Volume 13, Number 2 - Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: New ...

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Volume 13, Number 2 - Royal Astronomical Society of Canada: New ...


SRAC/RASC Centre du NB CentreRéunion / Meetings------------------------------------------------------------------------March Astronomy MeetingWhen: March 24, 2012 1:00pmWhere: U de M, MonctonEngineering BldgRoom G148, G21pm-4pmWatch your email for notice!April Astronomy Meeting(No Meeting)Public Outreach EventThe AmazatoriumThe Amazatorium is an interactive fun fairat which they expect approx. 4000 kids &parents.When: April 21, 2012 10:00-1:30 and2:30-6:00Where: Harbour StationSaint JohnWatch your email for notice!If you can give some time to help ourdisplay please contact June MacDonald.junie@nbnet.nb.caEVENT HORIZONAstronomy in New BrunswickRASC NB Local UnitRéunion / Meetings-----------------------------------------------------------------------William Brydone-Jack Unit(Fredericton)A local group of members meet in Frederictonmonthly for meetings and observing.When: March 13, 2012 at 7:00pmApril 10, 2012 at 7:00pmWhere: Fredericton, UNB Campus2 Bailey Drive, Room 203www.frederictonastronomy.ca---------------------------------------------------Saint John Astronomy ClubMeetings consist of talks on constellations,the solar system and other astronomicaltopics, as well as Show & Tell,observing reports and Ask the Astronomer.When: April 14, 2010 at 7:00pmMonthly astronomy meeting will takeplace at Rockwood Park InterpretationCentre.Inside this issue :2. Event Horizon (Upcoming Events)Cover photo details3. Presidents Report4. “Focus On” Thomas Buckingham5. Clear Sky Chart Project8. February 2012 Meeting Report9. Observer’s Score CardCentre Contact InformationCover Photo/SketchBy John KarlssonThis is a sketch using pastel chalks ,whitecharcoal pencil and a wight gel pen onblack pastel paper. I did this sketch in thecold late night of last summer. The sky'swhere very clear and the temperature haddropped to 2Deg C. Cold considering itwas +30 that afternoon. The pastel isbrushed onto the paper and then smudgedin with a blending stump. Darker areas areadded with a kneed able eraser. Stars aredone with the gel pen as well as the whitecharcoal pencil.This is a really neat nebula to see with alarge instrument from a dark location usingsome decent equipment.I made thesketch the next day from the field sketchthat I did at the eyepiece.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 2Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

PRESIDENT’S REPORTby Curt NasonIn early February we found ourselveswith two vacancies on our Council.As per our Centre constitution, replacementsmay be elected by a majority voteby Council so a request was sent seekingmembers who were interested in the positionof Councillor. Two people stepped up,which made the selection process easy,and I welcome and thank our new Councillors,James Ayles and Roger Pitre.Emma MacPhee has moved from Councillorto 2nd VP, and Marc Arsenault is now1st VP. In addition, James Ayles is ournew National Representative with PaulGray as his alternate, and Emma and JuneMacDonald are co-Chairs of our recentlyformed Star Party Committee.A big thank you to Adrien Bordagefor donating a pile of astronomy books tothe Centre library. Ted Dunphy is our librarianand an inventory of our books andDVDs is maintained on the Centre Website. If you want to borrow a book, justclick on Request Check Out beside theitem and Ted will bring it to the next meetingfor you to pick up. It will take a whilebefore the Web site is updated with thenew additions, but there is already a greatselection of reading and viewing material .Thank you to the following whohave recently renewed their RASC membership:James Ayles, Ted Dunphy, PaulGray, Malcolm Jardine (who truly can beexcused for not travelling to our meetings),Don MacPhail and Eldon Rogers.As I write this there is still a weekleft in February, and already this year ourCentre members have reported nine outreachevents to the National Web site.These include (date, number of participants,event):• Jan. 17, 30 Cubs in Westfield• Feb. 2, 20 Guides in Rothesay• Feb. 4, 65 moonlight snowshoers at IrvingNature Park, Saint John• Feb.7, 27 Guides in New Maryland• Feb. 7, 16 Beavers on a field trip toWilliam Brydone Jack Observatory• Feb. 8, 13 Cubs in Cambridge Narrows• Feb. 16, 35 Grade 6 students at MillidgevilleNorth Middle School• Feb. 19, 11 Young Naturalists and parentsin Norton• Feb. 21, 54 Grade 6 students at BaysideMiddle School, Saint JohnMany thanks to those who havetaken the time to share their love of astronomywith fellow New Brunswickers. Iencourage all members to participate in atleast one outreach event this year by givingpresentations or sharing the view inyour telescope. Power Point presentationsare available for Cubs, Guides and Beavers,and also for solar system and constellationtalks, and we have a good supplyof Star Finders and the new Moon Gazer'sGuide for handouts. Please report youroutreach events via the RASC Web site,including the number of Star Finders andMoon Gazer's Guides you gave out. Thisallows us to get more when supplies runlow. Also, when your file a report you willget a confirmation email. Please forwardthe confirmation to June MacDonald andto me so that we can include these in Centrereports.In January, our Centre Council adopted apolicy to allow for reimbursement of gasexpenses for outreach events. Here is thepolicy. Reimbursement Policy for OutreachTravel Expenses:a) RASC NB members may be reimbursed,at their request, for gas expenseswhen travelling > 100 kilometres (return)within New Brunswick for the purpose ofparticipating in a public outreach event relatedto astronomy.b) Travel reimbursement for outreachevents outside the province shall requireprior approval of Council.Cont. on page 8...——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 3Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

