The sun has begun setting earlier in the evenings and cool evenings have returned to our region. This can only mean one thing – Welcome back! It’s time to kick off another meeting year. This year is going to have some big changes in store for our members and the Centre itself.
If you are new to astronomy or have been active as an astronomy enthusiast on your own this site is here to help put in touch with others who share your interest in astronomy. With over 50 members there’s likely someone that shares your interests and skill level.
Why we are here
Our purpose is to promote the advancement of astronomy and allied sciences through public awareness and education. We are open to anyone who has an interest in astronomy. We wish to introduce people to this worthwhile and fulfilling hobby as well as its opportunities for scientific pursuits.
After some twenty years having our meetings at Confederation College, we are moving to new digs. This year will feature our meetings being hosted at Fort William Historical Park inside the new classroom building that has been built. It has all the bells and whistles needed to bring to life our PowerPoint and other presentations.
Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday of the Month(Sept-June)
Of course there is also the promise of observing after the meeting or during our meetings. With a wide open sky just outside the doors of the classroom, opportunity awaits. With a complement of 8” inch dobs and the big 20” plane wave on-site, observing will be easier than ever before.
There are still some changes that will take a little bit of getting used to for our long time member astronomers. For those of you looking to join us for the first time the changes will only add to the experience. A part of these changes will include a monthly door prize for all those who attend the meeting, as well as a sign-in at the door and from the names listed there, we will pull for the door prize.
Not everything will be changing as meetings will be held in the same general format as before. As well, fan favourites will be returning for another year. Naked Eye to Deep Sky is returning for another year, top news stories of the year and the ever fun Raffle Draw.
I hope that a mix of the old and new will continue to grow the Centre as well as provide a fresh change of pace for returning members. Like always, the executive and I are always looking for new ideas, suggestions and help. Let’s make this our best year yet.
It was another wonderful year out at Quetico Provincial Park. This year may have been the hottest year that I have ever experienced while at the park. Friday was well into the 30’s which made setting up the campsite an exhausting challenge.
The Friday night talk brought out a dozen or so campers to listen to my introduction to astronomy talk. The skies cleared for us however, with all the forest fire smoke from British Columbia, the night sky was “dulled” and not it’s normal vibrant self.
Saturday was even hotter than Friday and instead of heading to the beach, members of the Centre set up our telescopes for some solar observing. The sun’s surface was really quiet with only one small grouping of sunspots visible. Through the Centre’s PST we were able to make out some small prominences on the edges of the solar limb.
Saturday’s talk was a bust, between the hot humid weather and clouds in the sky, campers stayed at their sites late into the evening and did not come out for our talk. However, determination got the better of me and I still set up the scope. In the end, it paid off, when a couple of young families turned out to look through the telescopes and enjoy the sights. The night was capped off by an amazing auroral display that lit up the sky and cast shadows on the ground. The night was brought to an end by an incredibly powerful thunderstorm.
A big thank you goes out to Dave G for coming and helping out with all the curious visitors we did have. As well, a thank you goes to the Staff of Quetico Provincial Park for putting up with us and our special requests for another year.
Members of the Centre were invited to make their way out to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park for the Labour Day weekend. The park being closer to Thunder Bay than Quetico attracts many more visitors from the city.
With it being a long weekend there was plenty of opportunity to talk, teach and do astronomy with the guests of the park. Each night featured a different talk on aspects of our hobby from a different speaker.
The weather unfortunately did not co-operate the way we would have hoped. Cloudy skies or near cloudy skies kept us from being out under the stars all night. The few sucker holes that did appear gave us the fleeting opportunity to do some stargazing with the public on hand.
Are you curious?
Membership is open to all novice and experienced sky gazers. You do not need to own a telescope or binoculars. Thunder Bay Centre members have access to and borrowing privileges from a library of astronomy books, magazines and other materials including telescopes. Membership benefits also include our monthly newsletter “The Northern Sky”, the Canadian astronomy magazine “SkyNews”, the Astronomical Society’s “Journal”, and the indispensable “Observer’s Handbook”.
If you have any questions about our Society please contact us by leaving a message under “Contact” on the left side of the page. You may also try our National site @ www.rasc.ca.