Saturday, January 31, 2015

looked for bends

Checked the rails. Hard to tell. Nothing obvious...

Sky matches the ground.

checked the shed

Checked Ian's SkyShed. Very little snow inside. Checked the heater was keeping the mount warm. A-OK.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

mounted motor

Put it all together. Mounted it on the tripod. The new barn door tracker is nearing completion.

barn door tracker with motor installed


Monday, January 26, 2015

for another year

Renewed. Damn it. Forgot to activate the CAO option.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

too long

Was hoping to finish the barn door tracker today having recently cut the wood plates. I also wanted to install the finder scope I had picked up while at Mom's. But the hinge screws are too long! Man... Another delay.

fixed power cord

Fixed Tony's power cord for his Sky-Watcher EQ3 mount. The wires had frayed and shorted right near the strain relief of the CLA plug. I took it apart to figure out the polarity. Printing on the shell; bumpy wire to the centre.

The 7-ampere fuse was blown. Put a 5A in from my parts bin. Tested on my power tank. Red LED. Good to go.

checked group settings

Fixed Yahoo!Group some strange issues for the Operations and CAO supers groups.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

cut wood

Mr dos Santos let me use his jig saw. I quickly cut the Baltic birch plywood as per Gary Seronik's barn door tracker diagram. I decided to keep the bottom plate simple—I don't think I'll bother with the circular element.

Huh. Seem small, the plates. That's a good thing, I suppose. Less weight.

Let the assembly begin!

Jovian exhibition (Mississauga)

Very fun evening.

4:30 PM, Fri 23 Jan 2015. Cut out of work. The lads wanted me to join them for a end-of-week debrief. Just one drink. Nope! I'm on a mission. Sorry. Have fun!

5:52 PM. I was very surprised to secure a local AutoShare ride. Not the closest, but still.

7:18. Arrived the dos Santos kitchen.

Almost immediately, I fired up SkyTools and started configuring telescopes. I added Tony's SCT, Elaine's big refractor, and finally the little refractor. Add camera details, finally, after scouring the web, and Yahoo!Groups, for specs.

Phoned the CAO. Gave a number where I could be reached, if they had any trouble.

Elaine reviewed the webcam operation and quickly demo'ed the software installed on Tony's laptop.

After a fantastic dinner by Tony and wonderful dessert by Elaine, we headed out back. He let me loose.

First order of business was dew preventing. I pointed out all the frost to Tony. He fetched the DSLR lens cap while I installed the dew cap on the SCT.

I aligned the Celestron CGEM 11's finderscope and Telrad, using the Moon. Used an eyepiece to centre on targets. Tony and I connected the USB Chameleon colour camera (CMLN-13S2C-CS) and started to play with the FlyCapture camera software. First exposure to this app. Adjusted the brightness and related settings. Set up a new folder. Verified there was lots of hard disk space.

The software was displaying the recording dialog but after setting it the first time, it was not letting me change it. After rebooting the Dell, I got the recording to work and played back the video test files to verify. 1200 frames per run. AVI video format. Mild drifting but it was OK. Seeing looked really good.

Tony spotted my 2" mirror diagonal and asked if he could use it. He put it on the TEC 150.

The seeing was quite good. The cloud bands were mottled with ragged edges.

9:44. Took a break. I participated in an e-vote, followed-up with new president (who seems unwilling to drive south), agreed to a new (sorta) committee member to the CAO, and asked a question about a CAO group event.

10:35. We spotted Callisto's shadow. Very nice. Down the middle, very nearly on the equator.

11:39. I spotted, in the wonderful TEC view, the little bite of Io's shadow appearing. It took a moment for Tony to see it.

Io's shadow also near the equator.

11:56. Watched Io merge into the planet's disc, then become a tiny bump, then disappear. Very good seeing.

12:11 AM, Sat 24 Jan 2015. During a warm-up break, messaged Katrina. Told her I too wanted to get to the CAO. Craving dark skies.

12:45 AM. It was super-cool watching Io's small fast-moving shadow merge into Callisto's. That was a first!

1:26 AM. The main event was coming up. Callisto merged into the planet. Clouds were holding off.

1:31 AM. Europa's shadow appeared. Woo hoo! Three shadows. Another first!

Europa's shadow was not in-line with the others. It was touching or very near the south equatorial belt.

