Our guest speaker for March will be Dr. Alison Sills from McMaster University. Her talk is titled "Stellar Mergers and Interactions: Yes, Virginia, Stars Do Collide".
I will discuss strong interactions between stars in a variety of environments. Despite the vast (average) interstellar distances, stars are social creatures and tend to live in pairs, multiples, or groups. Under these circumstances, stars can, and do, modify each other's mass, radius, composition, and overall evolution through gravitational encounters ranging from wind mass transfer in a binary system to complete stellar collisions and mergers. I will show how such events can change our understanding of particular stellar systems, how they can explain the properties of many unusual objects, and how interactions could change the environment these stars live in. The emphasis for this talk will be on the modelling of these interactions, and I will demonstrate how a combination of stellar evolution, stellar dynamics, and hydrodynamics can bring some understanding to these complicated systems.
For more information on club meetings see our Information Page.
Sky and Telescope's "Pocket Sky-Atlas" is a wonderful resource for all amateur astronomers. These challenges are designed for spicing up your observing.
Sky and Telescope Magazine's "Pocket Sky Atlas" has found a place in the tool kit of many amateur astronomers. The convenient size makes it easy to use at the telescope without requiring a separate chart table.
These challenge objects are indexed to the star chart pages containing those objects. The idea is to have fun and perhaps expand your observing past the "usual suspects" that can be found because of past experiences. Seeing conditions may not allow finding these objects every night, but they should be visible at some point during the month.
The March Sky
March finds most astronomers pining for warm weather to go with nights that are long enough to do some serious observing: any possibility for a reasonable night of observing is welcome. Alas, March would rather tease us with few good observing opportunities and cause us to work on our virtue of patience and improve our self control. Beware of being idle in March!
Take from the March sky all you can by being ready to observe whenever the opportunity arises. Be prepared for those nights by making up lists of objects you might want to visit ahead of time. To get the most out of your observing sessions, try to arrange the lists so that each has objects in a close neighborhood. Remember: even a small slice of sky is just packed full cosmic goodies!
And, if you have a green telescope, there is no better time to bring it out than on the 17th of the month.
I’ve indexed the object to its star chart page.
Arneb, Page 16.
Zaurak, Page 17.
Acubens, Page 24.
All of Gemini, page 25.
Sirius, Mirzam, Adhara and Aludra, Page 27 .
NGC 2782 page 22.
NGC 2286,Page 25.
NGC 2266,Page 25.
MCG-1-24-1, Page 26.
NGC 2239, Page 26.
NGC 2185 page 27.
Small Scopes and Binoculars
Mirfak, Page 13.
10UMa, Page 22.
NGC2281, Page 23.
M44, Page 24.
NGC 2420, Page 25.
M41, Page 27.
( Refer to page viii for notational notes!).
NGC 1407 Page 17.
Struve 1291, Struve 1187, Page 22 .
NGC 2281 Page 23.
Melote 71, Page 26.
Van den Bergh 97, Page 27.
Clear skies and very cold temperature greeted 28 visitors to Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Monday, February 23rd, 2015, 7:00 p.m. The event was especially intended for students on campus, with observing only and no slide presentation.Read more...
Cloudy skies and cold temperatures greeted 9 visitors to the Western University’s Cronyn Observatory Public Night, Saturday, February 14th, 2015, 7:00 p.m. Graduate student Tony Martinez made the digital slide presentation "Our Active Sun".Read more...
Hazy cloudy skies greeted 25 visitors (16 children and 9 adults) from St. George’s Public School Grade-6 class for Exploring the Stars at the Cronyn Observatory, Tuesday, February 10th, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Graduate student Shannon Hicks made the digital slide presentation “Smaller Bits of Our Solar System” and fielded questions. Shannon followed this with the activity “Kitchen Comet”, inviting the students to the table set up at the front of the lecture room where she made a comet from dry ice and other materials.Read more...
NR Canada Space Weather
Current conditions of the magnetic fieldPolar (POL): Unsettled Auroral (AUR): Quiet Sub-Auroral (SUB): Quiet
Geomagnetic forecast for the next 6 hoursNo storm watchPolar (POL): quiet Auroral (AUR): unsettled + unsettled intervalsSub-Auroral (SUB): quiet
No storm watch