Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club

Copied from the bowen-island-bc.com forum:

Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club

DavidW

Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 18, 2011 01:33PM

Registered: 10 months ago
Posts: 21
The newly formed “Bowen Island Astronomy Group” will be observing on either Friday or Saturday night depending on the weather conditions. The weather network says clear skies but a quick look outdoors says cloudy and poor seeing conditions at this moment. The moon should be under the horizon long enough for us to observe a few star clusters, Jupiter and it’s moons, and maybe even the Andromeda galaxy if conditions permit. A few stray meteors from the Perseid Meteor Shower may still be glimpsed as well.

You dont have to be a member, or have any knowledge to come out and enjoy some beautiful views of the sky through a telescope. And if you do have a lot then please come out and share it with us. Bring some hot chocolate and don’t forget the kids! It will be our pleasure to share it.

Please call me at 9064 if you would like to join us for a view and tour of the heavens as seen from the Cates Park Field just below the Tir-Na-Nog theatre at around 10:30PM. Please turn off your vehicle headlights as you enter the parking area as we would like our eyes to stay dark adapted for viewing. Red flashlights are welcome.

I would like to send a special thank you to the Otter family for donating a 4.5 inch reflecting telescope and mount to the new astronomy club. It is a great edition to the telescope that Jim Crawford gifted to me in the name of community service, and will make a great starter telescope for the younger members and viewers. It will be much loved and used by many lovers of the night sky.

Hope to see you then,
Clear skies to you!

David

Cindi Keep

Re: BIAC Observing
August 18, 2011 07:48PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 623
BIAC is the Bowen Island Arts Council. Best come up with another acronym.

Hope to join the group one day. Sounds like great fun. I’ll bring popcorn.

David Cameron 

Re: BIAC Observing
August 18, 2011 08:43PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,705
And stay away from BIAS (Bowen Island Assassination Squad) We are a low profile group, working quietly behind the scenes, but we are protective of our branding. Very protective.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2011 08:44PM by David Camer

Sue B

Re: BIAC Observing
August 18, 2011 08:52PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 2,039
Bowen Astronomers Demystifying Asteroids, Stars and Suns (B.A.D.A.S.S.)

David Cameron 

Re: BIAC Observing
August 18, 2011 09:05PM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 1,705
I think Sue has got something special there David. What do you think?
DavidW 

Re: BIAC Observing
August 18, 2011 09:16PM

Registered: 10 months ago
Posts: 21
LOL, David and Sue, I think she is onto something! Thanks for the heads up Cindi! I haven’t had much luck with google getting info on an awful lot of the many things going on on Bowen… I’ll work on another name. Someone emailed me that they used to have a short lived group called the Bowen Island Astronomy Society some time back. But that sounds pretty darn official for a grass roots observers club. What do you folks think?

And my apologies for unknowingly using the already taken acronym from the Arts Counsel, no disrespect intended.

David

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2011 09:31PM by DavidW.

Cindi Keep 

Re: Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 19, 2011 07:35AM

Registered: 3 years ago
Posts: 623
When Ron Woodall is finished with his cartoons, I hope he does a series on Bowen acronyms.

MartinB 

Re: Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 19, 2011 08:37PM

Registered: 4 months ago
Posts: 191
Bowen Island All Stars ?
jvik 

Re: Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 19, 2011 10:34PM

Registered: 6 months ago
Posts: 718
BADGAS

Bowen Astronomers Doing Good And Shit – like that

BALTANE

bowen astronomers liberate telltale anomalies near ewe?

BIAS?

I personally like BIAS – it’s catchy and something we can all relate to.

DavidW

Re: Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 20, 2011 02:50AM

Registered: 10 months ago
Posts: 21
I like BIAS as well Juli, but Im also leaning towards the BIAG, bowen island astronomers group. Calling ourselves a society brings alot of extra paperwork with accompanying rulesets I believe. A group is a bit more informal, a gathering of people with varied interests. We can always change it to a society down the road if need be. Besides, I would not want to upset the assassination squad…. 🙂

Observing up at Cates Hill park was wonderful tonight until just before midnight when the moon arose over the mountains. I took quite a few photos which Ill post on the blog that ive created on wordpress. Im just learning the wordpress blogging ropes as we speak but it shouldn’t be much longer.

I was able to see several galaxies, a globular cluster and one or 2 southern milkyway nebulas in spite of not having a fully dark sky. I think Ive found a very good observing site indeed! The meadows had a great open sky for the meteor shower, but the dew fogged up the telescope rather quickly being in a lowland swampy area.

And I must share MY GOD it’s beautiful up there at night. I lack proper words to describe the impact the view had.

SallyF 

Re: Observing Night for the yet-to-be renamed Astronomy Club
August 20, 2011 08:34AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 234

Good on ya David, I love the fact that we are using ‘our’ park more.
A group is to a society is as a rule is to a bylaw. Maybe we need LURS rather than LUBS. Peer pressure has always been more powerful than fines.

Perseid Meteor Shower

Each year, the Earth passes through the debris of a comet called the Swift-Tuttle. This debris is pulled in by earth’s gravity & burns up in our atmosphere. The friction from the heat generated by these tiny dust particles, no larger than the head of a pin or grain of sand, reaching speeds of approximately 45km per second slam into the gases that make up the earth’s atmosphere, causing them to burn up and give off light. Some particles are large enough to leave a glowing trail of ferry like dust called a “contrail”, similar in appearance to a jet trail than can last for several minutes. These meteors are burning up in our atmosphere approximately 80-100km above our heads. For the most part, we are quite safe.

The dust particles come from the comet known as Swift-Tuttle, named after the first 2 people to discover it. The comet leaves a path of debris as it continues in its orbit around the sun every 120-125 years. When earth crosses this debris trail, gravity takes over and the show begins! It is estimated that this debris is about 1000 years old.

If you were to trace back the streak of light to its starting point, you will find it “radiates” from the constellation Perseus. This is known as the “radiant”. As the earth turns into the debris trail scooping up these dust particles, much the same as a car driving into a snow storm, you will see more shooting stars after midnight until early morning, as this is when we are ploughing head-on into the thick of the storm.

The rate of falling stars varies from year to year, with the best reported in 1972. There are many differences in meteor counts tallied by different people in different places. The best meteor shower I ever experienced had an amazing peak of approximately 200 for one or 2 brief hours!

For those wanting to delve a bit deeper, meteor counts are also performed using radio signals. When the particles burn up, they excite the hydrogen gas in the atmosphere which then releases a burst of radio waves at a known frequency. A search for more information on google will serve up an endless amount of interesting information for you to peruse through.

The Perseid Meteor Shower runs from about 2 weeks before and after the main peak dates of August 10-12. So keep your eyes on the skies for what is arguably The Greatest Show Off Earth!

Written by David Wilde