The Insider's Guide to the Galaxy

Join us online to learn basic astronomy that you can do on your own from your backyard! We'll give you the tools to learn astronomy on your own at home, along with some observing goals to try. All you need is your computer! A pair of binoculars will help, but are not necessary. Sessions are always on Tuesdays at 3:30pm ET, but the frequency of sessions changes. Please see below for details.

Chris will be hosting one episode per month over the summer. See schedule below for details!

Register here! Videos will also be live-streamed to The RASC YouTube Channel.




Date Host Topic

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Chris Vaughan 

All About Star Charts

We'll review what star charts are, what they display, and what they don't. We'll compare star finders, printed atlases, and apps. Then we'll share tips for how to use charts to find objects - both in the sky and through your eyepiece.  We'll end the show by highlighting some summer Finest NGC targets.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Chris Vaughan

Lunar Lore

August, 2023 will be Moon Month! We’ll review this month’s two supermoons, one blue, its occultation of Antares, and its (lack of) effect on the 2023 Perseids Meteor Shower. We’ll highlight what to see on a full moon with unaided eyes, binos, and telescopes, and note some future moon events like solar and lunar eclipses and lunar occultations of planets and bright stars, and share some recommended apps and atlases.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Chris Vaughan

Extra Solar Planets

The star that hosts the first ever exo-planet to be discovered, and the constellation containing the Trappist-1 planetary system are both in the late summer sky, so we'll focus on how we discover planets around other stars. We'll end the show by highlighting our final group of Finest NGC targets.


Date Host Topic
March 31st, 2020
Chris Vaughan

All About Stellarium!

  • Install and set up Stellarium, a free, open source planetarium software that runs on all platforms!
  • How to use basic tools in Stellarium to navigate and learn about the night sky.
  • Learn about the planets and constellations you can see tonight and early tomorrow morning!
  • After you're done, try out this Scavenger Hunt to give your new Stellarium skills a workout! We'll go over the answers on Thursday, April 2nd
  • Rewatch All About Stellarium here!
April 2nd, 2020
Chris Vaughan

Introductory Observing

  • Find out the answers to the Scavenger Hunt from March 31st!
  • A tour of the night sky including deep sky objects and objects you can see from your back porch.
  • Observing tips and tricks for beginners, including a special appearance by Venus on April 3rd! Chris will show you where to look and what to look for.
  • Rewatch Introductory Observing here!
April 7th, 2020
Chris Vaughan

2020's Last Supermoon

  • What is a Supermoon? Why is it interesting? Come find out all about the last Supermoon of 2020!
  • Ask an Astronomer! Have you ever had questions about space but no one to ask? Chris will answer those questions in an informal Q&A. 
  • Scavenger Hunt 2! Try your hand at finding even more objects using Stellarium! Answers will be revealed on Thursday, April 9th
  • Rewatch 2020's Last Supermoon here!
April 9th, 2020
Chris Vaughan

Demystifying the Stars

  • Find out the answers to the Scavenger Hunt from April 9th!
  • We will focus on common questions about stars, such as how far away they are, why they are different colours and temperatures, and how they are named.
  • We'll also go over the constellations and how to use them as a map around the night sky!
  • CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT! Take a photo of something up in space* and post on Instagram or Twitter for the chance to win a copy of the current issue of SkyNews, and Nightwatch, an amazing introductory astronomy book! Tag @astrogeoguy, @royalastronomicalsocietycanada (Instagram) / @rasc (Twitter), and use the hashtag #astronomytime to enter. Winner will be selected at random, so don't worry about your astrophotography skills! Contest closes Tuesday at 10am EDT, winner will be announced at 3:30pm EDT during the Astrophotography livestream.
  • * object must be at low Earth orbit or higher (e.g. the ISS, satellites, stars, the Moon, Venus)
  • Rewatch Demystifying the Stars here!
April 14th, 2020
Paul Owen

Introductory Astrophotography

April 16th, 2020
David Shuman

Introductory Photoshop

  • Learn how to edit a DSLR image of the sky! Practice images can be downloaded here.
  • Learn about deep-sky photography and how using filters can be a completely different experience.
  • Rewatch Introductory Photoshop here!

