Rose City Astronomers (RCA)
Providing Astronomy Community for the Portland Metro Area
The RCA Holiday Potluck dinner is one week from tomorrow (Monday, December 18th). This year’s event is going to be different from those of previous years in several important respects. So please read this message carefully if you’re thinking about attending. Also, a preview of January’s meeting is at the bottom of this message. It will be a fun event as well and you might want to take a peek.
This is a member only event. Become an RCA member today!
The potluck starts at 6:30, which is an hour earlier than our other meetings. This year’s event will be held in Theory, which is the OMSI cafe. Directions to Theory are below. You’ll need to tell someone at the main entrance that you’re with RCA to gain access. We’ll be sharing the museum with Family Night and the museum will be busy.
Holding our event in Theory imposes some restrictions. We won’t have access to power. So you won’t have an opportunity to warm or cook your dish at the museum. We also need to clean up after ourselves a bit more thoroughly than usual. So please consider staying to help out at the end of the event.
We’ll have a brief program consisting of some awards and acknowledgements. Then Jim Todd will be generously providing us with a showing of the planetarium laser show Holiday Magic after dinner. (Thank you, Jim!)
We’ll be collecting images for a slide show featuring club-related activities from the past year. If you’d like to contribute images, please send them to our Calendar Director.
As usual, there will be no club services except for a brief period of calendar sales. However, we will be collecting non-perishable food to donate to SnowCap Community Charities and winter clothes to donate to Transition Projects.
It has been a great year for the club. Please come help us celebrate it.
The Main Event and Dish Assignments
The club will be providing drinks, plates, cups, and utensils as well as a small amount of food intended to supplement what everyone brings. The following table shows the dishes we're asking you to bring based on the first letter of your last name.
A through E: Side Dish
F through K: Desert
L through Z: Main Dish
Directions to Theory
Theory is on the ground floor of the museum at the end adjacent to the Tillicum Bridge. To get there, enter the museum at the main entrance, go through the turnstiles next to the admissions desk, and walk to the end of the hallway, past the gift shop and the main exhibition hall. If you feel uncertain about where you're going, just ask any OMSI employee or follow other people you see carrying containers of food.
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!
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.
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.
The RCA November General meeting is in the Auditorium beginning at 7:30
The new member orientation will begin at 6:30 in the Planetarium. Most club services will be available in the Auditorium prior to the meeting. In particular, the Telescope Library will be operating near the Planetarium door.
Slides from Our General Meeting
In 1988, the OMSI Astronomy Club and the Portland Astronomical Society merged. In the coming year, we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary as RCA. Our printed 2018 calendar (on sale now) has a lovely 30th year logo on it and it includes, among the usual awesome imaging done by our very own members, some striking black-and-white photos of astronomy in Portland that goes back well more than thirty years. The strength of interest in astronomy in cloudy, rain-sodden Oregon shows the staying power of hope over experience, doesn’t it?
Banner Design Contest
We need better visual displays! We’ve decided to get three retractable banners printed to use for outreach events. We’re asking imagers to put their wonderful work to good use on what we hope will be stunning banners. Create something beautiful using astronomy images with, at a minimum, our name, logo and our url address. If your design is chosen, we’ll award you with a copy of the book Skyglow. Any member can create a design, but astro-images should be done by an RCA member and have their permission for use. The final size will be 33" x 78." A high-resolution PDF would work well. We’d like to have these ready for next year’s events, so the deadline is Dec. 31 for submitting your entry. To get the logo, contact the president, communications v.p. or the calendar v.p. and we can send you one for incorporation in your creative, attractive, informative, communicative representation of our club.
RCA welcomes Yara Green to the board as our 2018 Vice-President of Outreach and Education. We're also happy to announce that Kathy Kerner, who has been doing such fantastic work on our Twitter and Facebook pages, has joined our Communications Team as our new Social Media Coordinator.
Since Steve Weiler is stepping down after many years of diligent service in his essential role as Observing VP, that position is now open for 2018, so please let us know if you are interested!
The following slate of officers was elected at our November 27 General Meeting:
President: Margaret McCrea
Secretary: Duncan Kitchin
Treasurer: Larry Godsey
VP Membership: Ken Hose
VP Observing: Position Open
VP Outreach & Education: Yara Green
VP Program: Mark Martin
VP Communication: Paul Edison-Lahm
It’s been over 13 years since the RCA Board officially surveyed the membership about its astronomical observing needs. Quite a bit has changed since the last survey, including the size and composition of our membership, the type and number of our available observing sites, the rise in light pollution (particularly from LED lights), the popularity of astrophotography, and the increase in traffic congestion in the metro area. So, it’s time that the Board hear from the membership again. Starting December 16th and running for a month or two, there will be a new questionnaire available online and in hard copy at general meetings. Both formats will be on-hand at the Holiday Potluck on December 18th to make it easier for you to contribute to this important survey campaign.
For many moons I’ve been advising RCA members that if they are having trouble with glare from a nearby street light, that they call their local bureau of transportation and tell a representative that “the glare from the street light outside my house is trespassing into my home and I’d like the lamp shielded.” Happily, I’m now able to report on a success story. An RCA member in Portland shared this account of his experience: "Ever since the new street light was installed on our corner lot in Northeast Portland, I've been trying to get it shielded. I was unsuccessful in two earlier attempts. But someone at the last meeting mentioned that the city has changed its policy, so I tried again..."