It's been about seven years since the Whistler Astronomy Club held a meeting, but judging by the turnout at the club's reboot on Jan. 15, the interest level is high.
Over 50 people crammed the community room at the Whistler Public Library to hear astronomer John Nemy talk about the potential for club activities, as well to share winter stargazing highlights. A local elementary school student gave a short presentation on Jupiter, a subject that included some interesting star clusters that Jupiter passes by in the night sky.
The club's activities will be determined by the membership, said Nemy. Some of the ideas discussed included astrophotography (photographing the night sky) to telescope building.
As well, Nemy used the meeting to gauge the level of interest in resurrecting the Friends of the Dark Outdoors (FRODO), an organization that was once active in the community and advocated for reducing light pollution.
Nemy concluded the meeting with a roundup of upcoming night sky events, including the arrival of Comet ISON this summer, space news and some advice on how to spot the International Space Station as it zooms overhead with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on board for his five-month tenure.
Every astronomy topic was accompanied by photos, including some taken by Nemy himself.
The participants were so eager to get started stargazing that the group made plans to bring telescopes to Rainbow Park this Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. — weather and cloud cover permitting.
The next meeting will take place on Monday, Feb. 11, at the Whistler Public Library at 7 p.m.