Old HAA News from September 2002 to January 2003

December 26, 2003



This photo of the Sun was taken afocally with a Toshiba digital camera at f2.9, 1/1000; 6" reflector;Baader Solar filter; 25mm plossl with a Lumicon Light-Pollution filter attached.

Photo by Glenn Muller

December 24, 2003

HAA pin

HAA pins

To commemorate our 10 year anniversary, a special pin has been created.

You can order one of these beautiful pins for $6 at the next meeting or by contacting membership@amateurastronomy.org.

December 12, 2003

Thanks to Peter Ceravolo

Peter Ceravolo is a professional optician who has worked on MOST , Canada's first space telescope and the president of Main-Sequence Software, makers of Desktop Universe digital sky atlas and planetarium software.

Peter spoke on the Comet Odyssey project. The first ever time lapse movie of a comet made in full colour. Best described as extreme astronomy, the effort to photograph the 1996 comet Hyakutake required travel to an Arizona mountain top for all night (for nine nights) of non stop photography. Peter described the process of turning a shoe box full of negatives into a stunning time lapse movie of a comet.

November 15, 2003

Gemini Appointment

Doug Welch has been appointed as the Canadian scientist representative to the Gemini Project.
Here are some recent daytime photos.

November 14, 2003

Mars and Sun drawings

Mars was drawn on August 3, 2003 using a 5" f8 newtonian dob with 6mm ortho at 169x and an orange filter.

The Sun was drawn on October 30, 2003 using a 5" f8 newtonian dob with a 9mm Nagler at 112xand a badaar solar filter. The seeing was excellent, and there was more detail visible than I could draw or describe. Granulation was visible across the entire surface.

Drawings by John Gauvreau

November 8, 2003

10th Anniversary Banquet

A very enjoyable evening ... Read more .

October 10, 2003

Thank you Dr. Sergey Mashchenko

McMaster University postdoctoral researcher Dr. Sergey Mashchenko gave an excellent presentation titled "Globular Clusters: Relics of the Early Universe"

Read more about Dr. Sergey Mashchenko here.

October 3, 2003

2004 RASC handbooks and calendars

Order your 2004 RASC handbooks and calendars.Handbooks are $20, calendars are $12 each.

E-Mail Margaret Walton to place your advance order. We will take orders at the meetings up to the December meeting.

October 2, 2003

Open Cluster NGC 7789 In Cassiopeia

This image was scanned at 600 dpi (magnification 4X) from original 200mm telephoto print. The bright star near top right is Rho Cas.
Date: September 21, 2003
Location: Barry's Bay, ON
Exposure: 7 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800

Submitted by Bob Christmas

September 30, 2003

Ho Hum... Another Aurora...

Aurora at Spectacle Lake at about 1-ish Wednesday morning,September 24, 2003.
Lens: 50mm @ f/1.8
Exposure: 25 seconds
Film: Fuji NPZ 800"

Submitted by Bob Christmas

September 19, 2003

Galileo Swan Song

The Galileo spacecraft was launched in 1989 and has provided an enormous amount of data including; asteroid closeups; views of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashing into Jupiter; and photos of Superlightning on Jupiter.

To save Jupiter's moon Europa from possible contamination, NASA will be crashing the Galileo spacecraft into Jupiter this Sunday September 21,2003 just before 2PM (7PM UT) [updated]. Unfortunately Jupiter can only be seen close to the horizon after 4:30AM and until the sun rises at 5:30AM.

The Galileo spacecraft has captured my interest especially since it is controlled by a special radiation hardened 8-bit microprocessor (RCA 1802) which was the first computer I learned how to program way back in 1977.

Submitted by Anthony Tekatch

September 11, 2003

Online Astronomy course

The Alliance for Lifelong Learning (AllLearn) is a not-for-profit distance learning venture between Oxford, Stanford, and Yale Universities that provides many courses including this one on Discovering Black Holes - Online Course running from 13 October to 07 December 2003.

This course describes the observational evidence for black holes and recent efforts to determine whether the observed objects have the spectacular properties long predicted by theorists. HAA web visitors will receive up to 20% off the price of this course.


September 09, 2003

M11 and V Aquilae Area

This virtual-400mm image shows the open star cluster M11 (the Wild Duck Cluster) near lower right, in Scutum. Over the border in Aquila, the deep red carbon star V Aquilae appears at extreme left, about 40% of the way up from the bottom left corner. This was extracted from a photo I took at Starfest on the evening of August 22, 2003. By the way, fellow club member Ann Tekatch pointed out to me V Aql last year in another photo of this area of the sky I took then.

