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Location: Chemistry/Physics Building, MUN
Time: 8:00 pm
1. Randy's Introduction. General introduction and information about membership benefits in the Centre. Eg., subscriptions to the Journal and SkyNews, the Handbook, use of the library, equipment program. Our video is canceled. In general, should we show videos, particularly long ones? This meeting will be a bit of a pot-pourri.
2. Hubble Repairs by Randy Dodge. Randy gave an overview of the recent repairs and scheduled upgrades to the Hubble. The Hubble Telescope was designed to be modular to ease work on it. Randy took us through the different stages, including the scary power off/power on sequence.
3. Venus and Jupiter by Garry Dymond. Garry had volunteered for this segment by not showing up at the Executive Meeting (this is what happens folks!). Garry also talked a bit about his meteor work with the MIAC. He noted their budget has been cut so that Canada can contribute more to the ISS. He talked a bit about the Prairie Camera network and brought us up to date on the recent finds, helped along by their ultra-cheap program of hiring a student to drive out to communities and advertise for people to bring in their "funny" rocks. Garry talked a little about Comet C1, Jupiter and its satellites (transits), and the program for amateurs to compare these satellite's brightness versus the belts. (2-R Garry was heard to mutter to himself about the executive, as he left the spotlight.)
4. Randy passed out a comet C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) handout from our observing chair. Randy proposed we add a monthly feature, where any member who likes can explain a page, or a feature, of the Observing Handbook. Randy started things off with the "Sky by Month" section in the Handbook. Members who want to do this should coordinate with Garry.
5. Florence McNeily. Florence wants to bring to our attention some of the library's books, a sorely neglected resource by some members. She will make this a regular feature. This month we were presented with Black Holes and Time Warps, by Kip Thorne and Looking Up, a history of the RASC. This latter book had some interesting and good things to say about our Centre. Some facts from the book: the RASC was incorporated in 1868, so it will be 134 this year. Our Centre was formed in 1965, so it will be 37. The book has a large side-bar on Dora Russell, who was our first Secretary, spent four years as President and made innumerable other contributions to Astronomy in the province, particularly in public education.
6. Robert Babb showed us some pictures he has taken recently.
7. Randy on the comet, using the Sky and Telescope site.
8. Observing Group. Gary Case. Gary (one-R Gary, as we call him), gave out charts of the comet. He described the great views of the comet, and suggested viewing around 7:30-8:00. He also had a Vesta chart, and described two other comets that were visible: WM1 (at its brightest in January, now at about 7-8th magnitude), and E2 (now at about 9-10th magnitude). Last Friday he worked on the Messier Marathon, starting with a couple of visitors who left as the night progressed. Gary got to see 99 objects, but the tree line, and the rising Sun, prevented the completion of the Marathon (109 were visible here). He suggested we have an Observing Group meeting/outing on April 9th (he is busy on Wednesdays and Thursdays, right now).
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