Old HAA News from January 2006 thru December 2006

December 17, 2006

Make your own Hubble holiday cards!

Make your own Hubble holiday cards!

December 9, 2006

December meeting roundup [Updated]

  • Mike Spicer - The Sky This Month
  • Mark Gemmell - Scope Modifications. Followed by many member comment. Also, check out this link to building your own dew heater (submitted by Tim Harpur)
  • Tim Philp - Snips and Snails or Sugar and Spice; What are Little Stars Made Of?

  • Doorprize
We also presented the Scope Contest prize to this year's winner: Neil Galloway.
See photos here.

November 24, 2006

HAA in the news yet again!

Our club has once again been mentioned in the Brantford Expositor on Saturday November 11, 2006.

Click for the article (240K jpeg file).

November 22, 2006

Cable 14 airing HAA segment

Cable 14 will be running the segment on our meeting starting this Friday at 6:00 pm and will continue to run it 'til Monday.

November 11, 2006

November meeting roundup [Updated]

Mike Spicer gave a presentation on "The Sky for November". Followed by Bill Harris of McMaster University speaking on "The end of the world".

Read more here.

Dr. Harris mentioned the Sir Isaac Newton link at McMaster.

See photos here and here .

November 8, 2006

Catch the transit on the web!

Stuck under clouds - or a pile of work ?
Catch today's Mercury transit LIVE on the web.
Click here for Discovery Channel's Daily Planet link:

November 6, 2006

Origins Public Lecture - 3D Film Nights - "OUR SUN: WHAT A STAR"

The Origins Institute is proud to present a 3D movie entitled "Our Sun: What a Star" at a series of showings at the McMaster 3D theatre (in MDCL 1110). The program will begin with a short film featuring Allison Sekular, Department of Psychology, and Ken Sills, Department of Physics and Astronomy, which describes how a 3D theatre works and how we "see" in 3D (about 16 min). The 3D movie made by Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing will follow (about 20 min.). A question and answer period will follow. This project was supported financially by the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Research and High-Performance Computing Support Department, with technical support by the Learning Technologies Resource Centre, RHPCS, and Classroom Audio Visual Services.

November 16, 17, 23, and 24, 2006
To Reserve Tickets -go to the Origins website (Click on Public Lecture Series - follow instructions)

November 2, 2006

October meeting roundup

The October 2006 meeting of the HAA featured:
  • Professor Doug Welch of McMaster University talking about "I-Pod Astronomy"
  • Mike Spicer's presentation on "The sky this month"
  • And Tim Philp's "Cassini Mission" presentation
Read more here.

Fall 2006

Telescope Contest [Closed]

The HAA's Second Annual Scope Contest is now closed. The HAA thanks all contestants for their submissions. The prize is a Meade 70mm refractor on an alt-az tripod with an electronic drive, battery pack, and hand paddle control. It also comes with a 6x30 finder, 2 quality eyepieces and a 90° diagonal.

Check our website for the announcement of the winner on or before December 1, 2006!

Read more here.

October 7, 2006

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter image

Check out the image from the "HiRise" instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter - it actually shows one of the rovers! (Opportunity).

September 26, 2006

Planetary Systems and Prospects for Extraterrestrial Life at MACafé Scientifique

Please join us at the next McMaster Café on Planetary Systems and Prospects for Extraterrestrial Life featuring discussion leaders: Dr. Doug Welch, and Dr. Ralph Pudritz both from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, on Wednesday October 4, 2006 at the King Paisley Pub, 1019 King Street West, Hamilton, Ontario at 5:30 p.m. 905-527-7533

Read more here.

September 21, 2006

Audio Astronomy course online

Dr. Richard Pogge of Ohio State University has made available MP3 files (audio recordings) of all of his lectures in the first-year undergraduate astronomy course AST162. Check out the course webpage to learn more.

September 19, 2006

"Slacker Astronomy" latest podcast

Check out these show notes and latest MP3 podcast from the informative and always entertaining Slacker Astronomy.

Submitted by: Doug Welch

September 12, 2006

Moon libration animation

Several members were interested in where the animated GIF of the phases of the Moon and libration came from.

Check here.

September 10, 2006

September 8th Meeting Summary [Updated]

Mike Jefferson updated us on his spectroscopy work.
Glenn Muller described the building of his "dobservatory".
Greg Emery talked about "The Sky this Month".
Mike Spicer gave his "Observing the Moon" talk.
Heather Neproszel gave her talk about this year's lunar occultations of the Pleiades.

View photos of the meeting here.

September 10, 2006

HAA in the news yet again!

Our club has once again been mentioned in the Brantford Expositor on Saturday 2 September. The Expositor announced Nina Darrell as the winner of the Expositor's astronomy essay contest. Nina won a Meade telescope donated by HAA's Mike Spicer.

Click for the article (401K jpeg file).

