Thursday, November 26, 2015

no go

A couple of clear back-to-back nights this week... Of course, the Moon was out. And I had a mountain of work to do. So, no, no time to play.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

stuck the landing

Blue Origin made history yesterday. They successfully landed their New Shepard rocket, after reaching the planned altitude of 100 kilometers, back on Earth. They touched it down at 4.4 miles per hour.

That is not a CGI image! See the promotional video on YouTube. While a very different system compared to the SpaceX, it clearly shows that booster rockets can be reused.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

next meeting set

Next RASC Toronto Centre council meeting is set for January 6.

attended council meeting

Attended the RASC Toronto Centre council meeting. It was held at St Joan of Arc church. I connected from home by Skype.

Monday, November 16, 2015

13 hours later (Bradford)

Half a day later. Dark sky again, walking home. Crescent Moon starting to yellow. Cygnus up high in the west. Albireo. To the right, bright blue-white Vega. Aquila, flying west. Behind me, where the Big Dipper was in the morning, now stood Cassiopeia. Perseus, well up. The Pleiades.

Venus, Mars, Jupiter (Bradford)

I finally saw them!

Beautiful dark blue sky as I left home for the train station. Venus, Mars, Jupiter in a straight line. Venus was over 30 degrees up!

Could see a star beside brilliant Venus: Porrima. And a faint one between red Mars and bright Jupiter: Zavijava. Then beyond Jupiter a bright star: Regulus. All in a perfect line.

Below, a bright star: Spica. Flickering.

Big Dipper up high. Ruddy Arcturus down and right. Also flickering.

I block later I spotted a faint satellite moving eastbound. Dimmer than Zavijava.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

delivered NOVA talk

Delivered a NOVA presentation at York University. Stars, constellations, coordinate systems, etc. Small-ish crowd. Waited to 5 minutes after to begin. Lots of good questions, there seemed to be good general interest. But I ran late, unfortunately, and that meant I had to skip the Stellarium demo. More seriously, we had to cancel the observatory tour. I felt bad. Just not on my game today...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

found widget name

Sorted the aurora app matter with Android... That is, determined which app/widget it is that's on my ASUS Android's main screen. The widget with the little dynamic Sun and Earth icons, which shows the Kp and Bz. It is called Solaris. Figured this out, at last, when responding to Mike on Facebook. I've been using it for a while but I couldn't remember the official name. Download it from the Google Play store.

Friday, November 06, 2015

for the reading list

While travelling TTC Line 2 from Yorkdale, I saw a guy reading The Science of Interstellar. Big hard cover. One time, as I glanced over, I noted an illustration of a singularity.

Interesting. Forgot about that book. Kip Thorne? I wonder if I should read it. I enjoyed the movie. One of the best presentations of time, excuse me, space-time, I think I've encountered.


w00t! Available at TPL, physical, virtual.

Monday, November 02, 2015


Happy birthday, Space Station!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

book the 2015 AGM

The RASC Toronto Centre annual general meeting is scheduled for Wed 25 Nov. This is, as always, an opportunity for members to learn how the centre works, understand all the volunteer effort that goes in behind the scenes, and an opportunity to have a say in its operations.

next council meeting

The next RASC Toronto Centre council meeting is Wed 18 Nov. Location is to be confirmed...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

confirmed shift

Ian confirmed they were able to postpone my NOVA deliveries. I'll deliver the Learning the night sky session at York University on Thursday 12 November and at the David Dunlap Observatory on Thursday 19 November.

thanked the team

A little late! I finally got 'round to thanking all the CAO work party volunteers.

updated SkyTools page

Updated my SkyTools page over on the companion site, adding a couple of new observing list STX files. Enjoy.

updated IP plan

After finding the latest version with the MODL changes, I updated the CAO local area network IP plan document, given the work party changes with Peter's SQM-LE. Uploaded it. Copied it to appropriate devices.