It was fascinating seeing Callisto "parallel" to the shadow, looking like another shadow itself. It was in the north equatorial belt. Yet another first.

And then the clouds rolled in. What incredible luck. What incredible timing. We packed up, covered the gear.

Inside, I tried to figure out the AVI files. I could not seem to figure out what was going on. Registax 6 would not open, or at least display the frames, in some of the AVI files (the big ones, unfortunately, with most of the frames). That was a little disappointing. Tony really wanted to post something...

When they said it was 4 AM, I almost jumped. No wonder I was having so much trouble. We crashed.


Attempted assembly on 11 Feb. Artefacts.

Tried again on 28 Feb. Better.

Assembled an image again on 1 Mar. Best yet.

spotted three shadows (Mississauga)

We got them! The three shadows on Jupiter. Tony and I were very happy. Cheers!

The faint dot top-left of the planet is the moon Europa. The shadows, left to right, are Europa's, Callisto's, and Io's. Callisto is above Europa's shadow. Also, Io is just barely visible to the right of Callisto's shadow!

Point Grey Chameleon colour camera, Celestron CGEM 11, manually focused, FlyCap software, Celestron mount roughly polar aligned. Image produced from AVI clip with only 34 frames. Stacked in Registax 6. Final processing in Ps CC 2014.

Friday, January 23, 2015

equally apart (Etobicoke)

Walking west, I took in the dark blue sky. The crescent Moon, tiny Mars, and brilliant Venus were nearly equidistant. Lovely.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

sent map

Redirected Ian to the official winter parking spot.

case pranged

Metal case recently arrived from Amazon. Not in good shape.

Scuffs at various places, some through the paint down to the metal. Paint chips near the front corner. Deformation in the metal at the side near the back.

It works. I won't send it back. It works. It will surely get abused more as I use it.

Monday, January 19, 2015

second council meeting

Attended the second RASC Toronto Centre council meeting. Once again at the DDO. We approved the budget.

received plywood

Bumped into Ian in the DDO parking lot. He had forgotten his coffee in the truck.

He grabbed the Baltic birch plywood for me. Oh. Big piece! Lots of extra if I goof up.

I decided to take it inside to have a good look. Beautiful.

Now I can work on the largest single elements of the barn door tracker... And mount all the hardware.

Friday, January 16, 2015

zoomed in (Mississauga)

Reframed. Messier 45 (M45) along the top edge.

Canon 40D, 18-55mm lens at 50, UV filter, 15 seconds, f/5.6, ISO 1000, daylight white balance, manually focused, piggybacked on Tony's CGEM 11.

Processed in DPP. Contrast, highlight, shadow, custom tungsten, brightness, sharpness.

catching a ride (Mississauga)

Heard it. Then saw it. Plane headed into my frame. Doh! Messier 45 (M45) above centre.

Canon 40D, 18-55mm lens at 25, UV filter, 30 seconds, f/4, ISO 1000, daylight white balance, piggybacked on Tony's CGEM 11. North is to the top-right; east, top-left.

Processed in DPP. Contrast, highlight, shadow, custom tungsten, brightness, sharpness.


Wikipedia link: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy).

comet by Tony (Toronto)

Mr Horvatin sent over a photo from our comet imaging run. Good stuff! From our January 10 get-together.

Copyright © 2015 Tony Horvatin.

Canon T5i, kit lens at 21mm, ISO 800, 12.5 seconds, f/5. Tripod mounted.

aimed blindly (Mississauga)

Did a test shot. Out of focus. Tried again. It worked. From atop the hot tub cover, I caught comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy). Fuzzy green dot almost directly below the Pleiades (Messier 45, M45).

Canon 40D, 18-55 kit lens at 24mm, UV filter, 20 seconds, f/4, ISO 1600, daylight white balance. Manually focused. Elaine's Gorillapod. No processing.


Wikipedia link: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy).

a comet with friends

Elaine and Tony invited me over for comet fun. Woo hoo! Very much looking forward to it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

last log-on

Signed into


Little did I know it would be the last time...

Stu liked it

Saw this before leaving work.
Wow, what an issue.  Beautiful images by Steve McKinney and Stuart Heggie, and great articles by Blake Nancarrow and John Percy.

What a great publication.
Stu McNair was referring to the February issue of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Journal.

The first software review in my Binary Universe column is out!

third time

Received another notice from the national office to renew. Huh. I think that's the third one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

investigated M40

Did some research for Sue. She asked, "Is there a reasonably accurate measurement of the distance in light years between the 'double stars' in M40?"

