Old HAA News from 2002

December 21, 2002


Slashdot had an interesting article on someone who rents CCD camera time on some very nice scopes in Arizona.

It's a little slow right now due to the /. effect but here it is anyway:


Happy Holidays and Clear Skies,

Story submitted by HAA member and HAA Web site provider Rick Macdougall.

December 3, 2002

Tololo All Sky Camera

The red dot shows where the 4m was pointed when the exposure was taken.

Also check out this other live webcam shot.

Submitted by Doug Welch

November 28, 2002

Amazing Space

Amazing Space is a brand new place featuring the familiar Amazing Space activities plus dozens of new tools for educators! And there's much more to come...

November 21, 2002

Science IQ

This site was apparently started up by a McMaster Physics graduate! It makes a great stockingstuffer for children of all ages!!

Submitted by Doug Welch

November 21, 2002

The American Meteor Society Radiometeor Project

Here is something for you folks who want to "listen" to the Geminids!! It is a long but very informative document.

Submitted by Doug Welch

November 15, 2002

Astronomy In Your Hands

Astronomy In Your Hands is devoted to hands-on astronomy activities and contains high quality material of great usefulness for promoting astronomy to beginners. Of special note is our downloadable star wheel or planisphere which has versions covering every latitude on Earth.

November 9, 2002

Leonids 2002

Thank you to Stewart Attlesey for his Leonid meteor shower presentation at the last HAA General meeting on November 8, 2002.

For more information, visit The International Meteor Organization.

Also visit Radio Observations of Meteors for information of capturing the meteor shower with your FM radio.

Also check back here closer to November 17,18 for details on when and where to view the shower.

November 9, 2002
quaoar sound image

Quaoar Pronunciation

By popular demand at the last HAA general meeting, I have recorded a sound bite of the proper pronunciation of the newly discovered 10th planet from the sun "Quaoar". Quaoar is pronounced Kwah-o-ar. Click here to here for an MP3 file of the proper pronunciation.

Information from Avocadia

Submitted by Anthony Tekatch

November 8, 2002
Dr. Bill Harris

Thank you Dr. Bill Harris

Dr. Bill Harris from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University gave an interesting presentation at the November 8, 2002 general meting titled: "So Far Yet So Near: The Rosetta Stone Formerly Known as Centaurus A". Dr. Harris studied globular cluster attributes in other galaxies and their relationship to globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy and produced proof that our galaxy is similar to other galaxies.

Read more about Dr. Bill Harris here.

November 4, 2002

2003 RASC handbooks and calendars

Order your 2003 RASC handbooks and calendars. Handbooks are $18, calendars are $12 each.

Contact Margaret Walton to place your advance order. We will take orders at the meetings up to the December meeting.

October 11, 2002

Thank you to Dr. Sean Matt

Dr. Sean Matt, Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University gave a very interesting presentation on "Outflows during Stellar Birth and Death"

Read more about Dr. Matt here.

October 2, 2002

Binbrook Observing bulletin board

To better facilitate group observing sessions at the Binbrook Conservation Area, a new bulletin board has been created in the "Activities" section. There, the holders of gate keys will post whether a session is possible and what time the keylock will be replaced with the combination lock. If you do not know the combination and may be interested in attending any of the sessions, send an e-mail to publicity@amateurastronomy.org

Here is the link to the new bulletin board.


Bookmark the page and check back frequently for updates.

Submitted by the HAA Publicity department Glenn and Gail Muller

September 21, 2002

Space Movie Reveals Shocking Secrets of the Crab Pulsar

The Space Telescope Science Institute has time-lapse images of the action at the centre of the Crab Nebula - a supernova remnant containing a rotating neutron star called a pulsar.

Submitted by HAA Chair Doug Welch

September 9 , 2002

Aurora Alarm

This site describes a device which can send out e-mail when a visible aurora is taking place.

August 29, 2002

Free program to draw sky charts

I stumbled across this web site http://www.stargazing.net/astropc/ It is called "Cartes du Ceil" or Sky Charts. The great thing is it is all free.

I have downloaded the Virtual Moon and all the photos that go with it. This is absolutely one stunning program. There is a basic component that is required and then you can down load "Lunar Orbiter Photographic Atlas of the Moon" well it is an abbreviated version that selects over 1000 of the best photos that cover the whole surface of the moon - whole that is with the exception of what the LOPAM did not cover. Once you have located an object on the moon and have read all about it you can then click on "Picture" and it will bring up the LOPAM of that area and will mosaic it if necessary. This is one kick ass atlas. You can down load only the parts that you are interested in an not the whole program ...in fact you have to down load it in pieces. http://www.astrosurf.com/avl/UK_index.html

I am now working on the star charts that allow you to access down to 12th magnitude. With gazillions of add-ons, again you can or have to down load it in units so you only have to take what you need or want. The first thing that blew me away about this one is that it actually charts Bernard's Loup.

