Fred P. Lossing Observatory

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The Ottawa Centre maintains its Fred P. Lossing Observatory (FLO) on a portion of the property of the Mill of Kintail Conservation Area. This is in the recently amalgamated municipality of Mississippi Mills (which includes the Town of Almonte and the Townships of Ramsay and Pakenham).

The FLO site includes an observatory with a roll-off roof that houses a 16-inch Newtonian telescope, and a heated clubhouse with chart table and small library of astronomical reference material. The telescope is equiped with an equatorial drive, precision 2 inch focuser, guide scope, and adapters for prime focus photography. Assorted eyepieces are also available. The telescope was originally built by a dedicated group of early members of the Ottawa Centre, who are remembered on a plaque on the side of the telescope.

Fred Lossing Observatory- Newtonian Telescope.jpg

Fred Lossing Observatory- Newtonian Commemorative Plaque.jpg

Fred Lossing Observatory- Celestron Telescope.jpg
The observatory also has available a 14 inch Celestron SCT and a 10 inch Newtonian telescope. Unfortunately, we currently lack permanent observatory structures for these instruments. The C-14 is set up for special events such as club sponsored star parties, and is shown to the right (click on the image for a full view). The 10 inch scope is presently in the process of refurbishment.

On Saturday, October 24, 1998, the observatory was re-named in honour of Dr. Frederick P. Lossing, a long-time member of the Ottawa Centre of the RASC, and one of the people most instrumental in the building of the observatory. There was a short dedication ceremony and the old name (Indian River Observatory) was replaced with the new. The images below show some of the activity at that event. (Click on the images for a full view.)

During the period from 1978 to 1991 a radio astronomy telescope was operated at the FLO site. The details of the telescope and observation results are described very well on a web site provided by Chip Wiest.
Fred Lossing Observatory- Entrance Gate.jpg
The gate leading to the site is secured with a combination lock, and access to the grounds is restricted to members and their guests. Keys are required for access to the clubhouse and 16-inch telescope. The gate combination and clubhouse keys may be obtained from the Observatory Director Bryan Black. There is an annual fee of $35 for keyholders, and members wanting to acquire a key for the first time must take a half-day training course on the 16-inch telescope. A map showing the location of the observatory is also available to members via e-mail.

An email FLO Update is distributed periodically to anyone having an interest in the Observatory. If you would like to be added to the distribution list for this Update, please advise Bryan.

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