I found notes at wikipedia on Messier 40 (M40): In 1991 the separation between the components was measured at 51.7", an increase since Messier's time. Data gathered by astronomers Brian Skiff (2001) and Richard Nugent (2002) strongly suggested that M40 is merely an optical double star rather than a physically connected system.

I found other interesting details on SEDS: The position angle has also changed since first report in 1863.

The Lick Observatory Index Catalog lists the spectrum of the primary as G0, while SIMBAD lists them as A (HD 238107), spectrum G0 and B (HD 238108), spectrum F8. Skiff gives their spectra as K0III and G0V (Skiff 2001).

If the primary is a main sequence star, then Skiff said the distance was approx. 300 light years.

In 1998, Feltz evaluated the Hipparcos data to yield a distance of 510 light years.

Nugent in 2002 reevaluated the spectral types provided by Skiff to derive spectroscopic distances of 1900 +/- 750 and 550 +/- 230 light-years, respectively.

He published this, in fact, Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 96, p.63, in 04/2002. Huh!

checked Diadem

Tried to answer Sally-Anne's questions in her comment on my alpha Com article.

Q: Is it possible that the exact dates of periastron can be known?

A: Yes, I believe so. SkyTools 3 Professional shows that the orbit is "definitive." This suggests the orbital data is known with some confidence. I'm not an expert on these matters but I think there are 6 (?) parameters used to calculate an orbit, like eccentricity, argument of pericentre, etc.

Q: [Can periastron be determined] by counting forward from previous PA and comparing?

A: Yes, that should be quick and give a crude answer. But, again, if the orbit data are known, it should be possible to compute with some accuracy. According to the SkyTools Stellar Orbital Companion motion trails plot, the next periastron should occur late 2025 or early 2026.

Q: Do [you] have an idea when in spring '15 it will occur?

A: I did a plot and it actually looks like the close approach happened in November or December of 2014. And now, the B star, is moving to the north.
Q: "U said but rt now AB are separate... i guess that is to be expected since it's winter, or shd they not need to have so far to travel?"

A: I'm not sure I fully understand the question. In my 19 Jan 2014 post, I shared that the software predicted the stars to be 0.21 seconds-of-arc apart. This seems to correspond to the plot, i.e. about 1/3 of the maximum elongation. But they were moving closer. Now, a year later, they should be virtually on top of one another, so difficult or impossible to split. That is supported by the current report from SkyTools: "not splittable currently." In the summer of 2017, for two years, the stars should be far apart, almost at their maximum.

See the Journal of Double Star Observations for more information.

clear again (Etobicoke)

Another clear night. And I've no options. Considered, briefly, with the "dry" roads sparking up the car and heading north. But, I was too tired. And I needed to research the Carmanere region... Mars was easy to see. Too late for the inner planets. Orion rising, belt nearly vertical.

headed home

Chose not to go to the meeting tonight. I just can't deal with some of the personalities. Sorry. I don't need anger nor hostility. I'd much rather relax and have some quiet time. Could use the time to catch up on other overdue items.

Binary Universe: Stellarium

cover of the RASC Journal 2015 February
The February issue of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Journal periodical was made available today.

The release marks the start of my Binary Universe software column. I will review astronomy-related full computer programs and tablet and smartphone apps.

In this edition, I discuss Stellarium release 0.31.1 (beta).

[ed: Revised on 12 Jan 2021 for stupid typographical error in the version number. The version reviewed was 0.13.1. Sheesh!]

clear morning (Etobicoke)

As predicted by the weather peeps, it was clear. I could see a star above Regulus, after spotting Jupiter. [ed: That'd be Algieba at magnitude 2.2.] Turned around briefly. The Moon was now a proper crescent, well away to the east.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

seems OK

Checked the weather page for the observatory. Seemed OK to me... Current and historical information was showing.

Monday, January 12, 2015

4 by 8

Tried to find some nice plywood from the local hardware store. They had a some grades. But they didn't cut at their location. They recommended visiting the Stockyards. Huh. Might have scraps.

got 'em! (Etobicoke)

Can't believe it. Captured Mercury in the point-n-shoot camera! Oddly, I could not see it naked eye (forgot my corrective lenses this morning).

