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This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2019 August 10– August 17

With the Perseid meteor shower peaking this week, let us visit its namesake constellation. Perseus the Hero stands on the northeastern horizon by midnight, just below the W shape of his mother-in-law, Cassiopeia. He is a hero because, among other deeds, he prevented his future wife Andromeda from becoming a tasty lunch for a ferocious sea monster.

The brightest star in Perseus, Mirfak, is part and namesake of the Alpha Persei Cluster. This is one of my favourite binocular targets because it resembles a miniature version of the constellation Draco. Another popular binocular target is a close pair of star clusters – NGC 869 and 884 – located halfway between Perseus and Cassiopeia, which astronomers have cleverly called the Double Cluster. The Perseid meteors appear to originate from a point near the Double Cluster.

The constellation’s second brightest star is Algol the Demon, representing the eye of the Gorgon Medusa. Perseus beheaded the Medusa in a plan to avenge an embarrassing moment by using her head to turn his hecklers into stone. The sea monster was his first victim of this weapon. Algol is famous for dimming by a factor of three every 69 hours. It is a very close pair of stars orbiting each other in our line of sight, and their combined brightness drops when the dimmer star passes in front of the brighter one. Look for the star cluster M34 about a binocular width above Algol.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 6:12 am and sunset will occur at 8:36 pm, giving 14 hours, 24 minutes of daylight (6:19 am and 8:39 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 6:20 am and set at 8:25 pm, giving 14 hours, 5 minutes of daylight (6:27 am and 8:28 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is full on Thursday, the Mi’gmaw Ripening Moon, and passes near Saturn on Monday. Jupiter is stationary on Sunday, after which it begins its normal eastward motion relative to the stars. Telescope users might see its Red Spot around 11:30 pm on Sunday and 11 pm on Friday. Saturn is highest in the south and at its best for observing around 11 pm. Mercury will slowly start moving sunward but it also brightens in doing so, making this week a good time to look for it with binoculars 45 minutes before sunrise. Venus reaches superior conjunction behind the Sun on Wednesday and will move into the evening sky in autumn. The highlight of the week is the annual Perseid meteor shower, which peaks over Monday evening into Tuesday morning. Moonlight will obscure the fainter meteors but this shower is noted for having more than its share of bright shooting stars. The nights immediately before and after will typically produce half the number seen on the peak night.

There will be public observing in Cambridge Narrows on Saturday evening as part of the Life at the Lakes Festival, and at Oak Bay on Friday, August 16.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.

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Photos of the Month – August 2019

[Featured image above by Sophie Melanson]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 

 


Emile’s astrophotography portfolio is available on his website.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the September issue of this blog is August 27th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – July 2019

[Featured image above by Paul Owen]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 

 


Emile’s astrophotography portfolio is available on his website.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the August issue of this blog is July 30th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – June 2019

[Featured image above by Emile Cormier]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 

 


Emile’s astrophotography portfolio is available on his website.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the July issue of this blog is June 29th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – May 2019

[Featured image above by Sophie Melanson]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 

 


François’ complete astrophotography gallery is available on his Astrobin page.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the June issue of this blog is May 30th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – April 2019

[Featured image above by James Cleland – see panoramic version below]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 

 


François’ complete astrophotography gallery is available on his Astrobin page.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the May issue of this blog is April 29th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – March 2019

[Featured image above by Stephen Townsend]

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All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.


 


François’ complete astrophotography gallery is available on his Astrobin page.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the April issue of this blog is March 30th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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Photos of the Month – February 2019

[Featured image above by Astena Marsh]

Click on any image to view a larger version. While viewing the larger version, click on the image to show/hide the description. You may also click on the left/right arrows to go to the previous/next image.

All images are copyright of their respective authors. You may not use or redistribute these images without their permission.



François has this story to share for his Horsehead nebula photo:

This is a Swedish – Canadian collaboration.

A fellow astronomer in Sweden contacted me wanting to cooperate on an image we both had targeted. I had added some Ha data in my data set that I had taken with a 8 inch newtonian.
Göran noted that my Ha data would complement his image nicely by adding contrast and luminance to the one shot colour data set he had captured of the horsehead. He was absolutely right!
While I cannot take credit for the processing or the colour image, I am thrilled with the resulting image.

Göran’s data was collected by an ES 127ED apo refractor with a TS 0.79 reducer giving at FL 750mm and a Canon 60Da (10 x 300″ at ISO 1600) His observatory is in Varmland, Sweden.
My data was collected by an Antares 200mm Newtonian (FL 1000 mm) and a SBIG ST8300M (Baader Ha filter, 11 x 300″) from my observatory in Moncton.

To this day, I still cooperate with Goran, sharing my imaging data with him for his processing. I am also cooperating with a fellow astronomer in Brazil since December 2018.

Hope you enjoy. The original full size image is found at https://www.astrobin.com/236913/

François’ complete astrophotography gallery is available on his Astrobin page.

The deadline for members submitting their photos for the March issue of this blog is February 27th.

If you are a RASC-NB member, and have not received instructions via email about how to submit your photos, please contact the webmaster here (choose Concerning: Website).

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