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~Saturday, February 24, 7 – 9pm~
Quarter Moon Hike (Snowshoe or Walk)
Irving Nature Park

~Saturday, March 3, 7 – 9pm~
Meeting of the Saint John Astronomy Club
Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre
Everyone welcome–no experience necessary.
Any pictures? Send any you wish to share to Matt West.

Moonlight Snowshoe Hike this Saturday~

Graphic for the Moonlight Snowshoe Walk at Irving Nature ParkAfter being denied snow and Moonlight on January 27, we will try again for this popular event on Saturday, February 24, 7 to 9 pm at Irving Nature Park. Click the pic below for the Facebook Event.Link to the Quarter Moon Hike Facebook Event at Irving Nature Park on Feb 2018Event: Quarter Moon Hike (Snowshoe or Walk)
Presented by: Irving Nature Park with the SJAC
When: Saturday, February 24, 7 – 9 pm
Where: Irving Nature Park~meet at the Barn, 1379 Sand Cove Rd.
Cost: Free
Facebook: Click here for the FB Event.
Description:  Depending on snow depths, we will either walk or snowshoe out to Sheldon Point, taking time to stop and discuss the winter constellations and the stories behind them. As this is only a quarter moon, we will likely need headlamps/flashlights through some sections of trail, but this dimmer moonlight will also afford great viewing of the moons surface, especially along the shadow line.
Members of the Saint John Astronomy Club will be there with their scopes to provide incredible imagery of some of the celestial objects gracing our winter sky such as: Orion Nebula , Pleiades (The 7 Sisters), The Dog Star, and more.
Bring a mug for free hot chocolate after the hike. Don’t forget your snowshoes or perhaps “Ice Grippers” depending on conditions. Check the INP Facebook page for trail conditions just prior to the event.

RASC.NB Horizon Newsletter for Winter 2018~

Link to the 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~

SJAC Outreach at the Saint John Qplex in 2018Outreach 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.

Orion Rises~

Photo showing the location of the constellation Orion in the southern winter sky.Check out Curt Nason’s Weekly Sky at a Glance from December–January to see what to expect from our spectacular friend in the southern winter sky.Photo by Paul Owen of the Orion constellation showing nearby features.Above~The center area of the Orion Constellation and the Horsehead Nebula.
Below~ some labels added to help you find things [click either to enlarge]. Photos by Paul Owen.Photo by Paul Owen of the Orion constellation showing nearby features.FYI- Shot with Canon T3i, Samyang 85mm F1.4 mounted on Skywatcher Sky Adventurer tracking mount. 6 x 222 sec plus 6 x 30 sec for core of M42 layered and blended in Photoshop and camera raw.

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.  Below~a 2017 Thank You Video from Chris.Photo linking to the 2017 Thank You video from Astronomy by the Bay.

Geminids Peak ~

A Geminid Meteor streaks through the sky in rural New Brunswick.Above~ a lone meteor streaks through the sky in rural New Brunswick. Brutally cold weather and some clouds interfered with easy observing during the Geminid peak on December 13 and 14, but they will continue through the 17th. Check out David McCashion’s Observing Blog and the pic he took below.A meteor streaks through Polaris--photo by David McCashion

Astronomy Workshops ends in a sweet way~

Photo of Trudy Almon's cake for the last SJAC Free Astronomy Workshop series.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.Paul Owen helps serve the cake provided by Trudy Almon at the last free astronomy course series on Nov. 28, 2017.These well attended courses in October and November were presented free of charge to any interested members of the public. Header photo for the Learning the Night Sky Astronomy Course by Curt Nason.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!
Photo showing relative size of the planets at the Learning the Night Sky free astronomy course Series
Below– some attendees looking at Saturn during the break.Observing session at break time during the Learning the Night Sky Series

Header photo for the Photographing the Night Sky course by Paul Owen.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.Photo of the Moon by Paul Owen

Photo of Paul Owen at the "Choosing the Right Equipment" session of the "Photographing the Night Sky" course.This concludes the two month series, we hope to offer more in 2018. See you there!
See also~
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

The Horizon Autumn Newsletter has arrived~

Photo linking to the Horizon Autumn 2017 Newsletter of the RASC.NBStar Party listings for 2018, taking 360° panoramas of the night sky, a visit to a Star Party in Saskatchewan, making your own equatorial platform, the potential of 3D printers in making astronomy parts, teaching astronomy to seniors, how RASC NB came to be, some great photos and more are in the RASC NB Autumn Horizon Newsletter (pdf). Good stuff.

