Friday, 26 August 2016

Aug 26 2016

** It's last call for the Nature Moncton workshop/field trip on shorebirds tomorrow, Saturday August 27th. There's still ample room for more participants. An email to Louise Nichols, chairman of the Nature Moncton Activities Committee is appreciated to know numbers expected. That email address is nicholsl@eastlink.ca.
 The write-up is added as an attachment to this transcription.
 
** Brian Stone was in the Rue Niles area near Cap PelĂ© on Thursday to get a nice variety of BONAPARTE'S GULLS [Mouette de Bonaparte], showing some adults in the process of taking on winter plumage and some immature birds as well. The Bonaparte's Gull is a two-year maturity gull. Note the red legs in the adults and some immatures with black tail bands and immature wing patterns. He also got a nice OSPREY [Balbuzard pĂȘcheur] flight photo, a COMMON TERN [Sterne pierregarin] and a female CANADA DARNER [Aeschne du Canada] dragonfly.
 
** This week's Sky-at-a-Glance is added to this transcription, courtesy of Curt Nason.
 
This Week’s Sky at a Glance, August 27 – September 3
Earlier this week I spent the night at my parents’ home in McAdam; the
place where I grew up and developed a passion for the night sky. Twice I
was treated to views that took me back to younger days. In the evening
about 20 nighthawks flew over, recalling the annual summer day when
flying ants took over the town and nighthawks would be seen feasting.
Later, I stepped out onto the back deck and gawked at the Milky Way
arcing overhead, dominating the dark sky. From my back deck in suburban
Saint John I can barely discern the Milky Way, and then only overhead,
but I consider myself fortunate for that meager view as most people see
no trace of it from home.

There are many deep sky objects that rural dwellers can see directly
with the naked eye that are washed out by urban sky glow. The Lagoon
Nebula, or M8, is one of these summer targets, located just above the
spout of the Sagittarius Teapot. Like M42 in Orion’s Sword, this is a
vast cloud of gas and dust where stars are forming. Star clusters such
as the Beehive (M44) in Cancer and the Double Cluster between Cassiopeia
and Perseus appear as large, bright fuzzy patches to the rural eye. The
Andromeda Galaxy, M31 in its namesake constellation, is an easy target
when you know where to look. Most of these I can spot from my deck on a
very clear night using averted vision; that is, looking just to the side
of them so that the light falls on the more sensitive rod cells of your
eye. Within a city core these objects are difficult to see with binoculars.

Nature conservation areas do more than protect our precious flora and
fauna. They also protect the heritage of our night sky.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 6:34 am and sunset will occur at
8:06 pm, giving 13 hours, 32 minutes of daylight (6:40 am and 8:10 pm in
Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 6:43 am and set at 7:53
pm, giving 13 hours, 10 minutes of daylight (6:49 am and 7:57 pm in
Saint John).

The Moon is new on Thursday and can be seen near Jupiter with a little
effort on Friday evening. Mercury is heading sunward and is pretty much
out of the picture for binocular viewing. Venus passes very closely
above Jupiter low in the west on the evening of August 27, and you might
need binoculars to separate them. They will be at their closest about an
hour before sunset, a hand span to the upper left of the Sun. Blocking
the Sun behind a tree or building, see if you can spot them in
binoculars or a scope. Mars moves noticeably eastward of Saturn and
Antares, stretching into an ever lengthening, eye-catching triangle. If
you rise early with a clear rural sky toward the end of the week, try
spotting the ghostly pyramid of the zodiacal light about an hour before
sunrise, straddling the steep angle of the ecliptic to the east.

Join members of RASC NB, the provincial astronomy club, at the annual
Fundy National Park Star Gaze on September 2-4. For details see:
http://www.nb.rasc.ca/starparty/FundyStarGaze/fundystargaze.jpg

Questions? Contact me at
nasonc@nbnet.nb.ca.
 
 
 
Nelson Poirier,

Nature Moncton
BONAPARTE'S GULLS 01. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE

BONAPARTE'S GULLS 01. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE

BONAPARTE'S GULLS 01. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE

BONAPARTE'S GULLS 01. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE

CANADA DARNER DRAGONFLY ( FEMALE ) ._ SUSPECTED 01. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE

COMMON TERN. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE


Double cluster

OSPREY. AUG. 25, 2016. BRIAN STONE