The Tale of Disks around Massive Stars

General Meeting for March 10th 2017.

Massive stars, young or old, are interesting celestial objects with fascinating mysteries. In this talk, we will explore some of the mysteries of the disks around massive stars and how their formation, dissipation and structure affect our understanding of not only the planet formation but also the star formation process.

Dr. Parshati Patel received her Hons. B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from University of Toronto, M.Sc. in Astronomy and Planetary Science from the Western University and her Ph.D. in Astronomy and Planetary Science & Exploration from the Western University. During her graduate studies, she studied protoplanetary disks around young, massive pre-main sequence (Herbig Ae/Be) stars as well as circumstellar disks around massive main sequence stars. She is currently the Public Education and Outreach Program Coordinator at the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration at the Western University.

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A Comet in the Predawn Sky

There’s a fast-moving returning comet in the sky, and we can see it with binoculars!

Comet 45P Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Here’s a link to the finder charts. The time is in universal time, so you will need to add 5 hours to the EST to get the time to use. Right now the Comet is not far from Hercules and is in the morning sky.
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Ways to Avoid Chromatic Aberration, General Meeting for February 10th

General Meeting for February 10th 2017.

Barry Sherman will be discussing Chromatic Aberration and ways to mitigate this issue in your telescope optics. Barry will also include a few sample telescopes which suffer from heavy Chromatic Aberration and other issues so that you can stay away from these types of telescopes. Bernie Venasse will then open the floor in an open forum style chat to learn what you think of the club. We would like to hear your thoughts, comments and ways to improve your club.

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February 2017 Event Horizon Newsletter

The February issue of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Event Horizon newsletter is now available for download!

In this issue you’ll find…

  • Cleaning the Optics on a 1975 Celestron C8
  • Our Universe in a Cup of Coffee
  • Tracking Vesta
  • The Sky This Month
  • 2017 Calendar of Events

Download the latest issue or visit the newsletters section for past issues.

Photo credit: The Moon & Venus by Chris White

Useful Links from the January 2017 Observing Talk

Links for the leap second mention at tonight’s The Sky this Month:

…and for the International Occultation Timing Association. The focus of the IOTA has shifted from grazes to pure occultations where the double-ness of a star can be measured. In some cases this is the only way to know the star is a double.

To see how eclipse totality duration varies depending on observing locations see this page with detailed contour maps:

 

Photo Credit: Mercury Transit – Bill Tekatch

Caring for your Telescope Optics Plus Favourite Astronauts

General Meeting for January 13th 2016.

Bernie Venasse will be speaking about caring for your telescope optics which includes a video from Sky and Telescope. Bernie Venasse is HAA Chairman and has been an active astronomer since the days of Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. He is an active member of the British Astronomical Association, The International Dark Sky Association, the Astronomical League and Astronomers without Borders.

Kevin Salwach will also be speaking on his favourite astronauts. Kevin Salwach is an HAA Councillor-at-Large, and has been a member of the club since 2009. Also a member of the British Astronomical Association and the International Dark Sky Association, Kevin is a devoted backyard astronomer and avid naturalist. He can frequently be found exploring the night sky with his 10″ Dob from his home on the West Mountain here in Hamilton.

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January 2017 Event Horizon Newsletter

The January issue of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Event Horizon newsletter is now available for download!

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Casimir Effect and Black Holes
  • HAA is a Gift
  • December 2016 General Meeting Summary
  • The Sky This Month
  • 2017 Calendar of Events
  • The 2017 HAA Celestial Events Calendar

Download the latest issue or visit the newsletters section for past issues.

Photo credit: The Dumbbell Nebula (M27), by Bernd Mueller.

Links for Observation Planning

In my talk and articles, I have often referred to certain free web resources which are useful observing planning tools.

These web pages allow you to locate items of interest in the sky, which vary (such as the location and brightness of asteroids) or are best observed from certain places on earth (such as eclipse paths).

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Building an Observing Tower in the Muskoka Forest, December General Meeting

General Meeting for December 9th 2016

Dr. Gord Williams will be talking about the design and construction of the observatory he made at his cottage in the Muskokas, and the challenges and victories involved. He will also share some collected stories about astronomy, and the visual treats he has observed over the years.

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December 2016 Event Horizon Newsletter

The December issue of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Event Horizon newsletter is now available for download!

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Sky this Month
  • Astrophysics Discussion Group Meeting Summary
  • Wanted – Dead and Alive Part III
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Super Moon Gallery
  • The 2017 HAA Celestial Events Calendar

Download the latest issue or visit the newsletters section for past issues.

Photo credit: The Ring Nebula, David Tym