Hey, great news – WE HAVE OUR CASINO LICENSE. This is really a relief to me as there are so many things that could have happened (delays of up to a year, an outright “no”, problems with our society status, etc) that did not happen. We’re in!! We now have to make sure that we have a full team of volunteers (plus spares) and that everything will run smoothly.
At the same time, we can start planning intensively for the construction of the power line. As long as we do not actually go into debt (we will not do this), we can start work as soon as possible. At the present time, we have a lot to do: engaging a contractor, surveying the right-of-way and drawing up the plans, hiring a cat operator and make arrangements for the loan/rental of the machine (its transportation up there, etc.), obtaining the poles and getting them “planted”, getting the wire strung, and the building wired up. Next, we will need the telephone line and the security line. A second set of doors should be built and the building “toughened up” as much as possible. Lastly, certain modifications will have to be made to the telescope to accept the new secondary mirror. Eventually, it should get digital setting circles, but that may have to wait.
Without wanting to count on too much, I would think that it ought to be possible to get the power line installed this summer and the observatory re-opened in the fall. It should then be vastly better than it ever was before. We should also concentrate on making the observatory as comfortable, as convenient and as well-equipped as possible. Astrophotography and general viewing should be better than ever. Let’s all do our very best to ensure that the observatory becomes all that it can be!
Let us not forget the club telescope. This is a lot less work than the observatory and we should be able to build it this spring.
RECENT EVENTS AT TMO:
Nothing really, except that the road will soon be dried out and passable to any vehicle. Your editor was up there recently – two mice were trapped. I hope eventually to seal the building so that the traps will no longer be necessary.
We did some “indoor astronomy”: general discussion, followed by looking at several constellation slides, identifying features on star charts, and looking them up in Burnham’s Celestial Handbook. A very enjoyable evening.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SKY:
Hey, with the mild weather returning, let’s get out to the observatory site and look at galaxies!
While looking up events in the sky for this summer (at the request of Citizen reporter and member Diane Bailey), I noticed that there will be a triple (quadruple?) conjunction of planets late this spring: for about a week centred around June 18, Venus, Mars and Jupiter will be within about a degree of each other in the western sky. In addition, Mercury will be making another appearance around the end of July and will be close to the other three planets. This is a splendid opportunity for some nice photographs (which anyone with a decent camera and fast film can take). Let’s get going on this – why not have a club competition?
(for those not at the meeting this is being mailed out)
Thursday, April 25th at 7:30 in room 2-223 at the College. I plan to repeat the talk that I gave to the Science I group at the College. It is entitled “Observational Astronomy with a Small Telescope” and it outlines the scientific projects that one can undertake with a small telescope along with a summary of my activities. Be there!
Bob Nelson, President