Sunspot Region
Sunspot Region

Sunspot Region 2192

Today, Bill imaged the new, active, sunspot region which is just coming into view on the sun. This region was responsible for an X1.1 solar flare on Saturday, October 18. It will be interesting to watch for possible further developments as this sunspot region rotates into view.

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Peter Sutherland on Testing  Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (Gravity)
Peter Sutherland on Testing  Einstein's General Theory of Relativity (Gravity)

General Meeting for November 14, 2014 @ 7:30pm

Testing Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (Gravity)

Peter Sutherland began his 37-year career at Mac in 1976 when the Physics Department was given permission to hire two astronomers/astrophysicists. He was hired along with Bill Harris, an observational astronomer and world expert on globular clusters. Peter is a theoretical astrophysicist, and much of his research has been concerned with neutron stars, pulsars, supernovae, and X-ray binary systems. Peter retired in 2013 but still teaches the occasional course in  physics. While he enjoyed teaching and research, he was also happy to serve in a wide range of administrative capacities – Chair, Dean, and (twice) President of the McMaster University Faculty Association. He has diverse musical and reading tastes. An avid cyclist and outdoors-man, he takes regular canoe trips with his wife and also with his best friend. In May this year he was part of a small group that went trekking in Nepal, around Annapurna. He is especially proud of his three children, the youngest of whom is currently an MA student at Mac and a water polo player.
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October 2014 Lunar Eclipse
October 2014 Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

Unbelievably, the rain stopped, the sky cleared, and when I arose at 4am this morning (which was also fairly unbelievable), the moon was bright and full and headed towards the Earth’s shadow and a total eclipse.

I observed with Jim and we had some beautiful views of the eclipsed moon in the brightening sky as dawn came. The moon was red and dark this time, but part of that could have been due to it being so low in the sky.

Here are a few pics that I took. I hope you got out and enjoyed the eclipse this morning, and if you missed it, there will be another next year.

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Bay Front Park public night a success

The public night held at Bay Front Park on Saturday night turned out to be a successful event. Even though the weather conditions looked threatening right up to the 7:30 start time of the club’s public night, we lucked out in the end. Just moments before 7:30 the skies cleared and stayed clear for the most part. I counted 8 scopes setup, both members and one scope brought by a couple with a scope they had just purchased, and needed help to setup and use. Of course they got the help from several club members. We didn’t get the crowds we  get at some public events, due to the cold temp’s and the cloud cover before we started, but I think we still had 35 to 40 people come out to see us, as well as many members that came out without a scope. Several members gathered at a local Tim’s for coffee later of course, and discussed the fun time we all had.

Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) by Bob Christmas
Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) by Bob Christmas

October Event Horizon Newsletter

The latest issue of our club’s Event Horizon newsletter is now available.

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Sky This Month
  • Astro Photo’s
  • NASA Space Place
  • Chair Report

Download Newsletter

Photo credit: Comet Jacques (C/2014 E2) by Bob Christmas

Matthew Mannering Oct 10, 2014
Matthew Mannering Oct 10, 2014

General Meeting for Friday October 10, 2014 @ 7:30pm

Extended Sky This Month

Matthew has been interested in astronomy and space flight for as long as he can remember having several 60mm scopes during the 70’s and and taking his first moon photo through one of them around 1977.  Matthew can remember watching a launch blow up on the pad when he was about 5 years old and asking his mom “if that was what was supposed to happen?”. Then in the 90’s Matthew and his wife spent evenings sitting on various beaches while camping learning the constellations and trying to find objects through a 60mm birding scope. It wasn’t until 2003 when Matthew bought an 80mm refractor that his observing really took off.  Matthew continued learning the sky on his own until 2008 when he  joined the HAA.  During that first year Matthew made the mistake of looking through a 12 inch scope at Saturn and needless to say, that led to another scope purchase.  Matthew joined the council 4 years ago as Membership Director and then moved on to his current position as Observing Director.

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IMG_9075 sun 2
IMG_9075 sun 2

A Sunny Day

Using the same set-up that I used for the moon photo below, along with a Baader white light solar filter, I got this picture of the sun. I actually tried the day before, but had no success. Perseverance paid off though, and I am pleased with this result.  Again, this is a 90mm refractor with a barlow.

Having my scope set up on my front lawn doesn’t usually attract much attention (by back yard has too many trees to see much of the sky) but setting up in the middle of the afternoon meant that lots of people stopped by to see what I was doing.  So along with a couple of nice pictures, I did a bit of ‘sidewalk astronomy’ as well, and that’s always a good thing.
Remember, never look at the sun without proper solar filters and the knowledge to use them correctly.

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IMG_9017absmall
IMG_9017absmall

Full Moon Tonight!

This month’s full moon is tonight and I am hoping to get out and see its rising. In preparation (and because I just couldn’t wait until tonight!), I went out last night to view and photograph the nearly full moon.

This image was taken with my 90mm refractor and a barlow to increase the image scale. I then converted the image to black and white and increased the contrast a bit. I hope to get an image of the full moon rising tonight.

The moon rises around 7:20 tonight, just barely south of due east, and I heartily encourage you to get out and see the moon and enjoy one of the loveliest naked eye sights in the sky.

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front cover light 3 flare
front cover light 3 flare

2015 Calendar Image Submissions‏

The Hamilton Amateur Astronomer’s 2015 Celestial Events Calendar is in the works right now, and this year it will have a better look, more astronomical information and all the other usual things that you are used to in our wonderful calendar. It needs just one thing to make it truly great; you!

The time has come to submit images for the calendar. The HAA calendar showcases photos, illustrations and other visuals exclusively from you, the members. In the past we have had images from very experienced astrophotographers and absolute beginners. Everyone is encouraged to participate; all images are welcome.

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Perseids Meteor Shower Public Stargazing Night

Perseids Meteor Shower Banner

Event

Watch the Perseids meteor shower with the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers at the Binbrook Conservation Area from 8 to 11 p.m. on Sat. August 16. Admission is free so bring the whole family for a fun evening under the stars. Bring a blanket or lounge chair as lying down is one of the best ways to enjoy the meteor shower.  Weather and clouds permitting.  No rain date scheduled.  

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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