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This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2023 Dec. 2 – Dec. 9

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2023 Dec. 2 – Dec. 9

Current Weekly Sky at a Glance ~by Curt Nason

Current Monthly Calendar
Click the pic to enlarge or here for the pdf.

Astronomy Photo of the Week

From Wolastoq Park

By SJAC Member

Rob Darrah

Had the scopes out to Wolastoq Park for the Xmas Tree Lighting

SJAC members have Asteroid’s named in their honor 

(20020) Mipach = 1991 VT

Discovery: 1991-11-04 / Y. Mizuno, T. Furuta / Kani / 403

Mike Powell (b. 1960), Paul Owen (b. 1960) and Chris Curwin (b. 1959) are amateur
astronomers in New Brunswick, Canada. Motivated by the coronavirus lockdown to offer online
presentations, they created The Sunday Night Astronomy Show, a live, interactive, informal program
covering observing, equipment and special events. Over 150 editions have been produced.
The name “Mipach” was derived from the first 2 initials of their first names.

10052 Nason

Discovered 1987-Sep-16 by Debehogne, H. at La Silla

Jymme Curtis (Curt) Nason (b. 1953) was one of the founders of the
Royal Astronomical Society of Canada New Brunswick Centre in 2000,
and has served as club president and editor.
He has given presentations to various groups and several courses through the
New Brunswick Community College and the University of New Brunswick extended learning program.


~Every Sunday @ 8pm~
The Sunday Night Astronomy Show

Join us for this week’s episode of the Sunday Night Astronomy Show in our new format.

Hayley is a very energetic astronomer who loves the night skies. With encouragement from her Mom and Dad, she has been increasing her knowledge of the night sky treasures at an exponential rate. She even has her own YouTube channel .
Hayley will be our guest on this week’s Sunday Night Astronomy Show, where she will be doing an unboxing and review of an exciting new telescope design.
Be sure to tune in Sunday evening at 8pm ADT…here on Facebook, and on my YouTube channel

We’ll be live for our one hour program beginning at 8pm ADT. We hope you can join us! 

Past shows can still be seen at Astronomy by the Bay YouTube channel.   

Be sure to tune in with Chris, Paul, and Mike to find out what’s new in Astronomy.

  ~SJAC Meetings~ 

The next meeting of the Saint John Astronomy club will be this Saturday, December 2, at 7 pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre.


~SJAC Meetings~

A supply of the 2024 RASC astronomy calendars will be available for sale at $20 for RASC members and $25 for others.


Saint John Astronomy Club is this Saturday, December 2 at 7 pm in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre.
We have a selection of astronomy books and telescopes that may be borrowed for a month at a time. Check the website (sjastronomy.ca) to reserve or show up at the meeting to make arrangements. Some books and telescopes are usually available at the meeting.

1. What’s Up (Y Kippers)
2. Observing Reports
3. Manual Astronomy (M Powell)
4. Show & Tell, Buy & Sell
5. Business: Speakers for January, Books and Telescopes, Winterfest at Rockwood Park on February 3 (or 10)

Recap of November meeting
1. T Almon described how she images landscape / astronomy objects such as moonrise through Split Rock.
2. Observing reports: C Nason, C Curwin and M Powell did an outreach event at Musquash; C Nason observed comet C/2023 H2 Lemmon; M Powell and M Thorn were at Saints Rest Beach for the Harvest Moon.
3. M West gave an informative talk on all about albedo.
4. S&T, B&S: C Nason showed a webcam/microphone that we can use for hybrid meetings. RASC NB eclipse glasses (cardboard) were given to each attendee who wanted one.

Good Messier targets with binoculars or telescope

A visual list of Messier objects for November of any year.

See also Weekly Sky–Autumn Deep Sky Objects and Observing Autumn Clusters by Curt Nason.


Outreach Opportunities

Event Possibilities

December 21 from 6-8 pm. Winter solstice event at Dominion Park. Tentative First nations storyteller, bonfire, bannock and Tim Hortons hot chocolate. Request for viewing the Pleiades and other objects.

