Archive for the ‘MAG Events’ Category

Nova East 2014

The annual observing, talking, gathering, camping weekend will again take place at Smiley’s Provincial Park in Hants County. This year it on the weekend of 22 August to 24 August.

You can see the details and register at the website http://halifax.rasc.ca/ne/

June 2014 Meeting

Speaker: Roy Bishop
Topic: The Optics of the Eye

Saturday, June 14, 7 p.m.
Location: Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Summary:
Both in everyday life and for viewing the heavens, our eyes provide our primary contact with the external world. Even astronomers who rely on photographs and data recorded by various electronic sensors depend upon their eyes when interpreting the information received. Roy will address several topics, including: the optical design of the eye, why you have to look directly at a printed word to read it, why in terms of the electromagnetic spectrum we are almost blind, why the eye pupil is black, why the role of the iris is not to adjust the illumination on the retina, and seven reasons why you do not see the image on your retinas.

Note: Following this month’s meeting, the next meeting of MAG will be in September.
Also, do not forget the Nova East Star Party on the weekend of August 22-24: http://halifax.rasc.ca/ne/

May Meeting

7pm Saturday, 10 May
Avonport at 475 Bluff Road
Speaker: Roy Bishop
Topic: What Makes the Stars Shine?

Summary:
Life on Earth is composed of star stuff, and the nearest star sustains that life. The stars are clumps of mostly hydrogen and helium, clumps with masses neither too small nor too large. Atomic nuclei play a crucial role in the life of a star, giving each star a long but finite life, and orchestrating the demise of a star. In turn, quantum mechanics and the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces play key roles in determining what atomic nuclei are possible. As Obi-Wan Kenobe put it: “You must learn the ways of the force.” Roy will attempt to weave these various topics together, and end with some observations on a dying star whose dimming light has been shining on each one of us during the past few months.

March Meeting on the 8th

Time: Saturday, March 8, 7 p.m.
Location: Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker: Keith Walker
Topic: Building Baie Ste. Marie Observatory

Though largely about the design and construction of his observatory, this presentation will also serve to introduce Keith to the group. He has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and will show the fruits of his labour, with several astrophotographs taken at the observatory.

Keith have been interested in astronomy since literally before he can remember. For most of his life, he has been a keen armchair astronomer. It is only in the last four years that he have actually begun practising on a regular basis. His dream for years was to be able to take photographs of deep space objects, and is now enjoying fulfilling that dream.

The Baie Ste. Marie Observatory is in St.Bernard, Nova Scotia. Keith has a website showing his observatory and it function. See www.dulcemelos.ca

8th February Meeting

Saturday, February 8, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker: Chris Young
Topic: “ One Sky, Many Stories”

Backyard and armchair astronomer Chris Young will provide a
presentation which looks at star patterns and night sky stories of
cultures other than those of our western culture. From the arctic to
Africa and the pacific we share many, if not most, of the stars we
see from Nova Scotia. Come find new delights in gazing at the night sky!
Suitable for all audiences (unlike the Greek myths!).

Chris is Secretary of the RASC Halifax Centre

January 2014 Meeting

Saturday, January 11, 7 p.m. - Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker: Dr. Randall Brooks

Topic: Beyond the Fog

There have been more observatories in Nova Scotia than you would
guess. Today ‘s observatories are mostly for observing pleasure
punctuated with some photography and even original research. But
BBGO (you’ll have to wait to discover what that means!),
observatories supported surveying and mapping, navigational
requirements and some institutions’ teaching of how the celestial
firmament supported their religious values. Some observatories were
even internationally significant. Learn where these were, who
operated them and the stories about their purpose.


NOTE: Bring a flashlight to the meeting!
Use the parking lot at #475, and if that is full, park at my home
next door (#465), not along the Bluff Road. If you do park next door,
a path to the meeting begins beside my garage. No need to walk on the
Bluff Road, but you will need a flashlight to follow the path.

 

December Meeting

Earliest Sunset/Winter Solstice/Christmas/Year End get together.

