Astronomical Christmas gift ideas

By Mario Carr

Not sure what Christmas gift to buy for that stargazer on your list? Maybe the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers can help.

You might want to consider the club’s 2015 astronomy calendar. It’s loaded with upcoming astronomical events and pictures taken by 21 club members.

“I’m very pleased with the photo submissions,” said John Gauvreau, who has been the club’s calendar editor for three years. “I think it’s going to be the best calendar ever.”

If you’re thinking about a buying a telescope as a gift, and confused by the different models, you should come out to the club’s Telescope Clinic on Nov. 7 at the Hamilton Spectator Building, 44 Frid St. at 7:30-9:30 p.m. and get some guidance from members. The event if free and everyone is welcome.

Here are November stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar, which is on sale at the next meeting.

Planet watching

During the first half of the month, Mercury can be seen in the southeast morning sky. It’s also the best time of the year to see it. Mars is low in the early southwest evening sky. Jupiter rises in the late northeast evening sky. Uranus and Neptune are seen in the evening sky. Neptune sets around midnight.

Nov. 2 – Daylight Saving begins.

Nov. 4 – Uranus is close to the Moon

Nov. 6 – Full Moon

Nov. 8 – Aldebaran is close to the Moon.

Nov. 13 – The Moon is below Jupiter, which rises around midnight.

Nov. 14 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission with door prizes and everyone is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected. The featured speaker will be retired McMaster University physics professor Peter Sutherland, who will discuss Testing Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (Gravity).

Nov. 17 — The Leonids Meteor Shower peaks and seeing it could be good this year. Look towards the east after midnight. The slow moving meteors appear to be radiating from the constellation Leo.

Nov. 19 – The Moon is close and above Spica in the dawn sky.

Nov. 25 – The Moon is above Mars in the evening sky.

For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at

About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of publicity for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appeared 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 or
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