If you need help with a telescope project, need to clean or align your optics, or just want to talk about telescopes, come to the workshop. Activities include telescope building from scratch or a kit, telescope setup, cleaning, aligning, adjustment, and help using your telescope.
More Information will be provided shortly.
80% of the world’s population live under light polluted skies. What do we lose when we lose sight of the stars? Excessive and improper lighting robs us of our night skies, disrupts our sleep patterns and endangers nocturnal habitats.
The Portland EcoFilm Festival presents the PNW premiere of SAVING THE DARK, directed by Sriram Murali
Filmmaker in attendance for post-film discussion along with Dawn Nilson, Rose City Astronomers' liaison for the International Dark Sky Association!
Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced astro-imager — whether you're using a CCD, DSLR, point-and-shoot or film camera — this group can help you achieve better images with less effort and frustrations.
Join us at noon on the first Fridays of every month for good conversation and good food at McMenamin’s on Broadway, 1504 NE Broadway, Portland. Everyone is welcome!
For several months now, members have been asking when we are going to take another trip to LIGO*, especially since we found such a great camp ground nearby when we went last year. Good news! We’ve set the date for Saturday, October 13. It’s going to be a great trip, but we’re going simple this time. Registration will open on August 20 and close on October 1. Watch the website and the forum, and we will send out reminders.
New members are welcome to meet in the OMSI Planetarium at 6:30 before the General Meeting for an orientation and introduction to Rose City Astronomers.
Slides from Our General Meeting
Public Star Parties are held so that we can share our telescopes with anyone who wishes to attend. Since star parties are held at night in the dark, a few common courtesies will go a long way to making sure that everyone has a good time and a safe time.
RCA has a long tradition of small observing parties — it’s part of why the club was formed. RCA Club star parties are for members and their families and guests invited by members. The purpose is have a smaller, quieter event where attendees can spend an entire night observing or imaging without interruption. They are often in remote rural areas where conditions can be primitive at best.
The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to help insure your safety and the safety of others, to contribute to the enjoyment of club events, and to foster an atmosphere that will encourage other people to join RCA. These standards of behavior apply to club events, public events and at any volunteer or outreach events.
The Camp and Our Clubs' Intertwined Origins Go Back to 1951
When I first joined the club twenty years ago, RCA Camp Hancock weekends often had upwards of seventy people, with telescopes. We set up and spread out in a large field we called Dob Valley. But we lost the use of this field a few years ago because it is not part of Camp Hancock; it is National Monument land belonging to the John Day Fossil Beds run by the National Parks Service. So we are limited to three observing locations within Camp Hancock itself. If everyone who signs up for Camp Hancock brings a telescope, we would have fifteen telescopes set up at each of our three smallish observing locations, and that’s enough. For that reason, for the last few years we’ve limited RCA registration at Camp Hancock to 45. It filled up really fast this time, the fastest it’s ever filled up. But there are no fewer “slots” for RCA members than there has been in recent years. We always create a waiting list. Already this time around we’ve had cancellations and some people have moved off the waitlist and are registered. At the moment, there are about ten people on the waitlist. That’s about normal.
At this Hancock event, we’ll have extra guests from the Geological Society of the Oregon Country (GSOC). They were half-invited and half-volunteered because there is such an overlap of interest between astronomy and the earth sciences, which are in fact planetary sciences. Camp Hancock was started in 1951 by OMSI and GSOC founding member/amateur geologist Lon Hancock and became the home to one of our two progenitor organizations, the OMSI Astronomers. Several members of RCA are also members of GSOC; that’s been true for a long time. I’ve gone on GSOC field trips myself, and taken Paul Edison-Lahm’s downtown geology walk, and have found them truly interesting.
