Looking Forward: President’s Message


2019 Star Party Schedule Now Available

In preparation for next year, we have posted our downloadable, printable star party schedule on our website.   There are several things that are new for 2019. 

  • Ten-day Messier Marathon at Maupin begins Friday, March 8 and goes through Sunday the 17th.  This event is not an OSP-style event.  It just means the field will be open, the sanitary facilities will be there, and we will have permission for those entire ten days to be on the owner’s field.

  • White River Sno-Park on Mt. Hood is an area that RCA used in the past. It’s close to Portland, has bathrooms, is very large and flat, and has an easy entrance. It doesn’t have the best horizons and there is a chance that drivers with headlights could pull in after dark, but it’s better than Stub Stewart on that score, and there are no light domes.

  • The general plan of our star parties is that on new moon weekends we have a weekend event, and the Friday and Saturday a week earlier, during last quarter moon, we have alternating star parties at Stub Stewart and Rooster Rock.  

  • Where we have indicated both Sky View Acres (SVA) and Maupin, we will determine where the star party will be as we learn more about the weather and the condition of the fields. Please watch the calendar, the Gazette, the Forum, our website, and the ppts from the general meetings for information on where these events will be.

  • We have scheduled alternative events for the Camp Hancock weekends for people who can’t take a full weekend off or drive so far.

  • The first joint Friends of Galileo/RCA Star Party on Mt. St. Helens is scheduled for Aug. 23.

  • We scheduled the Trout Lake Star Party to blend into OSP for those who want to do both. It could happen.

  • The OMSI public star parties are more spread out next year. They start in January with a total lunar eclipse and end November 11 with an exciting Mercury transit. And OMSI has plans for a major celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.

  • Finally, because we live on hope, we’ve schedule two Bon Hiver (happy new year, good winter, season’s greetings) star parties because you never know: Sunday, Dec. 30 of this year and Thursday Dec. 26, 2019 at Stub Stewart and Rooster Rock. If the weather is with us, I’ll bring hot chocolate.

Interested in Volunteering for Youth Program Vice-President?

It’s election season everywhere, even at RCA. Consider this a plug for a volunteer for the Youth Program VP. Oddly, for this position, you don’t need to work with youth. What we need is someone to develop three or four modest programs, and give out money. If you have experience writing up goals and programs and setting them on their way, we need you. Mike McKeag, current Youth Director, will be on your team. He’s done an excellent job of developing our astronomy class for kids in partnership with Saturday Academy, but he’s willing to move to Youth Team member rather than to take on the task of developing more programs. Please volunteer by contacting Duncan Kitchin at secretary@rosecityastronomers.org.

Next year is going to be our best ever! There’s so much to look forward to. In the meantime, enjoy the winter as it comes.