April 21st, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Galaxy Season

  • It's springtime, which means it's Galaxy season! What does that even mean?
  • Learn about different types of galaxies and why they look so different from one another.
  • We'll also go over the Lyrids Meteor Shower happening on Wednesday.
  • Rewatch Galaxy Season here!

April 23rd, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Messier and NGC Catalog

  • You may have heard about Messier objects before. There are 110 of them!
  • What is the story behind Messier and his objects? We're going to talk about the history of their discovery and what makes them special.
  • Rewatch Messier and NGC Catalog here!
April 28th, 2020
Chris Vaughan

Apps and Tools

  • We'll go over the best apps you can find to help you with astronomy, from planning sessions to gathering information to visualizing space.
  • Rewatch Apps and Tools here!
May 5th, 2020
Chris Vaughan, Blake Nancarrow

Double Stars and Easy City Targets

  • What are double stars? Why are they special? Join us this week to find out!
  • The full Moon is coming up, so we're going to go over a few easy to spot targets in light polluted skies. This is the perfect session for city-dwelling astronomers!
  • Rewatch Double Stars and Easy City Targets here!
May 12th, 2020
Chris Vaughan

Beginner Telescopes

  • We'll be talking all about reflectors and refractors and the benefits of both.
  • If you are considering buying a telescope, or have just purchased one and want to learn the ropes, this is the session for you!
  • Chris referenced a PDF in his talk about telescopes. View that PDF here.
  • Rewatch Beginner Telescopes here!

May 19th, 2020

Paul Owen

Intermediate Astrophotography Part 1

May 26th, 2020

Paul Owen

Intermediate Astrophotography Part 2

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Science Fiction in the Stars

Tuesday, July 14th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Touring the Summer Milky Way

  • The best objects of all types to see in the summer months, using unaided eyes, binoculars, and telescopes. We'll give you some tips on using nebula filters, and dive into some history about Scorpius and Sagittarius!
  • Rewatch Touring the Summer Milky Way here!

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Constellation Deep Dive

  • We're diving into some more constellations this week! We'll go over Cygnus, Lyra and Aquila, the three constellations that contain the bright stars in the Summer Triangle, and some of the cool objects you can find in those constellations!
  • Rewatch Constellation Deep Dive here!

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

A Virtual Tour of the Southern Hemisphere

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Summer/Fall Planet Viewing Preview

  • Summer 2020 evenings will feature Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, and Mars, too! We'll preview how to view those planets, what features on them to look for, and some observing tips.
  • Rewatch Summer/Fall Planet Viewing Preview here!

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Stargazing for Beginners and the Best Sights for Autumn

  • We'll help you get started in visual astronomy by explaining the basics - how to use a sky chart, how sky coordinates work (spoiler alert - it's easy), what's a variable star, how to tell a galaxy from globular cluster, and more. We'll leave time for questions, too. And - it’s the start of autumn soon, so we'll highlight some of its best targets for beginners. 
  • Rewatch Stargazing for Beginners here!
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Chris Vaughan

How to Get the Most Out of Your Telescope

  • Struggling to set up your telescope? Can’t see Jupiter as clearly as you want to? We’ll set up our scopes to show you exactly what we do each time, give you some tips to make your telescope observing sessions even better, and recommend some gadgets and accessories.
  • Rewatch How to Get the Most Out of Your Telescope here!

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Mars Fest 2020

  • Today’s the day! Mars is at its closest approach to Earth, making it the biggest and brightest it will be for another 15 years! We’ll explain why that is, give you tips for seeing Mars in your telescope, take a look at Mars' geology and the spacecraft and rovers that are exploring the Red Planet, and more! And we'll explain the difference between Mars’ closest approach today, and its official opposition on October 13th.
  • Rewatch Mars Fest 2020 here!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Out of This World Records!

