Saint John astronomers launch weekly stargazing livestream

Three Saint John astronomers are launching a weekly stargazing livestream that will allow viewers to marvel at the night sky from the comfort of their homes.

The Sunday Night Astronomy Show will air every Sunday at 8 p.m. on the Astronomy by the Bay YouTube channel. The show will run until the end of March and each broadcast will last about an hour.

Chris Curwin, one of the astronomers involved, is also part of the Saint John Astronomy Club and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

He and his peers will hook up a webcam to the eyepieces of their remote telescopes that are aimed at celestial targets. The images will be streamed.

A lot more detail

A picture will be taken every five seconds, Curwin said.

If the object is dim, another picture is taken. The images are then stacked to improve the brightness.

"So it reveals more and more detail. So it's quite fascinating, really, to be able to sit and watch it."  

The astronomers plan to offer views of planets, such as Saturn and Jupiter, as well as nearby galaxies such as Andromeda.

Submitted by Paul Own

The moon will also be featured when it is out, although Curwin said binoculars can provide a pretty good view just as easily.

"A lot of people never think about, you know, lifting up binoculars to take a look at the moon," he said.

The broadcast will educate people about the night sky as well as show off some of the detail only visible through high-powered telescopes.

Submitted by Paul Owen

"Our goal is to offer some things that people have never seen before through the eyepiece," Curwin said.

Three or four objects will be offered each night. Questions can be answered in the comments section.

There will still be a reason to tune in even on cloudy nights. Curwin and his group will take advantage of bad weather days to educate viewers about the stars, planets and astronomy.