The GSOC members are offering us three additions to the weekend that we don’t normally get: (1) they will take us on a hike through millions of years of geologic history, explaining all the cool things we’ve been looking at on our normal hikes but not knowing what they were; (2) they have invited Dr. Nick Famoso, Chief Paleontologist of the John Day Fossil Beds, to be a speaker/resource person; and (3) they have invited Dr. Bill Orr, the Grand Old Man of Oregon Geology, the Man Who Wrote the Book, to give us a presentation about John Day geology on Saturday night after dinner. I am personally delighted that Dr. Orr said yes to our humble event. We are privileged to have him.
The GSOC people will rideshare to Hancock, so will limit the number of cars they add to our parking situation; they will not bring telescopes, so will not be crowding us on the field; we have arranged for some Telescope Helpers to introduce the use of a telescope to them and introduce the sky; they will have assigned cabins because they will be going to bed fairly early and we do not want to be waking them up at 3 a.m.; they will have dimmable red Celestron LED flashlights.
I am happy that they are coming and think that they will enrich our experience at Hancock a great deal. Rest assured, no RCA member has lost a chance to register for Hancock because GSOC members will be there, and attendance will be no more than we’ve had at Hancock in the past. GSOC is what I call a “natural ally,” since we are all amateurs interested in the sciences and willing to go out and do field work. I expect we will find that they are as interesting to get to know as anyone else we meet on the observing field. Please make them feel welcome!
Looking forward . . . Margaret
It's the time of year again when we need your help for the 2019 calendar! We are looking for your great astrophotos, so please send us any images you would like considered for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org. Images for inclusion should be approximately 3300x2550 pixels (8.5x11 @ 300dpi) in a high-res jpg or a tiff. If the image is too big to send, please send a lower resolution, but high quality image and we will respond with a link to where you can upload the full resolution image. The deadline for submission of images is September 25th, so please send in any images you would like considered soon.
Thanks for helping to make the calendar great!
RCA Calendar Manager
Did you miss Mark Lowenthal and Jeff Lee's talk on how to image or do EAA with a DSLR? Their full presentation is now available containing links to the programs you can use to use your DSLR and telescope for either imaging and "near live" viewing (EAA).
The presentation also explains which basic programs are needed (free or commercial) and contains links to explanations about laptop installation and usage. EAA and imaging are exactly alike except that EAA normally depends on very short exposures and you can watch the view be developed in near real time on your laptop screen. Whereas imaging (astrophotography) normally uses 30 to 60 second images, which are then stacked to become an astro-photograph. Bring any questions you have to our EAA online forum. Mark and Jeff's presentation slides are also available on our website.
We once again offering the popular RCA Anniversary Jacket with our RCA 30th Anniversary Logo embroidered on the upper left of the front of the jacket.
Available in Men’s or Women’s sizes, X-Small through 4X-Large (they run a bit large)
Black, Royal Blue and Red (women’s red available only in X-Small, Medium, Large and 3XL)
Made by Port Authority: All-Season-II jackets
Nylon exterior, jacket body lined with microfleece, sleeves and hood lined with polyester
Removeable zippered hood
Front zipper zips both ways; wind flap covers the zipper
Three exterior zippered pockets; two interior pockets
Draw cords and toggles on hood and waist
Velcro adjustable cuffs
Pre-order and payment needed by October 1st so that we can have the jackets available at the October 15th General Meeting.
$5 extra for shipping for those not picking up their pre-ordered jackets at the meeting.
For several months now, members have been asking when we are going to take another trip to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, at Hanford, Washington) especially since we found such a great campground nearby when we went last year. Good news! We’ve set the date for Saturday, October 13. It’s going to be a great trip, but we are going simple this time. Trip details ➡
But wait! There’s more!!!
Tsagaglalal (She Who Watches) Pictograph Tour
Dawn Nilson suggested that taking a tour of the Tsagaglalal (She Who Watches) Monument at the Columbia Hills Washington State Park on the way up to LIGO would be a nice addition to someone’s trip. There are two choices: 10 a.m. Friday, October 12 and 10 a.m. Saturday, October 13. The park is near Lyle, WA, just across the river from The Dalles, so it’s about ninety minutes from Portland. The tour is free but there is a $5 parking fee. The tours are limited to 25 people and registration is required.