September 7, 2006

JOHN KIDNER remembered

John Kidner passed away a few days ago and I know several of the HAA members knew him and certainly dealt with him at Perceptor in Schomberg.

Read the full memorial here

Submitted by: Charles Baetsen

September 1, 2006

The asteroid Phocaea

10th magnitude asteroid Phocaea moves south through Pegasus in September-October 2006, passing by bright stars and many faint galaxies.

Click here to view the finder chart.

Submitted by: Mike Spicer

August 28, 2006

StarFest 2006 photos

See some of our photos from StarFest 2006 here.

Do you have any pictures of StarFest 2006? Please email them to the images editor to have them included in the online gallery.

August 26, 2006

Chi Cygni: A powerful star

Our club has again been mentioned in the Brantford Expositor recently.

Click for the article (123K jpeg file).

August 11, 2006

Public Perseid Party

At the Binbrook Conservation Area. A slide show followed by tours of the night sky through member's telescopes at the pavillion. See images here.

July 29, 2006

Brantford meeting [Updated]

Check out pictures and summaries here and here from the Brantford meeting.

New images added.

July 6, 2006

Free A.A.V.S.O. CD

Free for the Asking from Mike Spicer... a 2 CD set from the A.A.V.S.O. with 5,000 variable star charts and a complete AAVSO observer's manual. Something essential for the variable star observer.

email: DeBeneEsse2001@aol.com

June 24, 2006
From Hubblesite.org

Pluto's three moons

Pluto (Visible in 12 inch scopes) now has 3 moons: Charon (visible in 20 inch scopes), Nix and Hydra (visible in 60 inch scopes).

Charon is mag 19. If Nix and Hydra are 1/5000 as bright, that makes them mag. 28. This image is from the Hubble Space telescope.

Submitted by: Mike Spicer

June 13, 2006

Dr. Doug Welch on Quirks & Quarks

Listen to Quirks & Quarks this Saturday June 17 for an interview with Dr. Doug Welch, founding member of the H.A.A. . He will be speaking about "Astronomers discovery of the Universe's 'smoking gun'".
Also, watch this space for another story/interview by Doug on the same topic.

June 10, 2006

June Meeting Summary

Click images.
"AstroPhotography from the Urban Backyard" presented by Paul Mortfield

Its not always convenient to drag our imaging equipment to a distant dark sky site. Paul showed the tools and techniques used to capture spectacular deep sky images from the convenience of the light polluted backyard.

Paul Mortfield has been imaging the sky for almost 40yrs. His images have appeared in Sky & Telescope magazine, NASA publications, plus several books and newspapers. His Comet Hale-Bopp portraits were featured on the CBS Evening News. Paul uses his backyard observatory for research projects and photography.

"Observing Jupiter 2006 Project booklets" by Mike Spicer were available free of charge at the meeting or by downloading here.
See Sandy Maude's photos of the meeting.
See Mike Spicer's review of the meeting.

June 6, 2006

Amazing Facts about Australia's Southern Skies

This excellent book written by Dr. Doug Welch for children and adults is loaded with pictures and facts about the planets and many other sites in the night sky.

It is available at Titles Bookstore at McMaster University for $14.95 (plus GST and shipping if needed). It is shelved under both "Science" and "Mac Authors". ISBN: 1740218353.
Orders via email to: bookstr@mcmaster.ca
By phone: toll free 1-800-238-1623 ask for ext 22632
                or    905-525-9140 ext 22632

May 18, 2006

HAA in the news!

Our club has again been mentioned in the Brantford Expositor on Saturday 13 May, mentioning the HAA observing session May 7th at Binbrook and including an image captured of the Comet 73P/M57 from that event.

Click for the article (250K jpeg file).

May 14, 2006

Astrophotography Clinic

On Saturday, May 13, 2006 the HAA met at the Teamsters Hall for the Astrophotography Clinic. An informal evening of show and tell where all aspects of astrophotography were discussed and demonstrated. Demonstrators included Tim Harpur, Mike Jefferson, Darrell and Sandy Maude, Mike Spicer, Ann and Bill Tekatch.

Read more here, and images here.

May 13, 2006

HAA May 12 meeting Summary

Observing Targets for May" by by Greg Emery. "An observing update on Comet 73P" by Tim Philp, and "Observing Jupiter" by Mike Spicer.
Read more here, and images here.

May 8, 2006

Radio Astronomy Supplies

Are you interested in Radio astronomy? Here's a site that sells many devices for the radio astronomer.

Link submitted by Doug Welch

May 6, 2006

Astronomy Day [Updated images 2006-05-09]

In recognition of International Astronomy Day (Night), members of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers set up their telescopes in the parking lot at the Hamilton Bayfront Park for a public viewing. Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon were in clear view.

See pictures here.

May 5, 2006

HAA member's pic in the news!