Focus OnThomas Buckingham1. When and how did you getstarted in astronomy?A cousin of mine loaned a smalltelescope to me when I was in elementaryschool and that is my earliest recollectionof my interest in astronomy. From thatsimple act, I explored the skies, obtainedand read books on the subject, shared withfriends, etc. I continued this interestthroughout my childhood right up until Iwas married and children arrived. Then, Ihad zero time for about 10-15 years. But,my interest was rekindled and I startedback into the hobby which included joiningthe RASC and purchasing a new telescopeworking my way to my dream telescope.P.S. Once my cousin was marriedand had kids, I gave him back the smalltelescope so he could share it with hiskids.2. What part of the hobby appeals to youthe most?I don’t think I have a particular favouritepart of the hobby. However, Iwould say that the continued variety ofevents and opportunities that exist today isdefinitely a positive for the hobby. It’s inthe news more often; there are great websites now available; astrophotography hasexploded in recent years and that hasadded so much to the hobby and capturedthe imagination of many folks who wouldn’totherwise be interested in looking atblack and white dots in the sky.3. What made you decide to join theRASC?After my kids were older, I got reconnectedwith the hobby and wanted tomake a bigger commitment to it so joiningthe RASC was a logical option. Besidesthe many product offerings, I had hoped toconnect with local folks with similar interests.Unfortunately, that never really happeneddue to my many commitments Ihave with work, family, volunteer efforts,etc.4. Recognizing that some people just don'tlike meetings, what can we do to increaseattendance at our monthly meetings?Tough question for me as I neverattended meetings. One thought might beto make “meetings” more like a gathering.Frequent gatherings could involveeducation sessions (how to’s, productevaluations, best practices, etc.) and viewingsessions combined. Maybe takingthese gatherings on the road and holdingthem in community centers or schoolsmay generate more public interest as well.e.g. a portion of the gathering would bemembers only and then it could be open tothe public.5. You recently made a generous donationof equipment to a high school astronomyclub. Tell us about the club and how youhope the donation will help them.The club is the Leo Hayes HighSchool Astronomy Club under the directionof Mr. David Hall, a teacher at theschool. My primary goal was to allow studentswho had an interest in astronomy toexperience it with good equipment inhopes that it may help spark an interest inpursing a career in this field or the manyrelated fields. As a bonus, Mr. Hall wasgoing to leverage the equipment for use bythe school’s photography club if they hadan interest in exploring astrophotography.Putting it another way, I simplywanted a good home for my equipmentwhere I knew it would be well cared forand well used. If it helps generate an interestin astronomy or science in general,then I’ve achieved my goal.6. What can our Centre do to help this andother school astronomy clubs?Most school astronomy clubs havelimited funding and are typically run by——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 4Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

