Northern Skies

The Sky This Month - October 2015

The Swan and the Fox

Step outside on these cool autumn nights about an hour after sunset and look up. Cygnus the Swan also known as the Northern Cross is well positioned overhead and easily recognized. The faint glow of the Milky Way is the collective glow of millions of stars too dim to be distinguished individually by the human eye. This stellar cloud of stars is perfectly positioned along the long neck of the swan which is the perfect guide when attempting to glimpse the galactic arms of our Milky Way Galaxy from light polluted suburban skies.

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The Sky This Month - September 2015

Capricorn, Aquarius and a Lunar Eclipse

Moving eastward from the great Teapot of Sagittarius, we continue our voyage along the ecliptic to Capricornus – The Goat. This constellation takes up 414 square degrees of sky making it the 40th largest constellation. To date – nine planets have been found orbiting five stars in Capricorn. The stars that make up the asterism are of average brightness, running in the range of magnitude 2.8 to 4.5.

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The Sky This Month - May 2015

Leo The Lion


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The Sky This Month - April 2015

A (short) Total Lunar Eclipse

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The Messier Marathon

Messier Marathon

As we peer up at the night sky, drinking in photons from celestial objects far, far, away, one easily takes on the relaxed position with no schedule. As the months goes by, we greet our favourite Messier object as they emerge from the dawn sky into the blackness of the night. This game is repeated throughout the year until we have recovered all 110 Messier objects. There is however a very tight window of opportunity where all Messiers can be found on a single night.

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The Sky This Month - March 2015

Orion’s K-9’s

As we finally leave winter behind this month and jump into spring, we cannot help but notice the days getting longer. As we tick our way through the calendar, our sun’s angle moves a bit farther north, rewarding us with more than three minutes of light per day. However for astronomers this translates into shorter and shorter nights. It is not until the month of June that we only begin observing at about 9:30 p.m. and later local time but for now, our observing window is still on our side.

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The Sky This Month - Febuary 2015


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The Sky This Month - January 2015

Icon Orion

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The Sky This Month - December 2014

The River Eridanus

Eridanus the River is a long but narrow constellation found at this time of year above the southern horizon or at least its top half as seen from Canada. Starting close to the celestial equator, the entire asterism stretches down almost sixty degrees. Unlike the brilliant suns of the constellation Orion to the left, Eridanus lacks any bring stars and only range in brightness from magnitude 3.2 to 5.0 except for magnitude 2.9 Cursa. They are however unique in their individual life stories.

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The Sky This Month - November 2014

The Lizard And The King

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