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Volume 13, Number 4 - New Brunswick Centre - The Royal ...

H O R I ZOLA SOCIÉTÉ ROYALE D’ASTRONOMIE DU CANADANNew Brunswick CentreTHE ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADAJuly-August2012Vol.13 Issue 4IN THIS ISSUEPFO on WheelsStar Parties


SRAC/RASC Centre du NB CentreRéunion / Meetings------------------------------------------------------------------------September Astronomy MeetingWhen: September 15, 2012 13:00Where: NBCC Miramichi80 University AvenueRoom 223213:00 - 16:00Watch your email for notice!October Astronomy MeetingWhen: October 13, 2012 09:00Where: Université de MonctonRoom to be announcedWatch your email for notice!We have our annual meeting in themorning and round out the day with aseries of talks. This is election year, soplease consider offering your time toserve as President, 1VP, 2VP, Secretary,Treasurer, Councillor or National Representativefor 2013-2014.EVENT 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: September 11 at 19:00October 9 at 19:00Where: 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, observingreports and observing.When: September 1 at 19:00October 6 at 19:00The SJAC meetings are normally heldon the first Saturday of the month atRockwood Park Interpretation Centre.Star PartiesAugust 10-12: Armstrong BrookCampground, Mount CarletonAugust 17-19: Nova East, Smiley’sCampground near Windsor, NSAugust 24-26: South ChignectoCampground, Fundy National ParkCover Photoby Paul GrayIf this photo of the Perseus-Taurusregion looks familiar, it is becauseit also graced the cover page of ourJanuary-February issue. Recyclingis not only a good environmentalpractice, it is a ploy used by substituteeditors who have little or nonew material.Objects of note are the Pleiades(Messier 45) at lower right and theCalifornia Nebula (NGC 1499) atmiddle left. In between are manyof Barnard’s dark nebulae.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 4 — Page 2Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer


PRESIDENT’S REPORTby Curt NasonMany thanks to Paul Gray, who has servedRASC NB as President, Past President,Councillor, Chair of the Organizing Committeefor the highly successful 2010RASC General Assembly in Fredericton,and Editor of this newsletter. Paul has acceptedemployment in Nova Scotia, hisnative province, and has rejoined the HalifaxCentre in a trade for Frank Hendsbeeand an astronomer to be named later.Peter Jensen has volunteered to becomethe fourth Editor of Horizon, beginningwith the following issue due to work commitmentsthis summer. Thank you for takingthis on, Peter. I encourage everyone tomake his job easier by submitting articlesand photos when he sends out a plea formaterial.A huge thank you to all who assisted withCOW VIII in Mactaquac; in particular, toTed and Karen Dunphy, who worked withpark staff, obtained food for the barbecue,and made sure there were coffee and muffinsfor drowsy stargazers when the Suncrested the trees. We had great weather forpublic observing, and I am sure Ted hadsomething to do with that, as well. AnotherDam Fine Star Party.Our membership is holding steady at 66members, thanks to three new memberssince June. Welcome to Andrew Hamptonin Kingston, Coreen Brown in Hampton,and Chris Curwin in Saint John. Thankyou to the following members who haverenewed in the past few months: BillChristensen, Tim Doucette, Francis Le-Blanc, Jonathan Lewis, Candace MacAfee(a 10 year member!), Armand Saintonge,David Simard, Isabelle Simard and SteveTompkins.Following is a list of outreach events reportedby our members since May 1 (date,number of public participants, event): October 2011 to March 2012 in 6events, 69 people for presentations andobserving at Hanwell Observatory May 7, 20 Grade 5 students in Rogersville May 10, 75 kids and parents atGagetown School for a Science EastTekFest May 18-20, 135 campers enjoyed solarand night observing at the KouchibouguacStar Party May 19, 16 learned about constellationsand the solar system at Daly`sPoint Park in Bathurst June 1, 36 students and teachers fromSt. Malachy’s High School OutdoorPursuits class, presentation and observingat New River BeachJune 2, 12 at a retiree seminar forIBEW 37 workers at the Wu Centre inFrederictonJune 3, 29 for a presentation on the VenusTransit at Brundage Point RiverCentre in Grand Bay-WestfieldJune 5, 40 for a presentation and wishfulobserving of the Venus Transit atIrving Nature Park in Saint JohnJune 5, 12 did Internet observing of theVenus Transit at UNB FrederictonJune 5, 9 did Internet observing of theVenus Transit in HanwellJune 5, 4 actually observed the VenusTransit in HawaiiJune 11, presentation to 130 students ofEvergreen School in MonctonJune 12, 20 WBJAC members for VenusTransit recap and other talks atUNB FrederictonJune 19, 60 Grades 3 and 4 studentsenjoyed an interactive presentation atPark Wood Heights School in BathurstJuly 3, presentation to 30 teenagers at aReturn to the Past summer camp inNotre DameJuly 20-22, 225 campers for observingat COW VIII in MactaquacThat’s more than 900 people at 22 events.Sharing the sky is a big part of our hobby.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 4 — Page 3Horizon: to educate, inform, and inspire


