About- 2006 FLO Report

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2006 Report on Fred Lossing Observatory
Al Seaman
December 1, 2006

The Centre's observatory, the Fred Lossing Observatory (FLO) near Almonte, continued to operate through the past year. It provides members with free access to a reasonably dark site to set up their own observing equipment. Members who have taken the training course and paid the annual "key fee" also have access to the heated club house with assorted astronomical reference material, and use of the observatory's 16 inch Newtonian telescope, and a portable 10 inch Newtonian telescope on a Dobsonian mount. This year there were 27 members who subscribed as key holders.

Usage of the site is difficult to track accurately, since many people fail to sign the log book, particularly those who come with their own equipment. Subjectively, it appears that usage this year has been lower than usual. I think that this is in part due to what seems to be endless strings of bad weather throughout the year.

Spring and summer training sessions were held, and a total of nine attendees became new keyholders.

For the most part, things continued to operate normally with the usual basic maintenance:

  • During the winter, contracted snow clearance of the access road twice, along with the accompanying shovelling around the observatory, and roof raking.
  • During the summer, grass and weed cutting on the parking lot and around the observatory, and weed whacking and tree pruning along the access road.

We continue to hold two donated telescopes in storage; a C-14 telescope, and a Coulter 13 inch Dob mounted Newtonian telescope. A continuing long term goal is to build a permanent observatory for the C-14. We also need a secure storage shed adjacent to the observing area for the Coulter and for the 10 inch Newtonian, which is presently jammed into the club house. We have an option on a used 10 foot fibreglass Home Dome that would make a good observatory for the C-14.

Just prior to the arrival of snow last winter, with the help of Chris Teron, a complete survey of the site was done to locate buildings, roads, parking lot, and cleared and treed areas. Ground levels were also recorded. A first draft of a site map has been prepared from the survey data. This will be helpful in planning future site development. It is hoped that we can take some concrete action on expanding the FLO facilities in the near future.

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