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

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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May 13, 2016
May 13, 2016

Transits Near and Far, May 13 General Meeting

General Meeting for May 13, 2016 @ 7:30pm

Astronomers have long known about Mercury and Venus transits of the Sun. However, this technique, now commonly referred to as the Transit Technique, has been amazingly successful in detecting exoplanets, planets around other stars. To date, nearly 6,000 exoplanets or planetary candidates have been detected, the majority of them using the Transit Technique. This talk will deal with some of the historical observations of Mercury and Venus transits and then summarize the state of current exoplanetary observations.
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Moon Hyades Pleiades, Dane Anderson
Moon Hyades Pleiades, Dane Anderson

May Event Horizon Newsletter

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

In this issue you’ll find…

  • The Sky This Month
  • The Beginnings of Life on Earth
  • Hamilton Amateur Astronomers in the Community
  • Photo Eye Candy
  • Plus Much More!

Download your copy from the newsletters section.

Photo credit: The setting Moon, Hyades & Pleiades, by Dane Anderson