RASC Niagara Observatory
in the fall of 1997, the Niagara Centre observatory is located just a
40 minute drive from St. Catharines and is available for member use .
possible with the generous donations of building materials by Centre
members Denis Maheu and John Nemy, the observatory features a roll-off
roof design angled at a 45 degree slope towards the southern sky.
roll-off section is a reinforced garage door which runs along tracks
extending out from the west side of the building. This design allows
for ease of operation and quick set-up and closing times. The
observatory currently houses a Meade DS-16 Newtonian reflector.
recent years the centre has added several new observing pads, and
has built another roll-off roof observatory to house our
12" Meade LX200.
Centre conducts monthly observing sessions for the membership, called
Members' Nights, Saturday nights (Raindate: The next day [Sunday
night]) at the observatory. The dates for Members' Nights are selected
in advance by the Members' Observing Coordinator.
The person who currently holds this position is Mark Roberts. To ensure
dark viewing conditions, scheduled star nights are held at or near the
time of a New Moon or when the Moon rises well past midnight. Observing
begins at dusk and usually lasts late into the night. Members also can
be found observing at the observatory on most clear nights.
typical observing session consists of viewing currently visible planets
and deep sky objects. Members also bring their own telescopes for a
specific observing activity and to provide additional observing
possibilities for members. Astrophotography is also a popular activity
at the observatory.
Membership Use of the Observatory
an added benefit of membership, Niagara Centre members are welcome to
participate in all scheduled activities at the observatory. Members may
also become keyholders to conduct their own observing projects at their
become a keyholder, a member is required to attend a training session
at the observatory and pay an initial fee of $25.00 ($20.00 maintenance
fee + $5.00 key fee) and $10.00/year thereafter to help offset
operating and maintenance costs.