  • What’s the biggest constellation out there, and the smallest? What's the farthest thing a human eye can see - or the hottest star - or the closest star cluster? How about the first exoplanet ever discovered? We’ll tell you all about the record-holders in our sky, and how to observe them! 
  • Rewatch Out of This World Records here!

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Chris Vaughan, Bryon Czarnik

All About Meteor Showers and Meteorites

  • When better to talk about meteors and meteorites than on the peak of a meteor shower? Tonight is the peak of the Leonids Shower, and we'll be talking about what makes some meteor showers better than others. We'll be joined by expert guest Bryon Czarnik who will talk to us about how to find, identify, and even buy meteorites. We'll have lots of time to answer questions and will go over some astronomy highlights coming up in the next two weeks, too!
  • Rewatch All About Meteor Showers and Meteorites here!

Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Orion Deep Dive

  • Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations in our night sky, and is a favourite of astronomers everywhere for all the treasures it holds. Join us for a deep dive into the constellation and everything in it! We'll also be previewing the winter planets and discussing the upcoming Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, where they will be so close to one another that you'll be able to see them in the same field of view of a telescope!
  • Rewatch the Orion Deep Dive here!

Tuesday, December 15th, 2020

Chris Vaughan

Observing with Binoculars!

  • Everyone associates telescopes with astronomy, but did you know you can do some incredible observing with binoculars, and sometimes they may even be the better instrument to observe with? Even better, binoculars are commonly found in forgotten parts of the house, and can be more financially accessible than telescopes. Join us as we talk about how to observe using binos, and the best binocular targets.
  • Rewatch Observing with Binoculars here!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

The Science Behind Astrology

  • Planetary alignments, ascending and descending nodes, retrograde and prograde motion, where do all those astrology terms come from? Many astronomers will walk away when they hear someone start talking about it, but astrology's origins are deeply rooted in astronomy itself. We'll be talking about the astronomical origins of astrology, and discussing what is actually happening when people talk about Mercury being in retrograde.
  • Rewatch the Science Behind Astrology here!

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Step Outside and Travel Through Time

  • Looking up into our night sky takes us on a journey through time as the light from distant objects finally reaches us after years of travelling through space. Find out the closest and furthest objects from us as we step outside and travel through time - with your unaided eyes, and in binoculars and telescopes, and learn how we measure distances across the Universe.
  • Rewatch Step Outside and Travel Through Time here!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Observing the Moon

  • Anyone anywhere on Earth can see the Moon, even if you live in the biggest of cities! It’s our closest and most easily observed celestial neighbour. Join us to learn a little bit more about how to observe Earth’s only natural satellite, and where to look for extinct volcanoes, scars of recent impacts, whimsical shapes, colourful patches, and more.
  • Rewatch Observing the Moon here!

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Messier Marathon and Galaxy Season

  • Let Galaxy Season begin! Around this time of year, we get to see an unbelievable number of galaxies and deep sky objects. So we'll share some viewing tips and suggest the easiest ones to look at. If you time it right, you can see every single Messier object in a single night! We’ll show you how to achieve this item on many amateur astronomers' bucket-lists.
  • Rewatch Messier Marathon here!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Astronomy and Religions Around the World

  • As we approach spring equinox, an important day in many calendars, we will be discussing how astronomy influences religious observances around the world. You’ll be surprised by some of the astronomical histories behind religious traditions!
  • Rewatch Astronomy and Religions Around the World here!

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Chris Vaughan, Alan Dyer

Observing the Aurora Borealis

  • Spring and fall, when the Earth's magnetic defenses are weaker, are the best times in the year to see the Northern Lights. We'll review the physics of the aurorae, including a Canadian connection, and show you how to be alerted when aurora are predicted.Those beautiful glowing curtains in the sky can be quite tricky to capture. We’ll talk about tips, tricks and tools you can use to help you observe and photograph this fleeting phenomenon. 
  • Rewatch Observing the Aurora Borealis here!

