Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Earth Hour In Saskatoon

The theme this year at the Centre Mall in Saskatoon for Earth Hour is "Go Celestial". Saturday, March 27, 8:30-9:30pm at the entrance by Tony Tomas is the place to be during Earth Hour. Here is a link to the Earth Hour Canada site.

Earth Hour was started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when over 2 million homes turned off their lights for one hour to bring awareness to climate change. In 2008, over 50 million people in 35 countries participated and in 2009, more than 88 countries took part. 2010 is sure to be even bigger.

Last year in Saskatoon, there was a large line-up of people at the Centre Mall, so this year only promises to be bigger (weather providing of course). I plan on being there for this event, as does Bob of Blackholes and Astrostuff. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Saskatoon Centre will be setup as well with telescopes set up. But Bob cautions everyone to maybe be there about 30 mins ahead of time to setup your scopes before viewing starts.

The first link below is to the page on the mall site about the event. It's the second from the bottom. The last link is the flyer the mall has put together for this event.

Centre Mall events

Centre Mall flyer

Hope to see you out

Earth Hour - Logo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Zodiacal Lights (and Casino Lights)

On March 6, 2010, I went out with Bob of Blackholes and Astrostuff to photograph the Zodiacal Lights. Zodiacal light is caused by sunlight reflecting off of dust particles in the solar system known as cosmic dust, known as the interplanetary dust cloud. It usually appears as a triangle-shaped column of light in the western sky in the spring just after the evening twilight has disappeared, or in autumn just before morning twilight appears.

The following picture is one that was taken the same night as the ones above. It is of our local Dakota Dunes Casino lights shining into the sky causing light pollution. Unfortunately, the casino operators have no respect for astronomy nor care that the light pollution is a problem. Thus, the lights persist night after night. Orion constellation is in the center, The Hyades are up and to the right of that and the Pleiades are in the top right corner.