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Current Weekly Sky at a Glance ~by Curt Nason

Current Monthly Calendar

~Every Sunday @8pm~
The Sunday Night Astronomy Show
Live broadcast on the Astronomy by the Bay YouTube channel.

~SJAC Meetings~
The next meeting of the Saint John Astronomy Club will be Saturday, Oct. 1st at 7pm at the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre in Saint John.
In person meetings attendance is limited to 25, masks are required.
If interested please email Meg for registration.

Fall Astronomy Day at INP a Success~

Photo of the Falll Astronomy Event at Irving Nature Park on Friday, September 30, 2022.

About 250 people attended the event at Irving Nature Park on Friday, September 30, which was remarkable considering the last minute date change. Weather conditions and cloud forecast demanded a quick change of plans for this event, which was moved ahead one day to give some views of the night sky. About 10 telescopes were offered to the public.
Event: Fall Astronomy Day at the Irving Nature Park
Presented by: Irving Nature Park, Saint John Astronomy Club and Astronomy by the Bay.
When: Friday, September 30 (changed from Saturday, October 1, 7:30 – 10 pm–cloud date Sunday, Oct. 2)
Where:  Irving Nature Park, Saint John, NB
Cost: Free
Facebook: Click here for the FB Event.
Join local members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in celebrating Fall Astronomy Day and also International Observe the Moon Night, within the Irving Nature Park.
For the full writeup and description please visit our webpage or check out the FB Event.

Looking up at the National Star Party at Irving Nature Park, July 30, 2017

Photo showing location of Interpretative Shelter at Irving Nature Park

Photo showing location of Interpretative Shelter at Irving Nature Park

Sunday Night Astronomy Show~

Photo showing The Sunday Night Astronomy Show that will broadcast live on YouTube.Join us every Sunday @ 8pm as we bring you a live view of the Moon, planets, galaxies and much more on the weekly broadcast The Sunday Night Astronomy Show. The broadcast is available by subscribing to the Astronomy by the Bay YouTube channel.
If weather does not cooperate, we’ll still be live with talks about the solar system, telescopes, and lots more.

RASC NB Horizon Summer 2022 Newsletter~

Link to the RASC NB Horizon Summer Newsletter for 2022.

Book reviews, a What’s Up for Autumn, updates on the recent Mount Carleton Star Party, great poetry and more are in the RASC NB Summer Horizon Newsletter.

Good Messier targets with binoculars or telescope~

A list of Messier objects for September by Curt Nason in pdf format.

Photo showing September Messier objects in the Teapot asterism in Sagittarius.

Photo showing September Messier objects looking south in the Milky Way above Sagittarius.[click any pic for an easy to follow pdf]

Messier Marathon List and Guides~

Photo of Don Machholz, astronomer, writer and one of the founders of the Messier Marathon.Above~ Don Machholz, one of the founders of the Messier Marathon which is at optimum during the month of March. Click to view his suggested Messier Marathon Checklist. This is a short and sweet one page guide from March 2000 Sky and Telescope.Above~ Click to view the Ultimate Messier Object Log in pdf, a comprehensive guide.

Browse Books and Equipment you can borrow~

Browse the Library of the Saint John Astronomy ClubClick the pic to check out some of our book titles and telescopes.

Dates for New Brunswick Star Parties~

Link to the New Brunswick Star Parties PagesDates for this year’s RASC NB Star Parties are as follows:
Kouchibouguac Spring StarFest~ June 3 – 4, 2022
COW Mactaquac Star Party   ~TBD
Mount Carleton Star Party   ~July 29 – 30, 2022
Fundy Park StarGaze   ~September 2 – 3, 2022
Kouchibouguac Fall StarFest   ~CANCELLED
For an overview see also Star Parties in New Brunswick
and RASC.NB Star Parties.
Many thanks to the Federal and Provincial Parks commissions, Paul Owen and the RASC NB Star Party Committee for making arrangements.

Jupiter Moons Challenge for 2021~

Photo of the planet Jupiter with the shadow of the moon lo crossing over the surface.Up for a challenge? Here is the day by day challenge list to observe the moons of Jupiter for 2021. Jupiter Moons Challenge for 2021.

Stuff you can use~

New or old to Astronomy, you can usually find some useful information in Members’ Contributions. Check out Matt West’s Using Telescope Filters and Mike Powell’s Finders and How to use Them and Equipment Basics. 

RASC NB 20th Anniversary Newsletter Edition~

Link to the RASC NB Horizon 20th Anniversary Newsletter.See what stargazers in New Brunswick were up to 20 years ago in the RASC NB 20th Anniversary of the Horizon.

Incredible Images–RASC NB Photos of the Month~

Link to the RASC NB Photos of the MonthClick the pic to view the RASC NB Photos of the Month, a collection put together by Emile Cormier of the RASC NB. Emile also has an interesting website of his own images and sketches at emilecormier.net.

