20150328195353~2
20150328195353~2

Grimsby Stargazing Event

Skies were clear and the ‘seeing’ was fantastic for our first public stargazing event of 2015. Club members shared detailed views of the Moon & Jupiter with passersby and visitors who came to the Niagara Gateway Tourism Centre.

Jim Wamsley had his telescope connected to the HAA’s video cam and flat screen. This is a great way to point out various lunar features to guests.

Bernie offered views of Comet Lovejoy through his refractor. Lise managed to find M42 in spite of the light pollution and mechanical problems with her scope’s mount.

I was impressed by spectacular views of the Moon & Jupiter through Tony’s & Mike’s refractors. It’s a treat to peer through a well made refractor.

My 6″ Skywatcher Dobsonian reflector is an excellent beginner’s scope and always a hit with people looking for their first telescope. I spent the evening showing several budding amateur astronomers how it works and what excellent views it provides.

I only managed to stay for a couple of hours before the cold wind got to me, but I enjoyed speaking to all the folks who came out to see us.
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DSC_7307 (1024x576)
DSC_7307 (1024x576)

The Waxing Crescent Moon and Venus in the Western Sky

The Waxing Crescent Moon and Venus in the Western Sky

IMG_2979abs
IMG_2979abs

The Crescent Moon, part 2

Here is a shot of the Moon and Venus together in the western sky, as promised in the previous post (well, my previous post). Enjoy! (tripod mounted camera with zoom lens set at 200mm)
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IMG_2960asmall
IMG_2960asmall

New Moon, old planet

Here’s a shot I took of the Moon and Mars last night. They presented a lovely pairing low in the west just at dusk, while Venus shone brightly high above them. Go outside tonight and see how the Moon has traveled up much closer to Venus.  (photo is hand held with 200mm lens)

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

St. Patrick’s Day Aurora

Fantastic auroral display tonight. These images were taken northwest of Hamilton, near Westover. The aurora was visible naked eye, but I couldn’t see colour.

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Comet Lovejoy, Bob Christmas
Comet Lovejoy, Bob Christmas

Comet Lovejoy meets E.T.

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) passed within about a degree of open cluster NGC 457, the E.T. Cluster, the week of March 9, 2015.  This image is from Monday March 9, 2015, approx. 9:00 pm to 9:55 pm from Caledonia ON.

M103, another open cluster, is visible at far right.  The bright star Delta Cassiopeiae is near lower right.  The red emission nebula, Sh2-188, is faintly visible near the comet.  North is towards the lower right.

This is a stack of 33 1-minute exposures at ISO 1600 and f/2.8.

I used my Canon 40D DSLR with an Astronomik CLS light pollution clip-filter and my Tamron 300mm f/2.8 telephoto lens on my SP EQ mount.

This was a lot of hard work processing this image; about a dozen iterations of layering and masking….. not including the gradient blending I had to do to flatten the field from side to side a bit better.

 

New Horizons; Space Exploration Today - March 13, General Meeting
New Horizons; Space Exploration Today - March 13, General Meeting

General Meeting for April 10, 2015 @ 7:30pm

New Horizons; Space Exploration Today

There was a time when young men and women stood on a shore and looked out to the horizon, imaging what new lives a ship might transport them to. They imagined new sights, new wonders and in their minds they imagined new worlds.

This summer, after travelling a decade through the dark and quiet of space, a small craft that bears a name that recalls these brave people, will truly see a new world. The New Horizons spacecraft will give us our first look at Pluto as just one of the many amazing sights that are in store for us in this golden age of space exploration.

This richly illustrated talk is suitable for all ages and takes us from Earth to Mars, the asteroids, Pluto and beyond as we look through the mechanical eyes of these far flung probes and are witness to these new sights, new wonders and new worlds.
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Space Science - The Journey Continues, General Meeting
Space Science - The Journey Continues, General Meeting

General Meeting for March 13, 2015 @ 7:30pm

Please note that John Gauvreau’s talk originally scheduled for March 13th has been postponed until April 10th. Don Pullen will instead be talking about unmanned space missions.

Space Science – The Journey Continues

Manned space missions have been confined to low-Earth orbit (LEO) for more than 40 years, a big disappointment to many. However, our exploration of space beyond LEO continues to grow with many exciting robotic missions. From the Great Observatories (Hubble, Compton, Chandra, Spitzer) to contributions by Europe, India and other countries, we continue to find new ways to explore the unknown and find answers to some of the most important questions to mankind. In this talk, Don will review a few of the amazing current and upcoming missions and explore some of the science that has been revealed (and several of the questions that remain).
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Full Moon, Lise Bennett
Full Moon, Lise Bennett

Full Moon

Last night’s full moon was the smallest full moon of the year. We’ve heard it called the micro-moon ormini-moon. This March 5, 2015 full moon lies about 50,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) farther away from Earth than will the year’s closest full moon – the full supermoon and Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon – on September 28. The March 5 moon is the year’s farthest full moon because full moon and lunar apogee – the moon’s farthest point in its monthly orbit – both fall on the same date.
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Triple-play Conjunction, Lise Bennett
Triple-play Conjunction, Lise Bennett

March Event Horizon Newsletter

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

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Sky This Month
  • First Experience At Seeing the L.M.C.
  • Lights on the Moon: Moon Express
  • Quirks of Stellarium
  • Book Review of The Martian
  • Plus Much More!

Download your copy from the newsletters section.

Photo credit: Triple-play Conjunction by Lise Bennett