September 9 2016, General Meeting
September 9 2016, General Meeting

A Moment in Time; Visiting Galileo’s Classroom, September 9 General Meeting

This unique and lively presentation is sure to entertain all ages and is especially suitable for newcomers to astronomy.

In the first half of the evening travel back to Renaissance Italy in March of 1610, where Galileo himself is portrayed as introducing you to his newest scientific instrument. Hear in his own words how he built this telescope, the observations he made, and the magnificent discoveries that even he realized would revolutionize our understanding of the heavens.

Then return to the present, as guest speaker John Gauvreau describes the great impact of this moment in history, showing how even today modern science still builds upon what Galileo started so long ago. The importance and value of this 400 year journey reaches far beyond just astronomy and science to change the very way we see the world in which we live.

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Thunderstorm
Thunderstorm

Perseid Meteor Shower Event Cancelled.

Unfortunately due to unfavourable weather conditions we are forced to cancel the Perseid Meteor Shower event planned for Friday, August 12th. The Weather Network is forecasting thunderstorms this evening which presents both unfavourable skies and a safety risk.

If the weather clears in your area and you would still like to catch the meteor shower here are a few tips. However, please be mindful of your surroundings and use common sense — avoid open fields if lightning is forecast.

  • Try to get away from city light pollution to darker skies. With darker skies you’ll be able to view more of the fainter meteors.
  • The best way to experience the show is to recline or lay down on a blanket and just look up.
  • While August 11-12 is the peek, the Perseid’s can also be viewed a couple days after the main event and its worth a look up.

We’ll try again next year with hopefully better weather conditions.

If you’re interested in the sky above and would like to learn more about meteors, the stars, and planets please keep an eye on our event calendar. The Hamilton Amateur Astronomers host public stargazing nights where the whole family can look through telescopes, chat with knowledgable amateur astronomers and get first hand experience with the cosmos.

Please join us for a future event.

Vega Spectroscopy
Vega Spectroscopy

Amateur Spectroscopy

These two pictures are ‘astro images’ of the star Vega which is found in the constellation Lyra (The Harp), one of the most prominent night sky asterisms from early Greek and Roman civilization and culture. It is also one of the brightest objects in the night sky after the Sun, Moon, Venus and the star, Sirius.

Until about the beginning of the 20th century, all astronomy, including professional studies, was basically descriptive and hand-drawn from hours of work spent at the eyepieces of a given telescope. However, since it was not going to go any further in this direction, it remained for astronomers like Henry Norris Russell and others to move astronomical studies into the realms of physics and emerging interpretations of Nature and the Universe such as Quantum Mechanics and the General and Special Theories of Relativity.

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Binbrook Conservation Area
Binbrook Conservation Area

Telescopes and Astronomy with the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers

A group of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers got together for an evening of stargazing at the Binbrook Conservation Area, our “dark sky” site away from the lights of Hamilton. Observing at the park is available to all members of the club and offers a friendly atmosphere to observe the cosmos, chat with other club members and learn about astronomy.

I arrived at the park shortly after 9:30pm to see other members already setup and waiting for high-level clouds to pass. This evening we met at the boat launch area which provides a large level gravel parking lot with which to setup. We’re also right next to the reservoir which offers added photographic opportunities if taking a break from the telescope.

With Ontario going through hot daytime temperatures and low rainfall the evening hovered around a pleasant 26°C with no sign of mosquitoes or other pests. As I unpacked my gear heat-lightning put on a show over the southern horizon with fast sequences of flashes attracting excitement from the crowd of observers.

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Moon Mosaic, John Gauvreau
Moon Mosaic, John Gauvreau

Anniversary Moon

Here is an image of the full Moon from last night. Actually taken just past midnight, so lets say it was taken on July 20th, 47 years to the day after Apollo 11 first landed on the Moon.

This image is actually several images that I hand stitched together. My regular old DSLR camera was shooting through my 5″ class refractor. The camera was set to ISO400 and the exposure time was 1/400th of a second.  The version seen here has had contrast adjustments made and been reduced in file size.

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Perseid Meteor Shower at Binbrook, David Tym
Perseid Meteor Shower at Binbrook, David Tym

Perseids Meteor Shower Public Stargazing Night

[ Please note, this event has been cancelled ]

Join Us – All Welcome for the Perseid Meteor Shower, August 12, 2016

Free Admission

Watch the Perseids meteor shower with the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers at the Binbrook Conservation Area from 8 to 11 p.m. on Friday August 12. Admission is free so bring the whole family for a fun evening under the stars! There will also be a meteorite display, night sky tour and members will set-up their telescopes for observing celestial objects.

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DSCN0292
DSCN0292

Public Stargazing Night at Bayfront Park, July 9th

Public Stargazing Night at Bayfront Park this Saturday July 9th

Join the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers at Bayfront park for a evening of stargazing and planet viewing. Starting at 9:00pm knowledgeable club members will be onhand to answer questions so bring yourself and your family. Gaze through telescopes at celestial wonders; Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and more!
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Michael Cook
Michael Cook

Doing Astronomical Science, June 10 General Meeting

General Meeting for June 10, 2016 @ 7:30pm

In the last 20 years, the amateur astronomer has gained access to three paradigm-changing technologies: The Internet, progressively sophisticated astronomy software, and the CCD camera. This presentation will outline how an amateur astronomer, armed with these technologies, can engage in professional-amateur (pro-am) collaborations and contribute to astronomical sciences by monitoring a wide-range of transient astrophysical phenomena. The presenter will describe some of the projects that he has been involved with, and how any amateur can participate in doing science with their astronomical equipment.
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Mars, Saturn & Antares by Bob Christmas
Mars, Saturn & Antares by Bob Christmas

June 2016 Event Horizon Newsletter

The June issue of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Event Horizon newsletter is now available and jam-packed with great content!

In this issue you’ll find…

  • HAA Outreach Report – Bayfront Park
  • The Sky this Summer 2016
  • Educational Presentations and Public Outreach
  • A New Member Perspective
  • Expanding Confusion: Misconceptions About the Universe
  • Eye Candy
  • Cartoon Corner
  • Upcoming McCallion Planetarium Shows & Events

Download your copy from the newsletters section.

Photo credit: Mars, Saturn, Antares (alpha Scorpii) & the Rho Ophiuchi Region, by Bob Christmas

Astronomy Day 2016
Astronomy Day 2016

Public Stargazing Night (Astronomy Day), May 14

Public Stargazing Night at Bayfront Park this Saturday May 14th

To celebrate Astronomy Day this year, join the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers at Bayfront park for an afternoon of solar observing and evening of stargazing. Solar telescopes will be setup to observe the disk of the sun, sunspots and solar flares.  Later that evening, cast your gaze upon the night sky for a complete astronomy experience. Knowledgeable club members will be onhand to answer questions so bring yourself and your family.
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