Link to the CBC Current program on the growing interest in astronomy during the Covid-19 pandemic.Shortages in telescopes, interest in the night sky has increased as Astronomy has revealed itself to be the perfect hobby during a pandemic. ~CBC/The Current/surging interest in Astronomy

Hobby Killers: What Telescopes not to Buy~

Link to Sky & Telescope article by Jerry Oltion about what telescopes not to buy.Good article by Jerry Oltion of Sky and Telescope– Hobby Killers: What Telescopes not to Buy. Best universal advice from all sources: Join an astronomy club, attend an Outreach Event or Star Party, ask a few questions and just hang out. Lot easier on the pocketbook and nerves in the long run.

Seeing the Constellations with Different Eyes~

Photo depicting the Ojibwe concept of Orion as the Wintermaker who ushers in the cold and wind.[above- The Obibwe Wintermaker and Hole-in-the-Sky]
How other cultures view some of the constellations~by Curt Nason

Neat Planet Rotation Demo~

Link to a planet rotation demo via James O’Donoghue and NASA.Click the pic above to view a neat planet rotation demo Link to a planet rotation demo via James O’Donoghue and NASA. Try it full screen on your desktop.

Learning from the Apollo Lunar Landings~

Photo showing main features of the Moon and locations of the Apollo Landing sites (Image Credit: Michael Watson).[click the pic for a larger view]
~by Curt Nason
What the Apollo program revealed to us about that leading light of our night sky. Continue…

Milankovitch Cycles: the orbital effects on climate~

Photo and bio of mathematician and geophysicist Milton Milankovitch.Did you know that long term warming and cooling of the Earth seem to be caused by slow changes in Earth’s orbit? Check out the page on Matt West’s presentation The Milankovitch Cycles at the SJAC July 6 meeting.

Impact Craters and the Younger Dryas Cold Period~

Link to pdf presentation by Phil Webb of the SJAC on impact cratersIn March 2019 Phil Webb and Matt West of the Saint John Astronomy Club gave joint presentations on Impact Craters and the Younger Dyras Cold Event at the SJAC monthly meeting. You can view the page with links to their presentations here.Link to the pdf presentation by Matt West on Younger Dryas at a SJAC meeting.

Explore the Universe Astronomy Course~

Class photo of the Explore the Universe astronomy course offered by Curt Nason and the SJAC in 2018The Explore the Universe Course concluded in October 2017 with a great rundown on the life history of a star and an overview of some Deep Sky Objects. This course was offered by Curt Nason and the SJAC, and will be followed up by Night Time Imaging with Paul Owen in November.Photo showing the relative sizes of our planets.

Photo showing the relative size of our Sun to Planets.This course was based on the Explore the Universe beginner’s observing program of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). By locating, observing and recording 55 of 110 objects you can receive an Explore the Universe certificate and pin, and you do not have to be a member of the RASC.Photo showing stargazing with binoculars.This can be achieved using only your eyes and binoculars, although a small telescope might be required to observe all 110 objects. Although the Course is now over, you can still participate.
What you need:
RASC Explore the Universe Program Requirements.pdf
RASC Fillable Application Form.pdf
Optional~ Explore the Universe Guide Book (2nd Edition)
Overview~RASC RASC.CA/Explore the Universe.
Note: You can view recaps of each  four evenings on our page.
Questions? Contact Curt Nason. 

Astronomy for Everyone~

SJAC member Mike Powell pointing out some stars at Saints Rest beach in Saint John, NB

SJAC members setting up for public stargazing at Saints Rest beach in Saint John, NB

Photo of telescopes set up at Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, NB, for public viewing.

Telescopes set up at Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, NBGo for a walk on the beach, have a look at the stars.
Above–telescopes set up at Saints Rest Beach in Saint John for public viewing.  Just check the fb page of Astronomy by the Bay to see if anyone is going on a clear night.

The Kepler Space Telescope & The Search for Life~

The Kepler Space Telescope Presentation (Part 1) by Rob Leathley

Link to the pdf presentation by Rob Leathley to the Saint John Astronomy Club about the Kepler Mission and the search for life--Part 1

Link to the pdf presentation by Rob Leathley to the Saint John Astronomy Club about the Kepler Mission and the search for life--Part 2One of the best things about SJAC monthly meetings are the presentations. Rob Leathley gave a rather mind blowing presentation The Kepler Space Telescope and followed it up with The Search for Life~Part 1 and The Search for Life~Part 2. Good stuff.

Handy Guide for Star Pronunciation~

Photo showing link to the Star Pronunciation Guide from Space.comEver wonder how to pronounce some of the stars? Click to pic above

Making Time Lapse Photographs of the Night Sky~

Link to Tom Raithby's Time-lapse Photography pdf presentation at the Saint John Astronomy ClubTom Raithby’s presentations on Night Time Lapse Photography and Night Time Lapse Photography. Click the pics to view.Presentation of Night Time Lapse Photography by Tom Raithby at the Night Time Imaging Course offered by Paul Owen and the SJAC in 2018.

Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky~

Link to a 360° Panorama of the Livingston Lake Star Party in twilight of August 2017Jim Stewart’s presentation Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky at the Photographing the Night Sky series in November, 2017.

Using “Sign Posts” to Navigate the Night Sky~

Using "Sign Posts" to Navigate the Night SkyConstellations in our night sky can serve as “sign posts”… showing the way to other constellations and objects. One of the best is “The Big Dipper”… in Ursa Major. More…

Special Eclipse Edition of the Horizon Newsletter~

A great recap of the August 21 eclipse is captured in a special Eclipse Edition of the RASC NB newsletter Horizon. It includes experiences from all across the Province plus some members who were lucky enough to go to the States. By Curt Nason. Good stuff. Partial Solar Eclipse Day at Rockwood Bark Park, Sant John, NB.In Saint John, about 700 people showed up to witness the partial solar eclipse of the Sun at Irving Nature Park and Rockwood Park Bark Park.
Were you there? Lots of pics on our Partial Solar Eclipse page.

A different kind of Outreach~

Photo showing an ongoing Facebook Live feed by Astronomy by the Bay.A Facebook Live feed provides a unique opportunity for people across Canada and the globe to look through telescopes. Chris Curwin from Astronomy by the Bay has been sharing his Facebook Live views since 2017 and the results are astounding. Over 325,000 viewers from April 2017 to June 2019!

Stargazing is Like a Box of Chocolates~by Curt Nason

Photo of the Northern LightsA memorable line from the movie Forrest Gump compared life to a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. Although the night sky is full of predictable observing targets and events, it is the unexpected treasures that make stargazing so enjoyable.   Continue…

Free Astronomy Workshop Info now Available~

Free Astronomy Workshop # 6
The Free Astronomy Workshop Series in early 2017 proved a success. You can access almost all of the information presented in the Series here in pdf form:
Telescope Basics
Imaging the Moon
Astrophotography~ImagesPaul Owen with a picture of John DobsonThese Free Workshops were hosted by Paul Owen and the SJAC. You can still ask questions about anything you are curious about or need clarification. Contact the host, Paul Owen. Continue… Free Astronomy Workshops.
Note: Paul also hosted the Fall astronomy workshop series Photographing the Night Sky in November 2017.

Astronomy by the Bay~

A 360° Panorama on a June evening at Saints Rest Beach in Saint John with Astronomy by the Bay
One of the more interesting things you’ll find in Saint John is “that guy on the beach with a telescope” at Saints Rest Beach. Astronomer Chris Curwin practices the art of Sidewalk Astronomy, and calls his efforts Astronomy by the Bay. Above is a 360 panorama of a typical June evening beside the Bay of Fundy.
He clocked an amazing 3.393 people to his scope(s) in 2017, and is often joined by other astronomers. You can check his FB page to see if he is going there tonight, and you can often take a pic with your phone through the scope.  Check out the 2017 Thank You Video from Chris.

Learning the Night Sky Hints with Chris Curwin~

Photo image of the free software program and app Stellarium which assists in navigating and learning the night sky.      Logo of the Heavens Above website that provides information on astronomy and navigating the night sky.
Learning the night sky can be a very rewarding experience… and today more than ever, we have many tools to guide us at our fingertips.  More..

Other Interesting Astronomy Clubs~

Got cabin fever? Housebound? Why not take a trip across Canada checking out a few this country’s astronomy clubs? Here are just two from the full list you can find at SkyNews.ca. Photograph of the Observatory of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society
Top~ The Oldman River Observatory of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society. Below~ Southeastern view from the annual Mt. Kobau Star Party site of the Mt. Kobau Astronomical Society near Osoyoos, British Columbia.
Photo from Mount Kobau in British Columbia, Canada

Two Great Reasons to Join the RASC


For anyone curious about the night sky, joining the RASC can be a very rewarding experience. You don’t even need a telescope, just your interest. Among other benefits, a yearly Membership includes the well sought after Observer’s Handbook, now in is 109th year, the popular Canadian astronomy magazine SkyNews, and digital access to the bi-monthly Journal of the RASC (login required). The Handbook and SkyNews alone can make membership worthwhile.
A portion of the yearly membership fee goes to the Centre of your choice to help finance local activities and education. Our local is RASC NB New Brunswick Centre. If you aren’t sure, or are simply curious, ask someone at your local Astronomy Club to borrow a previous year’s Handbook. You’ll see why it is found in observatory control rooms and astronomers’ reference shelves worldwide.

Clear Sky Clock ~

The Clear Sky Clock is an extremely useful tool for Astronomers. It is used to predict observing conditions and has been proven to be extremely accurate. For more information or details on how to interpret, please visit the Clear Sky Clock home.
Click on pic below for the current forecast. Clicking on the squares yields more information.

The SJAC meets the first Saturday of every month @ 7pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre in Saint John. The meetings are always informal and are open to anybody interested in talking about Astronomy. All are welcome–no experience necessary!

Bringing Astronomy to Southern New Brunswick, Canada