Exposure: 7 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800"

Photo submitted by Bob Christmas

August 31, 2003

Mars Bayfront Park Party

There was a fantastic turnout at the Hamilton Bayfront Park for our Mars observing session last night. People showed up early to view the Moon then Mars. Click here to see more photos from last nights party.

August 29, 2003

NGC 6633 and IC 4756 From Starfest 2003

The two open star clusters NGC 6633 (upper right) and IC 4756 (lower left) straddle the Serpens-Ophiuchus border in the summer sky. This is an enlarged section of a photo taken through a 200mm telephoto lens near Mount Forest, Ontario, about 12:30am on the morning of Saturday, August 23, 2003.
Exposure: 7 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800

Photo by Bob Christmas.

August 28, 2003

Mars at Starfest

This Mars photo was taken at Starfest, Aug. 24, 12:34 a.m. Mars' central meridian at the time was 71 degrees longitude. 7" f/9 refractor working at 8000 mm focal length with Philips ToUcam webcam.

Submitted by Ann Tekatch

August 28, 2003

Starfest reviewed

HAA Publicity coordinator Glenn Muller gets some virtual ink on the latest Astronomy.com web site. Check out the article here on the nasty thunderstorm that swept through Starfest.

Pictures by Marg Walton.

August 27, 2003

What to expect from Mars

Despite the obscenely poor conditions last night, a few of us headed out to the Binbrook Conservation Area to do Mars observing. When Mars finally appeared out of the clouds and mist, we captured an AVI that we processed into the attached picture. I think that it is a fair representation of what people are likely to see through a small telescope on Saturday (or Sunday). (It isn't much to write home about though!)

The image was taken with a Philips TouCam Pro webcam and processed with Registax 2. We used Bob Botts's scope and my webcam.

Submitted by Doug Welch.

August 19, 2003

Polar Alignment

Check out this reference for polar aligning telescopes.

Submitted by Ann Tekatch.

August 11, 2003

Glenn Muller reviews

HAA Publicity coordinator Glenn Muller gets some ink in the latest Astronomy Magazine. Pick up the September 2003 issue to read his book review of "Astronomy with a Budget Telescope" by Patrick Moore and John Watson.

August 2, 2003

Noctilucent Clouds

These mysterious Noctilucent Clouds were filmed by Vance Petriew of the RASC Regina Centre. Vance has prepared this animation.

Learn more about these strange clouds from this web site.

July 21, 2003

Tips for photographing the planet Mars

Here is a website that documents successful webcam settings when taking pictures of the planet Mars.

At the moment there are more than 50 images of Mars taken during June and July 2003.

June 13, 2003

Thank you Dr. Peter Brown

Dr. Peter Brown of UWO gave a presentation entitled "Meteors: Infrasound and Satellite Data"

Infrasound encompasses wave motion in the atmosphere above the natural atmospheric buoyancy frequency (gravity waves ~0.01 Hz) and below low frequency acoustic waves (~20 Hz). This is the portion of the atmospheric wave spectrum where background noise is a minimum and where low frequency components from impulsive, energetic sources can propagate large distances with minimal attenuation.

In his presentation he discussed the techniques used for monitoring infrasonic signals in the atmosphere with emphasis on systems deployed as part of the international monitoring system of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. The types of signals detected infrasonically as well as the signal processing which may be used to characterize, locate and detect these phenomena will be highlighted. In particular, the use of infrasound in the geolocation and source energy estimation for detonations produced by fireballs will be emphasized. Determination of the global influx of bolides using infrasound as well as the use of infrasonic source energy estimates as a means to calibrate satellite observations was discussed.

You can read his bio or more at his web site

June 8, 2003

Iceland eclipse

Ray Badgerow went to Iceland and brought these pictures back (animations and composites).

May 24, 2003

M65, M66, NGC 3628 And NGC 3593 In Leo

This triangle of galaxies in Leo consists of (clockwise from top) NGC 3628, M65 and M66. A satellite track graces (clobbers?) the image at right. On the other side of the satellite track, near lower right, is a fourth galaxy, NGC 3593.
Extracted from 200mm telophoto image taken on April 28, 2003 from near Barry's Bay, Ontario.
Exposure: 8 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800
Photos by Bob Christmas.

May 23, 2003


Challenge your visual observing skills to the AINTNO list.

Link submitted by Doug Welch.

