Archive for August, 2016
news in the press about the status of the David Dunlap Observatory. While the situation is still fluid, there’s a lot happening in the background to keep the place running for now and for the long term. Putting aside the organisational and ownership issues, here’s what I’ve personally seen happen at the DDO over the last several years.Warning: THIS BLOG ENTRY IS GETTING PERSONAL. No, not in the Donald Trump way. Since starting ylab and this blog, we’ve had participation, hard work and co-operation from many people and groups and companies in the community. In that spirit, we’ve kept a level of anonymity to the blog to reflect what this team effort. The anonymity was accidental at first. Then it became an inside joke, and now it’s an unwritten rule. This entry is an exception.. I’ve been fielding questions about the announcement from RASC-Toronto Centre and the
- Back when it was still owned be University of Toronto, I remember my first visit to the site with my daughter. The WOW factor is permanently imprinted from our first look through the giant telescope at the twin stars Alcor and Mizar.
- As a Scout leader and with my kids in both Scouts and Guides, I’ve had many enthusiastic astronomy nights and telescope visits, first with the UofT people, and then with even more enthusiasm by the RASC-TC volunteers.
- When my business grew into its first real office in Richmond Hill and real employees, I brought them out to the first Perseid meteor shower night held by the DDO volunteers. They’re still talking about it. And by the way, it’s happening again tomorrow night, and sold out.
- When, about a year ago, we were programming the first ylab events, the DDO volunteers hosted us for an evening focused on telescope technology. For the first time, I saw the lower level of the dome where the telescope is maintained. The volunteers cleaned it up and made it accessible and educational. I saw the administration building’s basement workshops where so much work happens to keep this and other GTA astronomy facilities running. Where else can you get access to a vacuum chamber to mirror coat your lens?
- I’ve seen the volunteers plow and shovel the snow, cut the grass, clean the washrooms, build things to maintain the equipment… It’s never ending, and there’s never a complaint. It’s a labour of love.
- I’ve seen major work by the developer to replace the beautiful stone front steps and repair the roof of the administration building.
- In the last few months, I’ve seen more participation by the Richmond Hill city staff in the grounds maintenance. My car thanks you for filling the potholes.