Some of our members provide service to the Centre over long periods of time and this person is no exception. For a good decade, this member worked both as a regular Friday Observatory volunteer and as the volunteer scheduling coordinator. Over the years, she acted as den mother for the volunteers crews and worked to improve observatory procedures for things like sign-in logs and inventory of RASC equipment at the deck. She was instrumental in organizing the annual volunteer party. She also volunteered at the annual Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve celebrations and our annual Northern Prairie Start Party, always helping out with gusto. She was on the volunteer team that help stage the very successful RASC General Assembly in Edmonton in 2012. She stepped down last year as volunteer scheduling coordinator after providing exemplary service for many years, so it is with gratitude that I give the President’s Award for Service to the Centre for 2015 to Cornelia Blunck.
This member challenged himself to observe and image as many nights as possible in 2015. Judging by his numerous posts to Astro, I would say he was out practically every clear night. He observes mostly with a camera, but Mike Noble is out just about every night putting on a lot of kilometers looking at something. During the 2015 noctilucent cloud season for example, he observed and imaged NLC’s on 44 of 49 nights during which NLC’s were present. His efforts to travel to clear skies and monitor the skies with digital cameras, yielded what is probably an all-time record for NLC sightings in one season. This avid observer also alerted many of us to auroral displays and routinely gave excellent descriptions of what he saw from many and varied places in Alberta. So, it is my pleasure to award the Observer of the Year for 2015 to Mike Noble.
I got back into astroimaging in 2007 because of a series of articles that this member published in our Stardust newsletter. At that time, he was already an old hand at imaging skyscapes, many featuring the Moon. Since then, this person has furthered many imaging techniques including timelapses, 3D stereo pairs, 3D timelapse movies, and High Dynamic Range techniques for lunar skyscape photography. He posts the results his of imaging work to various forums and always provides interesting commentary of the image and the trials and tribulations of the techniques involved. He has always been always generous with his time, and sharing his astroimaging knowledge, and offering advice to newby astroimagers. Of late, this person has started writing for our newsletter again on the topic of astroimaging. I know that my own astroimaging has benefited greatly by my collaborations with him over the years. You have all seen his work projected on the dome of this theatre in many editions of Astroimaging Corner. For his many fine contributions to the art and for keeping us well informed on his achievements, it’s my great pleasure to present the 2015 Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for Excellence in Astroimaging to Alister Ling.
Sherrilyn Jahrig has been an Observatory volunteer and summer contract worker since 1996. She was integral to our MarsWatch event in summer of 2003, one of the most successful outreaches in the deck’s history. The following spring she received the Nate Ragosin Memorial Award recognizing the volunteer of the year within TWoSE.
She has been involved in the BHDSP from concept in 2004 to realization to the current day. Earliest meetings that I can remember were at TWoSE in 2004. She was one of the main drivers on the RASC Edmonton Centre committee that got the Dark Sky Preserve up and running in 2006 – a major achievement that was recognized with the Centre’s public education award that year.
In the years since it was declared, Sherrilyn has served the Centre internally as our DSP Coordinator, and externally on the BHDSP Working Group — a group she chaired for a number of years. In both capacities she has been instrumental in organizing the annual BHDSP public star party at Elk Island NP &/or Miquelon Lake PP, including coordinating RASC volunteers who provide the lion’s share of humanpower for this event.
Besides Beaver Hills, Sherrilyn played a role in the declaration of Jasper Dark Sky Preserve and Wood Buffalo Dark Sky Preserve, ratified in 2011 and 2013 respectively. She has also been a driving force behind the Light Efficient Communities Coalition, a second partnership between RASCEC and other invested community groups which held extensive talks with the City of Edmonton to achieve the City’s Light Efficient Community policy in 2013.
Sherrilyn has championed the night sky in various other undertakings, which include artistic as well as scientific pursuits. These include a night sky photography exhibit she organized at City Hall and astronomy-themed artistic installations at Pyramid Lake Island at the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival.
It is for these impressive and long-standing efforts that I award the 2015 George Moores Memorial Award for Public Education to Sherrilyn Jahrig.
On Dec 7, 2014 this member posted his first solar image to the Astro List. It was start of a sustained project to photograph the Sun and map the positions and measure the sizes of solar features, in particular filaments. The project involved not only photographing the Sun but developing software to overlay a grid on the solar disk for positioning. Over the months of 2015, his processing of solar images improved steadily and he routinely posted many fine H-alpha images of the Sun, showing sunspots, active regions, prominences, filaproms, and even sequences of solar flares in progress. By October, he began posting videos of dynamic solar features in addition to near daily images. On Jan 2, 2016 he posted his year-in-review article summarizing the findings of 81 imaging sessions and measurements of 962 filament observations and the beginnings of a butterfly diagram for filaments. To me, this was a great project contributing to solar imaging and software to interpret the data embedded in the images, all reported on Astro as it progressed. I am happy to present the 2015 Franklin Loehde Award for Project of the Year award to Paul Campbell.