teachers or volunteers. It would be myhope that by connecting these clubs withRASC-NB that there could be some collaborativeefforts that I believe would be awin-win for both parties. It doesn’t haveto be about money. By simply workingwith these clubs, students would get achance to learn from the many experiencedmembers in our Centre as well ashave better viewing opportunities. TheCentre would benefit in being able toshare the hobby with more folks(outreach) and generate more interest inastronomy with our youth. The simple actof providing volunteers from the Centre tohelp these schools with viewing and educationsessions would be significant giventhat I suspect most club leaders have limitedtime to organize events.Clear Sky Chart ProjectBy Chris WeadickThe RASC-NB Exec voted at the previousmeeting to help support the Clear SkyCharts ("CSC") operated by Atilla Danko.The Clear Sky Charts continue to be the"go to resource" as a graphical indicator ofwhat the night sky has ahead for us for theup coming 48 hours. Atilla's charts - justshy of 4300 locations - is used by almostevery astronomer and observatory for theirwebsites.All chart owners are encouraged tosponsor their charts in order to support thecosts of the servers, internet access, andtools used to help create and supply thecharts for the data provided by TheWeather Office of Environment Canada. Itwas proposed by Council and accepted byunamous vote for the NB Centre to have apresence on the chart's sponsor page forthe NB Centre to have a recognition as asponsor (associated the chart with theMoncton location as Moncton was theoriginal home for RASC-NB).On the CSC website, the support fora chart is usually referenced as Sponsor-SHIP, this article is titled "PartnerSHIP"because the NB Exec has negotiated withAttila for The RASC-NB to have a significantlyreduced rate for our Centre to postour presence on the web for 2012. We appreciateAttilla's ongoing support which inthe last few months includes new chartsfor the Dark Sky Preserves (DSP - FundyNational Park, Kouchibouguac NationalPark, Mount Carleton), Urban Sky Park(Irving Nature Park in Saint John is thefirst and only one in Canada), and thehome of the COW - Mactaquac. All thecharts (Except Mount Carleton - updatedto refect the status of DSP) for the beforementioned parks are all new in the last fewmonths including the COW as it was recognizedas a great location for fellowSHIPof our Centre in the summer months andoutreach to the public. Atilla usually hasstrict rules regarding placement of clocksbut with the great relationship he has withRASC-NB members some of those restrictions(proximetry of charts to other chartsusually 24km/15miles from an existingchart).We attempted to create a bilingual"logo" (not implied to replace our currentlogo or branding initiatives) for the chartgiven limited space (each logo is 200x50pixels "dots") it left our existing crests"out of the running" as they would not belegable. The bilingual representation is animportant consideration and the Executiveinvites our tallented members to proposenew Clear Sky Chart "logos" that best reflectour Centre having members in bothofficial languages. Please forward any designsto Chris.Weadick@gmail.comWe hope we are supporting ourmembers and outreach to the astronomycommunity with this little bit of recognitionto Atilla, to our Centre showing wesupport astronomical ventures, and continueto grow the benchmark reputationwe have within The Royal AstronomicalSociety of Canada. If any member has additionalproject ideas or would like to participateon projects we welcome proposalsto review at future business meetings and——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————–SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 5Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

