I was all ready with camera in hand (well, on a tripod) and looking forward to a well placed pass of the International Space Station and the shuttle Endeavor over Hamilton this evening. Naturally, just before they were due to arrive, clouds rolled in. Of course, this big piece of space hardware is so bright that it showed easily through the thin cloud and light pollution. Here is a shot of it going behind the clouds and in front of Cassiopeia.
ISS and Endeavor over Hamilton
There are more passes visible this week, so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to see the ISS and space shuttle, and don't forget to wave at the astronauts on board as they go by!
These handbooks contain a wealth of data about the coming year's celestial events,
and many chapters about astronomical topics.
I am buying one...
Since there are already 11 members requesting a copy,
I will be able to pass the quantity discounts to any who
email me in the next week or so to reserve a copy, for payment and
pick-up at our Dec 12 meeting, or otherwise, by special arrangement.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are up to 14 orders now. They will be purchased early next week.
Speak now or be prepared to pay more later.
My own web site of astrophotos and comet images has been updated with some of my most recent images (including the Jupiter and Milky Way image below).
My digital images page is:
My page of comet images is:
For the past couple of years, Gail and I have spent an evening showing the grade six class of Grimsby’s Park Road Public School the showpieces of the night sky.
Last Wednesday (Nov. 5th) would be our third outing and proved to have the best turnout yet as the teacher had invited another school’s grade six class to join us.
We couldn’t have asked for better conditions and Gail soon had a line up, at our 6” dob, to look at the Moon and Jupiter while I entertained another group with views of M31/32, the Ring Nebula, and Albireo as captured by our 12” reflector.
One of the parents also set up a Meade ETX so the 35 kids and 20 adults had a variety of scopes to look through. A few had brought binoculars so my laser pointer got some use as I showed them where to find the Pleiades, Andromeda Galaxy, and Brocchi’s Cluster (The Coathanger).
About 8pm, everyone was ushered into one of the portable classrooms where I gave a short presentation designed to answer some of their most pressing questions such as how many stars are there?; what is a black hole?; what is a worm hole?; and do galaxies ever collide?
For that last one I’d downloaded a small animation program called Colliding Galaxies which I think went over really well as the kids kept asking me to “do another one!”.
We all had an excellent time, and one or two of the adults expressed some interest in the HAA so perhaps we’ll see them at a future meeting.
If you’d like to download the galaxy crashing program for yourself, you can get a free demo version at:
Unable to resist these mild, heady days of November, a small group of us met on the hill at Binbrook for a lovely night under the moon and stars.
Jim, Jackie, Andrew, Don, Heather, Moe and I all enjoyed lovely views through five different scopes. Andrew's big dob showed the dust lanes in the Andromeda galaxy very well, and Heather did some fine star hopping to locate Uranus. I enjoyed a wonderful moon and the good company.
The Moon and Jupiter set into the west, while their reflections rise to meet them.
The moon showed a wealth of detail. This image was shot afocally by holding my camera up to the eyepiece of my telescope.
The Double Cluster in Perseus, a fall classic. This is a single 3 minute exposure taken through my 80mm refractor. The original image shows a bucketful of stars
I imaged the North American Nebula last night - again without the aid of any tracking or dedicated astro-gear. It's a tough one and extremely faint - I wasn't able to get much detail or correct colour balancing by stacking 1.6sec exposures but it is visible:
The following is an untracked image created from stacking 99 x 1.6 sec exposures of Andromeda:
This is a blog of recent observing sessions, meetings, happenings within the HAA. Feel free to contribute!
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