Web links for Sky News magazine column on Jasper

athabasca_falls_jasper_dark_skyIn the May/June 2012 issue of Sky News: The Canadian Magazine of Astronomy & Stargazing, I look at Jasper National Park and Dark Sky Preserve (the world’s largest dark sky preserve, by a factor of 10!) in the Canadian Rockies.

If you haven’t read the column (Wilderness Astronomer) about this incredible “Disney World of dark sky preserves”, you can grab it on news stands (including those at WalMart) subscribe, or buy an online edition here.

If you have read the column and are here to check out the as-promised web-links, here you go!:

Recommended stargazing sites:

Here are the sites I’ve researched and recommend in the magazine:

ALSO: Jasper is such a large dark sky preserve and is so full of amazing observing sites, it actually has its own jasper observing site resource guide wilderness astronomer sky news magazine column peter mcmahon

Best Jupiter, Venus, Moon conjunction “for years to come”

moon_venus_conjunction_w_jupiter_below_March_26_2012A few weeks ago, as Venus was getting high in the sky, you may remember that Jupiter and Venus have been jockeying for position around the Moon as it all appears from here on Earth (here’s a look at some of the photos I took of this Continue reading “Best Jupiter, Venus, Moon conjunction “for years to come”” »

Daytime stargazing on March Break

peterborough-museum-march-break-astronomy-2012As is often the case, I found myself this March with dozens of kids who weren’t mine, wanting something cool to do for the day.

Since I (and they) were at the Peterborough Museum and Archives (2 hrs northeast of Toronto) during the first day of their March Break kids program, I figured I should bust out some science and Continue reading “Daytime stargazing on March Break” »

Learning Unlimited Etobicoke: From Wilderness Astronomy to Weird Science and beyond

Learning-Unlimited-UNIVERSE-of-SCIENCE-audienceWEBOver the past three months, I’ve had the honour and pleasure of presenting a weekly general-interest science lecture for Learning Unlimited Etobicoke, who have been offering speaker series’ since 1976.

From astronomy to medical science, to paleontology, to materials science, to research oddities, to Canada’s biggest science projects and beyond, we looked at Continue reading “Learning Unlimited Etobicoke: From Wilderness Astronomy to Weird Science and beyond” »

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” »

The great family telescope review, Part 1

family telescope reviewA few months ago, I set out into the Canadian wilderness with a selection of Sky Watcher telescopes from EfstonScience in Toronto, and a pair of Canon image-stabilized binoculars (more on that here.)

Recently, I (centre, in the image above) took several families Continue reading “The great family telescope review, Part 1” »

Rebooting Celestron’s Sky Scout starfinder

A Celestron Sky Scout mounted on a Sky Watcher ED80 telescopeLast year, I got a Sky Scout personal planetarium – the handy GPS-based device from Celestron, which allows you to point at an object in the sky that you’re curious about, press the “Target” button, and see text scroll across the devices’ screen telling you what you’re looking at. In many cases, you can also choose to have a voice read you a short audio documentary on what you’re Continue reading “Rebooting Celestron’s Sky Scout starfinder” »