February 3 (most of the day). Winterfest at Rockwood Park. Multiple events, we can do solar and evening observing, and maybe something inside.


~Stuff you can use~

Link to the Index of member contributions of the Saint John Astronomy Club.
New or old to Astronomy, you can usually find some useful information in our Members’ Contributions Page. Check out Matt West’s Using Telescope Filters and Mike Powell’s Finders and How to use Them and Equipment Basics.

~New Brunswick Star Parties for 2023~

~New Brunswick Star Parties for 2023~

~RASC NB  Horizon Autumn 2023 Newsletter~

What’s Up for Summer,  new astronomy Club, updates on meetings, Star Parties & Outreach, a great book review,  poetry, Astro Carols and more in the RASC NB Horison Summer  Newsletter.


Messier Marathon List and Guides

Photo of Don Machholz, astronomer, writer and one of the founders of the Messier Marathon.

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.

Astronomy Day public observing will be held at the Irving Nature Park in Saint John Sept. 22 from 8 – 11:30 pm, with a back-up date of September 23.

Photo of the Falll Astronomy Event at Irving Nature Park on Friday, September 30, 2022.

Event: Fall Astronomy Day at the Irving Nature Park. Presented by: Irving Nature Park, Saint John Astronomy Club and Astronomy by the Bay.


Browse Books and Equipment you can borrow

Browse the Library of the Saint John Astronomy Club



Past SJAC Outreach

Link to the Outreach page of the Saint John Astronomy Club.

Incredible Images–RASC NB Photos of the Month

Link to the RASC NB Photos of the MonthClick 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.

Link to the CBC Current program on the growing interest in astronomy during the Covid-19 pandemic.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

Link to Sky & Telescope article by Jerry Oltion about 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

Photo depicting the Ojibwe concept of Orion as the Wintermaker who ushers in the cold and wind.

The Obibwe Wintermaker and Hole-in-the-Sky
How other cultures view some of the constellations~by Curt Nason

Neat Planet Rotation Demo

Link to a planet rotation demo via James O’Donoghue and NASA.

Click the pic above to view a neat planet rotation demo Link to a planet rotation demo via James O’Donoghue and NASA. Try it full screen on your desktop.

Explore the Universe Astronomy Course

Class photo of the Explore the Universe astronomy course offered by Curt Nason and the SJAC in 2018The 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.


Photo showing the relative size of our Sun to Planets.

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

.Photo showing stargazing with binoculars.

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. 

RASC NB 20th Anniversary Newsletter Edition

Link to the RASC NB Horizon 20th Anniversary Newsletter.See what stargazers in New Brunswick were up to 20 years ago in the RASC NB 20th Anniversary of the Horizon.

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.

Telescopes set up at Saints Rest Beach, Saint John, NB

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.

Handy Guide for Star Pronunciation~

Photo showing link to the Star Pronunciation Guide from Space.com

Ever wonder how to pronounce some of the stars? Click to pic above

Making Time Lapse Photographs of the Night Sky~

Link to Tom Raithby's Time-lapse Photography pdf presentation at the Saint John Astronomy Club

Tom Raithby’s presentations on Night Time Lapse Photography and Night Time Lapse Photography. Click the pics to view.Presentation of Night Time Lapse Photography by Tom Raithby at the Night Time Imaging Course offered by Paul Owen and the SJAC in 2018.

Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky~

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

Jim Stewart’s presentation Making 360° Panoramas of the Night Sky at the Photographing the Night Sky series in November, 2017.

Using “Sign Posts” to Navigate 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…

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 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

Photo of the Northern Lights

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~

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

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.
Note: Paul also hosted the Fall astronomy workshop series Photographing the Night Sky in November 2017.

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..

Astronomy Clubs across Canada~

Photograph of the Observatory of the Lethbridge Astronomy Society

Got cabin fever? Housebound? Why not take a trip across Canada and check out a few of the Astronomy Clubs in 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.

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!