Archive for the ‘Astronomy Talk’ Category

December Meeting SST

Minas Astronomy Group –– December Meeting
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
Saturday, November 8, 2 p.m.

NOTE !!, 2 p.m., not 7 p.m., an experiment suggested by a member of MAG so as to avoid driving in the dark, and a late night for those having a long drive.

Speaker: Prof. Telescope, aka Dave Chapman

Topic: How Does a Telescope Work?

Summary:
Most of us understand that a telescope magnifies distant objects and “brings them closer,” but how this works sometimes seems like magic. Prof. Telescope will explain the workings of a telescope, starting from the basics, using intuitive concepts, with a minimum of math. He will also bring some everyday lenses for hands-on learning.

CV:
Prof. Telescope is Dave Chapman, a long-time RASC member (1983) who has observed the night sky with telescopes for nearly 6 decades. He left England as a boy in 1957, and lived in various places across Canada, settling in Dartmouth, NS. He studied physics at UBC (MSc, 1977), followed by 31 years of distinguished underwater acoustics research for the Navy. He received the RASC Simon Newcomb Award and the RASC Service Award, is Editor Emeritus of the RASC Observer’s Handbook, and is currently the Chair of the national RASC Observing Committee.

November Meeting – 10 Nov

Minas Astronomy Group –– November Meeting

Speaker:
Blair MacDonald
Saturday, November 10, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Topic: In search of Degenerates, My Hunt for Sirius-B

Summary:
Five years ago Dave Chapman and I hunted for Sirius B at an Atlantic Photo Supply public event. After unsuccessfully trying to observe the white dwarf I decided to attempt to image the faint star. My talk is the story of that search using three telescopes over five years. The talk will discuss the difficulties in tracking down this elusive target and some of the techniques used to overcome them.

CV:
I’m an electronics technologist with 38 years of design and signal processing experience in the law enforcement, defence and scientific industry sectors. I joined the RASC over 25 years ago and quickly became an avid observer. When I got interested in astrophotography I soon discovered that image processing and image capture were simply two dimensional generalizations of the work I do in my day job.

June Meeting – 9th

Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker: Bill Sproul

Topic: The Sun – Its Effect on Radio Communications

Summary: Civilization has been radically transformed by radio technology, beginning in the early 20th century and continuing until the present. The Sun plays a large part in the behavior of many terrestrial radio waves. My presentation will discuss the effects of the Sun on radio propagation, beginning with a brief discussion on the Sun, followed by a more detailed discussion on solar phenomena and their particular effects on radio.

Bill Sproul is an amateur astronomer, electronics enthusiast, and licensed amateur radio operator (call sign VA1BIL). He operates a high frequency radio station and has made contacts with other amateur radio stations around the world.

May Meeting – 12th

Minas Astronomy Group –– May Meeting
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
Saturday, May 12, 7 p.m.

Speakers: Melody Hamilton, Judy Black, Dave Chapman, Jerry Black

Chile’s Atacama Desert: Our Southern Sky Experience

During a human lifetime, Earth’s rotational angular momentum, a vector quantity, is nearly fixed relative to the distant stars. As a consequence, for observers in Nova Scotia (latitude 45 degrees north) Earth itself blocks our view of 15% of the Universe. Assuming that atmospheric absorption prevents adequate views within 8 degrees of our horizon, 20% of the Universe is effectively blocked from our view. You would think that with 80% of the Universe viewable from Nova Scotia, why would anyone undertake a trip south of the equator merely to see that missing 20%? And why Chile? Come to MAG on May 12 to find out!
Four MAG members journeyed to northern Chile to observe and image the splendours of the southern skies, most for the very first time. Come hear their stories and share their images.

March 2018 Meeting

Meeting
Saturday, March 10, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
Speaker: Bill Sproul

Topic: The Sun – Its Effect on Radio Communications

Summary:
Civilization was radically transformed by radio technology in the 20th century, and the Sun is responsible in many ways for the behavior of radio waves. My presentation will discuss the effects of the Sun on radio propagation, beginning with a brief discussion on the Sun, followed by a more detailed discussion on solar phenomena and their effects on radio.

