Astronomy calendar available at telescope clinic

Full-color image of from first MESSENGER flyby

Full-color image of from first MESSENGER flyby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Mario Carr

Even though there’s no evidence of little green men from Mars, there was a little green object spotted near the planet last month.

That object was Comet ISON. Cyanogen and diatomic carbon gases erupting from its core glow green when hit by the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

If you have a telescope you can see it low in the eastern dawn sky near Mars before it’s close to the Sun at 1.1 million kilometres on Nov. 28. You might see it during the day on that date. If it survives its journey around the Sun, it could reappear in early Dec. and put on a spectacular show well into Jan.

Like all comets it’s hard to predict if it will glow brilliantly, or become a dud. It could be the best comet show we’ve seen in awhile.

If you’re thinking about buying a telescope, or don’t know how to use the one sitting in the closet you should come out to the club’s telescope clinic on Nov. 8 from 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission and everyone is welcome.

There will also be a donation bin for local food banks. While you’re there, you can pick up a copy of the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers 2014 calendar. It’s loaded with local night sky information and awesome astronomy photos taken by club members.

Planet watching

Mercury is best seen this year in the southeast dawn sky after the second week of Nov. Venus can be seen in the southwest early evening sky. It reaches its maximum distance away from the sun on Nov. 1. Jupiter rises in the north eastern mid-evening sky in Gemini. Saturn is behind the Sun on Nov. 6 but reappears low in the dawn twilight sky later in the month.

Nov. 3 – The moon will cover less than 10 per cent of the Sun during a partial ellipse at 7:50 a.m.

Nov. 6 – The crescent moon is above Venus low in the evening south western sky.

Nov. 18 – Mercury at its greatest distance from the Sun.

Nov. 21 – The moon is below Jupiter during late evening.

Nov. 24 – Comets ISON and Encke are close to each other four degrees below Mars and Saturn low in the dawn sky.

Nov. 25 and 26 – Mercury and Saturn are very close to each other in the dawn south eastern sky.

Nov. 29 – Spica is very close to the Moon in the morning sky and disappears behind it during midmorning daylight.

For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers web site at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of public education and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. He can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca.

 

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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