Friday, 29 November 2019

Nov 29 2019


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Edited by: Nelson Poirier
Transcript by: Louise Nichols
Info Line # 506-384-6397 (384-NEWS)
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** A very quiet Information Line today.  Wet, snowy/rainy days can do that.

** Yolande LeBlanc advises that the Memramcook/Hillsborough Christmas Bird Count will be taking place on Saturday Dec. 21st.  Yolande is very much in need of volunteers to do sectors in the Hillsborough area.  If you’re able to help out, give Yolande a call at 758-9583, or email her at, and she will forward the sectors she wants to be covered.

** There still seems to be a lot of quiet feeder yards about with all the wild food availability.  At my own feeders, approximately 25 AMERICAN GOLDFINCH [Chardonneret jaune] are quiet happy to enjoy the offerings, a half dozen HOUSE FINCH [Roselin familier], approximately 20 MOURNING DOVES [Tourterelle triste], and the usual few BLUE JAYS [Geai bleu], BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES [Mésange à tête noire] and Woodpeckers [Pics].  There has been no return of sparrows [Bruant] or DARK-EYED JUNCOS [Junco ardoisé], or other species we had briefly about 10 days ago.

** Louise Nichols reports a flock of about 10 AMERICAN GOLDFINCH [Chardonneret jaune] passed through their yard this morning.  They stopped briefly on a Lilac bush, picking at the seeds while ignoring the bird feeders right beside them.  Then they all flew off.

** It’s Friday, with this week’s Sky-at-a-Glance included in this edition courtesy of sky guru Curt Nason.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2019 November 30 – December 7
By 1930 the borders of 88 constellations had been set to cover the entire sky by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the overlords of all things astronomical. Many constellations were created by stargazers in Babylonia more than 6000 years ago, later to be adopted and expanded by the Greeks. Claudius Ptolemy’s second-century treatise, The Almagest, included a star map which included 48 constellations, most of which survived the IAU. A few centuries ago many constellations were made up for the newly “discovered” skies of the deep southern hemisphere and to fill in gaps in the familiar northern hemisphere. In New Brunswick we get to see all or parts of 66 constellations, but some are rather elusive.

Two of the gap-fillers lurk between the traditional autumn and winter constellations in the northeast these evenings, and they can be as difficult to see as their namesakes in New Brunswick. Stretching between Ursa Major and the Gemini-Auriga pair is a sparse zigzag of stars making the Lynx. Just as you are unlikely to see a lynx near urban areas, you need to be in a rural region to spot Lynx. Between Lynx and the semicircle of Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Perseus is the enigmatic and tough-to-pronounce-after-a-few Camelopardalis, which of course is a giraffe. With its head near Polaris, a critter this far north should have been a reindeer. Before you have a few, go out and see if you can locate them.

This Week in the Solar System  
Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:39 am and sunset will occur at 4:35 pm, giving 8 hours, 56 minutes of daylight (7:41 am and 4:43 pm in Saint John).  Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:47 am and set at 4:33 pm, giving 8 hours, 46 minutes of daylight (7:49 am and 4:41 pm in Saint John).

The Moon is at first quarter on Wednesday, making this a great week for lunar observing. Mercury is still readily visible in the morning sky, extending its eastward distance from Mars from 10 to 15 degrees over the week. The eastward motion of Mars relative to the stars keeps it about midway between Mercury and Spica. In the evening sky, Venus zooms from 1/3 to 3/4 of the distance from Jupiter to Saturn. By midweek, Jupiter is situated where the Sun will be on the first day of winter.

The Saint John Astronomy Club meets in the Rockwood Park Interpretation Centre on December 7 at 7 pm. All are welcome.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason at
Nelson Poirier,
Nature Moncton

Lynx 2019