~Wednesday, October 3, 10, 17, 24 @ 7pm~
Explore the Universe Astronomy Course
Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre
~Saturday, October 20 @ 7:30-9pm~
International Observe the Moon Night
Moncton High School Observatory, Moncton NB
~Wednesday, November 7, 14, 21, 28 @ 7pm~
Night Time Imaging with Paul Owen
What you need to know for night time imaging–Start to Finish
Rockwood Park Interpretative Center
Please check our page for registration details.
Coming this November~
What you need to know for night time imaging from start to finish~
Photography Course: Night Time Imaging with Paul Owen
Location: Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre
When: Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:30 pm, November 7, 14, 21, 28
Instructor: Paul Owen
Register: by email to Paul Owen
This course will cover all aspects of photographing the night sky, from selecting equipment that is right for you, to taking images and processing. Will also include guest speakers, please see page for details.
Happening now–Explore the Universe Course~
There was another full house for the 3rd night of the Explore the Universe Course offered by Curt Nason and the SJAC.
Astronomy Course: Explore the Universe
Location: Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre
When: Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:30 pm, October 3, 10, 17, 24
Instructor: Curt Nason
This course is 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.This can be achieved using only your eyes and binoculars, although a small telescope might be required to observe all 110 objects. The observing list and observation report forms may be printed from the RASC website: RASC.CA/Explore the Universe.
Although the course is four evenings, it could take you several months to locate and observe enough targets by yourself to earn a certificate.
October 3: Program overview, using binoculars, understanding star maps (star names and brightness). Phil Webb gave a demonstration of using a tripod to steady heavy binoculars, Curt Nason gave an overview of the program and an introduction to binoculars and using star maps.
Recap~Explore the Universe Course~1st Evening
October 10: Locating constellations, observing the Moon.
Curt Nason gave a great rundown of the constellations (with a few stories) and observing different Moon phases. The Explore the Universe Guide Books were handed out to those who ordered them.
Recap–Explore the Universe Course~2nd Evening
October 17: Observing the solar system: planets, conjunctions, eclipses, meteors.
Recap–Explore the Universe Course~3rd Evening
October 24: Locating and observing stars and deep sky objects: double stars, clusters, nebulae, galaxies
Register: by email to Curt Nason
See our page for more details.
RASC NB Annual Meeting is October 20~
Meeting is in the Great Hall at the Moncton High School. Click the pic to view or in pdf.
National Astronomy Day at Irving Nature Park~
National Astronomy Day 2018 was observed at Irving Nature Park on September 14. About 135 enthusiastic stargazers observed the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and other celestial wonders.
Were you there? More pics at National Astronomy Day 2018 at Irving Nature Park.Above~ Paul Owen captured the beautiful sunset that was a prelude to good, clear skies. The event ran from 7:30 to 11:30pm.
Astronomy for Everyone~
Go 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.
Good Turnout for the 2018 Fundy Park Stargaze~
Around 500 people enjoyed good skies at the 2018 Fundy Park StarGaze on the Labour Day Weekend. This was the last year at the Chignecto South Campground as a major astronomers’ area expansion is underway to make Fundy National Park an astronomy destination for Canada and North America. This is an idea whose time has come.
RASC NB Horizon Summer 2018 Newsletter is here~
Some great photography, a report on the COW Mataquac Star Party, making a presentation to a Grade 3-4 class, a book review on The Spinning Magnet, modifying a 10″ Dobsonian, RASC NB Stats and more. Click the pic above or here to view in pdf.
Spectacular skies for Mt. Carleton Star Party~
Paul Owen captured the night sky at the 2018 Mount Carleton Star Party. On the first night, the sky was so dark the Milky Way was casting a shadow on star maps.
. And congrats to Amber Maillet–winner of the Celestron Astromaster 130 AZ generously donated by All Star Telescope.
Beautiful Skies for Kouchibouguac Spring StarFest ~
Incredible skies blessed the Kouchibouguac Spring StarFest at Kouchibouguac National Park this past June 15 and 16. If you’ve never been, “Kouch” is one of the most diverse parks in North America, with fantastic beaches, walking trails, aquatic life and great campgrounds. It is also a designated Dark Sky Preserve. Like all star parties in New Brunswick, this event was free for all who wish to attend, other than camping/park fees. [above photo by Paul Owen]
For an overview see Star Parties in New Brunswic and RASC NB.
The Kepler Space Telescope & The Search for Life~
One 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.
NY Times gives AstroTourism and Canada a nod~
Excellent article by Elaine Glusac in the New York Times/Getaway section about astrotourism in North America. Among great sites she mentions Jasper, RASC Dark Sky Preserves, and ObservEtoiles in Quebec.
Viking Orion Launches~
A cruise ship with a planetarium, telescopes, and a retired astronaut on board: the Viking Orion launches with some some of the best stargazing opportunities ever and Dr. Anna Fisher as your guide. She was named godmother to the ship at its naming ceremony in Italy. The Orion was designed as an alternative to mainstream cruises as the “thinking person’s cruse” with an emphasis on history, art, music, cuisine, and of course stargazing.
Rest in Peace Stephen Hawking~
Handy Guide for Star Pronunciation~
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…
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.
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.
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~
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!