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The May 2018
President's Message


  Like everywhere in the Okanagan, this past winter has been a long and snowy one
at the Okanagan Observatory site. Below are several recent reports from Guy
Mackie, our Observatory Director, about the site’s condition:

April 29, 2018
  Big surprise when we arrived!
  Dennis Copeland (Argo driver) must have returned last night, or before Hugh and I arrived at 9AM today, and he cleared out all the damage from the forestry snow removal crew and cleared the snow up to our gate! In the Picture attached, you can see the big pile of snow along the west side of our road, and before his good work I could not have parked the truck where I did because of the pile of crush and rock that was left over.
So that is good, and the toilet has bounced back to its full toilet shape! The rumours of its demise were much exaggerated, and, runoff on the east end is looking Ok, I did a bit more dam building and trench digging but mostly water will do what it does. Damage looks close to normal.
Guy Mackie

April 24, 2018
  Grant and I went up to the observatory to check on drainage today.
  No water moving through the ditches or culverts yet, road entry still has a couple feet of snow on it. Both ends of our culvert are holding up ok, east side has the top dented in a bit but not a big deal.
  The ditch on east side of our road has a fair bit of crush/rock moved into it. We dug through and found that there was a layer of snow under about 8-12” of crush/rock topping, so maybe once it melts it will not be so bad.
  West side where our culvert comes out has quite a bit of crush/rock piled up past the culvert opening, such that water will pool up over the top of the culvert before cutting its way west,… but again,… the crush/rock is a 12” layer on top of snow bed,… so need to wait for the whole thing to melt before we can really judge the situation. There is a pile of crush/rock in the middle of our roadway, one of the attached photos shows it.
  Might be 2 or 3 wheelbarrows full on the roadway pile to get rid of by raking and rock picking.
  Grant and I dug out some water passages to hopefully get things going the right way, maybe will check again next week.
Guy Mackie

April 9, 2018
  Grant and I went to the observatory today for security reset.
  Some pictures from the heart of Mother Russia.
  The porta potty looks like a lost cause, Grant shoveled off the lid and there was no “spring back”. Not sure how this goes but I suspect, as with most things, it is going to cost us much more than we think.
  The radio dish took a direct hit, no survivors.
  The snow clearing operator seemed to have no idea that we had a road there, and a ditch, and a culvert,…. All not what they once were. difficult to get perspective but he/she had no hesitation in blade adjustment when crossing our entrance,
snow or crush,…. away it all goes.
  Looking north, there is a large pile of snow + crush + rocks that have been piled up across the entrance
  Looking west, a ditch where our culvert picks up from the east side ditch of the roadway, you do not see said ditch.
  Maybe it looks worse than it is, but I suspect, as with most things, it is not.
Guy Mackie

Below: damage to Portable Toilet and the Radio Telescope
[importance not necessarily in that order! Dave H.]

  The OO will need your help this spring to get it back up and running. If you have
some time and muscle power to help, please contact Guy.

David Hawkins, RASC-Okanagan President 2018
Contact: david-hawkins@shaw.ca

REMINDER: Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 RASC-Okanagan Gala.
  Colleen O’Hare will be at the upcoming monthly meetings and is the main ticket
seller. There are only two meetings (Kelowna and Penticton) remaining before
the event, so get your tickets ASAP. Tickets are $45 each and may be purchased
by cash or cheque.
  Be sure to advise Colleen at the time of ticket purchase if a vegetarian meal is to
be reserved for that ticket. Family and friends are welcome to come to the Gala.

Event details:
    Speaker: Ken Hewitt-White - Outreach: Connecting People to the Stars
    Date: Saturday May 26, 2018
    Location: Kelowna Curling Club, 551 Recreation Avenue, Kelowna.
    Time: Open 5:00pm; Dinner 6:30pm; Speaker 8:00pm
  If you are unable to attend one of the monthly meetings, you can purchase your
tickets by contacting Colleen: chohare@shaw.ca
  As in previous years, there will be a Silent Auction at the Gala. We are looking for
items and services for the auction. Many businesses are interested in promoting
their products and services and this is a good means for them to reach our
members. Do you have a relative or friend in business? Or, do you shop
somewhere frequently? Ask them if they would place an item in our auction—
they will probably say yes! I have attached a PDF file to this email to list and
submit details of donations for the silent auction.
  Proceeds from the Gala go toward the funding of the Okanagan Observatory.
We’ll see you at the KCC on Saturday, May 26th!

