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 winter 2019, the observatory will be open to the public on Monday and Wednesday night if the sky is sufficiently clear. We may offer additional observation sessions, but information on this will only be available on short notice. 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 if and when the observatory will be open. The tentative schedule can be found at the bottom of this page.

Events in the sky during March.

Mercury remains visible low in the west at sunset for the first few days of March.

New Moon occurs March 6th, first quarter on the 14th, full Moon on the 21st, and last quarter on the 28th. 

Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are all in the pre-dawn sky in the southeast.  Jupiter is highest, followed by Saturn, with Venus the lowest.   Mars is in the southwest at sunset, noticeably lower by the end of the month. 

The Moon pairs up with the planets through the month: with Saturn on the 1st, Venus on the 2nd, Mars on the 11th, Jupiter on the 27th, and Saturn again on the 29th.

The Vernal Equinox occurs this year March 20th at 6:58 p.m. ASDT, marking the start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

Daylight Savings Time begins this month on Sunday, March 10th at 2 a.m.

Some webpages of interest: 

Environment Canada cloud forecast

Sky and Telescope updates

Astronomical picture of the day

 

Observatory schedule for winter 2019:

January 14 7-8:30pm
January17 7-8pm (out-of-schedule session)
January 21 7-8:30pm
January 23 7-8:30pm
January 28 7-8pm
January 30 7-8:30pm
February 4 7-8:30pm
February 6 7-8:30pm
February 11 7-8:30pm
February 13 7-8:30pm
February 25 7:30-9pm 
February 27 7:30-9pm
March 4 7:30-9pm
March 6 7:30-9pm
March 11 8-9:30pm
March 13 8-9:30pm
March 18 8-9:30pm
March 20 8-9:30pm
March 25 8-9:30pm
March 27 8-9:30pm
April 1 8-9:30pm
April 3 8-9:30pm