When I stepped off the bus and saw the rather clear skies, I immediately remembered. I shot photos and then zoomed the display to see Mercury. Ah ha! To the right, almost horizontal.

fujifilm FinePix J20, manual mode, 1/40 second, f/5.6, ISO 1600, daylight white balance, hydro tower as a stabiliser.

Irony: I was at the corner of Islington and Titan.

helped Savi

Answered Savi's questions about the loaner Dobsonian. Size. How to load it in the car. Turn around time to get it, after booking online.

for the web site

Relayed Delaney's message to Schipper. New speaker for Wednesday's meeting.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

helped Tony with Canon

Helped Tony shoot some astrophotographs with his new Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR.

Too closed in from the backyard. We went to the vacant lot. Horvatin Hill? Cool. Surprisingly dark.

We learned how to manually focus. Weird, the outer ring, turning easily and continuously... I noticed when defocused the shape was perfectly round. [ed: That's a feature: it has a "circular aperture" due to rounded diaphragm blades.] We turned off the Image Stabilisation as well.

Sorted the controls. Holding the Av button to step down the lens. ISO on the top surface right side. Changed the white balance to daylight, from incandescent. Set the image format via the Menu...

Interesting to see that the ISO could go to 12800. I encouraged him to explore the limits, check the noise, at that high level.

The fully articulated screen was nice.

Programmed his intervalometer. Exact same layout as mine. However the screen backlight was white and bright.

I look forward to his shots.

We easily spotted the comet, on the display.


Tony sent over a photo later.

warmed up

Grace and I tried a new beer tonight, one made in Gravenhurst. By the Sawdust City Brewing shop.

Red Rocket Coffee! A spiced stout. It was a little... sharp. We could not put our finger on what they did to give it some zip. Nevertheless, a fine beer on a cold night.

Friday, January 09, 2015

tried quick processing (Etobicoke)

A quick processing job from one of the test shots of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)... Found the comet where it was supposed to be, just below ν and 40 Tauri.

Canon 40D, 18-55mm at 18, f/5.0, 15 seconds, ISO 1000, shot daylight white balance, tripod-mounted, computer controlled.

In DPP, changed the white balance to tungsten, added a touch of orange, increased contrast, dropped shadow, increased sharpness, stretched slightly.

No darks applied.


I like the doubles θ 1 and 2 and σ 1 and 2 in the Hyades (aka Caldwell 41)...

grabbed comet data

8:30 PM. Finally forced myself to head out. Don't be lazy.

The backyard did not appear to be an option. Suddenly I decided to head to the school. Hopefully they'd have a decent sized yard that was reasonably dark.

Put on the long johns. Atop the undershirt and short sleeve shirt, I pulled on long sleeve shirt, the black hoodie, the Michigan sweater, and the red winter coat.

Packed the big tripod (with hex clamp), camera and kit lens, two spare batteries, intervalometer, the netbook, the camera-computer USB cable, a flashlight, and two plastic bags. Stuff the gear in the Targus bag. And out the airlock...

The school yard was not bad. Stupid wall pack lights everywhere. But in the baseball diamond, it was pretty dark to the south and south-east! Surprising.

Brilliant Jupiter to the east.

Did some test shots with the camera, stand-alone. Ugh. Orange sky.

Tried to focus with the back screen. Stopped down the lens. Couldn't leave my gloves off very long. The wind gusted every once in a while.

The thought occurred to me that I'd be ticked off if the focus was bad. So I connected the computer, aimed at Jupiter, switched to automatic, and started to—battery died—replaced the battery, nudged the focus, switched to manual, and then re-aimed toward Orion.

9:16. Finished the test shots. Programmed the EOS Utility "intervalometer" for 5 second delay and 20 shots. Took me a couple of test shots to remember that the interval needed the exposure time. With the camera shooting 10 seconds, I set to interval to 15.

Took in the huge Winter Football while waiting.

I could see Cursa at magnitude 2.8; but not σ Orionis at mag 3.8. Not a terribly dark sky... Mind you I was not full dark adapted.

9:24. Finished acquiring the light frames.

Started the darks run as I tore down the tripod. Continued as I walked back home!

9:30. Finished the darks run half-way along the school's front lawn.

9:35. Bagged the computer and camera on the front porch and headed inside. Face was cold.


Back in from imaging. Happily the walk from the Sunnylea Junior school was a short one.


Conditions from Environment Canada.

Quick synopsis: light snowshower, -12°C.

