The nights are longer and colder, but yesterday (October 5th) was International Astronomy Day so we set up for a night at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. It’s not quite as good as Carp as we can’t turn the parking lot lights up, but we set up a little farther away on the grass (I had thought we would set up on the pavement as we did one other time, but we were all on the grass and a clear patch of gravel). I was initially worried about dew but had no issues for the night.
One of the best parts of events at CASM is I don’t have to be the event marshal. 🙂 I just go and observe. I helped out on the social media side for announcements and promotions, but that was all. Chris in our group is the lead for liaison with the Museum and did solar observing during the day. » Read the rest
I had my doubts about the star party scheduled for September 21 in Carp, including the fact that I’m a bit tired of organizing them. I don’t mind GOING, but I’d much prefer to go with Jacob, set up his scope too, and then just be able to leave when we want to, even if only there for an hour or so. If I go as an event marshal, I have to stay all night. I had no other marshals seemingly available for this one, so I went without the cub. However, when I got there, one of the other marshals had shown up and already had all the cones set out, etc. Awesome!
I set up in a different spot than normal, and parked in the upper bowl just in case I decided to bail early. However, I was surprised that the location of the setup changed the experience for the night. » Read the rest
I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that while I’m a member of the board of the AstroPontiac Observatory, last Saturday was my first outing for the year to the site. Observing nights are frequently high-demand days for me, given my role as the local RASC centre’s Star Party Coordinator, and just other commitments. But Jacob wanted to go, and Andrea was willing to go too with a hope for a small picnic and time to hike the opening of the Luskville Falls trail, so we set off.
We stopped at the Subway near us to get some grub for the picnic and by the time we were at Luskville and finished our meal, it was already starting to darken a bit. Andrea and Jacob did a quick walk down the first part of the trail, but it wasn’t inviting at that time, and they came back.
Our leader, Stephan, showed up a bit later, and we drove out onto the field to get setup. » Read the rest
On Monday, August 26th, Jacob and I headed out to the Fred P. Lossing Observatory (FLO) in Almonte. The land is owned by the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area, but they let RASC Ottawa put an observatory there in slightly darker skies than we have in Ottawa. There is a gate with a lock, a warming room, and a couple of buildings with larger scopes in them. If you get trained on them and pay a small fee each year, you can use the scopes. Otherwise, as just RASC Ottawa members, you can use the grounds to set up your own scope.
While Jacob and I wanted to do some observing, my main reason for going was another member in the club. He and his son (J1 and J2) had bought a new scope, a Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ, and were struggling to see much through it other than the basics. They had not yet managed a polar alignment, nor figured out star-hopping, and were looking for an intro night from someone in the club. » Read the rest
Saturday, August 24th was the proposed date of our monthly star party, and I confess, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I might even confess to hoping we would get rained out. The dates were set way back in March, and revolve around the dates of New Moon. But while I am the star party coordinator, I had to make some changes this year so that I wasn’t automatically the default event marshal too…too much commitment, too many days. So we changed things so that we only book 2 days a month instead of 4, 1 for the Saturday before New Moon and 1 for the Friday after New Moon. A much softer load on the need for marshals, and for me. And up until this weekend, I have had marshals available to cover the events, even if I couldn’t make it.
But this weekend is the height of the summer, lots of people are on holiday, and more importantly, the date conflicted with the annual big StarFest up near Collingwood. » Read the rest