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~Friday, September 14, 7:30 – 11pm~
RASC Canada-Wide Star Party
Observed at Irving Nature Park
Click here for the Facebook Event
(cloud date Sat. Sept. 15)

~September 14 -15, 2018~ Kouchibouguac Fall StarFest
Kouchibouguac National Park
RASC.NB Itinerary, Maps and Schedule
Registration for astronomers is now available.
Facebook Event~click here

Tonight! Canada-Wide Star Party at INP~

Link to the 2018 RASC Canada Wide Star Party FB Event hosted at Irving Nature Park.Event: RASC Canada-Wide Star Party
Presented by: RASC NB
When: Friday, September 14 7:30 – 11pm (cloud date Sept. 15)
Where: Irving Nature Park, Saint John
Cost: Free
Facebook: Click here for the FB Event.
Join local members and guests of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for the second annual Canada-Wide Star Party. Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon will be the focus targets as twilight fades to darkness. Later we will visit the star clusters and nebulae of the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and its neighbours, the ever-popular ET cluster, and other gems of the night sky.
-Please park in the lower lot by the Information Kiosk.
-For overflow and people with mobility issues please use the lot near the Squirrel BBQ.
*The astronomers park in the upper section above the kiosk where they will set up their equipment.*
Then meet at the upper parking lot (above Kiosk) near Squirrel BBQ.
~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 Saturday, September 15.
~All events are provided free of charge by J.D. Irving, Limited. If you have any questions please contact us at the park at 653-7367, by email or through Facebook.

Starts Tonight! Kouchibouguac Fall StarFest~

Photo of the night sky at Kouchibouguac National ParkBeautiful Kouchibouguac National Park will be the setting of the the Kouchibouguac Fall StarFest on September 14 – 16. Observing takes place in the South Kouchibouguac Campground, near Site 194. See the RASC NB Itinerary, Maps and Schedule for more information. Also, RASC NB registration for astronomers is now available. For the Facebook Event click here.

Astronomy for Everyone~

SJAC member Mike Powell pointing out some stars at Saints Rest beach in Saint John, NB

SJAC members setting up for public stargazing at Saints Rest beach in Saint John, NB

Photo of telescopes set up at Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, NB, for public viewing.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~

Photo of the Fundy StarGaze 2017 (from Fundy Park Facebook Page).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~

Link to the RASC NB Horizon Summer 2018 Newsletter.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.

Sharing the Night Sky~

Photo of Planets on Parade RASC NB & SJAC Outreach event at Irving Nature Park July 20 2018.Great locations, great crowds, great planetary lineups. Over 100 people showed up at the old ball field in St. Martins during Old Home Week on July 19, and over 200 at Irving Nature Park for Planets on Parade on July 20. For many it was their first look at the rings of Saturn, moons of Jupiter.

Spectacular skies for Mt. Carleton Star Party~

Photo of the night sky by Paul Owen at the Mount Carleton Star Party 2018.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.

.Photo of telescope winner with Paul Owen at the Mount Carleton 2018 Star Party.  Free Telescope draw for the Mt. Carleton 2018 Star Party And congrats to Amber Maillet–winner of the Celestron Astromaster 130 AZ generously donated by All Star Telescope.
Next Up~ COW Mactaquac Star Party on August 10 – 11.

Beautiful Skies for Kouchibouguac Spring StarFest ~

Photo of the night sky at the 2018 Kouchibouguac Spring StarFest by Paul Owen.
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]
Next Up~ COW Mactaquac Star Party on August 10 – 11.
For an overview see Star Parties in New Brunswic and RASC NB.

The Kepler Space Telescope & The Search for Life~

The Kepler Space Telescope Presentation (Part 1) by Rob Leathley

Link to the pdf presentation by Rob Leathley to the Saint John Astronomy Club about the Kepler Mission and the search for life--Part 1

Link to the pdf presentation by Rob Leathley to the Saint John Astronomy Club about the Kepler Mission and the search for life--Part 2One 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~

Link to a New York Times article about AstroTourism and Canada.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~

Photo showing link to the cruise ship the Viking Orion.

Photo of the planetarium aboard the cruise ship Viking Orion.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.

Beautiful views at sunset right now~

Sunset with Venus and a crescent Moon from Saints Rest Beach in May, 2018.Chris Curwin of Astronomy by the Bay captured this shot of Venus and a crescent Moon from Saints Rest Beach in Saint John. Chris is on the beach with his telescope most clear nights, check his FB page.
Below- spectacular viewing right now of just about everything. This shot is of crescent Moon near Venus by Paul Owen.Photo of the crescent Moon near Venus by Paul Owen.

Rest in Peace Stephen Hawking~

Photo of Stephen Hawking Photo cover Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”   ~Stephen Hawking (1942-2018).

Handy Guide for Star Pronunciation~

Photo showing link to the Star Pronunciation Guide from Space.comEver wonder how to pronounce some of the stars? Click to pic above

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

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…

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.

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~

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.  Check out the 2017 Thank You Video from Chris.

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..

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