Sunday, July 26, 2009
Keppel Henge, the Moon,
Hi, everyone, and apologies for the long delay since my last blog. I’ve been on holidays in the U.K. and have just got back. There has been a lot of IYA activity in Canada and elsewhere in the past few weeks, so I’ll try to get you caught up.
First, a long-overdue report about the great solstice event that Steve Irvine and the Bruce County Astronomical Society (BCAS) held at Keppel Henge on June 22. Keppel Henge is a megalithic stone circle built in 2000 by Steve and Bill Loney and located in the Keppel Croft Gardens on the Bruce Peninsula. On the day, Steve welcomed visitors and gave a history of Keppel Henge, and Donna Giesler and other BCAS members discussed solstice science and cultural mythologies.
At 1:25 p.m., right on time, the Sun’s shadow crossed the summer-solstice stone (right).
Visitors also got a chance to do some solar observing with an H-alpha telescope and walk through a 0.5-kilometre scale model of the solar system (left). As Steve says: “Wonderful weather, beautiful surroundings and a great celebration by all of the solstice.”
Next is a project that is very appropriate, given the recent 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The Malta IYA Committee organized “The Moon for All Mankind,” where groups from 40 countries on five continents each imaged a section of the Moon. The images were then processed and pasted onto an image of the full Moon. The result is very cool and can be seen below. For more details and to download images go HERE. They also did an animation that I really like. As you can see, Canada was one of the 40 participating countries, with images taken by John McDonald, a member of the Victoria Centre/RASC.
Finally, a roundup of some other news. The Victoria Centre/RASC has produced a nice set of Light Pollution Cards, which you can download HERE and use for public education about light pollution. One example is shown on the right. Some very good news is that the Toronto Centre/RASC is now operating the David Dunlap Observatory’s 74-inch telescope and has started giving public tours. The first tour was on July 18 and was a great success; I’ll report on this in my next blog. For more information, please go to the DDO website. Media-wise, Andrew Fazekas, The Night Sky Guy, is doing a show on CBC Radio One every Wednesday between 3 and 6 p.m., local time, during the local drive-home shows in most major Canadian cities. See Andrew’s webpage for more details. Finally, this year’s Canadian National Parks Day, on July 18, was done in partnership with the IYA. I’d love to hear from those of you who took part in astronomical events that day.
That’s it for now. Keep sending us your IYA stories and pictures—you could win a telescope! You can also join the 80+ members of the SkyNews forum and talk about all manner of astronomical things.
All the best,
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