Submitted by HAA Second chair Grant Dixon.

August 29, 2002

M6 and M7 Image from Starfest

Here are the open star clusters M6 (right) and M7 (lower left) in Scorpius. Some of the Milky Way, with dark dust lanes, is also visible. This virtual-270 mm image was enlarged and digitally enhanced from the original 135 mm photo taken at Starfest on the evening of August 9, 2002. The photo was quite washed out from Mount Forest's light glow, being so close to the southern horizon, but it was printed lighter, scanned, digitally enhanced, colour re- balanced, and its contrast souped up big-time, for this result. Film: Fuji NPZ 800 ASA; Exposure time: 6 minutes; Tracked.

Photo by HAA member Bob Christmas See more

August 22, 2002

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Check out the upcoming APOD - it is a "homebrew" astro image from our local supercomputer!

Submitted by HAA Chair Doug Welch

August 22, 2002

Aurora Photos from Starfest

Here are a couple of photos of the Aurora Borealis as it appeared from Starfest, near Mount Forest, on the evening of Friday August 9, 2002. Both photos were taken through a 50 mm lens at f/1.8 using Fuji NPZ 800 ASA print film for about 30 seconds apiece.

Photos by HAA Member Bob Christmas, See more.

August 22, 2002

Some StarFest digital images

It was great to see you all the weekend of Aug 10/11! Attached are a pair of digital images taken with my Nikon Coolpix 5000. Note the complete absence of meteors ...

Photos by HAA Chair Doug Welch

August 22, 2002


Packed to the gunnells with astronomical equipment and camping gear we were five miles from the freeway when a sound, best described as muffler dragging on pavement, began to tail us up Highway 6. Headed for Starfest; Canada's premier astronomy conference, our plan was to arrive early enough to get a decent site with a view of the southern horizon ... Read more.

Story by HAA member Glenn Muller

July 7, 2002

Hamilton waterfront skyline at night plus spectra

This image shows the southside waterfront of Hamilton as seen from a pier near the Canada Centre for Inland Waters at night. A Learning Technologies diffraction grating was placed in front of the lens and the spectra reveal the type of lights. Most are high-pressure sodium. A few mercury vapour lights can be seen. Also, a flame appears as a continuous spectrum.

Photos by Doug Welch. See others.

July 5, 2002

360° view

Here are some images taken with a fisheye lens from the Binbrook conservation area last night. I have cropped them a little to minimize the black border around the circular image but have not "played" with them except for an overall tint correction.

That is Tina by her scope.

Photos by Doug Welch. See others.

July 2, 2002

Visit the next Eclipse

Have you ever wanted to see a total solar eclipse? Are you a veteran eclipse chaser? Whether a first-timer or a veteran, a total solar eclipse of the sun still has the power to awe anyone fortunate enough to be standing under the Moon's shadow as it races over the Earth. Read more ...

June 30, 2002

HAA history revealed in pictures

A long lost photo album of the early years of the HAA has recently been discovered. See who has been there from the start.

June 24, 2002

Astronomers See Detailed Structure and Evolution in Disk around Young, Solar-like Star

Astronomers recently announced the discovery of a sun-like star which is eclipsed in a way never before seen - not by another star, planet or moon, but by dust grains, rocks and maybe even asteroids orbiting it in a clumpy circumstellar disk.

June 16, 2002

Dr. Rob Thacker

Many thanks to Dr. Rob Thacker of McMaster University for his presentation on "Explosions, Winds and Outflows: Violence in the Cosmic Dark Ages" which showed us the violent and active history of the universe and included his simulations of galaxies being created.

Dr. Thacker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta (1999) and holds a Masters degree in Mathematics from King's College, London (1993). He is a member of three international computational cosmology research collaborations.

You can find out more about his research here.

June 10, 2002

Solar Eclipse Tonight

At 8:31pm. Read more from the Astronomy.com web site.

June 9, 2002

Binbrook Observing June 7, 2002

Getting ready for an observing session at Binbrook on Friday night. Venus and Jupiter are the two brightest objects in the sky. It was a great night for observing and I was able to see the International Space Station in my scope!

by Stewart.Attlesey

June 5, 2002

Best Astronomy sites of the Year

The Scientific American has selected the top Astronomy web sites of the year. Unfortunately we did not get on the list (maybe next year), but the winners are well worth checking out.

May 31, 2002

Basement Astronomy

Three C-class flares followed by an M-class! All "observed" from my basement!

