Astronomy Day – Apr 24, 2010

The RASC Observatory and the TELUS World of Science present International Astronomy Day.

Apr 24, 2010

by Luca Vanzella Edmonton Centre

After a record-breaking, week-long heat wave, cool and cloudy conditions arrived just in time for Astronomy Day 2010 in Edmonton. Despite this, the RASC Edmonton Centre celebrated astronomy at the TELUS World of Science (TWOSE) from 1:00 PM to about 9:30 PM.

In the afternoon, the RASC booth was front and centre inside the TWOSE lobby and hosted displays about the RASC Edmonton Centre and Light Pollution. The booth was also the hub for the Telescope Clinic in which visitors could have a look at and try out several examples of starter telescopes or try their hand at assembling a refractor telescope. Several people took advantage of RASC member expertise at the Clinic and obtained help in using their own telescope. Perhaps 50 people visited the RASC booth.

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Outside, the RASC Observatory on the south lawn of the TWOSE was not very busy throughout the day, due to the cloudy conditions. However, the sun was observed occasionally as it peeked through the clouds. As evening fell, the skies became partly cloudy between advancing fronts, and visitors who were there at the right time had a chance to look at the waxing gibbous Moon (10.5 days old). Mars and Venus were also occasionally viewed. 60-70 people, including a Beaver group on a science sleep-over at the TWOSE, visited the Observatory.

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A small Astrophotography Clinic was held in the evening, which demonstrated a prime focus setup on a 10″ Newtonian telescope with a stock DSLR camera. Being the only target visible for extended periods of time, la bella luna was imaged for posterity.

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Many thanks to the following RASC Edmonton Center members and friends for their time and expertise:

  • Facilities inside the TWOSE: Frank Florian
  • RASC Booth and Telescope Clinic: Orla Aaquist, Glen Bertrand, Merv Gorrie, Patrick Heinz, Bruce McCurdy, Geoff Robertson, Larry Wood
  • Observatory: Cornelia Blunck, Peter Hall and their crews
  • Astrophotography Clinic: Massimo Torri, Dave Roles
  • Volunteer Refreshments: Kathryn Vanzella
  • Event Photography: Ross Sinclair

All images copyright Ross Sinclair, except the Moon copyright Massimo Torri.


The RASC Edmonton Centre and the TELUS World of Science celebrated International Astronomy Day.

Saturday, April 24, 2010
1:00 – 11:00 PM
11211-142 Street

RASC Observatory 1:00 – 11:00 PM
South Lawn of TWOSE
(weather permitting)

  • Solar Viewing in the afternoon
  • Waxing gibbous Moon, Saturn, Mars and other deep sky objects in the evening

RASC Information Booth 1:00 – 5:00 PM
TWOSE Lobby

  • Information on the RASC, Beginner Observing, Telescopes
  • Information on Light Pollution and Responsible Lighting

Telescope Clinic – 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Gazebo beside the Observatory
(weather permitting) *

  • Bring your telescope to get free help on using it from the RASC’s knowledgeable members
  • Learn how to assemble a telescope

Astrophotography Clinic – 7:00 – 11:00 PM
Gazebo beside the Observatory
(weather permitting)

  • Learn how to take photos of the night sky, with free talks, assistance and advice by the RASC’s expert imagers.

Bring Your Own Telescope – 1:00 – 11:00 PM
Observatory Lawn
(weather permitting)

  • Bring your own telescope to observe the day or evening sky in the company of other observers. All types of telescopes welcome, no matter what the size.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Driving on to the lawn for telescope setup and takedown is OK, providing that vehicles return to the parking lot after they have unloaded. The City would like the cars to be on the grass area no more than 45 minutes.

* This activity will be in the TWOSE Lobby in case of inclement weather.