THIS WEEK'S SKY
Compiled by SkyNews Magazine, learn about upcoming celestial events by visiting www.skynews.ca/this-weeks-sky. Also be sure to check out the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area on Facebook for news and details specific to the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area
TERENCE DICKINSON RECEIVES L&A COUNTY AWARD FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Terence Dickinson received the Lennox & Addington Award for Lifetime Achievement in a location he helped to create. At a special ceremony held at the L&A Dark Sky Viewing Area, Mr. Dickinson accepted the award amongst colleagues, family and friends... read more >>>
DR. DAVID LEVY VISITS THE DARK SKY VIEWING AREA
Dr. David Levy, one of the most successful comet discoverers in history, recently visited the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area. "It was one of the darkest skies I've ever seen from southern Ontario," he said of his June visit... read more >>
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AMATEUR STARGAZER LOVES THE DSVA
My first time at Dark Sky Viewing Area was last year (2013) in April. It was cold and the moon was kind of out, and it was kinda lonely, BUT I had the time of my life! I was hooked and drove 3 hours from Brampton weekend in and weekend out during the summer. As the viewing population grew I had a greater time talking to knowledgeable people or educating those who didn't know. The area itself is nicely paved and has a line showing true north for those who need to know. It really is a jewel of darkness surrounded by light pollution. I can't wait to go back! Especially recommended when there is events there. You can learn alot from one of the best in the business. Mr Terence Dickinson.
Jason Bramble, Brampton
REGULAR VISITOR DURING METEOR SHOWERS
We love the Dark Sky Viewing Area! We have had a chance to see couple of meteor showers. We try to make it the past 2 years during summer! I love to lie down with my family and watch the stars and the magic they create! The meteors. Oh... our best was one where we counted almost 100 meteors !! Awesome experience!
IT’S WORTH THE DRIVE
After reading your article about the new Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area, I decided to check it out. I am from Ottawa, and as stated in the article, it is becoming more and more difficult to find accessible dark areas that are open to the public late at night for stargazing. I must say that I was impressed with how easy it was to find the Lennox & Addington site and how dark the skies are there. I took several photographs that night and plan to return.
Adam Moncrieff, Ottawa
From November/December 2012 issue of SkyNews Magazine
DARK SITE REPORT
Here are my impressions of my first visit to the Lennox & Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area described in the September/October SkyNews. After checking The Weather Network’s forecast for the nearby village of Tamworth and the Clear Sky Chart for the L&A County dark site (http://cleardarksky.com/c/LnAStONkey.html?1), I decided to book a room at a motel near Napanee and make the drive from Hamilton, with the intention of enjoying two nights of observing at the site.
I was not disappointed. This is a wonderful location with a nearly unobstructed view in all directions. As an example, I was able to see the rich Scorpius star cluster M7 when it was only about seven degrees above the horizon.
Expecting, but not necessarily wanting, to be on my own at the site that night, I was pleasantly surprised when a father and son from Stoney Creek, Ontario—a three-hour drive away—pulled in. They had been there the previous night and were busily setting up for an astrophoto session on their final night.
On my second night, three enthusiasts pulled in with nothing more than lawn chairs and a pair of 25mm binoculars. They simply wanted to enjoy the naked-eye view. Although I had observing plans for the night, I got just as much pleasure out of letting them look through my 10-inch Newtonian scope and showing them how to find certain objects in the sky. The view of the Andromeda Galaxy and its companion galaxies, M32 and M110—all contained within a two-degree eyepiece field—resulted in several “wows!” Using the binoculars, one member of the trio was overjoyed at being able to find, on her own, the double cluster in Perseus, the Andromeda Galaxy and M33. Meanwhile, a couple from Belleville showed up with their NexStar 6. They were soon in GoTo heaven. This was beginning to turn into a small star party. A great time under a very dark sky was enjoyed by all.
The smooth, concrete observing platform has room for 7 to 10 telescopes, and an equal amount of fairly flat ground surrounding the observing platform is just as useful for setting up. I highly recommend this observing site to anyone who wants to escape light pollution and observe under the night sky as it was meant to be seen. It’s a three-hour drive for me, but I plan to make that drive on a regular basis in the future.
Eric Shepherd, Hamilton
From November/December 2012 issue of SkyNews Magazine
SITE OFFERS VERY EASY PUBLIC ACCESS FOR DARK MAG 6.5+ SKIES
I was only able to get one night out of this year's Orionids near their peak, but it was a good, productive session. I went to the new L&A County Public Dark Site near Kaladar. Located next to Highway 41, it offers very easy public access for dark mag 6.5+ skies, and I was curious to see this spot even though it's a fairly long 2 hour drive. When I arrived early to set up, the sky was solidly overcast. The predicted clearing eventually came much later, after 11pm. By then, I could go ahead and set up my cameras and equipment just as the Moon was setting. I was surprised to see four other observers join me (from Ottawa, Belleville and even as far away as Montreal). One of them showed up after 2am to enjoy the winter constellations. It was a nice night, with average (3/5) transparency, and a gegenshein barely visible happening to be in the darkest part of the sky. The temperature was comfortable except for a humidity rise (with dewing/frost) near the end. I faced the south-east and kept my field of view centred at 50 degrees for the entire night. It was a good night with activity seen from every active source. With five hours of recording, I got a total of 144 meteors (82 Orionids, 12 North Taurids, 8 South Taurids, 7 Epsilon Geminids, 5 Leo Minorids and 30 sporadics). My general impression was that of a very typical Orionid return. A lot of faint stuff. Only two negative magnitude Orionids were seen. The best meteor appeared at 2am EDT. It was a very impressive golden-yellow mag -3 Leo Minorid that shot 40 degrees into the south, leaving behind a 2 sec train. It was bright enough to capture the attention of other observers who were busy with their scopes or cameras.
Pierre Martin, Ottawa