Hello everyone, and happy new year!! El Nino is still exerting its evil influence on our weather (NO clear nights in January so far) but we can only hope that better days are ahead.
Planning is proceeding apace on our proposed new observatory (see the revised sketches below). The good news is that we appear to be eligible for a grant from the B.C. Science Council – their ‘Partners in Science Awareness Program’. This is to encourage young students to go into science for a career. We have submitted a proposal for some $23,000 which would allow us to build the classroom wing AND equip it with up to $13,000 of high tech goodies such as additional eyepieces, digital setting circles, CCD cameras, etc. Here’s hoping!!
We are ready to order blanks and tools for the mirror grinding group. (We have enough grinding powders on hand, so don’t worry about these.) Total cost will be around $60 for a 8″ mirror and $120 for a 10″ mirror (plus extras). If you are interested in getting a telescope relatively cheaply, or are looking for some fun, one evening a week, why not join the group?
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE SKY:
Jupiter rises late evening these nights and will be increasingly visible earlier in the evening as the weeks go by. Next time we look at it we shall have to look for occultations, eclipses and transits – an ephemeris is available in the Observer’s Handbook. The other planets are all morning objects, although in the first 2 weeks of March, Mercury should be visible in the west just after sunset. It will be a favourable apparition for northern observers, so let’s keep it in mind.
Wednesday Jan 29 at 7:30 PM at the College, room 2-223 (Physics lab). I would like to hold an election to resolve the issue of who our treasurer will be. We can also discuss the new plans, look at the next installment of ‘The Astronomers’ and generally have a ‘gab-fest’. Hope to see you there!!
Bob Nelson, President