Saturday, June 02, 2018

returned to the DDO (Richmond Hill)

Rhonda and I arrived the David Dunlap Observatory around 7:15 PM. We were to volunteer with RASC Toronto Centre in partnership with the Town of Richmond Hill.

Noticed the development at Bayview, rerouting of the drive at Hillsview, the disappearance of the gate and gatehouse, the new tarmac up the lane, the new asphalt in the driveway, the painted lines. The excellent landscaping work! The place looked really good. Everything was clean and tidy.

A handful of volunteers were already present. Bhairavi led us to our office space in the administration building where we assisted the volunteers. I unpacked the new t-shirts. They looked good. She distributed my prepared targets list to the amateurs on the lawn. Bhairavi was thrilled that I had brought my FRS/GMRS radios so I distributed 5 of them to the team. It was good to meet Peter V at last. Really good to see Kirsten after such a long time.

We had enough people flying telescopes on the lawn so I was assigned to hall monitor duties and I guided visitors, answered questions, and kept an eye on the library. Tidied the office. Rhonda received guests at the parking. I helped Louis and Professor Delaney with some A/V set-up in the lecture hall. Started up a log note for evening issues.

Venus was easily spotted over the trees to the west during sunset. Astronomers reported the phase was visible.

We looked at Jupiter in Dan's apo. All four moons were visible. Cloud bands were obvious. Rhonda looked too. The seeing was not great unfortunately. Another operator was looking for Deneb but it was too low at the time. I pointed out Vega to help in their alignment.

I thought the signage, posters, and banners by the town's media team were excellent.

Professor Delaney's talk on "The Search for Planet Nine" was well received.

report on a double star conference

Later, Rhonda asked to visit the library. We noted many books going back to the 1800s. Then she spotted a booklet and called me over. A report by Sarah Lee Lippincott on double stars. Neat!

Then I guided Rhonda to the dome and we caught the tail end of Eric Brigg's talk.

second ISS flyover

As I exited the dome, I readied for the final flyover of the International Space Station. I spotted the ISS behind the trees to the north-west and called out for all. As predicted, it rose up high in the sky and then faded into the Earth's shadow. I was with Rhonda, Paul, Eric, and Matt. Eric pointed out that Drew Feustel has dual citizenship.

Everyone enjoyed my programmed scrolling LED badges. Rhonda's read, "Pleiades rocks! Rhonda. RASC TO." Of course, I configured mine to say "Double stars rock!"

Perfect weather. Amazing conditions. We left the grounds around 11:30.

Poorly designed street lights in the new development area. Passed "Telescope Gate" on the way out. Is that the new official street name?

It was so amazing to be back at the DDO! A breath of fresh air. Everyone was so happy. It was an awesome evening and things went very smoothly.

A new era. I am so excited to be a part of it.

No comments: