More photos from the DDO Restoration

Hi All,

We’ve taken more photos from the DDO! Preparations for restoration are underway, as scaffolding is still being erected. As depicted in these photographs, the Administration building is nearly entirely encapsulated by the scaffolding, which is not yet fully complete (as of the second week of June 2020). Restoration of the facility is currently planned to continue until December 2020. We will continue to bring you updates here!

-DDO Defenders

Venus passes Sun, now entering morning sky

This snap-shot of Venus was taken using a telescope in full daylight on June 7th, 2020, just a few days after Venus appeared to pass just below the Sun*. The planet was just a whisper-thin crescent on this date, with just 0.3% of its illuminated hemisphere visible. It’s during these “inferior conjunctions” that Venus looks biggest to us, because this is when Earth is passing closest to Venus. But Venus still appears at least 30 times smaller than the Full Moon.

One clear difference between seeing a thin crescent Venus through a telescope and seeing a thin (“young”) crescent Moon by eye is that Venus remains very bright, whereas the crescent Moon is much fainter compared to when it is a Full Moon. That’s because we never get to see the surface of Venus, only its very reflective white clouds. In fact, at the time of conjunction, we can catch a glimpse of Venus’ cloudy atmosphere faintly glowing all the way around the planet’s silhouet, making its crescent extend beyond just a half circle like for the Moon. The picture here shows a tiny bit of that extension.

 

If you want to see Venus for yourself, you will now need to get up just before Sunrise, as Venus has become the Morning Star.

Wishing everyone Clear Skies!

— Dr. Ian Shelton

* Venus was still travelling along its almost circular orbit 50 million km closer than Earth orbits the Sun; but as seen from Earth, Venus was almost perfectly lined up with the Sun 100 million km beyond Venus.

Restoration underway at the David Dunlap Observatory

We hope you all are safe and well! We miss having programs at the DDO and we know you miss them too!

Restorations have begun on the Administration Building of the observatory and they are planned to continue for about 6 months. These restorations will focus on the outer facade (including stonework and paint). We will continue to update you about the work being done as information comes our way.

Hopefully, not too far in the future, we will be back doing our programs at the DDO. When this time comes, the  restoration efforts will not affect our programming.

We look forward to seeing you all again! Until then, please enjoy our online content via YouTube!

-DDO Defenders

Happy 85th Birthday! 🥳 David Dunlap Observatory! ✨

We just finished our second livestream! Thank you everyone for attending! It was lovely to talk with Prof. Stefan Mochnacki and share our memories with all of you! If you missed it, don’t worry! It’s posted on YouTube!

Prof. Stefan Mochnacki

We covered the past ~100 years of Canadian Astronomy History, and got to hear a personal account of what it was like to work at the DDO as a professional astronomer! We hope to hold more interviews in the future, so let us know if you have any topic suggestions or questons!

We’re happy to celebrate together, and look forward to celebrating again in the years to come! Happy 85th DDO!

-DDO Defenders 😁

*Photos by Chris Robart*