Miller Lake Star Nights, August 1st, 7th and 8th, 2013

RASC London Centre member Gaetan Godin conducted 3 outreach events hosted at Summer House Park on Miller Lake on the Bruce Peninsula near Tobermory and Bruce Peninsula National Park, August 1st, 7th and 8th, 2013. Thursdays, August 1st and 8th were wonderfully clear, but Wednesday, August 7th, was mostly cloudy with just occasional patches of clear sky.

There were 50 campers from the Summer House Park on Miller Lake, Thursday, August 1st. Gaetan had his home-built 20.3cm Dobsonian. There was also one visitor who was not a RASC member but who brought a borrowed 12-inch (30.5cm) Dobsonian. Since the usual animator from Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association was not present, the lady whose family owns Summer House Park was camp host and Gaetan spoke to the campers. The campers viewed Saturn, Albireo and M13 through Gaetan’s 20.3cm Dobsonian. The visitor who brought the borrowed 12.5-inch (30.5cm) Dobsonian was inexperienced with its use and Gaetan helped him with collimation and a few suggestions. The visitor and the lady who was camp host both worked with the 12-inch (30.5cm) Dobsonian as best they could and were reported to have observed Saturn and M13; however, Albireo was too much at the zenith for them to reach, although Gaetan had no trouble reaching Albireo with his 20.3cm Dobsonian.

On Wednesday, August 7th, both telescopes were again set up, including Gaetan’s 20.3cm Dobsonian. This time the borrowed 12.5-inch (30.5cm) Dobsonian was brought by a young lady student, who was the animator from the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association and who gave a talk. Then clouds moved in and people left. There were 20 campers present and 2 couples (4 people) remained behind for the sky tour when the sky partly cleared. Gaetan gave an informal talk on star cluster formation and the Milky Way. Objects observed included a sky tour of Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Cygnus, the Summer Triangle and Cassiopeia.

On Thursday, August 8th, the sky was beautifully clear and Gaetan set up his 20.3cm Dobsonian on the beach and gave 12 campers a sky tour of the Summer Triangle, Cassiopeia, the Big and Little Dipper and Sagittarius (indicating the centre of the galaxy). They had missed the sky tour the previous night and were happy to see Gaetan. He showed them Albireo and M13 through his 20.3cm Dobsonian telescope and gave an informal talk on formation of star clusters, the Milky Way and our location in the galactic arm.

In all, there were 82 people at these 3 outreach events, including 50 campers on August 1st, 20 on August 7th and 12 on August 8th (50 + 20 + 12 = 82 people).

Bob Duff
Higher Education Liaison
RASC London Centre