OMSI is graciously hosting a free screening of the very informative and visually stunning documentary, Saving the Dark, by film-maker Sriram Murali in the Kendall Planetarium on July 23 at 7 pm. (View the trailer.) Saving the Dark explores the need to preserve night skies and what we can do to combat light pollution. This one hour film will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A session. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Seating is limited. So reserve your seat now.
Because of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 on Saturday, July 20, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Rose City Astronomers and Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers have organized free Star Parties at Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park starting at 9:00 pm. From beginners to experts of all ages, here's your opportunity to view the moon, stars and other celestial objects up close and personal through telescopes.
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!
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is getting ready for its largest star party of the year on Monday, August 12, the Perseid Meteor Shower Watch! Hundreds of star lovers from across the Pacific Northwest will be meeting at both Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park at 9 p.m. to watch and enjoy the wonder of the Perseid Meteor Shower.
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.
More information will be provided soon.
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.
July has been an incredibly busy month for outreach! Many, many thanks to everyone who has volunteered for our June and July events thus far. We still have a few more events that are a bit bigger than can still use volunteers. If you haven't volunteered before, we'd love to have you! These star parties don't require expert levels of observing. If you can find a couple of your favorite objects in your telescope, that is all that is necessary to show to a very eager and enthusiastic public. And, there's the bonus of you get to do some observing in some relatively dark sites! If you are interested in helping out in any of the events below, please email me email@example.com.
July 13th (Saturday, 9pm -12am) - Star Trek and a Star Party - Stub Stewart Park - We are partnering with Hollywood Theater to show Wrath of Khan at Stub Stewart and then also have a star party for the audience afterwards. We are looking for 10 more volunteers with telescopes. I'm not sure what could be more fun that combining Star Trek with being under the stars!
July 13th (Saturday, 8:30pm - 10:30pm) - Portland Metro Star Party at Glendoveer Park- This is an annual event in which we partner with Portland Metro and Portland Audobon to provide a star party. We need 10 volunteers with telescopes.
July 20th (Saturday evening) - OMSI Star Party - Stub Stewart Park - This is one of OMSI's annual star parties, and it's on the anniversary of the Apollo landing. This is a busy weekend for OMSI. We have wonderful volunteers signed up already to help during the day, and then this star party is to end the celebration of the moon landing. OMSI needs at least 10-15 volunteers with telescopes.
July 20th (Saturday evening - Sunday morning) - Maryhill Museum Star Party - Each year, RCA partners with Maryhill Museum to provide a star party on their beautiful grounds. Volunteers will be able to camp overnight on the Museum grounds and will be treated to a lovely breakfast on Sunday morning. We are looking for 8 more volunteers with telescopes.
July 31st (Wednesday, 7pm - 10pm) - OMSI After Dark - This month's OMSI After Dark event is all things astronomy. We are looking for 5-6 people to do a virtual star party and tabling activities. Yes, virtual! Welcome to the future! A virtual star party is where you share view of the sky using your favorite astronomy app. We will also have lunar-based activities at a table setup. Since sunset is at 8:40 pm, there won't be a lot of opportunity for dark skies.
Thank you again to everyone who has volunteering and makes these outreach events possible. If you have any questions or would like to help out at one of these events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks! — Yara
Artificial Satellite Constellations: A New Threat to Astronomy and Dark Skies? International Dark Sky Association (IDA) has gone on record opposing satellite clusters. An urgent response is needed before more clusters are launched. With many astronomers on break or otherwise tied up for the summer, help is being sought from amateur astronomers and astrophotographers. One thing you can do to help the effort to curb the proliferation of these clusters is to post time and location data and photos of the cluster to the RCA forum (I will start a thread for Starlink under the imaging SIG). I will get these photos to the active members of the committee assigned to respond to SpaceX. RCA and IDA will also conduct social media outreach using these images. If you are interested in assisting with modeling efforts, let me know and I will put you in touch with the appropriate team member. Stay tuned for more information.
Status of International Dark Sky Places
By far, the most effective advocacy tool that IDA has found in its tool box is designating International Dark Sky Places (IDSP). As of June 2019, there are 122 IDSP’s world-wide totaling 22 million protected acres. Fifteen more IDSP’s are expected to be designated by the end of 2019. Because IDSP’s draw so much attention to dark sky issues as well as providing dark sky preservation, RCA’s Board has made helping to designate “Oregon’s First IDSP” one of its goals in the next two years. There are a few candidate sites where RCA has confirmed that the land managers are in favor of designation and where required studies in support of an application have either been initiated, nearly completed, or can be quickly conducted.
The Juniper Flats Fire Department, which protects our observing site at Maupin, is now requiring us to do what we do at Oregon Star Party: carry five gallons of water dedicated to fire suppression, a shovel and an ax. This is going to affect us when we use the Wapinitia Airfield (Maupin) for an RCA star party. The policy is based on regulations set forth by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry which are similar to the US Forest Service requirements enforced at OSP.
We don't expect our members to fight wildfires, but to use common sense and have the water and capabilities to be able to extinguish a very small spot fire before it gets out of control and becomes a safety hazard. More than once, we've actually used our five gallons and shovels and axes at OSP. Your goal will be to protect yourself long enough to get packed up and out of the area. Please find the attached flyer. As the rules change, we will update you.