2001-11-28

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF CANADA
PRINCE GEORGE CHAPTER
7365 Tedford Road
Prince George, BC
V2L 4S6

General Meeting Minutes

Date: Nov. 28, 2001
Location: Observatory

Chairperson: Brian Battersby
Recording Secretary: Glen Harris
Executives Present: Brian Battersby, Gil Self, Kane Sanders, Pete Wyper, Glen Harris
Members Present: Judy Wyper, Doug Wayland, Rod Herd, Gerhard Bierman, Maurice Sluka

Time Meeting called to Order: 7:48 p.m.

1. Meeting minutes from October 31st were circulated.

Motion to accept minutes as circulated: Gil
Seconded by: Kane Carried

2. Treasurer’s Report:
Not available. Brian Battersby has $316.50 in cash on hand from the last few tours and public events.

3. Correspondence:

  • RASC – Annual Report is due soon and we need to get our reports done. Glen & Paul have been informed of what their reports require.
  • RASC – Liability insurance is available through the RASC for specific events.
  • Brian has made a print out of all the RASC correspondence received in November. Members may take it and look it over if they wish.

4. Old Business

  • Kane has booked the Weldwood Theatre at UNBC to hold the public lecture by Mark Kaye in. Cost was about $20.00. Someone is still needed to billet Mark when he is in town.
  • Videocassette: Your Guide to the Celestial Sphere Video is still on backorder. Brian was told about a week ago that it should be in and sent shortly.
  • Astronomy newspaper articles: This item is tabled indefinitely.
  • Gravel: as discussed last meeting ART got the YRB to donate some sand to fill in the rest of the tank hole. Glen sent out a thank-you card.

4. Old Business cont’d

  • Canfor: A thank you card was sent to Canfor for the posts they donated. Glen will send Canfor a receipt for their donation.
  • Messier Marathon: still have to finalize a location.
  • Potluck Christmas party is on Dec 12. From 6:00pm – 9:00pm. So far people have indicated bringing:
  • FOOD Glen H: Greek Salad, Doug W: Chicken Wings, Kane: Chili, Gil: Mashed Potatoes, Brian: Turkey, Stuffing and Gravy, Pete and Judy W: Dessert
  • DECORATIONS Brian: Tree, The Bierman’s: Red & Green Paper for table Coverings, Paper Plates, Cups and Plasticware.
  • Brian has ordered 15 of the RASC observing calendars. Members price is $15.95 non-members price is $17.95 (Should be here any time.)
  • Brian installed a free-ware Virus scanner on to both the computers at the observatory.
  • Equipment to be purchased if we apply for TELUS grant could be a Vidicon camera and photo multiplier. Gil will look into the cost.

5. New Business:

  • Maurice Sluka has been going great guns on the light pollution front. He has gotten a covenant put on the new development next door to us to help control the light coming from it.
  • Kane has been working hard on adding content from the web for a handbook that will be included on the members CD-ROM.
  • Maurice Sluka suggested holding a naming contest to find a permanent name for the observatory. Contest would be open to schoolchildren (district #57 only). This would give the club more exposure. We could build and give away a scope or maybe Gil’s buddy in Williams Lake would want to donate/ sell one cheap? A contest committee was formed consisting of Judy, Pete, Maurice and Brian.
  • The telescope is once again out of balance. It seems that the cold weather has changed the amount of friction on the shafts again. Brian will take some tools next time he goes out and try to get it a bit better.
  • The computer in the dome that runs the CCD camera was toasted… literally. The heat box was closed during the meteor shower while the computer was running, and it overheated the computer causing some damage. Glen’s brother repaired it at no cost… a big THANK YOU! Glen has successfully field tested a way to have the mouse, keyboard and monitor in the dome but keep the tower in the warm room where the heat box won’t be necessary. Rearrangements take place on Saturday, Dec 1st with Brian’s assistance.

5. New Business cont’d

  • Brian refocused the CCD using the masking method that creates a double image of the stars in the field of view. When the camera is in focus the images are directly on top of each other. After refocusing, much better images were obtained. Brian also noticed that the focuser holding the CCD was split. While it appears that the CCD is still being held firmly in place, the split could be letting light stray in and strike the CCD. This could account for the “haze” that routinely degrades the images taken from the CCD. Brian has covered the split with electrical tape and the split has been forced mostly closed by placing a hose clamp around the focuser. A new focuser should be purchased when possible. The CCD is now also being held in the drawtube more squarely. Due to the angle it was on light could have been striking the sidewalls of the CCD also contributing to the degraded images.
  • Brian & Glen also noticed that the red lights in the dome are the cause of the greatest amount of haze in the CCD images. It is recommended that all lights be turned off in the dome when taking images.
  • Nametags for members have been made and some have been handed out. This should help with identification at public events.
  • Steve S had been hearing from the insurance company about making a payment. This was forwarded to Paul and he assured me that it would be taken care of. I haven’t heard anymore about it so it would seem to be taken care of.
  • Gil will research the idea of placing coloured filters over the hole in the primary mirror. This could allow us to take colour images with the CCD camera.
  • The group discussed shrouding the scope with various materials. Black plastic garbage bags, although not exactly esthetically pleasing, could be used. Gil will look into finding a suitable material.
  • The newer members will be called when a keyholder plans on doing some viewing. This will give the new members an opportunity to learn how to use the equipment on a one on one basis.
  • Rod: 962-9482
  • Maurice: 563-3337
  • Judy & Pete: 964-3107
  • We welcome Dan Hicks as a new member to the club.

6. Constellation of the Month: Cygnus presented by Maurice.
Presentation: Brian B. talked about meteors.

Meeting adjourned at 9:42 p.m.