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Saturday, July 8 @ 7pm
Meeting of the Saint John Astronomy Club
Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre
No experience necessary–all are welcome!
Observing afterward-weather permitting.

~Saturday, July 29, 9 – 11:30pm~
Canada-wide National Star Party
Celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial with Stargazing
Irving Nature Park, Interpretative Shelter

~July 29, 2017~
COW Mactaquac Star Party
(Camping & Observing Weekend) Mactaquac Provincial Park
Celebrating Canada’s Sesquicentennial with Stargazing

National Star Party to be Celebrated at Irving Nature Park on July 29th~Photo of people looking through a telescope.

Saturday, July 29, 9:00 pm – 11:30 pm: Canada-wide Star Party
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday with a national star party.
Join local members and guests of the RASC NB Centre in an evening of stargazing at the Irving Nature Park, starting at 9:00 pm with a brief talk at the observing area where several telescopes will be set up. Please park in the parking lot at the Interpretative Shelter.
Early evening highlights will be the craters and mountains on the Moon, Jupiter with its moons, and Saturn with its fascinating rings. When twilight fades to darkness we will see star clusters, distant galaxies, and nebulous clouds from both newborn and dying stars. The amateur astronomers will be happy to show you the constellations and answer your questions on telescopes and stargazing.
As with all park events, this is offered free of charge by J.D. Irving, Limited. Don’t forget to bring a mug for hot chocolate, and bring an extra layer or two as the park can get chilly at this time of night. If it is cloudy we will try again on Sunday, July 30.
Questions? Call the park at (506) 653-7367.

Astronomy by the Bay~

Large telescope set up for the public at Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, NB.
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. He clocked an amazing 2,439 people to his scope(s) in 2016, 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.   Continue…

Free Astronomy Workshops wraps up for 2017~

Free Astronomy Workshop # 6
The Free Astronomy Workshop Series has ended for 2017. The Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre was the setting for the 6th and final in the series on June 14th. We will be posting a summary of all the Workshops when we have it processed.Paul Owen with a picture of John Dobson

These 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.

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!

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…

Now Showing–at a Universe Near You~

A photo showing locations of various Globular Clusters in the June night sky.
This is it folks! If you haven’t read it already, check out Curt Nason’s post on Globular Clusters for June. Some of the best night sky observing of the year is coming up! With the Moon rising a little later starting June 13, it will present the curious with a unique opportunity to see some of the sky’s best treasures, especially in the southern constellation region of Sagittarius, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus, where, as an added bonus, Saturn will be visible too.

Saturn rings are now at their maximum tilt for beautiful viewing. This from Chris Curwin’s Astronomy by the Bay:
“As Saturn completes it’s 29.5 year orbit around the Sun, it reveals it’s magnificent rings differently from our poiint of view. As it approaches opposition on June 15th, when the Sun and Saturn will be on opposite sides of the Earth, Saturn’s rings will be at their maximum brightness and reveal from our perspective in 15 years… and this view will be available to us all evening, all summer long. 🙂
See them through the eyepiece of my telescope from Saints Rest Beach…(weather permitting).”

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. 

Star Parties in New Brunswick~

The next Star Party coming up–COW Mactaquac Star Party on July 29th, one night only. 

Above~ The night sky as seen from the Mount Carleton Star Party.
RASC.NB (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-New Brunswick Centre) works with Parks Canada and Parks New Brunswick to bring you five Star Party experiences in settings that can be nothing short of spectacular.  Continue… Star Parties in New Brunswick.

Expand your horizons with RASC New Brunswick~

Screenshot of the RASC.NB Spring 2017 Horizon Newsletter

The Horizon Spring 2017 Newsletter is out. View some lunar photography, visit the kepler Museum in Germany, make your own desiccant cap, visit the Prague Astronomical Clock, or check schedules for upcoming star parties in New Brunswick.
More on our Newsletters & Brochures page.

Spring Outreach Season nearing a close~

A photo of an SJAC Solar observing outreach event at Queen Square Farmers Market in Saint John
Quite the contrast between the recent Solar Outreach event at Queen’s Square Farmers Market [above] on June 11 and Outreach earlier in the year. Summer Outreach is almost here.

Outreach event by the Saint John Astronomy Club and RASC.NB

More… Outreach Events, pics on Outreach~Spring 2017Outreach~Winter 2016/17, Outreach~2016.

Learning the Night Sky~

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.

NASA Announces Discovery of 7 Earth Size Planets~

Photo of artists conception of TRAPPIST-1f planet in the TRAPPIST System
NASA Spitzer Space Telescope reveals largest batch of Earth-size, habitable-zone planets around a single star. Named the TRAPPIST System after the TRAPPIST telescope in Chile that originally discovered the system and three of the planets, scientists around the world plus NASA’s Spitzer have increased that number to seven.

Above~ Unless you have one of these in your backyard, you are unlikely to see it. Continue…

Member Photos~

Photo by Alec Gordon near St. Martins, NBPhotos by Alec Gordon near St. Martins, NB. Starry Trees, the Cresent Moon, and the Orion Nebula.Photo of the Cresent Moon by Alec Gordon near St. Martins, NB

Photo of the Orion Nebula by Alec Gordon near St. Martins, NB
Below– a time-lapse of Jupiter’s Moons by Alec Gordon~

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