Learn more about this home made Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance detector.

By Doug Welch

May 28, 2002
The North Bay Astronomy Club has a new web site location:

May 26, 2002
AstronomyDaily.com is the portal site for anyone with an interest is astronomy. Most of the pages contain observing information updated in real time and customized for your viewing location and time zone.

  • Need a chart of tonight's sky? It's one click away.
  • How about one I can print out? Two clicks from the home page.
  • When is sunset? Or the next new moon? Right on the home page, for your location and in your local time.
  • Can I see the globular cluster M92 tonight? One click away.
  • Anything interesting happening in the sky this Wednesday? One glance at the home page will tell you.
Sun, Moon, Planets, Stars, Telescopes, Space News, Astronomy and Space Science History - it's all here, and we'll be adding more all the time.

Reported by Stewart Attlesey

May 24, 2002
Space.com updated news now listed in the Links section.

May 24, 2002
Ray Badgerow's 2001 Eclipse tour.

May 19, 2002
There is a huge, impressive sunspot complex that has just rotated onto the visible side of the Sun. This is the kind of beast that can loose X-class flares. Buckle your seatbelts ...

Read more

Doug Welch

May 17, 2002
I caught an M-class flare today at 16:00 UT - they are roughly 10x more powerful than C-class flares. Check out the image. The first part is nighttime signal which is very erratic. Then the sun shines on the ionosphere and creates pretty slowly varying ionization - unless a flare occurs. You can also see a dropout where NAA ceased transmitting briefly.

X-class flares are 10x more powerful than M-class, but also more rare! (They are the most powerful flares of the bunch.)

Doug Welch

May 16, 2002
Check out this solar movie and more at spaceweather.com

You can see the sun move along and the Pleiades in the background! (Not to mention the CME - coronal mass ejection.)

Doug Welch

May 16, 2002
Here's one of my scanned images of Comet Ikeya-Zhang from the beginning of May 2002.

This is an enlarged image from a photo of Comet Ikeya-Zhang in Draco, taken at about 12:15 am on the morning of Sunday, May 5, 2002, from near Barry's Bay, Ontario.
Note the blue gas tail running diagonally upward and rightward. The bright orange star is Gamma Draconis. Beta Draconis is at top.

Fuji NPZ 800 ASA professional film was used for the original 6- minute exposure through a 135mm f/2.5 telephoto lens.

by Bob Christmas

May 14, 2002
There was a C4.2 solar flare at approximately 13:00 UT which clearly shows itself on the SID trace from my loop.

Doug Welch

May 13, 2002
This is a HST image using the new ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) of an object which brightened up dramatically a few months ago. It is not known exactly what this star is. However, it has produced a wonderful set of light echoes off the material around it. The image is from Peter Garnavich, currently at University of Notre Dame. He is an AAVSO member who posted this link to the aavso-discussion group today.

Doug Welch

May 10, 2002
Thank you to all the speakers at last nights Astronomy "Show and Tell". Stewart Attlesey presented his latest planet photos, Marcel VanDalfsen gave an astro slide show with nebulous descriptions, Glenn Muller told us about his Dobsonian adventures, Ray Badgerow showed his solar eclipse photos and Doug Welch gave a presentation of his SID project.

Photo of Jupiter by Anthony Tekatch from the parking lot observatory after the meeting.

May 5, 2002
Here is a shot of 5 planets taken last night at Binbrook by Stewart Attlesey.

Click on picture to enlarge (213K).

May 1, 2002
New Hubble Space Telescope images and stories at SPACE.COM.
Many of these images are suitable for computer desktop wallpaper

April 21, 2002
SkyWatch - Your Astronomical Alarm Clock

SkyWatch sends its subscribers a daily email message with information on important astronomical events that can be observed from their location. These events include meteor showers, satellite passes and eclipses.

April 20, 2002

Say Cheese

Here's my first attempt at astrophotography, actually luno/planeto-photography. Taken with a Canon ZR45MC camcorder/digital camera plain and with the aid of a 8" dobsonian. I just held the camera up to the eyepiece and tried for the best shot. The camera doesn't show the detail that the eye has, especially with the Saturn shot. The blueish moon is with the camera plain (no telescope). The other shots are through the telescope with a ND filter.

See more in the gallery.

Photos by Anthony Tekatch

April 17, 2002

These are some of my first attempts at Astro Photography, not very focused, not great contrast but I took these my first night out. All photo's below were taken with ab 8" Sky-Watcher Dobsonian with an Olympus C-2500L. The camera was mounted on an in-expensive camera adapter that held the lens against the lens of the telescope.

