Family Telescope Test-Drive: Solar System edition

telescope_family_test_driveFor Part 3 of our family astronomy gear test drive, we sent one suburban Ontario family home with a SkyWatcher P130 refracting (mirror-based) telescope.

Over several clear moonlit nights this winter, Ron, Serena, Angela (age 10 ), and Emma (age 8 ) used this portable 5″ diameter scope (pictured) to check-out details on our Moon, cloud layers and moons of Jupiter, phases of Venus, and ice caps on Mars this past weekend, during its Continue reading “Family Telescope Test-Drive: Solar System edition” »

Telescope test-drive Part 2: The Great Family Astronomy Tailgate Party

family_astronomy_event_efstonscienceA few months ago, I set out into the Canadian wilderness with a selection of Sky Watchertelescopes, and a pair of Canon image-stabilized binoculars furnished by my gear sponsor EfstonScience of Toronto (more on that here.)

With this gear, I recently took several families out to some Eastern Ontario conservation areas to have them put this gear – and the Continue reading “Telescope test-drive Part 2: The Great Family Astronomy Tailgate Party” »

Sky News column web extras: Bruce Peninsula

**Links mentioned in the March/April 2012 Wilderness Astronomer column in the print edition of Sky News Magazine**

In addition to the fabulous features of the Bruce Peninsula and surrounding area chronicled in Sky News Magazine, I’d like to share with you an aspect of the region’s dark-sky success story we didn’t have space to get into in the print edition.

A magic bullet for dark sky success

More and more across Canada and North America, astronomy club members are being joined coast to coast by families, environmentalists, business leaders, marketing experts and Continue reading “Sky News column web extras: Bruce Peninsula” »

Meteors over Canada’s shipwreck capital

Wrapping up our rattlesnake tour of Canadian stargazing destinations, we stopped by Bruce Peninsula National Park/Fathom Five National Marine Reserve and Dark Sky Preserve.


Though it has fewer venomous snakes than Grasslands dark sky preserve, the ones here near the harbour town of Tobermory are a protected species (you can actually get in trouble with authorities for harming them.) Thankfully, no snakes emerged and our 20-lb mascot Winston was snuggled up in the motel far from any dangerous tall grass.

Meanwhile, local astronomy guru Rod Steinacher was kind enough to spend the night showing me around the local stargazing haunts and he did NOT disappoint! Continue reading “Meteors over Canada’s shipwreck capital” »