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Library Episode!

Books in the Sky: Harry Potter

  • We’ll tour the night sky virtually, and show you the stars that JK Rowling used to name many of your favorite Harry Potter characters.

Your Own Starfinder

  • Download and print a Starfinder from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC), and we’ll show you how to assemble it and then use it on the next clear night.

Stories in the Stars

  • We’ll share some cool stories from Greek Mythology and Canada’s Indigenous Cultures.

How to see Where Stars and Solar Systems are Being Born – with Binoculars

  • Have you ever seen a nebula? We’ll point out where to see the biggest and best one in the springtime sky. It’s near Orion’s Belt! Then we’ll highlight more things to see on spring nights!

The Best Sky Sights for 2021

  • Finally, we’ll tell you what to look forward to in the sky this year, including advice for safely seeing a partial solar eclipse in June, August’s fantastic Perseid Meteor Shower, the bright planets Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn in the fall, Supermoons, and more! If the day is sunny, we might even share a view of the sun through a special solar telescope!
  • Rewatch the Library Episode here!

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Spotting Satellites

  • Did you know that the International Space Station orbits the Earth once every ninety minutes? Many other satellites do too, which gives us lots of opportunities to see them. We’ll explain how to tell a satellite from an aircraft, talk about the different types of satellites, and share tools for finding any bright satellite in the sky, even Boeing’s new space plane!
  • Rewatch Spotting Satellites here!
Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Galaxies in Plain Sight

  • It's New Moon time! Usually to find galaxies you have to carefully study a star chart, point your telescope at the right patch of sky, and then try to see and focus on a fuzzy patch amid total blackness. But Chris has a trick up his sleeve! He’ll be helping us easily find galaxies using nextdoor-neighbour stars that guide us right to them. Bring a notebook; you’ll want to go out observing right after this session! 
  • Rewatch Galaxies in Plain Sight here!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Safely Viewing the Sun

  • Have you ever seen the Sun? Of course you have. But have you ever been able to safely look directly at the Sun? The Sun has begun to acquire spots now that it has passed through solar minimum. We’ll go over how to get into safe solar viewing, including how to use filters to safely see it with a telescope or binoculars, how to make a pinhole projector, and what features to look for. Then you'll be ready to view the partial solar eclipse that will be visible in much of Canada on June 10!
  • Rewatch Safely Viewing the Sun here!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Summer Astronomy Round-Up

  • We are so excited to be back to talk to you about the best of the best astronomy sights this summer! We'll share how to spot the most meteors during the Perseids meteor shower, where the planets will be over the next month, and when to view the moon. Finally, we'll suggest the best naked-eye, binoculars, backyard telescope, and dark sky targets for summer of 2021 – and answer viewer questions. We can't wait to see you again!
  • Rewatch Summer Astronomy Round-Up here!

Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Gas Giants Spectacular

  • We're taking a deep dive into the gassy atmospheres of the giant planets in our Solar System! Find out all about seeing the Great Red spot and the shadow transits, eclipses, and occultations of Jupiter’s moons. We’ll talk about Uranus' strange spin and Saturn's light and fluffy atmosphere. We’ll tell you how to view distant blue Neptune and its moon Triton. And we'll show you where to find them in the night sky, and share some telescope tips for observing this summer’s planets!
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Space and Astronomy Books

  • As avid readers, we want to share with you our favourite space and astronomy books! Chris will be diving into his favourite observing books and Jenna will talk about her favourite books on all sorts of other astronomy topics – from the Big Bang to Alien Worlds to the End of Everything. And viewers can let us know which are your favourite space books!
  • Book list download available here.
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Life Cycles of the Stars

  • The stars are just like us! They're born, they get older (and bigger) and then they die. Some live fast and die young, others linger almost “forever”, and the most massive ones explode into supernovae, neutron stars, and black holes. Find out how to see stars at all different stages of their life, right from your own backyard.
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Astronomy at Other Wavelengths

