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The August 2017
President's Message


  With the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of August 21st in the news, it is easy
to forget about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower.
  Peak viewing date is Saturday August 12 and the Okanagan Observatory will be
open to the public that night. The Saturday night public opening will replace the
usual Friday night public viewing.
  In past years, the public interest has been very high with upwards of 130 public
visitors coming to the OO to view the Perseids. The OO will need member
volunteers that night. Please email Colleen or Guy if you would be able to help.
  The moon will be in day 19 of the cycle (waning gibbous; 77% illumination) and
will be rising just as the Perseid shower hits peak activity at around midnight.
Peak observing should yield about 40 meteors per hour, instead of the 80-100
that may be anticipated on moonless nights. It is still a worthy show—and a
warm one too!
  In addition to the Perseids viewing at the OO, there are other gatherings in the
valley for this event. One includes the very popular Perseid Meteor Shower
Event at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.
  Enjoy the warm viewing nights.

David Hawkins, RASC-OC President 2017
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca

Merritt Star Quest Star Party
Friday Aug 18 to Sun Aug 27, 2017
For details go to: www.merrittastronomical.com
Solar Eclipse Viewing at the Kelowna Curling Club
Mon Aug 21, 2017: 9:00am to 12moon.
  Terry Bridges is organizing a Kelowna viewing event for both RASC-OC members
and the public. It will be held in the parking lot of the Kelowna Curling Club
(moved from the original planned location at the Okanagan College).
There will be a variety of telescopes to safely view the sun, eclipse glasses and
viewers. In addition, there will be a live-stream of both the partial eclipse and
total eclipse from the U.S.. It should be a fun time!

  Pre-Order Your RASC 150 Merchandise
  Did you know it’s also the 150th anniversary of the Royal Astronomy Society of
  In honor of this occasion, for a limited time, RASC is offering a set of products
with the anniversary logo.

  To assist our members, by reducing separate shipping charges, we will be
coordinating a onetime pre-order of any of these items for our members for the
following prices:
RASC 150 T-Shirt - $27
RASC 150 Ball Cap - $20
RASC 150 Cloth Crest Patch - $11
RASC 150 Lapel Pin - $10
RASC 150 Color Decal sticker - $5
  To order, send us an email at ajcarp@ecentral.com listing the item(s) you would
like and we will consolidate a group order (T-Shirt sizes are S, M, L, XL and 2XL).
You will pay for the item when it is delivered to you.
We plan to have them available at the September meetings, so orders must be
received by August 20th.
  Get yours today!
  Anita & John Carpenter, RASC OC Merchandise Managers

  LIGO is a GO. We now have a sufficient number of people for a tour booking.
However, it is still not too late to join Colleen and the rest of us on the tour.
Tuesday August 22 at 2:00pm at LIGO Hanford
  Colleen O’Hare has arranged for a guided tour of LIGO. LIGO is the “Laser
Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory”. The LIGO site at Hanford,
Washington is one of two US sites being used to discover gravitational waves.
Just recently, LIGO detected a third event. It was the merging of two black holes
3 billion light years away.
  The visit to LIGO on Tuesday August 22 at 2:00pm. This is the day after the total
solar eclipse. The LIGO site is in southern Washington State and is on your way
back home from the eclipse path.
  If you would like to join us at the LIGO site, please contact Colleen O’Hare at
chohare@shaw.ca .

   Okanagan Observatory Overnight (OOO-17) --- NO UPDATES YET

 The details are still in the works for a group member observing night on Saturday
September 16th, 2017 (moved to September 23rd if weather does not cooperate
– but NOT on both nights). Last year, Vernon members had a very successful
overnight observing session and the OOO is an extension of that. This year we
are looking to have members from all three Okanagan city groups involved.
Details to follow in the August Message. 
Member Contacts:
• Roman Dusil (Vernon) – Lead rdusil50@gmail.com
• David Hawkins (Kelowna) david-hawkins@shaw.ca
• Guy Mackie (Kelowna)
  Please let both Roman and myself (Dave H.) know if you wish to be on the
event mailing list or if you wish to volunteer to help at the OOO-17.


o No meeting this month
o Next meeting is on Tuesday September 5th

o No meeting this month
o Next meeting is in September

o No meeting this month
o Next meeting is in September
Please see the RASC-OC website for meeting updates and further details.

  The club website is updated with a view to providing everything you ever
wanted to know about RASC-OC. As well as Outreach and many other club
activity pages, the “What's Up” page provides heads up notes of what is in the
sky nights. The “About Us” page links to the club Library and other services.
The website is also a portal to many links including our Zenfolio Image Gallery.

- by Mark Force and Sharon Carter

 Shawn Berglund: “Milky Way Rising with the Dark Horse”

 The August Picture of the Month is again one that is appropriate for the time of
the year. Picture of the Month selection committee members Mark Force and
Sharon Carter have named Shawn Berglund’s picture titled ‘Milky Way Rising
with the Dark Horse’ as the featured picture for August in our Zenfolio image
  Sharon noted that, "Shawn has readily captured the Dark Horse and its location
in the sky." Mark commented, "I looked for the prancing horse in vain at last
week's Mt. Kobau Star Party. Ah well, my eyes are probably too old. The summer
Milky Way reminds you of those fine warm nights, even though they're too
More information on Shawn's picture can be found here:
  Runners up included Murray Hainer's picture of Messier 51 as well as M33,
and Dave Gamble's 'Double Cluster in Perseus' and 'The California Nebula'.
Pictures by many other club members can be found in the Zenfolio image
gallery here: http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/f166015629
   If you have a picture that you would like considered for Picture of the Month be
sure to upload to your Zenfolio Gallery and then alert Zenfolio moderator Dave
Gamble at trailspublishing@telus.net so it will be in the running.
 – by Jim Kanester
  These challenges give some direction to our observing and a good reason to get
outside to look at the night sky, either alone or with friends and family.
  Find out more details of the Challenges at our website: www.ocrasc.ca . Then
click on link to Observing (left hand column) and then go to Observing

• Perseids Meteor Shower (easy)
• Brocchi’s Cluster (easy)
• M52 (moderate)
• Arrowhead Star Cluster (difficult)
Find the details on the easy and difficult summer challenges online.
Details of the DIFFICULT Summer Challenge:
“Arrowhead” Star Cluster (NGC 7510) in Cepheus

  Friday public viewings nights have started once again. To find out if the Public
Viewing Night is a Go/No-Go, call the Okanagan Observatory Event Line after
3pm on Friday afternoons: 250-300-8759.

  REMINDER: There will be a public viewing night on Saturday August 12th
(weather and fires permitting).
RASC-OC Members may use the observatory site at any time they choose.
However, members must advise one of the security team before proceeding to
the observatory so the alarms can be turned off in advance.


Another great reason to join in!
The Google Discussion Group is a real-time link between members of our RASCOC
meeting groups. A message might give you a heads-up on a new celestial
phenomenon, an alert about an Outreach event you could take part in or other
timely news.
Contact: Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca
David Hawkins david-hawkins@shaw.ca