The Astronomical Experience
The Astronomical Experience

General Meeting for Sept 18, @ 7:30pm

The Astronomical Experience

From the earliest days of the first hominids and through the epochs into the 21st century, mankind has held a deep fascination with the night sky. In today’s technological society, massive mountaintop observatories and high-tech space telescopes are at the forefront of astronomical research, but an ever-growing group of individuals continue to peer up from dark fields, secluded parks and their own backyards in the quest to explore and understand the universe. From varied backgrounds, cultures and professions, amateur astronomers are united in their curiosity and desire to wonder at the beauty of the heavens above, and to find our true place in the cosmos.

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Perseid Meteor Shower at Binbrook
Perseid Meteor Shower at Binbrook

Perseid Meteor Shower Observing

With the Binbrook observing site open for the past few nights — thanks to Councillor at Large Bernie Vanasse — various HAA members made an appearance to catch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Despite a mid-week peek making late nights difficult I grabbed my wife, essential gear,  the dog, and headed down to Binbrook to take in the show.

With only an hour to spend under the night skies I quickly setup my camera to record the action while we laid on camping air mattresses. Looking straight up, the skies were busy with celestial highlights. The main attraction did not disappoint with both faint and bright meteors streaking across the sky. The best left visible smoke trails, briefly illuminated by the glow of the meteoroid  itself. Satellites silently moved overhead in high numbers as well as an unexpected fly-over by the International Space Station (ISS).

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Curious about the ‘Blue Moon’?

In the May 1996 issue of our club newsletter, Event Horizon, Rob Roy wrote an excellent article about this phenomenon. Here is a link to everything you ever wanted to know about Blue Moons.

http://www.amateurastronomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/May1996.pdf

Previous HAA Calendars
Previous HAA Calendars

2016 Celestial Events Calendar Submissions

The Hamilton Amateur Astronomer’s 2016 Celestial Events Calendar is in production and it’s time to submit your images! 

The HAA calendar showcases photos, illustrations and other visuals exclusively from you, HAA club members. In the past we’ve have images from very experienced astrophotographers and absolute beginners. Everyone is encouraged to participate and all images are welcome.

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VenusJupiter20150702BobC
VenusJupiter20150702BobC

Venus and Jupiter, July 2, 2015

That’s Venus (left) and Jupiter (right) on Thursday, July 2, 2015, 10:03 pm.

Jupiter’s moons, from left to right, I believe, are Callisto, Europa (barely visible as a bump on Jupiter’s upper left limb), Io and Ganymede.

Taken with my Canon 40D through my Tamron 300mm telephoto lens, set at ISO 800 and f/5.6 for 1/2 second. A fixed tripod was used.

Brightened a bit, cropped a LOT, but otherwise unprocessed.

IMG_4734 abs
IMG_4734 abs

Planetary Conjunction

Between the weather and my lack of a western sky here at home, I’ve only had one night that afforded me a view of the conjunction between Venus and Jupiter. This image is from Monday, June 29, 2015, at 10:30pm. It’s always amazing how bright the sky is that late at night, only a week after the solstice.

I was travelling in the Killarney area and this image is taken looking across a small inlet on Baie Fine, a true fjord at the very northern tip of Georgian Bay. The image is from a tripod mounted camera, with a lens set to 24mm at f/4, and an exposure 0.8 seconds long.

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IMG_3312371068176~2
IMG_3312371068176~2

June 22 Aurora from Alberta

This photo of last night’s aurora was taken by John Crowdis from his home in Alberta. In spite of interference from clouds, moonlight & streetlights, the Northern Lights are prominent in this image. Keep watch again Wednesday night for a possible repeat performance.

St. Patrick's Day Aurora, Ann Tekatch
St. Patrick's Day Aurora, Ann Tekatch

Aurora Alert

There is a major solar storm happening now that could produce strong auroral displays. If skies clear, look up tonight or tomorrow night. For current info on aurorae (Northern Lights), check out this website.

Volunteering & Science Outreach
Volunteering & Science Outreach

Volunteers for the Perseids Meteor Shower Night

This August 11th the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers aim to host another Perseids Meteor Shower Public Viewing Night. However, events like these require the support of club members and so we’re calling upon any and all club members who would like to help make this night a success. We’re looking for volunteers to fill basic roles such as…

  • Meeting cars as they enter the park
  • Direct traffic to parking spaces
  • Generally help where needed

If you are interested in helping please send an email to Jim Wamsley, chair@amateurastronomy.org.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) and Open Star Cluster NGC 188 in Cepheus --- May 13, 2015, by Bob Christmas
Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) and Open Star Cluster NGC 188 in Cepheus --- May 13, 2015, by Bob Christmas

June Event Horizon Newsletter

The June issue of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers Event Horizon newsletter is now available.

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Sky This Month
  • Astronomy Phone Apps
  • Scenes From McQuesten Park Public Night
  • Upcoming Events
  • Plus Much More!

Download your copy from the newsletters section.

Photo credit: Bob Christmas, Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) and NGC 188