May 17, 2003

M106 In Canes Venatici

The spiral galaxy M106 (at left) is the largest and brightest of about 4 or 5 galaxies in this image of the area bordering Canes Venatici and Ursa Major, just below the Big Dipper. This is an extract from a photo taken through a 200mm telephoto lens near Barry's Bay, Ontario on Monday, April 28, 2003.
Exposure: 8 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800

Photos by Bob Christmas.

May 15, 2003

Jupiter And The Beehive (M44)

Jupiter and the open cluster M44 (The Beehive Cluster) appear side by side in the same 400mm (5 deg X 3 deg) field of view in Cancer on the evening of Monday, April 28, 2003. This image is an enlarged section of a 200mm photo taken from near Barry's Bay, Ontario.
Exposure: Approx. 6 minutes @ f/3.5
Film: Fuji NPZ 800

Photos by Bob Christmas.

May 15, 2003


Thanks to Mark Robinson for his fascinating presentation last week entitled "Stormchasers: The Real Story" where we learned about such things as; the Fujita scale, the Hook, doppler radar, and the many technical holes in the "Twister" movie.

May 10, 2003

Spring Aurora

I saw and photographed the Northern Lights from Spectacle Lake Lodge, near Barry's Bay, Ontario, on Tuesday, April 29, 2003 at about 11:15pm. It appeared as a dome of greenish glow confined to the due-northern part of the sky. A meteor streaked through during the exposure of the first photo; it's faintly visible near the upper right, about 1/3 of the way down. The occasional auroral "pillar" also appeared, as shown in the second photo. Both photos are 30 second exposures through a 50-mm lens on a fixed tripod, using Fuji NPZ 800 film.

Photos by Bob Christmas.

April 27, 2003

The "Not Very Great Red Spot" on Jupiter

Here is an image taken using a Philips Toucam Pro on Bob Botts's 12-inch LX-200 on the evening of April 23, 2003, acquired with K3CCDTools and processed with Registax and finally "The Gimp".

Submitted by Doug Welch.

April 11, 2003

Thanks to Dr. Geoff Clayton

Dr. Clayton of the Lousiana State University is a leading authority on R CrB stars and is visiting McMaster as part of his Research Leave.
His topic was "R Corona Borealis Stars - Is it better to fade away than to burn out?"

Read more about Dr. Geoff Clayton here and here.

April 3, 2003

Radio Jove

Build and use your own Decametric Radio Telescope to study Jupiter and Solar radio emissions.

Submitted by Doug Welch.

March 16, 2003

Star Spectroscopy images

Here are some images that Mike Jefferson presented at the March 14, 2003 general meeting.

Read more about "Stars and their Spectra" in this James B. Kaler book.

Submitted by HAA member Mike Jefferson

March 10, 2003

Thank you Waldemar

Thanks to Waldemar Okon (Ph.D. student at McMaster) for his presentation on "Globular Clusters in Galaxies: Improving the Metallicity Distribution Function"

Read more about Waldemar at http://physwww.physics.mcmaster.ca/okon/

February 18, 2003

Java movie of the day

Great java animations of things near the sun from LASCO.

Submitted by HAA member Bob Botts

January 20, 2003
Lambda Publications Logo

Lambda Publications

Lambda Publications in the UK offers many exciting Astronomy CD Rom titles like: Red Shift IV, Russians in Space, 3D Atlas of Mars, Space Station Simulator, Atlas of The Solar System, Uranographia Britannica.

Mention that you are a amember of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers to receive a 5% reduction on all purchases. The prices are inclusive of postage to Canada.

January 17, 2003


Take a 12 minute virtual tour of the Universe starting with our own Solar System. See other SpaceWander information at their main website.

Link Submitted by Glenn & Gail Muller.

January 11, 2003

American Association of Variable Star Observers: AAVSO

There is a growing interest in the exciting field of Variable Star Observing at the club. You can get involved with little or no equipment. Check out the AAVSO website for all the FREE information required to get started. Your efforts will be used by professional space explorers.

January 10, 2003

Variable Star observing

Thanks to Geoff Gaherty for his presentation at the meeting on "An Amateur's Experiences Learning to Observe Variable Stars".
Read more about Geoff on his website.
Read more about variable star observing at www.aavso.org

January 10, 2003

Sky Box

Thanks to Glenn Muller for his demonstration at the meeting of the Sky Box that he constructed for stabilizing his binoculars.

Read more about the design at Glenn's website.