  • What would our night sky look like if we could see gamma rays? Many of the world’s telescopes scan the sky using wavelengths of light humans can’t see, like radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet, and x-rays. Those alternate views of familiar objects reveal new physics and deepen our understanding of the universe. Join us to learn about some of the coolest space telescopes out there, including the new James Webb Space Telescope, and what they’re looking for!
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Binoculars Observing

  • Seasoned observers often suggest exploring the night sky with binoculars. That’s because they’re readily available, portable, comfortable to use, and they show a wide swath of sky – making finding targets easy. Lots of nebulas, star clusters, and even galaxies are plenty large enough to see in binoculars. We’ll highlight some spectacular autumn binocular targets for you to check out on your driveway, at the cottage, or on that last camping trip of the season. We'll even go over a few spooky Halloween targets!
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Lunar Geology

  • Get ready to learn about our closest neighbour and our night sky’s brightest, easiest to find object! Over the next week the Moon is doing some cool stuff, so we’re here to prep you for seeing the lunar X and V, and to preview the November lunar eclipse. We’ll also talk about why the Moon has dark and light spots, and how you can observe the same features that planetary scientists use to understand the moon’s geological history.
  • Rewatch this episode here!

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Astronomy Wish List 2021

  • Just in time for the Holidays, Allendria Brunjes, editor of SkyNews Magazine will join us to talk about our favorite accessories and gadgets for amateur astronomy in Canada. What’s your favorite item? Tell us!
  • Rewatch the episode here!

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Chris Vaughan

Astronomy Highlights 2022

  • A new year brings new astronomical events! We’ll spend this session giving you a sneak peek of the best astronomy events coming in 2022 - meteor showers, elongations and conjunctions, eclipses and occultations, and the return of Mars. Open your calendar and start making your observing vacation or star party plans!
  • Rewatch the episode here!
Tuesday, January 18th, 2022 Chris Vaughan with Guest Blake Nancarrow

RASC Observing Programs

Working on an observing program is a great way to learn the sky and develop your observing skills. The RASC has eight observing programs designed for beginners and more experienced stargazers - and they'll give you a certificate for completing each one! Viewing from the driveway? No problem! The moon and double stars programs don't require dark skies. No telescope? For some of the programs, you won't need one. For this first session of 2022, Blake Nancarrow, Chair of the RASC Observing Committee, will join us to describe the different RASC Observing Programs, and how to log and submit your observations to receive a certificate. And we'll share our own experiences completing the programs and tips on how you can, too!

Rewatch the episode here!

Tuesday, February 1st, 2022 Chris Vaughan

All About Nebulas!

This episode is all about nebulas! The winter sky hosts one of the most famous and easily seen nebulas for Canadians – M42 in Orion. We’ll break down what nebulas are. We'll describe the different types (emission, reflection, dark, planetary, and more) and what they look like. Then we’ll share how and where to see them - with unaided eyes, binoculars, and telescopes of any size. We might even play “Guess the Nebula” with our viewers!

Rewatch the episode here!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

Chris Vaughan

with Guests Jodie Williams and Isaac Murdoch (Ojibway name Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik)

Lessons From Beyond - Part 1

Come and join us as we explore the night sky as the Anishinaabek understand it.  During this time Isaac Murdoch from Serpent River First Nation will share about the importance of the night sky, how it is still used today to understand our roles and responsibilities here on Earth, how celestial objects are used to aid in navigation, and more!  Isaac will share examples of how deeply connected the Anishinaabek are to the night sky.  This knowledge sharing is also found in a new digital resource that engages students in learning about the mysteries of the cosmos through Indigenous knowledge systems.   This resource works from the understanding that Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Western science can reflect, resonate with, and reinforce one another, affirming each other as valid, valuable, and vital.  Lessons From Beyond is a unique collaborative network of Indigenous educators, Elders, academics, and scientists from across North America as well as New Zealand, and also includes a partnership with NASA. 