feel free to contact any of the current Executiveor Council. We need your help toensure we meet the needs of the membershipand to promote our hobby to the public.Centre/Moncton sky chart with CSC logohttp://cleardarksky.com/c/Monctonkey.html?1Sponsor's page including RASC-NB CSClogohttp://cleardarksky.com/csk/sponsors.htmlThank-you to our members for allthe volunteer work and efforts we havecontributed to enable sharing of our hobbyand the night sky to the public, be it withschools, Scouts, Guides, sidewalk astronomy,or just in our backyards withneighbours and friends...Thank-you to Attila Danko for providingthe service to all astronomers andfor special sponsorSHIP of the RASC-NBlogo.Thank-you to the members who assistedwith the project.Thank-you to the Executive and Councilfor supporting this initiative.Feburary Meeting Reportby June MacDonaldCurt welcomed everyone & reviewedthe agenda. He went through thelist of new & renewed members. Curtgave a “What’s Up” for February/earlyMarch. He mentioned the full Moon onMar. 8 is called the “Full Worm Moon”;the new Moon is on Mar. 8 – a good timeto attempt the Messier Marathon. He remindedpeople to watch fro Lindbergh’sThrush 4-5 days after the new Moon.Brian McCullough made a PPt. presentationon this object, based on Curt’s observations.So who’s famous then? Curt willbe giving out autographs at the next meeting– for a nominal fee. Venus will bewithin 3 degrees of Jupiter Mar. 12-15.Mars will the closest it will come for thenext few years on Mar. 5. Jupiter & Venusare both prominent in the evening sky.Saturn is coming up in the late eveningsky as well & its rings are opened to about15 degrees. We won’t see Neptune or Uranusuntil the early Spring as they pass behindthe Sun. Asteroid 433 Eros, an NEAdiscovered in 1898, is moving into Sextans& is the closest its been since 1975 &is mag 8.8. Mar. 31 is Earth Hour.June gave a talk on Dr. Jocelyn Bell-Burnell, an astrophysicist whose presentationshe, Emma & Curt heard when shegave the Josiah Wood lecture at Mt. AllisonJan. 23. It was extremely interesting.Dr. Burnell was the discoverer of pulsarsin 1967 & 1968. Her thesis supervisorwhose name was the first listed on the paper,was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physicsin 1974 for the discovery, while shewas side-lined. However, she has gone onto win many other awards, medals & recognitionssince, including President ofRAS in England & holds no grudge – agracious lady.She explained the whole process of herdiscovery. She told the audience she hadto do the analysis manually, as computerswere few & far between at that time. Sheadded that if there had been computers,she would not have made the discovery, asnot knowing about the existence of pulsars& not expecting them, the computer wouldnot have been programmed to look for thatsignal.She went on to speak about womenin Astronomy & how they are outnumberedby men in the field & why. Developedcountries, especially English speakingones had a lower percentage of womencompared to men in astronomy, whilecountries many people consider as laggingbehind in the scientific community have a——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 6Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

greater number. The world average is15%, Argentina has 37%, while Canada &the U.S. have only 12%. The issue is culture,not lack of brains in women. She encouragedwomen entering the field to bepersevere, take risks, aim high & keepyour options open. She gave a quote “Wellbehaved women rarely make history”(Laurel Thatcher Ulrich).She also said a scientists ethics are:be honest, be just-treat other scientistsfairly, be open to new ideas & share yourown ideas. She is also interested in poetry,stories & art with an astronomy-relatedtheme. She mentioned she has found 150writings from over the last 50-60 years.She herself co-authored a book of poetrycalled “Dark Matter – Poems of Space”.She also mentioned that with dark energy& the rapid expansion of the Universe,eventually everything will be so extremelystretched apart, the sky will become dark,stars will go out, galaxies will disappear &life will no longer be possible. We have torevise our theology. She is a Quaker &said their belief is that we are alwaysevolving, changing which matches wellwith research science. They believe youdevelop your own idea of God throughyour own life experiences. So when shethinks of the Universe ending, for her it isjust another evolution – developing & redeveloping.She has been asked many, manyquestions about Doomsday 2012 everytime she gives a talk. She has developedseveral presentations on debunking thisscenario. A couple of the website links are:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUij0m6RbIQ-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSDdP57YY7Q&feature=relmfu-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZEZgTzQyW4&feature=relmfu-http://royalsociety.org/events/2011/endworld/She has discovered that you can stilldo well even though you don’t win a NobelPrize. Once you win that, there’s nowhere else to go, who’s going to give youan award now? Instead she has won an numerousawards & honours each with a dinner.So for her “it’s a been a party everyyear”.Observing reports: Don, Roger &Curt shared their observations of theMoon, Jupiter next door to the Moon &Curt participated in a public observingsession at the Irving Nature Park, at which65 people attended. Ted told us aboutHind’s Star, which is blood-red.Show & Tell: there were many ofAdrien’s old magazines & books he madeavailable for anyone interested; Juneshowed the “Tactile Universe” she receivedfrom NASA. It is certain space objects(Neptune, Butterfly Nebula, an asteroid,etc. which are set on a special type ofpaper with a special type of medium (ink?)that raises the objects surface so that visuallychallenged people may actually feelwhat these space objects feel like. Verygood for public display & for schools forthe visually impaired.Paul showed astro images of Venus& the Moon with a halo around both & achurch spire in the foreground. Rogershowed his Orion Nebula, Horsehead,NGC 2024, M35. Wonderful photos guys.Keep them coming.Emma gave a presentation on Venus& Venus Transits. She told us about Venusphysical characteristics- its surface thehottest in the Solar System due to the CO2in the atmosphere, its mass is 90 times thatof Earth’s, although somewhat smaller isdiameter. Clouds of sulfuric acid & rainsmother the planet which is 108.2 millionkm. from the Sun. It rotates from East toWest & its day is 224.7 Earth days. Venus’orbit has a different angle compared tothat of Earths. Venus “transits’ when it——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 7Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