Observed at: Toronto Pearson Int'l Airport.
As of: 10:00 PM EST Friday 9 January 2015.

Condition: Light Snowshower.
Pressure: 102.1 kPa.
Tendency: rising.
Temperature: -11.9°C.
Dewpoint: -14.4°C.
Humidity: 82%.
Wind: WSW 30 km/h.
Wind Chill: -22.

Detailed forecast, issued: 3:30 PM EST Friday 9 January 2015.

A few flurries ending this evening then clearing. Local amount 2 cm. Local blowing snow early this evening. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 60. Low minus 15. Wind chill minus 25 overnight.

two on the way home (Etobicoke)

Spotted Mars and Venus.

Venus I only caught on the down the street, between houses. Five degrees up!

Another clear night. Warmer... But I'm tired...

lined up (Etobicoke)

Spotted a row on the walk to work. Gibbous Moon on the left, faint Regulus in the middle, a bit higher up, and bright Jupiter on the right. I thought it interesting that it was a nearly straight horizontal line.  Nearly equidistant.

Curious they were nearly horizontal for me. I wondered if the Moon was well below the ecliptic. Then I considered that Jupiter could be above too. Two effects at the same time. [ed: Confirmed!]

Suddenly, it occurred to me that Saturn should be up. I found the yellowy point nearly straight overhead. I thought that the ringed planet. [ed: Nope. Probably Arcturus. Saturn was off in the south-east.]

Thursday, January 08, 2015

weightless again

Spotted Antigravity beer at the local LCBO, beside another Flying Monkeys product. I haven't seen that on the shelves for a long time. A fine light beer. Best I've ever had.

Noticed a new label, featuring an photo-realistic image of an astronaut's helmet. Immediately wondered if Cmdr Hadfield was the cause...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

found Lovejoy (Etobicoke)

Found comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) in the binoculars atop the tripod from the front lawn.

With the help of SkyTools, I star hopped from Rigel, to Cursa, 66 and 68 Eridani, then ω. Next stop μ and ν Eri. Then over to Beid and Keid. Finally to ξ. While slowly sweeping I spotted the small fuzzy.

No obvious tail. Smaller than I had hoped, due to the city skyglow.

Briefly considered imaging it but I didn't want to do so from the front yard. I still didn't have access to the back... Then the side door security light went off. Ugh. The prospect of hauling out more gear and trying to focus in the frigid conditions was not attractive... -18°C. -28 with the wind chill. 245°K. Lost my mojo.

Good enough for now.

worked at Mars (Etobicoke)

Found Mars. Had to work at it.

Thought I saw Venus as I left the subway station. Not 100% sure.

Clear skies. Lookin' good for comet hunting... Bloody cold though.

Moon near Jupiter (Etobicoke)

Spotted the gibbous Moon near Jupiter. Maybe 6° apart. Fairly clear out. And cold.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Moon bookends (Etobicoke)

Huh? What was that glow across the street? Oh. The Moon. Right, it was close to a full Moon.

It was very low, a bit yellowed. The sky was hazy with high cloud.

I was momentarily disoriented. It was setting; not rising. Perhaps because I was heading north now on my walk to work?

Jupiter was shining despite the wispy clouds. I could see Regulus. Further apart than when I had seen them in December.


Oh ho. The full Moon was back. Up high, in a dark bitter cold sky, left of Orion. Now on my walk home.

Briefly considered setting up.

Ah no. Not at -19.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

added a fast-moving NEO

Learned of NEO 2004 BL86 today and that it will be moving very quickly by us on Jan 26. While reviewing Mitsky's January 2015 Celestial Calendar, I decided to add 2004 BL86 aka asteroid 357439 to SkyTools. Was rusty at first. Could not recall how to do it exactly. In the end I did a regular search, that is, I used the Designation Search Tool. Entered "2004 bl86" and it popped up. Added it to a new list. Done. Then traced the path.


Friday, January 02, 2015

software and sci-fi

Joined Elaine and Tony for dinner, drinks, and holiday fun.

We wanted to do some observing. It was clear for the beginning of the evening. But after dinner, we were clouded out. Even the DDO called off their tentative tailgate party.

Helped Elaine update her SkyTools. We downloaded the latest version. We updated the current comet, minor planets, and supernova lists. Then we checked Lovejoy's current position and tracked it for the next couple of weeks. We checked the field of view settings. We added a couple of eyepieces. And I created a custom entry for the Canon 60dA.