Rewatch the episode here!

Visit Lessons from the Earth & Beyond

Isaac Murdoch's Website

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

Chris Vaughan

with Guests Jodie Williams and Isaac Murdoch (Ojibway name Manzinapkinegego’anaabe / Bombgiizhik)

Lessons From Beyond - Part 2

Come and join us as we continue to explore the night sky through Indigenous perspectives.  Together Isaac and Jodie will showcase how Indigenous knowledge systems can enhance current understandings of cosmology and astronomy.  Through our new digital resource Lessons From Beyond, we weave together multiple understandings of the universe and show how both Indigenous and Western knowledge systems can reflect, resonate with, and reinforce one another, affirming each other as valid, valuable, and vital.  

Rewatch the episode here!

Visit Lessons from the Earth & Beyond

Isaac Murdoch's Website

Isaac's GoFundMe for Clean Drinkable Water

Get Isaac's Book Here

Tuesday March 15th, 2022 Chris Vaughan and Guests from RASC Toronto Centre

Live from the David Dunlap Observatory

In this special edition of Insider's Guide, we’ll team up with members of the RASC Toronto Centre to stream live from the David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) in Richmond Hill, the home of Canada’s largest optical telescope. We will tour the observatory, talk about the site's history and discoveries, and demonstrate the 74” telescope in action – including some pre-recorded views through it. And we’ll tell you how you can visit DDO yourself and view through its massive telescope!

Rewatch the Episode here!

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Touring the Virgo Cluster and Messier Marathon Season 2022

50th Episode!

We have talked about the Messier List before on Insider's Guide - but did you know that you can observe all 110 of those deep sky objects during a single night at a particular time of the year? Late March kicks off the Messier Marathon season. In this episode, we will highlight the spring Messier objects and describe some tips and tricks on how to view them yourself. We will also share how you can participate in a Messier Marathon from the comfort of your own home!

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, April 12th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Travelling the Sea of Serenity: An Observer's Tour of Mare Serenitatis

With the moon shining in the evening sky this week, we'll explore the Sea of Serenity with an in-depth tour, pointing out binoculars sights and then zooming in to explore the most interesting features that you can see in a telescope from home - all clues to past lunar processes. Our Messier Minutes will cover bright spring DSO's, and we'll spend a little time sharing tips for galaxy-viewing after the moon moves away.

Rewatch Travelling the Sea of Serenity Here!

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

A Deep Dive into Leo

We'll review the cultures that have seen a lion in the stars of Leo, highlight the astrophysics and naming of its major stars, and point out other interesting variable stars, double stars, and one referenced in Star Trek! We'll also review its five Messier objects and highlight its RASC Finest NGC, Caldwell, and other showpieces. For Messier Minutes, we'll finish up the galaxies in Coma and Virgo.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, May 10th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Doing More with Stellarium

So you know the basics of how to use Stellarium? In this episode, we will learn some more in-depth features and tools in the planetarium software. We will also answer your questions about Stellarium!

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Planning Your Observing Session

We'll take a look at everything you need to plan and execute a successful visual observing session, including sites and apps for checking the astronomy forecast and selecting a site, preparing gear and packing up, and deciding what to observe. In Messier Minutes, we'll finish up the spring Messier objects.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Globular Cluster Spectacular

Summer is globular cluster season in Canada! We'll cover what those mysterious balls of stars are and why they don't collapse. We'll highlight globulars that are visible with unaided eyes and binoculars. Then we'll hand out the "Globie Awards" - the nearest, farthest, biggest, smallest, and most interesting globular clusters to observe and image. In Messier Minutes, we'll focus on the westerly summer Messier objects.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Canadians in the Stars

We'll focus on objects in the sky and on the moon that celebrate the many Canadian contributions to science and astronomy, including home-grown asterisms, a black hole discovery, reflection nebulae, and more - as covered in the current issue of SkyNews Magazine. And we'll share some resources for learning more.
In Messier Minutes, we'll focus on the southerly summer Messier objects in Sagittarius and Scorpius.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Bright Planets Preview

