The theme for September 20th was Heavens Above! and telescopes took centre stage. Also all four corners of the room and the front porch of the hotel!
Guests Bill Strople and David Shuman, both members of the RASC Montreal Centre, brought in telescopes as did MonSFFA members Wayne Glover, Lindsay Brown, and Mark Burakoff. We got to see a classic refractor from the 50s, Newtonian & SCT reflectors, and a Coronado made specifically for solar viewing. The sky being clear, members were able to view our sun in all its glory, showing prominences and filaments. After supper, we viewed the moon through Lindsay’s telescope.
But starting from the beginning:
Early birds arriving at 11 AM watched Logan’s Run, a classic from 1976. Most members felt the movie stood up today, even though quite rooted in the style of the 70’s. Seeing it again with new eyes and more experience of the world, some members saw a deeper, more religious feeling to the movie.
David Shuman then set up his Coronado on the hotel’s front porch, so members came and went back and forth as he changed filters and settings to see different aspects of our nearest star.
Meanwhile, Bill Strople set up a huge, long focal length refractor from the 50s, and a brand new, not even on the market yet, Newtonian reflector on a Dobsonian mount.
Photos are by Cathy and Sylvain, click the thumbnails for larger photos.
Wayne, Lindsay, and Mark set up their Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes as well. How does an SCT work?
Bill then gave a presentation on all the different types on display, explaining each one’s strengths and weaknesses. Mark followed up with an introduction to observing for the beginner, recommending binoculars and finder charts. Cathy pointed out the importance of magazines such as Astronomy and Sky & Telescope. Many telescopes languish in closets because their owners got bored with the moon and didn’t know where else to point their scopes. Both magazines have extensive websites covering everything & everything of an astronomical nature,
Sylvain posted cartoons with an astronomy theme, and there were various books and planispheres on display as well. A planishere of the southern sky proved intriguing as members realized there was no equivalent in the south to our north star.
Postcards from Pluto, a slide presentation, followed. Cathy showed the latest images from New Horizons. On display, was the poster for the discovery of Pluto, autographed by Clyde Tombaugh himself.
After the raffle, we discussed our Stop Motion project which we had not completed last month. (Stop-Motion Project Storyboards are here.) Plans were made, assignments handed out, members have homework!! (However, design a dinosaur sounds a lot more interesting than any homework I ever assigned. )
Supper was at la Cage au Sports, but not the one across the street that we usually frequent as that one it turned out was closed for renovations. Fortunately, it is only a short walk to the Bell Centre.
After supper, we observed the moon over the police station with Lindsay’s telescope and Mark’s binoculars. Had we arrived 20 minutes earlier we would have seen Saturn., but it was hidden behind the bulk of the station.