It's that time of year again when IDA (international Dark Sky Association) and NOAO (National Optical Astronomy Observatory) at Kitt Peak team up with their partners and people like you to determine how dark our skies are (or aren't).
"With half of the world’s population now living in cities, many urban dwellers have never experienced the wonderment of pristine dark skies and maybe never will. Light pollution is obscuring people’s long-standing natural heritage to view stars. The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by encouraging everyone everywhere to measure local levels of night sky brightness and contribute observations online to a world map. All it takes is a few minutes to participate between 8-10 pm, March 22 through April 4. Your measurements will make a world of difference."
It's a pretty simple exercise. You go out at night, record your location and time, count how may stars you see in Leo, and file the info on their website. Globe At Night. You don't even need to head out to a dark sky location. It can be done from your backyard or balcony.
There's lot of information at their website about how to do the experiment, and learn more about light pollution. It includes charts to find your exact latitude and longitude.
Become a citizen scientist and record your count, plus it's a fun excuse to look up.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, we had to postpone the Imaging Clinic.
It will now be held on Fri April 15. We will be sending emails to members to provide more information. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Perigee Moon shot over the hustle and bustle of downtown Burlington.
Moon at perigee over Burlington
A number of people showed up at Lakeland Centre on Van Wagner's Beach to take photos of tonight's Super Moon. Here's a photo of the action.
Super Lunar photography at Van Wagner's Beach
Be sure to take a peek at the Moon tonight, the largest full moon you will see for 18 years!
It's because its elliptical orbit around the earth has its closest point in the line with the earth and sun tonight,
and the moon just happens to be there, giving us a full moon.
A fuller moon you won't be seeing for some time!
To celebrate the event, the HAA will be getting together very soon, for a
moon-rise observation session, at the parking lot on Van Wagners Beach Road,
between the go-carts and the wading pool...
Here's a map
The moon rises at about 7:30, so get yourself and your friends down there right away, and we will
be delighted to celebrate the event with you!
Hamilton Amateur Astronomers
Saturday's full Moon is the closest, biggest, and brightest in 19 years.
So let me know with a comment if you see it (through clouds).
Special bonus points if you tell a friend about it and they actually look up at it :)
Saturday Nights' Full moon will be a "Perigee Moon" the closest full moon since March 1993.
Moon Rise will be at approximately 19:53 EDT. At a distance of 222,375 miles.
In the southern Ontario area the moon will rise at 97.8 degrees (East)
The next "Perigee Moon" will not occur till 2029.
Full moons look different because of the elliptical shape of the moon's orbit.
When it's at perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer to Earth than when it's at the farthest point of its orbit, also known as apogee.
Definitely worth a look.
The Clear Sky Clock for Hamilton area show the possibility of 20% cloud cover from 18:00 - 21:00
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I am putting some links into the 'comments' for this post. Putting them there causes the machine to count the number of views, (which i am curious about).
There you will find references to Messier Objects,
and other surprises.
This is an image of the ISS and Discovery passing over Polaris from Burlington on March 7 at about 6:56 pm. Discovery is at right, leading the way; the ISS is at left. Canon Digital Rebel 300D with 50mm lens set at f/4; ISO 400; 2 second exposure. --- Bob Christmas
ISS and Space Shuttle Discovery on March 7, 2011 over Burlington
We watched the space shuttle, Discovery, and the International Space Station pass overhead this evening from our driveway. They were very bright and about 30 seconds apart, moving in tandem across the sky. It was a lovely sight and the best naked eye view of a shuttle we've ever had. I took some photos and share one here. Because they followed the same path in the sky, both Discovery and the ISS form a single, thin, white line in the photo. (The circles of light are internal reflections from the camera lens caused by a streetlight just out of the frame.)
Discovery and the ISS passing over Hamilton
Most of Southern Ontario will be witness to a rare Double Flyby tonight.
As of 8:37am EST Shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station, on her final flight and is returning home for the last time.
This evening starting at approx. 6:55 pm EST a rare double Flyby will be visible as the Shuttle and the ISS will seem to be chasing each other across the Northern sky.
The Shuttle will rise above the horizon at 18:56:00 EST (look to the NW).
It will head east across the sky rising to a height of 47 Deg in the NE.
The ISS will rise above the horizon approx. 30 seconds behind the Shuttle and follow an
almost identical track across the sky rising to a height of 48 Deg in the NE.
Below is the link to the NASA satelite sighting page for Canada.
Select your province, then select the closest city to where you live.
Here is a link to Mario Carr's latest astronomy column in the local paper. I'm sure you'll enjoy reading his article as much as I did. Well done, Mario!
Check out this excellent video presentation by some university students who are trying to make a difference. Vote for their video to help in the fight against light pollution.
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