Bill Sproul is an amateur astronomer, electronics enthusiast, and licensed amateur radio operator (call sign VA1BIL). He operates a high frequency radio station and has made contacts with other amateur radio stations around the world.

Feb 2018 Meeting

Saturday, February 10, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker #1: Roy Bishop

Topic: Origin of the Chemical Elements

Summary: Recent spectral data from old stars in dwarf galaxies, together with optical and gravitational wave observations of the collision of two neutron stars, have given additional insight into the origin of the heavier elements.

Speaker #2: Gertrude Bishop

Topic: Contemplations about the Universe

Summary: The astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson put it this way:
“At one time or another every one of us has looked up at the night sky and wondered: What does it all mean? How does it all work? And, what is my place in the universe?

I will share some of my thoughts about the universe, and invite you to share your insights, as stargazers.

January 2018 MAG Meeting

Saturday, January 13, 7 p.m.
Avonport, 475 Bluff Road

Speaker: Sherman Williams

Topic: Charles Messier

Summary

Charles Messier (1730-1817) was a French astronomer and comet-hunter, whose famous Messier list of objects is a bucket list for amateur astronomers, especially for those in the Northern Hemisphere. Many of his famous observations were made in Paris and he was buried in a Paris cemetery.

In October, 2017, my wife, Beverley, and I went to France and Holland; our travels included some time in Paris. Charles Messier was among our topics and places of interest to explore. Research gave the name of the Paris cemetery in which his grave exists; some comments suggested that it had been lost and the name was unlisted. Fortunately, recent efforts of some astronomy enthusiasts have relocated his grave. Even though his name is still not on the cemetery list, location references from their visits have been shared. We chose to see if we too, could find it.

On further research I discovered that Messier’s observing place which resulted in his famous list, was within easy reach of our location. Also, I came across a copy of an English translation of Messier’s first publication of his now famous list; it includes his personal comments. On MAG night I hope to present highlights from this delightful experience.

December Meeting – 9th

Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
Saturday, December 9, 7 p.m.

Speaker: Larry Bogan

Titles: Finding a Target for New Horizons, and What’s in the Milky Way Halo?

Part 1: I found the occultation measurements of 2014 MU69 fascinating and since they used amateur astronomy equipment, I thought others might be interested.

Part 2: The halo of the Milky Way is usually ignored so I thought I would see what we know about it.

Reminders:
1. If you need directions to 475 Bluff Road, ask: RLB@eastlink.ca <mailto:RLB@eastlink.ca>
2. The night will be dark. Bring a flashlight in the event you may have to park next door at #465.

October Meeting

 

Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
This Saturday, October 14, 7 p.m.

Speaker: Roy Bishop

Topic: Astronomical Events during the Summer of 2017

Several significant events have occurred since our last meeting, some
local, some of planet-wide interest. For our first meeting of the
2017/18 season — a review.

If you need directions to 475 Bluff Road, ask: RLB@eastlink.ca

June MAG Meeting

Avonport, 475 Bluff Road
Saturday, June 10, 7 p.m.

Speaker: Larry Bogan

Topic: Visits to two Observing programs at New Mexico Observatories
1. APOGEE at Sloan Digital Sky Survey operations
2. Solar Patrol at Holloman Airforce Base

Summary:
Last winter, I was fortunate enough to get to know one of the
astronomers at Apache Point Observatory (a fellow soaring pilot) and
was invited to an observing session. We also went to see a world wide
solar activity monitoring program run by the US Air Force. I will
describe the visits and the background of the programs going on there.

I have recently purchased a Skywatcher Star Adventure mount and will
bring it for show and tell.

Our speaker:
Larry Bogan, together with Roy Bishop, founded Minas Astronomy Group
23 years ago this autumn. Larry holds a doctorate in physics from
Cornell University, and he has taught for many years at Acadia.
Larry’s interests include astronomy, canoeing, gliding, solar heating
design, birding, and Monarch butterflies. He is an active and long-
term member of the Blomidon Naturalists Society, Nature Nova Scotia,
and Minas Astronomy Group.

MAG Events
  • No events