The Brantford Expositor published a photo taken by an HAA member, as part of Tim Philp's Astronomy column 22 April 06. 315K jpeg file

Reproduced with permission

April 24, 2006

Starry Night Contest

Starry Night's May 2006 newsletter advertises a "contest" where you can send in a photo best demonstrating "Astronomy Day" sentiments.

The prize is a Starry Night Pro 5 DVD set.

Sign up for their May 2006 newsletter here.

Submitted by Mike Spicer

April 14, 2006

Changes in the sky near Comet 73P

Comparing last night's 73P image with the Palomar Sky Survey image from 50 years ago, it appears there have been some changes in the area... possibly there are some variable stars and I have marked the 3 most obvious ones on the comparison image.

by Mike Spicer

April 7, 2006

Meeting Summary [Updated]

Three speakers and a full house. Mike Spicer "A report on Periodic Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3", Dr. Doug Welch "Adaptive Optics", and Dr. Cliff Burgess "The Drake Equation - Calculating the odds of alien life."

Read more details here, photos here.

See Mike Spicer's presentation here.

March 25, 2006
Greg Emery

HAA Astro Challenge

As presented at the March HAA meeting, Greg Emery's HAA Astro Challenge is on-line here in various formats: HTML DOC Excel

March 19, 2006


Sunday, March 19th, 2006, several HAA members were on hand at the Binbrook Agricultural Centre in support of the Ontario Birds of Prey. The HAA booth drew much interest from those attending. Thanks to Tim Harpur, Mike Jefferson, Darrell & Sandy Maude, Gail & Glenn Muller, Heather Neproszel, Mike Spicer, and Gary Sutton for coming out to this event. More details can be found in the Activities blog.
See pictures by Sandy Maude, Tim Harpur, Glenn Muller, and Mike Spicer here.

March 11, 2006

Meeting Summary

Greg Emery:The HAA observing database
Glenn Muller:Creating a spreadsheet observing log
Tim Philp:Books that changed the Universe

Read the full decription here, and see pictures here by Mike Spicer and Sandy Maude .

February 13, 2006

Rare Variable Star Outburst

This variable (RS Oph) has brightened to naked eye level for the first time in 21 years!

See the charts here.

Submitted by: Steve Kinsella

February 11, 2006

New Type Ia supernova

There is a new Type Ia supernova in the Virgo galaxy M100 called 2006X. It is still brightening and will likely get bright enough to be seen in amateur telescopes.

Submitted by: Doug Welch

February 11, 2006

Meeting Summary (new pictures added)

Greg Emery:Observing February Skies
Mike Jefferson:Spectra - Part 2
Ann Tekatch:Building a backyard "Sky Shed"
Glenn Muller:Hubble's Tuning Fork

Read the full decription here, and see pictures here by Sandy Maude and Mike Spicer.

January 28, 2006

Saturn astro-image

Saturn by Heather Neproszel.

January 25, 2006

New Member astro-images

By Tim Harpur and Mike Spicer, updated with Saturn.

January 21, 2006

Planets and Pretenders - Part Deux

A slide presentation, on how newly discovered variables have blurred definitions for solar system objects, was followed by an open discussion on creating a new system of categorization. Read more here.

January 16, 2006

"Slacker Astronomy" on iTunes

Want to learn about the latest happenings in astronomy at a fun and informative level? Slacker Astronomy carries weekly 10-minute "podcasts" about interesting and current astronomical stories. You can subscribe through iTunes or download individual MP3 files from the website to listen to on your computer or MP3 player.

Submitted by: Doug Welch

January 13, 2006

Meeting Summary

  • Debra Ceravolo: Hunting Supernovae.
  • Mike Jefferson: The skies over Costa Rica, and Spectrographic images.
  • Mike Spicer: Imaging Saturn and its moons. See the full presentation here
  • Free door prize ticket to everyone who arrives BEFORE 7:30pm.
Read more details here.

January 13, 2006

New images by Tim Harpur

See some new images by HAA member Tim Harpur here.

January 7, 2006

The colourful Moon

This picture [description updated Jan 8, 2005] is a composite of many images stacked with Registax photographed by HAA member Hal Mueller.

Also, here are some interesting NASA stories of other Lunar phenomenon:

January 6, 2006
Telscope Clinic

Telescope clinic

The HAA telescope clinic was a real success, read more here.

Pictures here.

January 6, 2006

Cloudy days and Cloudy nights

Have you been imaging alternative subjects under cloudy skies the past 6 weeks? Good news, the sky is blue again! You may have a chance to see the Moon and Saturn this weekend!

Photo and Story by: Mike Spicer

January 5, 2006
Sky Quality Meter

Sky Quality Meter mentioned in Feb 2006 Sky and Telescope!

The February 2006 edition of Sky and Telescope contains an article titled "Measuring Skyglow with Digital Cameras" by Tony Flanders on the page 104 which mentions the Sky Quality Meter made by HAA members Doug Welch and Anthony Tekatch.

Submitted by: Mike Spicer