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Mississauga Centre member Brian Gibson has published a new iPhone app that allows iPhone users to access the Clear Sky Charts on their iPhone.

Aquarius The Water Bearer Now that we are well into fall, many factors are in a sky gazers favour. We first have about ten hours of darkness (except when the moon is out). Couple that with very low temperatures that drive away mosquitoes as well as the absence of traditional summertime haze and humidity and we have the possibility of memorable nights ahead. This month, we will focus on Aquarius the Water Bearer. Its overall area lists as the 10th largest (980 square degrees) and can be found between Capricorn on the right and Pisces on the left. Aquarius is located in the southern part of the night sky.

The Awards Committee formally announces and calls for the first nominations for the new Qilak Award for Astronomy Outreach and Communication. This award was developed jointly and is sponsored by the RASC, the Canadian Astronomical Society and la Fédération des Astronomes Amateurs du Québec and results directly from the partnership formed for International Year of Astronomy. Each organization may select only one award recipient each year.

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Dr. Doug Welch, a member of the Hamilton Centre and astronomy professor at McMaster University, has been awarded the McNeil Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.

Looking Up At Royalty

Perched high in northern skies are two figures of pure royalty. King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia were also portrayed as main characters in a famous mythological story. The “Royal Family of Constellations” involves the said King and Queen, as they sacrifice their daughter Andromeda to the sea monster Cetus. But Perseus saves Andromeda in the nick of time and both fly off on the winged horse Pegasus.

The Glory Of The Night

August is a busy time for campsites and cottages as city dwellers plan their vacation. It is that special time when the family or a group of friends plan their meals, pack the car and drive to the wilderness. If weather is on your side, the outdoor experience can be a thing of beauty. Between the sweet smell of fresh air, the peace and quiet along with first hand witnessing nature in all its glory, camping can be a memorable experience. Of course physical activities such as hiking, swimming or even fishing are enjoyed during daylight hours. However, when the Sun’s last photons disappear behind the mountains and out of view, the night sky begins to change.

On a 230-metre mountain just north of Victoria, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO)’s 1.8 metre reflecting telescope has probed the night skies for 92 years. It’s apt now that Parks Canada should designate the observatory as a national historic site to recognize its importance to Canadian astronomy’s development.

The flash motions from National Council meetings NC102 and 103, plus the motions from the Annual Meeting, are now on-line at http://www.rasc.ca/private/minutes/index.shtml

Ophiuchus – The Mystery Constellation

The world of astrology and those who follow its daily predictions were delt a crushing blow in the second week of 2011. Over night, the dates of the signs were revamped and a mysterious thirteenth house was added. People woke up to find out they were no long who they thought they were. For instance, if someone went to bed a Capricorn, they woke up as a Sagittarius, etc. Personally, it was about time these dates changed because of the 26,000 year wobble called precession. The Sun now appears in the constellation to the left from where your sign used to be. As for this mysterious pattern thrown into the mix – there is no mystery.

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