~Saturday, April 21~
April 16 – 22 is International Astronomy Week
Early Morning Lineup is Getting Interesting~
With Scorpius and Sagittarius rising in the early dawn, spring can’t be far behind. As a bonus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn are rising as well.Even if your view is somewhat obstructed, there is always a show. Check out David McCashion’s Observing Report for Sunday, February 25. Also, if you need to know when and which planets are rising, click on the Planetary Summary on the right side of this page.
Rest in Peace Stephen Hawking~
Moonlight Hike a Success~
Above~the Moon as seen from the 2018 Moonlight Hike at Irving Nature Park. [photo by Paul Owen using a C8 Edge telescope with a Canon T3i attached in the eyepiece]After being denied snow and Moonlight on January 27, Irving Nature Park hosted a Moonlight Hike to Sheldon Point on February 24. A least 60 people participated, many checked out the views from several telescopes after the hike. Mainly clear skies facilitated some great viewing, including at least 4 meteors. Thanks everyone, and thanks especially to Irving Nature Park manager Kelly Honeyman.
RASC.NB Horizon Newsletter for Winter 2018~
A welcome message from June MacDonald, a fascinating visit to Newgrange, Ireland (Stone Age Observatory?), a review of Northern Star by J.S. Plaskett, and more await in the Horizon Winter 2018.
Outreach 2018 Begins~
Outreach season has begun for the Saint John Astronomy Club. Besides the private sessions with groups, shown above is a public outreach/information session at the Qplex 50+ Expo in February.
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.
Astronomy Workshops ends in a sweet way~
The 2017 Fall Astronomy Course Series came to a sweet end with a beautiful cake provided by Trudy Almon, shown below helped served by Paul Owen. This was the Putting it All Together session of the Photographing the Night Sky series, with guest Curt Nason also giving a talk on Using Binoculars to Enhance Night Sky Viewing.These well attended courses in October and November were presented free of charge to any interested members of the public. The Learning the Night Sky astronomy course with Curt Nason ended with a mind blowing session on October 24th. The concepts of space and relative size left most people stunned, followed with some tales of constellation mythology. It was a fun course!
Below– some attendees looking at Saturn during the break.
This was followed by the Photographing the Night Sky course with Paul Owen in November. Stunning images of Paul’s own photographs, great hands on examples of equipment, and guidance on how you can do it enhanced our appreciation of the night sky.
This concludes the two month series, we hope to offer more in 2018. See you there!
Learning the Night Sky with Curt Nason
Photographing the Night Sky with Paul Owen.
Nov. 7: Photographing the Moon
Nov. 14: Photographing the Milky Way
Nov. 21: Choosing the Right Equipment
Nov. 28: Putting it All Together
Making Time Lapse Photographs of the Night Sky~
Introduction to 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky~
Jim Stewart gave a presentation Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky at the Choosing the Right Equipment session of the Photographing the Night Sky series on November 21, 2017. You can view it here.
Using “Sign Posts” to Navigate the Night Sky~
Constellations 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…
Fundy Park StarGaze 2017 a success despite fog~
Above: click the pic for a great time lapse of the Fundy StarGaze 2017 [photo credit Parks Canada/Nigel Fearon via Fundy FB page].The Fundy Park StarGaze for 2017 was a success, with about 250 visitors on Friday night, and about 70 participated in solar viewing on Saturday. As sometimes happens at star parties, one night was lost to weather, in this case Saturday night due to fog/mist conditions which participants dubbed “The Fundy Nebula.”Check out the cool drone video by Mike Powell of the Fundy Park StarGaze setup. (Give it time to load on your computer–may play better on 2nd viewing).
Were you there? Lots more pictures on our page.
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. 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~
A Facebook Live Feed provides a unique opportunity for people all across Canada and the globe to look through telescopes. Chris Curwin from Astronomy by the Bay has been sharing his views and the results are astounding. Over 130,000 viewers from April 2 to November 12, 2017! If you’re curious, you can view the figures on our Stats page.
Star Party at Irving Nature Park well attended~
About 290 people showed up to look at the night sky in Irving Nature Park. For many, it was their first look at Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, double stars, and our Moon itself. Postponed from July 29 due to clouds, July 30th afforded beautiful viewing from the Irving Nature Park in Saint John, who hosted the event along with RASC.NB.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with a Canada-wide National Star Party. We hope wherever you were you were able to participate.
Astounding images by Paul Owen~
Above– The Heart Nebula in the Constellation Cassiopeia, using a Stellarvue 105mm refractor telescope, modified Canon T3i camera, Skywatchers EQ6 Mount, guided with PHD, 30x300sec images, stacked and processed with photoshop.
Below– The North American and Pelican Nebula in Cygnus. Taken with Canon T3i and Canon L series 200mm F4 lens.
Stargazing is Like a Box of Chocolates~by Curt Nason
A 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~
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:
Imaging the Moon
Astrophotography~ImagesThese 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.
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.
Learning the Night Sky Hints with Chris Curwin~
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.
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.
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!