Observatory

The StFX Observatory is located on West Street, just off University Avenue. It opened in 2018 and is mainly used for teaching, outreach, and student research projects. It houses the following instruments:

  • 28 cm (11”) Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope (SCT), pier-mounted
  • 25 cm (10”) SCT, pier-mounted
  • 70 mm refractor
  • 60 mm H-alpha filtered refractor for solar observing
  • 33 cm (13”) Dobsonian

A small classroom, with washroom, is located nearby.

During fall 2018, the observatory will be open to the public on Monday and Wednesday night if the sky is sufficiently clear. Reliable information on the weather is normally only available 6-12 hours before an event. Please visit the Department's Facebook page for information on whether the observatory will be open. The tentative schedule can be found at the bottom of this page.

Events in the sky during the second half of November:

The Moon phase is first quarter on the 15th.  Full Moon is on the 23rd, last quarter on the 30th.

Mars is still bright in the south at dusk.  The Moon passes nearby on the 15th.  Venus is now emerging as a morning object, very bright in the East in the predawn sky.  The Leonid meteor shower peaks on the night of the 17th/18th.  Noted for its  "storm" outbursts every 33 years or so (most recently in 1999/2000), this shower is usually very modest, with only a few meteors per hour visible from typical town-lit night skies.  

NASA's International Observe the Moon night

This is an annual event to encourage people across the world to observe and appreciate the Moon, learn about NASA planetary science, and celebrate cultural connections to the Moon.  More information about the event is available at https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon/annual-event/overview/ . We had a special session for this event on October 23. This image is one of many that we took that night.

Some webpages of interest: 

Environment Canada cloud forecast

Sky and Telescope updates

Astronomical picture of the day

Observatory schedule for fall 2018:

September 17 8-9:30pm
September 24 8-9:30pm
September 26 8-9:30pm  (cancelled due to weather)
October 1 8-9:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 3 8-9:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 10 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 15 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 17 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 22 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 23 7:30-8:30 Special session for the International Observe the Moon Day.
October 24 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
October 29 7:30-9pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 5 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 7 7-8:30pm
November 14 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 19 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 21 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 26 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)
November 28 7-8:30pm (cancelled due to weather)