Author Archives: Gary Boyle

2021 Astronomy Year In Review

Looking back to 2021, there were many great space stories in the news including two lunar eclipses back in May and November. By coincidence, two more total lunar eclipses will occur in May and November 2022. We were also entertained by three great meteor showers in January, August and December but the moon ran major interference. The Northern Lights were ...

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The Geminid Meteor Shower

  One of the most captivating celestial events is a meteor shower. Everyone from time to time has seen meteors – aka “shooting stars” while taking a stroll or walking the dog at night. These are bits of debris from the creation of the solar system or even space junk such as nuts, bolts etc from old rockets and deployed ...

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Here Comes The Lunar Eclipse

Nothing is more magical than viewing a lunar eclipse. A few times each year, the full moon steps into the earth’s shadow for a few hours, leaving us with lasting memories. Such an eclipse will take place on the night of Nov 18/19 with the Full Beaver Moon. This one will be extra special and appear very close to a ...

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A Sky Full of Planets

For thousands of years, the night sky was just a splash of random dots. Over time, constellations were formed by connecting the brighter points of light of a certain area of sky. Here, imaginary shapes were formed representing an object, person, animal or even a god – the constellations. Then came the mythologic stories and how they interacted in the ...

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Cassiopeia – The Queen

  As the sun sets in the west, the sky slowly turns pastel shades from light to dark blue. This is my favourite time of evening as the brighter stars and planets begin to reveal themselves. Over the next twenty minutes, more tiny dots emerge like celestial popcorn. About an hour after sunset, the sky is full of stars as ...

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A Grand Meteor Shower

  Over the past few weeks, you have probably noticed a few meteors or “shoot stars” at night. You are witnessing one of the best meteor showers of the year. The Perseid Meteor Shower is now underway from July 14 to August 14. The best time to see the most meteors will be on the night of August 12 and ...

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Dog Days of Summer

July and August are typically deemed the hottest months of the year in Canada. Nights can be warm and sultry making it difficult to sleep without air conditioning.  A term that you might have heard to describe this season of heat is the “Dog Days of Summer”. It begins in the first week of July and could last a couple ...

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Embracing Summer Nights

It was this time last year that Comet Neowise graced our skies and allowed the world to gaze upon the heavens following its nightly glide amongst the stars. Not since Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 has a comet been as bright. These mountains of rock and ice are usually small, faint targets only a telescope can reveal. July 2020 belonged to ...

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When Dinosaurs Roamed

Turn back time to 230 million years ago when dinosaurs began roaming the earth. Some only relied on a plant-based diet while others were meat-eaters. For a long period, they ruled the lands beneath their feet, never knowing a different world displayed above their heads we call the cosmos. Imagine how dark the starry sky must have looked back then ...

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Winter Night Skies & Orion

For obvious reasons, winter in Canada does not entice people to venture outdoor and stargaze. The nights can be long and cold but can also be a thing of beauty. Your reward for braving the frosty still of the night is seeing the most iconic constellation of the entire sky. The seven bright suns that form Orion, the Hunter is ...

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A great conjunction

  2020 will be a year that will never be forgotten. For the past months, the entire world has suffered a high level of stress and anxiety from this pandemic. Normal routines of going to work, school, restaurants, concerts, sporting events and movies came to a screaming halt. Other than reading, playing games or binge-watching TV, people began looking skyward, ...

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A Telescope for Christmas

As we move closer to the most wonderful time of the year, what do you get that budding astronomer? I always suggest for those who have an interest in the night sky, to begin with a pair of wide-angle binoculars such as 7X35. This translates to seven power magnification with 35-millimetre objectives lenses located in the front. These are not ...

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Antiquity Meets High Tech

Over the past decades, we have witnessed and embraced the advancement of technology in cars, TVs, computers and cell phones. The list goes on and on. We have the opportunity to learn anything via reputable websites over the internet as well as YouTube videos. Although technology has changed, the night sky has appeared the same for countless millennia.   Back ...

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Mars the Red Planet

  Over the past few months, the planet Mars has been steadily brightening and is now at its peak. While it takes Earth 365 days to orbit once around the sun, Mars lies farther away from the sun taking 687 days to complete one lap. Every 26 months and an odd number of days, Earth catches up with slower Mars, ...

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Spotting A Galaxy

  Looking up at a clear sky is something we do naturally, whether you are taking a late-night stroll, walking the dog or just relaxing on the deck. Without the aid of binoculars or a telescope, our eyes have a difficult time seeing faint celestial objects that reside in the universe. We do see simple bright objects like the moon ...

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