Where: Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

When: 7 pm, Saturday, 7 December

Rather than have a main speaker, we will have

  • photos with music
  • comments by anyone on what the past  year has meant to them astronomically,
  • poetry and readings related to the heavens above,
  • conversation and refreshments. 

Suggestions welcome!

A few MAG members have a conflict on the second Saturday of December.
Thus the meeting will be on December 7.

November meeting

Where: 475 Bluff Road, Avonport, N.S.

When: Saturday, Nov 09 at 7 pm AST

Speaker #1: Nathan Gray
Topic: My Supernova Discovery

Nathan Gray is a family member of the RASC through his father Paul
Gray. Nathan has been looking to the sky since he was a young boy
attending summer star parties at camping weekends with his parents.
He has attended the Mount Carleton Star Party twice, the Dam Star
Party near Fredericton 6 times, Starfest in Ontario twice, Nova East
three times, and one General Assembly of the RASC. He enjoys looking
at the Milky Way and constellations in the night sky, and more
recently began supernova hunting. Having seen his sister search for
and find a supernova, Nathan has wanted to do the same, with his
sights set on her world age record for discovering a supernova. Last
week (October 30th), after several months of searching, Nathan found
his first supernova at the age of 10 years, 9 days, beating his
sister by more than 30 days.

Speaker #2: Roy Bishop
Topic: Comet ISON

Comet ISON is presently near the orbit of Venus and diving toward the
Sun. No one knows if ISON, a Sun-grazer, will survive its perihelion
passage on November 28, and if it does survive, how bright it will
appear in our dawn sky in early December. By our next meeting
(December 14) we will know whether “The Great Comet of 2013″ hype was
justified. Roy will describe ISON’s path through the Solar System,
and where, when, and how to view it.

NOTE: Bring a flashlight to the meeting! Here is why:
Use the parking lot at #475, and if that is full, park at my home
next door (#465), not along the Bluff Road. If you do park next door,
a gravel path to the meeting begins beside my garage. No need to walk
on the Bluff Road, but you will need a flashlight to follow the path.
(The solar lights along the path do not last long at this time of year!)

October Meeting – 19th

Saturday, October 19, 7 p.m.

Speaker: Paul Gray

Topic: Dark Nebulae: Observing and Imaging

For over 12 years Paul Gray has observed and recently began imaging
countless dark nebulae. Looking for dark nebulae is about as
disconcerting as fumbling for the light switch in a dark guest room!
Paul will share his knowledge on how to observe and image these dark
silhouettes in the night sky.

Paul has been a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
for 26 years, having joined as a youth. In that time he has been a
member of the Halifax and New Brunswick Centres. He has served as a
member of council in both centres in a number of roles, including
President of the New Brunswick Centre. Now he serves as a member of
the Board of Directors of the national RASC.

For several years in Halifax he was a volunteer speaker at the
Halifax Planetarium. Within the RASC he has been a strong supporter
of public outreach and education. While a member of the New Brunswick
Centre he was a driving force behind the creation of the Mt. Carleton
and Kouchibouguac Dark Sky Preserves, the first in the Atlantic
provinces.

He enjoys spending time under the night sky with his telescopes, both
visually looking for faint fuzzies as well as dark nebulae, and
imaging the sky. His other passion has been hunting for supernovae,
distant, massive stars exploding at the end of their lives. This last
venture has rubbed off on his children, with Nathan and Kathryn both
now searching, Kathryn having found her first in late 2010.

Meeting Place: Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

When you arrive for the MAG meeting:
Use the parking lot at #475, and if that is full, park at my home
next door (#465), not along the Bluff Road. If you do park next door,
there is a new, shorter route from your car to the meeting: a gravel
path that begins beside my garage. After dark, the path has lights
along it. No need to walk on the Bluff Road!

No September Meeting

NOTE: Because Nova East was this month, we will not have a meeting in September

The next meeting will be 19th of October, the third Saturday, because Thanksgiving is on the preceding weekend.

 

MAG Events