  2018 RASC General Assembly will be in Calgary from June 28 to July 1, 2018.
Registration is now open: https://rascga2018.ca/

  RASC Merchandise: http://design.tshirtelephant.com/rasc/shop/home
If you see an item you wish to order, please contact our Merchandise Managers,
John and Anita Carpenter. You may reach the Carpenters by emailing me.
If you are involved in any RASC related activity that you would like other members
to be aware of, then please email me. I can let our members know through the
monthly message. Of course, you can also communicate with other members
through AstroOkanagan.


Kelowna: Tuesday May 1, 2018
_ 7:30pm. Okanagan College Kelowna KLO Campus
_ Lab Building, Room C-368
_ Laird Bowie "Henges: A personal perspective of
Monumental Astronomy”
_ Main presentation: Nathan Skolski “Putting Stars in their
Eyes: Lessons from Bringing Science to the Masses”

Penticton: Thursday May 3, 2018
_ 7:15pm. Okanagan College Penticton Campus
_ SunOka Building Room C 02
_ Dave Whalley will present his latest edition of his
Astronomical World Travels, which covers at least two

- No meeting this Month.
- Next Vernon meeting will be on June 13th.

2018 RASC–OKANAGAN GALA: Saturday May 26, 2018
_ Kelowna Curling Club, 551 Recreation Rd., Kelowna
_ Doors Open: 5:00pm, Dinner: 6:30pm; Speaker 8:00pm
_ Speaker: Ken Hewitt-White “Outreach – Connecting
People to the Stars”
_ Tickets available: Colleen chohare@shaw.ca
_ Tickets also available at Monthly Meetings

  Your RASC membership fees pay for the coffee at our meetings. However, cookies
are not covered. So, please toss some coins in the direction of the stray Kitty.
Please see the RASC-Okanagan website for meeting updates and further details.

  Efforts of fellow members. Join in!
  Hugh Pett and Claude Lapointe working in the H. Pett Radio Telescope
Laboratory (aka: Hugh’s Garage).

The Centre website provides everything you ever wanted to know about RASCOkanagan,
as well as Outreach and many other club activities. 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.
Website: www.ocrasc.ca

- with Mark Force and Norman Stevenson

“Darksaber” by Jim Failes
  Mark Force and Norman Stevenson, who is filling in for Sharon Carter, have
selected Jim Failes' dramatic picture of the lunar Straight Wall as the Picture of
the Month for May. Mark commented, "This area is wealth of detail under low
lighting such as this. His pic captures Rima Birt, the delicate rille running NW
from the W side of Birt. I really like the bacteria looking ridge wiggling north
from the hills NW of Niccollet (along the terminator, bottom half). My charts
show this ridge with less than 300m elevation above the surrounding lava
Details of the picture can be found at http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/p571075264/ea9316aca.
  Among the leading runners-up were Murray Hainer's Western Veil Nebula (#8)
and Jim Kanester's remotely captured IC 342 (#2).
  Thanks Mark and Norman! These and many more club members' pictures can be
appreciated and enjoyed at http://rascoc.zenfolio.com/f166015629.

– by Jim Kanester
  Below is the link to the May 2018 Observing Challenges:
For May 2018, Jim has selected:
_ Easy Challenge: M44 Star Cluster Praesepe or The Beehive
_ REALLY Difficult Challenge: Galaxy UGC 4526 (15th Magnitude)
  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.

  The observatory webpage is www.okanaganobservatory.ca
Friday public viewings nights will restart when both ground and sky conditions
  RASC-Okanagan 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.

 – by Guy Mackie
  Your Okanagan Centre has many telescopes and other accessories that are
available for members to rent at very reasonable rates.
Celestron 8” reflector telescope
$5 per week
  Optical observation equipment that is available for members to try out include:
Personal Solar Telescope, 6” Skywatcher Refractor, 8” SCT, Astroscan 4” widefield
reflector, Meade ETX 60. There are additional telescopes, observing aids,
fittings, diagonals and other eyepieces that members can borrow for a test run.
Observing equipment is rent-free for use at public outreach events.
If you would like to borrow a scope, or learn more about the equipment resources
you can access, contact Guy Mackie guy.m@shaw.ca or 250-861-3074

  Another great reason to join in!
  The Google Discussion Group is a real-time link between members of our RASCOkanagan 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