Location: Chemistry/Physics Building, MUN
Time: 8:00 pm
Doug outlined the benefits of membership and introduced tonight's topics.
Robert Babb passed out handouts for the next month. There are many bright stars visible and the Orion nebula is a beautiful sight for all. The Sun was closest to the Earth (perihelion) on January 3 and a Lunar Eclipse will occur late on the night of February 20th (our next meeting).
Fred Smith mentioned that we are in a new solar cycle (officially called Solar Cycle 24). Gary Case looked for Comet Holmes (magnitude 2.8), but it is dispersed over such a large area that dark skies are needed to see it. Comet 8P Tuttle is another visible comet but it is at magnitude 7.0.
Robert showed Tim Caruk's images of Mars. It is difficult to get a good picture, as the planet is only 15 arc seconds wide. Blue shows up on his photos, as he increased the intensity of the colours. Get out and look at the planet now, as our next best view of Mars won't be until 2020.
Gerry and Rita Perchard tried out their new telescope. Robert showed their first photos of the Moon, M42 (Orion Nebula) and Mars.
Robert showed a pair of small binoculars, a dew heater for his 11-inch Celestron (he also got a controller), a right angle viewer for his camera when it is attached to the telescope, and an Astro Chair.
Randy Dodge lugged in his coffee book "Astronomica" that he got at Costco (It also comes with a lighter DVD). He also showed his Ioptron SmartStar E telescope mount, which is compatible with all telescopes by using dove tail connections. The mount would be great for a small travel telescope or the PST.
Terence Hounsel upgraded his Celestron C5 with a 2-inch diagonal. He also has a new Sony A700 Digital SLR which has great noise suppression, but he prefers his images in RAW data format.
Ben Llewellyn has been collecting books on science suitable for high school students. He recently got a book on time and space.
Gerry Perchard showed his and Rita's new 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope from Celestron. They ordered it locally through Newfoundland Camera Imaging and chose the 11-inch Celestron because it was best for its size and features. The scope had a flaw with one of its dovetail screws, but Newfoundland Camera Imaging will reorder a new telescope for them - that's the beauty of buying local.
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