Hello, everyone!! As winter approaches, we have to readjust our plans. Except for the occasional clear night, we’ll be devoting our energies to indoor activities.
Well, I had hoped to be able to report the start of construction on our new observatory on Tedford Road, but things have been quite slow. Whenever one is dealing with government agencies, there are delays. The folks at the Ministry of Crown Lands have been quite helpful but they have their requirements. In order to get our License of Occupation (on the 1-hectare plot) we had to buy $1,000,000 liability insurance and post a $2000 bond to ensure that the old observatory is properly dealt with. I had hoped to avoid the latter by getting a group such as the snowmobile club (clubhouse) or the Naturalists (wildlife viewing) interested, but to no avail.
The requirements for a license have been satisfied and the document awaits only a signature and may even be in the mail now.
Another delay was in the plans for the building. The engineer-architect who designed our building on Tabor Mountain was asked if he could again help us out and design our new building. Dave Dennis has been quite busy and only came out with the plans a week or so ago.
I had hoped that we could have the excavations done, and install the footings, pier and foundations before winter. In the spring, the bricklaying would be done, the floor and roof installed, the telescope and dome moved and the electrical hookup completed.
Winter is now imminent and it looks as if we should postpone the start of construction to spring. I really didn’t want to do this, but we have to be practical. You CAN work in the weather we have been having of late, but who wants to? With any delay in laying the foundations, we could be in trouble.
In the meantime, we should get our act together: form a working group, decide on the exact design we want, and do all the necessary planning over the winter in order that we may have a good start in April or so. We will have the advantage of having another casino event next summer (that I shall apply for) plus the nearly unlimited time I shall be able to put into the project in May and June (it’s my professional development time). The good news is that the College carpentry class will be working all summer and may be able to assist us in building the floor and roof.
This winter, we could get going on inside projects such as making the club telescope, instrument building and testing, and possible mirror grinding. What about it?
A small but loyal group was brought up to date on recent occurrences. After some discussions, we looked at “The Astronomers”, episode 1. Quite interesting.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SKY:
The only planet reasonably visible is Saturn, low near the meridian at sunset. Venus and Jupiter are morning objects, arising a few hors before the sun. In case you haven’t looked at the sky recently (I haven’t, being busy with other things), the summer triangle with Deneb (à Lyrae), Deneb (à Cygni) and Altair (à Aquarii) plus part of the rich norther Milky Way are still visible in the evening sky.
On Wednesday Oct 23 at 7:30 in the Physics Lab (Rm 2-223) at the College. We need to decide on our new executive, plus set up a working group to plan our new observatory. I hope to set up a test for resolution of telescopes using artificial double stars as described in Sky and Telescope recently. Plus, we can look at the second episode of “The Astronomers”. I hope to see you there!!
Bob Nelson, President