The bright planets are available for evening viewing! We'll review the retrograde loops, oppositions, and their meetings with stars and deep sky objects for the rest of 2022, including a preview of the December Mars opposition/lunar occultation. In Messier Minutes, we'll focus on the northerly summer Messier objects in Scutum, Sagitta, and Sagittarius.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Variable Stars Part I

Stars vary in brightness due to a number of different astrophysical processes. We'll cover the main types, share some examples to monitor in the summertime - with unaided eyes, binoculars, and any size of the telescope, and cover how to make light curves and comparison charts. In Messier Minutes, we'll focus on the southerly summer Messier objects in Scorpius and Sagittarius.

Rewatch the episode here!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Variable Stars Part II

Stars vary in brightness due to a number of different astrophysical processes. We'll cover the main types, share some examples to monitor- with unaided eyes, binoculars, and any size of  telescope, and cover how to make light curves and comparison charts.

Rewatch the episode here!

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022

Chris Vaughan 

Delphinus Deep Dive

The little constellation of Delphinus, the Dolphin, swims the autumn evening sky. It is easy to identify with unaided eyes, can be explored in binoculars, and has many interesting stars and deep sky targets for telescopes of any size. We'll dive into Delphinus and then complete the final handful of Messier objects in Messier Minutes.

For the new version of Stellarium:

Delphinus Dive List

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Stellarium Mobile app demo/showcase

Recently, the team behind Stellarium has made major improvements to the mobile app version of the software, making it comparable to the gold standard SkySafari app. We'll work through the basic functions and the advanced features available in Stellarium Plus, including Satellite tracking, telescope/eyepiece simulated views, and observing planning. We'll highlight some news for Stellarium desktop users, too.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Chris Vaughan 

with Special Guest

RASC President Charles Ennis 

The World Asterisms Project 

RASC President Charles Ennis has been creating a catalogue of the star patterns employed by a myriad of cultures around the world. He'll join us as a special guest to take us through the project and share his favourites.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Deep-Sky Catalogues and intro RASC Finest Observing Program

This time, we’ll focus on the upcoming Mars opposition, the Herschel's and how they established the various catalogues we use today to list deep sky objects (nebulae, galaxies, and clusters), and we’ll launch our tour through RASC’s Finest NGC objects observing program. 

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 Chris Vaughan

Astronomy Wish List with RASC National

The holidays are upon us, so we'll gather friends to chat about the astronomy-related items on our wish lists. Books, gear, apparel, and more. Viewers can share their own ideas, too! In Finest Minutes, we'll showcase December objects in RASC's Finest NGC list.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 Chris Vaughan

Celestial Sights of 2023!

We'll review Brian Ventrudo's Top Ten events in SkyNews Magazine, the Lunar X and V appearances, and the Super Blue Moon, and follow the trajectory of the (possibly) naked-eye comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF). We will highlight a few planetary visits with star clusters, the best times to see elusive edge features on the moon, and some lunar occultations. And, of course, another batch of Finest NGC objects.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, January 17th, 2023 Chris Vaughan

Celestial Sights of 2023!

We'll review Brian Ventrudo's Top Ten events in SkyNews Magazine, the Lunar X and V appearances, and the Super Blue Moon, and follow the trajectory of the (possibly) naked-eye comet c/2022 E3 (ZTF). We will highlight a few planetary visits with star clusters, the best times to see elusive edge features on the moon, and some lunar occultations. And, of course, another batch of Finest NGC objects.

Rewatch the Episode Here!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023 Chris Vaughan

Winter Milky Way Stargazing

We’ll focus on sights to see along the winter Milky Way - using your unaided eyes, binoculars, telescopes, and cameras. We'll include some cold weather stargazing tips for you and your equipment, and then we’ll highlight our next batch of RASC’s Finest NGC objects.

Rewatch the Episode Here!


Insider's Guide Playlist