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 gave a presentation on Night Time Lapse Photography at the Photographing the Milky Way session of the Photographing the Night Sky series on November 14, 2017. You can view it here [pdf].

Introduction to 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky~

Link to a 360° Panorama of the Livingston Lake Star Party in twilight of August 2017Jim 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~

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…

Observe the Moon Night at Irving Nature Park~

Photo of scene at Observe the Moon night at Irving Nature Park

Scene at Irving Nature Park of Observe the Moon Night 2017International Observe the Moon Night was celebrated at Irving Nature Park this October 27 with 50 – 100 in attendance.
This free event was made possible by the staff at Irving Nature Park. A beautiful ending to what has been a fabulous October. See page for more details and photos.

Bigger than anyone thought~

Article on the asteroid impact had on Earth from the BBC.Jaw-dropping new findings on “The Big One” asteroid impact 66 million years ago from the BBC.

Beautiful evening provided for Fall Astronomy Day~

Photo of Fall Astronomy Day at Rockwood Park in September 2017.

Mild temperatures and a bit of cloud cover gave about 35 members of the public comfortable views of the Moon and Saturn at Rockwood Park on Friday night.
Event: Fall Astronomy Day
Where: Rockwood Park Bark Park (Fisher Lakes Entrance)
When: Friday, September 29 — 7:30–10pm (cloud date Sept. 30)
Facebook Event~ Fall Astronomy Day in Rockwood Park
Were you there? Check out the pics on our page.

Fundy Park StarGaze 2017 a success despite fog~

A time lapse of the Fundy Park StarGaze 2017 from the Fundy Facebook Page.Above: click the pic for a great time lapse of the Fundy StarGaze 2017 [photo credit Parks Canada/Nigel Fearon via Fundy FB page].A photo collage of the Fundy Park StarGaze 2017The 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.”A drone video by Mike Powell of the 2017 Fundy StarGaze.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. 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 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~

A 360 pano of the National Star Party at Irving Nature Park celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial in July of 2017.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. Looking up at the National Star Party at Irving Nature Park, July 30, 2017Postponed 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.

Member Photos~

Photo of the Heart Nebula by astronomer Paul OwenAstounding 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.
Photo of the North American and Pelican Nebula in the Constellation Cygnus by Paul Owen.

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.

Radio Interview about Outreach on LocalFM.ca~

Chris, Matt, and Amelia from the Saint John Astronomy Club visit Rebecca on the Radio for a chat about what is going on with amateur astronomy in Saint John, New Brunswick. Check out her show on 107.3 FM, Saint John, LocalRadio.ca. Great stuff!

RASC NB gets new Website~

Screenshot of the new RASC NB website.

A big shoutout to Emile Cormier, who has done a stellar job using a minimalist theme to redesign the RASC New Brunswick Centre website. The website is very inclusive for the whole Province and has links to any events sponsored by RASC New Brunswick such as Star Parties. You can also check out any equipment on the free loaner program here.

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~

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..

Event Horizon to look at Centre of Our Galaxy~

A graphic from the BBC showing the Event Horizon Telescope Array
History could be in the making as powerful telescopes from all over the world link up to create an earth size telescope to look at the Black Hole at the centre of our Galaxy.    More… BBC, PBS, Quirks & QuarksWiki, Event Horizon.

Because Outreach is a Sharing Experience…

Most of us are familiar with sharing photos and Facebook posts from our homes or mobile phones. RASC NB, the SJAC and other members of RASC across Canada take sharing to a whole other level. They take their time, energy and equipment to share the astounding wonder of what is in the night sky right above us.
Whether it be a large public event or a small private gathering like the one shown here, Outreach enriches the lives of everyone. 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