Stargazing for the Naked Eye

Join us this September 14th 2018 at 7:30pm – Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

Since the earliest days of humanity, mankind has been fascinated with the heavens above. For millions of years, the only tool available for our species to view the universe was built into our body – the most complex and incredible optical tool known to man – the human eye. Since the dawn of the telescope 400 years ago, astronomy has been dominated by ever larger optics. Binoculars, refractors, dobsonians, mountaintop observatories and orbiting space telescopes. Yet we often forget there’s an entire universe waiting to be seen at any moment, simply by looking up. Philosophers, scientists, religious leaders and mythologists discovered countless sights in the cosmos and collected thousands of years of scientific knowledge, tradition and mythology with nothing more than the naked eye. From dust sized particles whizzing through the atmosphere to galaxies millions of light years away, join Kevin on a journey across the cosmos undertaken with nothing more than your own two eyes.

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Introduction to Deep-Sky Image Processing with PixInsight

Join us this June 8th 2018 at 7:30pm – Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

PixInsight, has become a popular image processing software package in recent years, especially for deep-sky astrophotography. Ron Brecher has used PixInsight for all of his deep sky processing since 2009. In this demonstration, Ron will show you how you can reveal the hidden treasures in your deep-sky images with just a few processing steps: crop bad edges, correct gradients, balance the colour, supress the noise, “stretch” the histogram and adjust colour, brightness and contrast. He will also take a few side trips to talk about using masks, deconvolution and sharpening, and managing noise in your images.

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The Nuts and Bolts of Astrophotography

Join us this May 11th 2018 at 7:30pm – Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

This talk is for people who are just getting into astrophotography. It will cover various equipment setups, camera sensors and settings and the purpose of lights, darks and flats. The talk will also cover how to choose targets that match your capabilities and your equipment. This is not a talk about image processing however I will touch briefly on image stacking. Please note that although astrophotography can be accomplished with video, Digital SLR or CMOS/CCD specialized cameras, this talk will only cover the use of a Digital SLR camera.

Astrophotography is a hobby within hobbies. To succeed, you need to have at least some experience with cameras and lenses, telescopes and mounts, image processing and a reasonable amount of knowledge regarding the night sky. Even if you can satisfy all of these prerequisites, your learning curve will still be very steep. Hopefully, this talk will help you get started on the path to becoming an Astrophotographer.

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Archaeoastronomy: The Astronomy of Civilizations Past

Join us this April 13th 2018 at 7:30pm – Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

For millennia, people (including our First Nations) have used the sky as a clock, calendar, and compass. Astronomy thus became deeply rooted in their spirituality, mythology, and culture. This profusely-illustrated, non-technical presentation will describe the astronomy of civilizations ranging from the Polynesians who navigated the vast Pacific Ocean, the builders of Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and the Chinese, Indian, and Islamic astronomers who preserved and developed astronomy through Europe’s “Dark Ages”, leading to the Copernican Revolution and our present conception of the universe.

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Astronomy 101 and your Guide to Note-taking

Join us this March 9th 2018 at 7:30pm – Admission is free and everyone is welcome!

Following up Jim Wamsley’s introduction to telescopes in Part 1, John Gauvreau now guides you through what a beginner can expect from their very first views through that scope. From planets to galaxies, small scopes and large, find out what you can really see out under the night sky and how best to see it. Bernie Venasse will then speak about note-taking: why should I bother? and what do I record?

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Binbrook Conservation Area

Mallincams: For Outreach and Observing in Light Polluted Areas

Due to a snowfall weather alert for the GTA, tonights event has been cancelled. 

February 9th 2018, Hamilton Amateur Astronomers General Meeting

As light pollution impacts the abilities of amateur astronomers to view with their telescopes anything faint in cities or the suburbs, they are forced to drive greater distances to reach dark sites. But what if it was possible to observe faint deep sky objects from the heart of the city or suburb light domes. This presentation will show how astro-video technologies can take you beyond the ordinary eyepiece views in light-polluted skies.

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Astronomy 101; A Beginners Guide – General Meeting

January 12th 2018 General Meeting

Welcome to the world of amateur astronomy! Join members of the HAA as they guide you through the first steps of this fascinating hobby, with a simple introduction to the types of telescopes to choose from, the parts and pieces, and how to use them. Then imagine stepping outside to look up at the night sky, and enjoy the second half of the talk with a guide to the types of celestial objects within your reach and how to get the most out of a new scope with realistic expectations of actually seeing the stars, planets and more. Those who are interested can go further by joining the HAA Beginners Group and enjoy more seminars, all as a necessary precursor to borrowing one of the club’s loaner scopes.

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Planning for Deepsky and Nightscape Photography

Friday December 8th General Meeting

Kerry-Ann Lecky Hepburn will be discussing how to prepare and plan for a night of imaging with special consideration to location, time, weather and sky quality considerations. She will also be discussing how to interpret weather forecasts and use various websites, apps and desktop software in order to optimize your night out under the stars. Her talk will also be applicable to those who aren’t interesting in photography.

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Eyepieces, November 10th General Meeting

General Meeting for November 10th 2017.

Barry Sherman will be speaking on telescope eyepieces at this Friday’s November 10th general meeting.


The HAA 2018 Celestial Events Calendar will be available at this event.

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This Day in Astronomical History, General Meeting and Council Elections

General Meeting for October 13th 2017.

Kevin Salwach will be speaking about this day in astronomy history, covering some of astronomy’s notable figures.

Kevin Salwach is a councillor-at-large with the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers, and has been a member of the club for almost a decade. Kevin first discovered his love of the cosmos at McMaster’s McCallion Planetarium in winter 2008, and after seeing Saturn through Jim Wamsley’s telescope at an HAA public night the following spring, he was hooked for life. An avid amateur astronomer, pilot, hunter and trapper, Kevin can frequently be found observing the stars from the balcony of his apartment in downtown Hamilton or enjoying the great outdoors in the forests of Flamborough and Dundas.

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