Thursday, March 01, 2007

Help Build an Observatory

Amateur astronomers are a very dedicated group who often share their enthusiam with the night sky with people, especially children, in their communities. The Big Sky Astronomical Society, located in Vulcan, Alberta, is aiming to build an observatory at a good dark sky site. They have a telescope, a pier, a lease on the land, and now all they need is $4000 for the materials to build a roll-off-roof observatory.
Their goal with this observatory is give children and the general public a chance to view the night sky from a dark location so they appreciate the beauty that nature gives us. You can help make this happen by visiting their donation site which is part of the GiveMeaning project. Help kids learn about the wonders of the Universe today.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Observatory B&B

Do you enjoy travelling? Also enjoy viewing dark, night skies? Well the Observatory B&B may be for you. The Observatory B&B is operated by Jack and Alice Newton and is located near Osoyoos, BC. Jack Newton is well-know for his known for his astrophotography and his passion for astronomy. These world-class astronomy-theme accommodations are available from mid-April to early October each year. Their B&B has been written up in a long list of magazines and newspapers.

The Newton's winter in Arizona at the Arizona Sky Village which also offers spectacular night skies to the intrepid traveller.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Most Distant Star Clusters

Harvey Richer (UBC) and his former student, Jason Kalirai, have discovered the most distant star clusters even seen. This serendipitous discovery was made from very deep images taken with the Hubble Space telescope. The data was taken to study the very faint stars in a globular cluster NGC 6397 in the Milky Way.

A close examination showed a very distant elliptical galaxy surrounded by globular clusters. In order to determine the distance to the galaxy a spectrum was obtained with the Gemini South telescope. This spectrum showed that the globular clusters are the most distant ever studied.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Gemini Images

The Gemini Observatory has published a new series of spectacular images. These images were taken with a circular fisheye lens that produces unique views of the telescope and the sky above Mauna Kea. The image to the left shows the sodium lasers of Gemini and Keck that are used to generate artificial stars for their adaptive optics systems.