The RASC Edmonton Centre’s has owned a member-built 18” Newtonian telescope since 1988. For many years, the telescope saw a great deal of use by members and was used extensively for public outreach events. However, in recent years the telescope was little used and sat in our storage locker. In 2016, the re-energized Black Nugget Lake Observatory (BNLO) Committee proposed a project to relocate the Club 18” telescope to the BNLO sea can to enable it to be used by Centre members at a dark site. The project was executed by the BNLO Committee with skill and enthusiasm in five months, in time for the Northern Prairie Star Party, where the telescope was dedicated as the Barry Arnold Memorial Telescope. I have since used the BAMT a couple of times and it is certainly a joy to drive out to a dark site where a large, already assembled telescope awaits star light.
The process for a dark site observatory originally started in 2005 when the BNLO pitch was first made to Beaver County Council. Including the time before that to get the original go ahead from Edmonton RASC Council, it’s taken one Jupiter year to get BNLO up and running with a telescope (which sounds a lot better than 12 Earth years!). This project has produced a fine result that nicely complements the previous work of dedicated RASC members over the years in building previous incarnations of this telescope and in preparing the BNLO site. And there is more to come.
I am happy and grateful to present the 2016 Franklin Loehde Award for Project of the Year award to the BNLO Committee: Warren Finlay (chair), Susan & Rick Bramm, Kent Martens, and Roman Unyk.