Awards for 2020 George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education

2020 did not see much in the way of our traditional public education programs. The RASCO was closed most of the year, there was no in person events of any sort, so we had to improvise. One member in particular has done this very well in this unusual year. Whether it’s giving telescope help to guiding people through the observe the universe certificate requirements, all online, this member has shown a dedication to public education, which is part of our mission statement.

This year’s George Moores Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Education goes to Alister Ling.

Awards for 2020 Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for excellence in Astro Imaging

I really had a time with this one. There are so many talented imagers in our centre. As some of you know in my younger days I use to make Super 8mm stop motion movies. I was no Steven Spielberg, They weren’t that great and the stories I put on film were kind of stupid, but it was something I enjoyed doing because it was something I could say I made.

Astroimaging in the digital age is something like making a film. Collecting the image is an important part but it’s the processing that really brings out the detail. This past year I have been very impressed by some wide field images made by our winner. Not only are they great images after posting them on Astro he’s gone to great lengths answering questions and explaining the process that created them, even if some didn’t quite grasp the concepts. So this year’s Bryce Heartwell Memorial Award for excellence in Astro Imaging goes to Arnold Rivera.

Awards for 2020 Observer of the Year

 

Our center has a number of gifted observers. I read your reports on Astro or in Stardust and am impressed by your dedication and attention to detail, a skill that I must presume takes years effort to master. Of the reports I read one in particular jumped out at me, 2000 NCG’s. To accomplish that feat is something I could never imagine myself doing. This observer has also conceived and executed a Messier marathon – marathon where 110 objects are observered and running 42km in a single night. I have to sit down for a few minutes after just setting my scope up. So this year’s Observer of the Year award goes to Warren Finlay.

Awards for 2020 President’s Award for Service to the Centre

I first got to know the recipient of this award at the first Jasper Dark Sky Festival. We were assigned to set up telescopes on the Pyramid Lake Island. This involved several trips up and down some switch backs a narrow bumpy path, a bridge to the island and another narrow bumpy path on the island. We both had a lot of equipment and I had a handcart which we shared. Neither of us remembers that night fondly as it was a real pain to move our scopes on and off that island.

The recipient who has been the keeper of the books for the past eight years is stepping aside this year.  He has also coordinated our contribution to the JDSF including conceiving and executing the red light walkway and assigned telescope targets to our volunteers at the JDSF. His contribution on council and to the overall operation of our Centre has been invaluable. This year’s President’s Award for Service to Edmonton Centre goes to Jay Lavender

Awards for 2020 Franklin Loehde Award for Project of the Year

A project takes a vision of where you want end up, planning and execution over a period of time. My old physics 30 teacher back at Shep, Mr. Wynn use to say a picture is worth a thousand words, and one mark on the test. Sometimes you can explain something to someone and they just don’t get it, but show them a picture and the light bulb goes on. We watch the sky, we know the movement of the Sun through the year. Ask someone where the Sun sets and they’ll say the west. Well yes it does set due west, twice a year. The rest of the time it sets westish. To illustrate this point this year’s winner took a series of sunset images from the same location to show the movement of the Sun through the seasons. The result was an image that was worthy of an Astronomy Picture the Day which was titled “Equinox in the Sky” For this effort the Franklin Loehde award for Project of the Year goes to Luca Vanzella.