Current Weekly Sky at a Glance ~by Curt Nason
Current Monthly Calendar
In person meetings will resume Saturday, September 10th at the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre in Saint John.
Masks are required.
Note: the normal meeting time of 1st Saturday of the month will be taken up by the Fundy Park StarGaze on September 2 – 3.
Sunday Night Astronomy Show~
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 Newsletter for Spring 2022~
The eclipse that never came, diving into the electromagnetic spectrum, President’s message, school Outreach, a What’s Up for summer and more in the Spring 2022 Horizon Newsletter.
Good Messier targets with binoculars or telescope~
Messier Marathon List and Guides~
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~
Dates for New Brunswick Star Parties~
Dates 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 ~September 23 – 24
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.
Sunrise Solar Eclipse does not disappoint~
Good weather provided some stunning views in Saint John and surrounding areas for the Annular Solar Eclipse on June 10, 2021.
Above~ Members of the Saint John Astronomy Club set up on a high hill in Saint John.
Above~ Chris Curwin of Astronomy by the Bay hosting a live FB and YouTube feed of the event. If you missed it you can watch it here.
As per Chris:
“We had an amazing morning here in SJ. At the peak, we were broadcasting to 1,472 viewers on Facebook and 450 on YouTube. The live feed has Just over 75,000 views at the moment on Facebook and 12,000 on YouTube. From the 1,400 comments, viewers joined us from The Netherlands, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand , France, Ireland, Malaysia, England, the Philippines and across the US from Texas, to Ohio and California to New Jersey and across our country from Vancouver to Ottawa to Labrador.
I’m so pleased that the weather cooperated and allowed us to reach so many.”
Jupiter Moons Challenge for 2021~
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.
RASC NB 20th Anniversary Newsletter Edition~
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~
Click 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.
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~
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~
[above- The Obibwe Wintermaker and Hole-in-the-Sky]
How other cultures view some of the constellations~by Curt Nason
Neat Planet Rotation Demo~
Explore the Moon with Binoculars course wraps up~
The Wrap-up session and final evening of the Exploring the Moon with Binoculars astronomy course was Wednesday, October 30, at the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre. This course combined the best parts of the RASC Observe the Moon with Binoculars course with local author John A. Read’s book 50 Things to See on the Moon.
Visit our page for more details. [Image: RASC. Click to enlarge]
Learning from the Apollo Lunar Landings~
[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~
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~
In 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.
Explore the Universe Astronomy Course~
The 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.
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.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~
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.
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.
Handy Guide for Star Pronunciation~
Making Time Lapse Photographs of the Night Sky~
Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky~
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 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
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!