Astronomy at a Time of Pandemic

Since the outbreak of a new respiratory disease was first reported from Wuhan on 31 December 2019 the world has been beset with the effects of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Everyone is now regrouping, and if you have any concern at all for other people, you are taking on the social distancing model, restricting your voluntary travel, and following all the recommendations about sanitation, hand-washing, and keeping in touch with others who may have a hard time staying in for a while.

I can only extend my very best wishes to you in this difficult time, and hope that you are able to see this as an opportunity to regroup, look at everything afresh, and embrace positivity in this very difficult time.

As we are being encouraged to take things easy and stay inside, a bit of positive news is that it’s possible to do some interesting astronomy – and always learn more – on-line. In terms of connectivity we’ve never been in better shape to weather this storm by using the information tools now available.

In the coming weeks I will be looking into astronomy from the kitchen table once again. While our physical site on the shore of Lake Huron south of Kincardine remains closed up for the cold weather, Pine River Observatory will be working on what a “virtual observatory” can do.

Andrea 20200321 Lurgan Beach 2

The Ontario shore of Lake Huron looks west-north-west at Lurgan Beach, the site of Pine River Observatory’s physical base of operation. As of 21 March 2020 it’s still a pretty cold place! Photo by Andrea Becker of Toronto, ON.