Building a MobileObservatory Trailerby Mike PowellHauling telescope equipment around in the back of a truckevery time there is an event, or just getting together, takes itstoll on the toys. Carrying the equipment in and out of thehouse and packing it up in the vehicle was getting to be apain. Hours of thinking, and coming up with ideas to movethe equipment with minimal effort, led me to build a mobilestorage locker.I purchased a cargo hauler from a gentleman on Kijiji for agood price, and started building the Mobile Observatory.Storage cabinets were added in the front to house the smalleritems. The scope storage doubles as a bunk and bench, using4.5 inch foam for the cushions. A desk was built into theback of the trailer for the computer, which controls theequipment, and for the 23 inch 12 volt TV, which doubles asa second computer screen. The whole trailer runs off twodeep cycle batteries, allowing for 230 amp-hours of runningtime.For star parties, it is the perfect item. The trailer allows forcomfortable sleeping, no setting up tents, and all the comfortsof home in one small package. I guess it's what you canbuild when you get bored. The Ultimate Star Party Machine!Visit Mike’s Web page for the PFO Observatory at:www.pfo.x10.mxSee more of Mike’s pictures on the next page.Pretty Far Out!Mike’s neighbours think his new lawnornament is just a little over the top.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 4 — Page 4Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer


Upcoming Star PartiesTwo star parties down, blessed with goodweather, and we are hoping for the samewith the next two. The Mount CarletonStar Party runs August 10-12 under thedarkest skies in New Brunswick, at theArmstrong Brook campground. Note thatthis section of the park does not have power,a trade-off for having great skies forobserving. Events include solar observing,public observing in the evening, and a telescopeclinic for any closet-scope owners.The Fundy Star Party will be a celebrationof the park’s designation as a Dark SkyPreserve, which was awarded last year.Please let Emma know (see the last pagefor her email address) if you are attending,and if you are bringing a trailer she willneed to know the licence plate number.Camping will be free for RASC NB membersat South Chignecto campground.Celebrations include “Trou Noir” on Fridayat 20:00 at the North Chignecto playground.It will be presented by the ThéâtreTémoin from Montreal on their Maritimeand Gaspé Peninsula tour. Scientificthemes are covered such as distances andproportions, gravity, speed of light, spaceand time perception, black holes, and lifeand death of a star. It is a presentation inFrench but it is highly visual, with music,and should be interesting to most even ifFrench is not understood. On Saturday at19:00 at the Outdoor Theatre, The La TourBaroque Duo will present 17 th and 18 thcentury Scottish music in honour of theFundy Dark Sky Preserve designation.Astronomy events on Saturday at the OutdoorTheatre include a public talk on telescopesand binoculars at 13:00, solar observingafterward, and a What’s Up talk at20:30. There will a barbecue for memberson Saturday evening. We will providepublic observing at South Chignectocampground on Friday and Saturday evenings,beginning at 21:00.Setting up shop at KouchKouch and COW RecapPhotos by Diane DegrâceThe Kouchibouguac Star Party was heldMay 18-20 at Kouchibouguac NationalPark and attended by ten members andfour guests. Some campers wandered byfor peeks at the Sun on Friday and about30 people, mainly astronomers and parkstaff, attended the What’s Up talk. Publicobserving began around 21:30 once Venusappeared through the twilight, and darkskies held out for the next few hours. Atsome time through the night the clouds arrivedand sprinkled some rain. Saturdaybrought sunshine for solar observing, anda larger crowd arrived for public observingthat evening.The Dam Star Party, COW VIII, was heldat Mactaquac Provincial Park on July 20-22, attended by approximately 40 membersand guests. There was an impressivearray of telescopes on the field, and about225 campers took part in the public observingon Friday and Saturday evening.The sky was great on Friday after thecampfire smoke lifted, and clouds held offSaturday until after the campers left.See more pictures from Kouchibouguac onthe next page.——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 4— Page 5Horizon: to educate, inform and inspire


Greg, Roger, Fran and Carol take a breakEloi practises getting up witha smile on his faceAs you can see from theclouds, we didn’t have muchluck with observing the VenusTransit at the Irving NaturePark.But we did have fun.Photo by Kalen ThomsonDiane is outstanding in her fieldPitre Palais: Beware of Telescopes——————————————————————————————————————–———————————————–———–———————————————————--SRAC New Brunswick RASC — Volume 13, Number 4— Page 6Horizon: instruire, informer et inspirer

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