard Bell
    • Kalamazoo Astronomical Society
  • Edmonton astrophotos – Dave Robinson
    • Propellor Nebula – Arnold Rivera
    • Leo Trio – Abdur Anwar
    • Coronal Aurora – Lucas and Abdur
    • Solar Halo – Alister Ling
  • International Astronomy Day  – Lauri Roche
    • Sat, May 15th – webinar from Victoria being planned, featuring:
      • Live solar viewing
      • Astrophotos
      • Planetarium show
      • Live from CU deck
  • Finding Novas – Brock Johnston
    • Captured the current supernova in Cassiopeia
    • Used ASIair Pro to find
    • Used Deep Sky Stacker & Gimp for processing
    • Sky & Telescope article
  • Lunar Occultation – David Lee
  • Black Holes get more interesting – John McDonald
    • Scientific American special publication: Black Holes – the extreme science of the universe’s most mysterious phenomena – available at Bolen Books or online
    • Gravity waves from collisions
    • Black holes may be primordial, so not all black holes may be caused by supernova
  • Moon phase photo series – John McDonald
    • Sketch of Bailly crater on the 26th – Randy
    • Lunar video sequence from last August – Brock

Astronomy Cafe – November 30th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

Meteor Shower Expert is Guest Speaker at the Astro Cafe on Monday December 7th.

The Geminids are usually the strongest meteor shower and this year they peak around the 13th of December which is a new moon. So if skies cooperate, conditions could be ideal for savouring this shower. In anticipation this event we have arranged for Abedin Abedin, a postdoctoral fellow at NRC Herzberg to share his research on meteoroid streams, the swarm of particles left in the wake of comets and near earth asteroids that cause meteor showers.

Title: “The age and parent body of the Quadrantids meteoroid stream

Abstract: The Earth intersects the orbit of Quadrantids meteoroid stream every year around January 3-4, giving raise to the Quadrantid meteor shower.
The Quadrantids are among the strongest meteor showers with Zenithal Hourly Rate ZHR~110-130. The Quadrantids are unique among other meteor showers: It has very short duration of just a few days with even narrower core activity which has a Full Width of Half Maximum (FWHM)~0.6 days – a strong proxy of a very young meteor shower. Secondly, the meteoroid stream has been linked to the Near-Earth Object 2003 EH1, – a body of asteroidal appearance. Meteoroid streams are generally associated with comets and to a lesser degree with asteroids, which raises an interesting question if 2003 EH1 is the nucleus of a dormant or recently extinct comet.
Here, I will present on how we trace a meteoroid stream to a proposed parent body and how we determine the age of Quadrantids, which appears to be as young as 200 years. Furthermore, the Quadrantids have also been linked to comet 96P/Machholz, which gives rise to 7 additional meteor showers. I will also discuss the relationship between the Quadrantids, 2003 EH1 and comet 96P.

Biography: Abedin Abedin writes: I obtained my master’s degree in 2006 from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria. I then worked at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for three years. In 2011 I started my PhD degree at the University of Western Ontario, London ON. I worked on determining the age of eight meteoroid streams, associated with comet 96P/Machholz. I completed my degree in September 2016.
Since Aug. 2018, I’ve been a postdoctoral fellow at Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics at NRC, working on collisional probabilities and dust production rates in the trans-Neptunian Region.

Tales of the littlest galaxies that could … at UVic Observatory Open House Wednesday December 2nd

You are invited to a Zoom presentation at the UVic Observatory Open House at 7:30PM on Wednesday December 2nd. Dr. Matt Taylor a post doc at Herzberg Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics will discuss the important role that Dwarf Galaxies play. Entitled “Judge Me By My Size, Do You? Tales of the littlest galaxies that could.”​ this sounds like it will be entertaining as well as informative. Join the Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 935 9678 6035
Password: 566494​

Astronomy Cafe – October 26th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

  • Maritime Museum development proposal
  • Nominate Alex Schmid for upcoming Victoria Council by-election – email

UVic Astronomy Open House Wednesday October 28th: Deep (Machine) Learning with Neural Networks by Karun Thanjavur (UVic)

You are invited this Zoom Meeting at 7:30 PM PDT this Wednesday by following this link.

Learn about the second industrial revolution as Karun Thanjavur demonstrates the amazing power of artificial intelligence. The future is here today!

Abstract:
Artificial intelligence (AI), specially Deep (Machine) Learning applications are already ubiquitous in everyday use, and have been called the second industrial revolution. Deep Learning algorithms, called Neural Networks, thrive on Big Data, the happy ‘problem’ we now face of enormous amounts of data available in astronomy and in almost all fields of human endeavour. Piggybacked on the impressive recent advances in high performance computing, neural networks are trained on these available large datasets to then perform a variety of human-like tasks, such as realtime decision making, identifying subtle patterns in the data, forecasting, making recommendations based on experience, and so on. In this presentation I aim to provide an overview of this rapidly burgeoning field, explain in simple terms the construction and working of a neural net, and illustrate these principles with a few examples drawn from literature and from my own research.​

How to Talk to a Science Denier:

Jim Hesser attended a recent UVic Physics colloquium by Dr. Lee McIntyre (Boston U.) was on the topic, “How to Talk to a Science Denier: What I learned at the Flat Earth Convention”.

Jim reports that the key take away message was that the best way he’s found to help a science denier is through real conversation that leads to building a relationship of trust between the denier and the scientists; once there is trust, the stage is set for the denier to look at alternate views and evidence the scientist provides. People interested in the science denial challenge might enjoy exploring this presentation.

David Lee’s First Light With Borg 55FL and ASI183MC

David writes: For those who can’t wait for the winter objects and you’re willing to stay up late you can catch objects like the Orion Nebula. This was also first imaging light for the Borg 55FL and the ASI183MC.

  • Imaging Camera: ZWO ASI183MC
  • Imaging Optics: Borg 55FL f/3.6 Astrograph
  • Filtration: Hutech Night Glow IDAS NGS1
  • Tracking Mount: Astrotrac
  • Exposure: 50 light frames of 30 seconds for a total exposure of 25 minutes
  • Processing: Pixinsight Core Version 1.8 and Adobe Photoshop CC 2021