crosses in front of the disk of the Sun.There were transits on Nov. 24, 1639 &also in 1879, witnessed by James Cookduring his travels in the South Pacific.This year’s transit will take place onJune 5 in North America & we will seeVenus transit the top half of the Sun’sdisk.Curt gave a talk on Mars. Mars is1.38 – 1.67AU from the Sun, making it50% farther away from the Sun than Earth& its size is 0.53% of the Earth’s diameter,while being nearly 9 times more massivethan the Moon & twice its diameter. OneMartian day is equal to 24 hr. & 39 min.,its year equals 687 days & its day is calleda sol.He showed a few posters of famousmovies about Mars – “Mars NeedsWomen” & Curt’s own favorite “SantaClaus Goes to Mars”. We never knewthere were so many & Curt has them all!He showed us the “happy face crater”on the Lunar surface & the canyonValles Marineris which is 1000 ft. long &as deep as 5.7 km below the mean surfacearea. Olympus Mons is the highest mountainin the Solar System, 3 times higherthan Mt. Everest at 26 km. high & 600 kmacross at the base. Mars has 2 moons –Phobos at 25km in diameter & Demos at15 km wide. The dark marking you see arefrom basalt from volcanic flows; rustgives the surface its red colour. Iron in basaltrusts, erodes & blows as dust. It looksmore yellow in a telescope. There aremany photos of the huge dust storm thatoccurred there in 2001.It was another great meeting & afterward,we trailed down to Lily’s Café forsupper. Can’t wait until the next meeting –hope to see you there!Cont. from page 3c) The reimbursement cost per kilometreof travel shall be 10% of the gas pumpprice per litre.d) The Council shall be notified of therequest by email.e) The member making the request shallrecord the outreach event through theRASC National Web page.f) Reimbursement will be made at thenext meeting.g) This policy does not apply to travel tostar parties.h) This policy shall reimburse to a maximumof $500.00 for the Centre in a businessyear.Mars at a its best in 2012!This photo of Mars is by Halifax Centremember Stephen Punshon. Details are belowas he reported to the Halifax EmailList.The seeing was much better last night butMars was still in the treebranches when I grabbed this shot beforethe clouds rolled in.4 inch refractor, 5x powermate and Toucampro. 460 frames stacked andprocessed in Avistack 2.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 8Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

Explore theUniverseMessierOBSERVERS’ SCORECARDFinestNGCI. WilliamsonLunarDeep SkyChallengeDarkNebulaeHerschel400Levy DeepSky GemsCaldwellArp GalaxiesAbell GalaxyClustersHicksonPresident/PrésidentCurt Nasonpresident@nb.rasc.ca1st Vice-President/-PrésidentMarc Arsenaultfirstvicep@nb.rasc.caGerry Allian 101 93James Ayles 37Adrien Bordage 100Bob Crossman 110 28Charles Doucete 110 110 110 65Ted Dunphy 102 110 110 51 10 8 265Colette Fortier 87 28Paul Gray 97 110 110 46 31 20 238Peter Jensen 12 73Don Kelly 110 110Mark Laflamme 106 30 2Danny LeBlanc 110 110 127Emma MacPhee 78 110 110 5Curt Nason 110 110Mike Powell 70Detlef Rudolph 62Chris Weadick 71 268 21 21 9This section is intended to inspire our members to get out observing by promoting a friendly competition.The left column includes our members who have reported their successes to the scorekeeper, PaulGray. To be included please contact Paul Gray at: editor@nb.rasc.ca2nd Vice-President/-PrésidentEmma MacPheesecondvicep@nb.rasc.caSecretary/SecrétaireJune MacDonaldsecretary@nb.rasc.caTreasurer/TrésorierMandy Breggtreasurer@nb.rasc.caPast Pres./Président sortantPeter Jensenpastpresident@nb.rasc.caCouncillors /ConseillersJames AylesPaul GrayRoger PitreChris WeadickWebsite ChairTim DoucetteLight Pollution ChairChris WeadickEquipment ChairEldon RogersLibrary ChairTed DunphyEducation ChairDon Kelly——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————–SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 2— Page 9Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

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