Hello everyone! As I write this, our casino event for 1992 is over and we have earned enough to let us continue with the observatory. The bottom line is that we have netted $2797.78 from the three nights’work (the breakdown was $1242, $1650 and $71 – the numbers donadd up since we had to pay GST). While the last night was disappointing, it is a lot better than it could have been since at about 11 PM, the casino was in the red some $4000 – we made it all up and then some in the next three hours! (Although a charity cannot lose for the three nights, it can do so over one or two nights, the loss(es) being taken from the other winnings. Be thankful we didnlose on that night!)
I think all that participated agreed that, although the hours are long (5:30 PM to about 3:00 AM the next morning), it “wasn’t that bad”; good conversation and good fellowship carried us through. On behalf of us all, many thanks to those who participated. Their names are: Orla Aaquist, Gordon England, Steve Marynovich (two nights), Bob Nelson (two nights), Alan Pretty, Gerhard Bierman, Jim Hay, Brian Stauffer, Alan Whitman, Ted Biech, Peter Bowen, Rod Marynovich, and Lance Odiorne.
I have more good news. Although this isn’t for publication yet, I have just received formal confirmation the we will receive a grant from the B.C. Science Council for $16,000 to construct the classroom wing. This is great!!! Upon approval of our detailed plans, we receive a cheque for $14,400 (90%) and will be able to start construction next April or May. At present, I am thinking of a 30’by 30’concrete block structure to adjoin the present building on the north side. There is the thought that, since it will contain only a slide projector, VCR and monitor, tables and chairs, etc maybe this could be a more attractive wood frame building with (barred) windows. This would be cheaper to build but would be less secure. Please let me have your thoughts on this.
Anyway, weon our way for phase 2 and should be able to entertain tours within a year, probably. The tours should provide a source of income which we will need to meet our operating expenses which will probably be in the neighbourhood of $100 per month.
RECENT PROGRESS AT THE OBSERVATORY:
Well, since the last newsletter, we have secured the dome properly (we rotated it 90 degrees but some more work is necessary once we get the floor in), and we have installed the flashing around the bottom of the dome to keep the rain and snow out. Also, up at the old observatory, we have removed all the wood from the upper floor, the stairs and the studs and panelling from the main floor. We removed the nails from the stuff we could use (there were a number of 2″ x 12″ beams 11 to 12’long which we can use in the new building) and burnt what we couldn. Although it was sad destroying the old building that some of us have good memories in, the positive thing is twofold: some of the wood can be reused and it looks as if we will be able to satisfy the Ministry of Lands and get much of the $2000 (plus interest) that we had to lock away as a guarantee.
At the new observatory, we have nearly got power connected (by underground cable) and telephone will not be far behind. We are hoping (at time of writing) to have made a good start in installing the beams for the main and warm room floor on Nov 21-22. The door is in the works as well.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SKY:
Comet Swift-Tuttle is supposed to be visible in the western sky just after sunset. It is making a path southeast (down and to the left) parallel to the line joining Vega and Altair in the summer triangle. Around a week ago it was midway between Vega and Alpha Ophiuchi. On Nov 17 it is supposed to be at RA 18 deg 18 min, Dec 18 deg. I tried to find it with binoculars but clouds intervened.
Thursday, November 26 at 7:30 PM at the College, room 2-223. I think that because of some of the newcomers in the club, we should have a primer on telescopes. I plan to give a short talk on telescope principles, a demonstration of three telescopes plus maybe something new. Also available will be the latest slides and videotape from the observatory project.
Hope to see you there!
Bob Nelson, President.