Photo's taken with an H24 eyepiece, Tuesday April 16, 2002 at 9:35pm
Can't wait to use the P20 or SuperP16!
Photos by Rick Macdougall.

April 15, 2002

Here's a composite picture of Ikeya-Zhang for the HAA Gallery.

This is Comet Ikeya-Zhang as it appeared on the evening of April 3, 2002, from north of Burlington, Ontario. This is a combination of enlargements of two photos taken with a 50mm lens at f/2.8 on a fixed tripod, one for 10 seconds and the other for 20 seconds. The fuzzy oval just to the right and below the head of the comet is the Andromeda Galaxy. Both were easily visible in binoculars.

Photo and description by Bob Christmas

April 13, 2002

Thanks to Discovery Channel's Ivan Semeniuk for his interesting and entertaining presentation on the other planets of our solar system.

Also, thanks to Bob Botts for his colourful presentation of photos from his recent trip to Arizona and other astro-photos.

Photo by Grant Dixon. (click for larger view).

April 10, 2002
[Introduction to Geomagnetic Fields] [The Northern Lights: The True Story of the Man Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aurora Borealis] Check out these books about Geomagnetism and the Northern Lights recommended by HAA chair Doug Welch.

If you have any recommendation, then please send them along.

April 8, 2002
The HAA is now an "Affinity group member" of Cosmiverse.com

This means that 35% of the money you spend there will be donated to the HAA to help keep our membership fees low. You can sign up there at the Affinity member login

April 7, 2002
A trip to the moon isn't complete without some music.

Here's a neat site that covers many moon related topics including moon music:

If you visit there, you'll hear some neat songs related to the Moon, many classical, but some not. You can pick out the songs you want to hear at their site map:

Thanks to Steve Willis of Medicine Hat, Alberta for that link.

April 7, 2002
NEW Domain name!

Thanks to the generosity of Rick MacDougall, in both time and money, the HAA now has its own domain name and hosting! Our new domain name is:


This moniker was chosen to reflect what the HAA is all about.

April 5, 2002
Millions might die! Read more in this CNN story about an asteroid on a possible collision course with Earth on March 2880.

April 5, 2002
HAA members can take advantage of these complimentary tickets to an upcoming production. Transit of Venus, by Canadian playwright Maureen Hunter.

The tickets are available for the April 10-13, 7:30 performances.

For more information contact Rob Covens, Box Office manager, Theatre & Company. P.O. Box 876, 36 King Street West, Kitchener, ONT N2G 4C5 CANADA, vox:  (519)  571-0928, fax: (519) 571-9051

March 17, 2002
Some photos from the March 16,2002 Binbrook Observation Night.

Hope to see you all at the next observing night April 5&6, 2002.

March 8, 2002
Thanks to Stewart Attlesey on his presentation on the comet "Ikeya-Zhang".

Read more about this comet at Sky and Telescope.

March 8, 2002
Thanks to Steve Bickerton, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University for his presentation on "Globular Cluster Systems and Galaxy Formation"

March 8, 2002
There is a funny item about astronomers getting the "color of the universe" wrong in a previous press release in today's nytimes.com. The source link for the work is:
The NYTimes used the headline "Beige Cosmos Produces Red Faces"!

February 24, 2002
Stewart Attlesey, founding member of the HAA has his own site with many interesting astronomy tips and links

February 22, 2002
Can't touch this!

Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) has some very hot images of the sun.

February 22, 2002
This is a spiral galaxy about 8 arcminutes SW of M104 (you can see it on the image of the central 3 chips). This galaxy is probably at about the distance of Coma. See more like this at Marcel VanDalfsen's web site

February 19, 2002
Check out this eclipsing binary demonstration. You need a JAVA enabled browser to view this simulation.

Orbiting stars which are separated by a small distance may pass in front of one another. It is not possible for astronomers to see the individual stars, but there will be a change in the total light coming from the two stars when they "eclipse" one another. This simulation shows how this eclipse happens.

February 8, 2002
Thanks to Doug Welch, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at McMaster University for his presentation on "The Next Generation Gravitational Microlensing Survey" and pictures from his recent observing run on the CTIO 4m telescope in Chile.

Doug's presentation included a discussion on the Massive Compact Halo Object MACHO project.

February 7, 2002
This Astronomy Movie Database has over 3000 Avi, Mov, Mpg files.

February 1, 2002
Here is a cool link to a set of Java applets that you can run on your own computer to do things like crash galaxies together!!

January 11, 2002
Thanks to Bob Christmas for his slide show of astro photos he took up north and Stewart Attlesey for his presentation on "When Galaxies Collide" which included computer animated simulations.

January 8, 2002
4 metre telescope in Chile taken (not literally) by Doug Welch.