Later, we stayed warm by the fire stoked by Elaine and watched old movies. The last of which was Rocketship X-M. Funny and yet fascinating.

reviewed 2014

Decided to do a year-end review. It's difficult to think positively given the poor conditions the last few months... But as I scanned the 2014 blog entries, I was pleasantly surprised:
  • viewed and imaged the supernova SN 2014J in M82
  • had a really good session at Mom's observatory although no one joined me
  • imaged Mars with DSLR shooting and stacking multiple frames
  • did some solo winter observing at the CAO
  • imaged supernova SN 2014ai in galaxy group ACO 779
    • which is the most distant supernova I've observed 
  • viewed and imaged some comets 
    • did a motion capture of comet Catalina C/2013 UQ4
  • caught a Camelopardalid meteor (just one)
  • saw the lowest horizon at CAO in May
  • saw magnitude 6.4 naked eye, at the CAO no less!
  • tried an ISS trail flyover wide-field image
  • tried an ISS tracking high-power image
  • viewed three quasars
  • did lots of solar observing
    • possibly saw the most sunspots at once, career, in one session
  • borrowed and enjoyed Ian's 8" wonderful custom Dob
  • imaged a few planetary nebulae 
    • produced a surprisingly satisfying Ring Nebula
    • reached mag 18 with C14 and DSLR
  • did wide field imaging with sky trackers, pro and custom
  • tried my old Vivitar Series 1 piggybacked
  • imaged Moon and Mars together
  • viewed all the planets
    • spotted Triton
  • made my first acceptable star trails image
  • still-imaged aurora
    • did a motion capture of aurora
  • picked up a used O-III filter
  • immensely enjoyed seeing Stephan's Quintet and the neighbours
  • immensely enjoyed the brief trip to Katrina's amazing cabin
  • had lots of fun observing and imaging with dos Santos
A little surprised at the amount of imaging I did.

Dramatically increased activities with double stars:
  • viewed many coloured doubles
  • viewed more doubles from the RASC Observer's Handbook
  • obtained the new edition of the Observing and Measuring Double Stars
  • made a candidate list for analysis
    • recruited local candidates
    • recruited national candidates
  • imaged a few systems
  • split ζ (zeta) Herculis for the first time
    • made other sub-1" splits
  • surpassed 400 observed double stars
  • read more JDSO articles
Observing locations included:
  • Toronto
  • Richmond Hill
  • Mississauga
  • Blue Mountains
  • Union
  • Forks of the Credit Provincial Park
  • Glen Major Forest
  • Sundridge
  • Algonquin Province Park - Lake Travers
  • River Place Park
Neat. A couple of new ones. And I hadn't been to The Forks in years.

Other fun things:
  • ran the new owners telescope clinic for the second year
  • saw Chris Hadfield live, from the front row!
  • obtained an intervalometer for the DSLR
  • helped build a bigger igloo
    • assembled my first time lapse (of the igloo build) with music
  • repaired a number of 'scopes and mounts
    • ran the repair man booth at Starfest
  • attended the first aid training, with AED
  • rebuilt my Vixen SP mount, once, twice, three times
  • ran a walking tour of the David Dunlap Observatory for the members picnic
  • grew more comfortable with the DSLR camera
  • had my noctilucent clouds photo featured in Global News science piece
  • enjoyed the AstroCATS show
  • learned BYEOS, a little
  • accepted invitation to the RASC national observing committee
  • met Dr Sara Seager
  • helped at the CAO 
    • trained new supervisors  
    • helped organise and run work parties
    • helped with the locker project
    • helped with the roofing project 
  • finished named star list, with 662 entries
  • visited a meteor crater
  • visited and toured and imaged the Algonquin Radio Observatory
  • accepted invitation to write a RASC Journal column
  • accepted nomination for Toronto Centre councilor
  • started construction of custom barn door tracker
    • procured a good ball head
  • printed some astroimages, first time in a long time
    • printed some astroimages onto canvas, for gifts
Made some mistakes. Had some disappointments.
  • not making more progress in my Photoshop education
  • not staying late at work for the solar occultation
  • not sketching, at all
  • not shooting flats
  • didn't try the 100mm Vivitar lens
  • didn't plan sessions as effectively
So, despite not observing for last 3 months of last year, upon reflection, it was a pretty amazing.