FLO Site Use Guidelines

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Updated: 2-December-2021

The Fred Lossing Observatory (FLO) is operated by Ottawa chapter of RASC. Use of this observatory is a member privilege. There are power outlets and a warm room available. Members-only star parties are held monthly, weather permitting, on a Saturday near the date of new moon.

There are three fixed telescopes on site: an 18" Starmaster DOB in the roll-off roof structure , a 14" Meade SCT in a SkyShed Pod, and a 6" Super Planetary Refractor in the 11 foot dome. Use of these telescopes requires training and payment of a small additional annual fee to cover maintenance expenses. The latter two are presently in the final stages of commissioning.

Guests are ONLY permitted as long as they are accompanied and supervised by a club member. Guests may observe through the club telescopes but are NOT permitted to operate them.

Please follow these guidelines when at the site:

  • set up your gear on one of the two observing mounds, not the parking lot.
  • warm room is restricted to two persons or one family during Covid-19, with facemasks required.
  • use red lights while on site and shield your laptop/tablet/phone screens from other users
  • power is available at external outlets; two at the south mound and one on the north mound
  • always make an entry in the clubhouse log book about your visit
  • there is mobile phone coverage though it can be marginal (one bar) and carrier-dependent
  • notices for training and club telescope operations are posted on the “RASC Ottawa FLO” google group. Club telescope users should post when they plan to observe and are expected to share time with other members who wish to join.
  • Questions, requests, and issues should be emailed to the director at: flo@ottawa.rasc.ca 

The Clear Sky Forecast for FLO can be found at: http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/FLOkey.html?1

​Real time weather information for the FLO vicinity can be found at: http://paquette.dyndns.org/FLO/index.html

The FLO is located at 365 Bennies Corners Road, Mississippi Mills (between Almonte and Pakenham, off County Road 29). Below are the guidelines for accessing the site:

  • first person to arrive leaves the gate open and the padlock on the gate (combination scrambled)
  • the lane & parking lot are plowed during the winter after snowfalls of 2” or more. In  winter it may be necessary to use lock de-icer on the gate lock. 
  • drive slowly on the lane way, which is about 300m long. Dim your lights if possible.
  • at the parking lot swing around and park your car facing toward the lane, so that when you leave you are pointed away from other observers​
  • last person out insures all doors are locked, closes and locks the gate (left-handed - see below)

Hold the lock in left hand when closing up, so that numbers are oriented facing up when it is re-locked.

Code is set by aligning at top beside painted marks (1111 in the photo above - contact the director to obtain the actual code).