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 January.

A total lunar eclipse will occur the evening of Sunday, January 20th, and continue into the early hours of the 21st. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow is cast onto the Moon.

The eclipse begins at 10:36 Atlantic Standard Time (AST), but the most noticeable effects will not be seen until the darkest part of the shadow, called the umbra, falls on the Moon starting at 11:34 AST.  The total part of the eclipse starts at 12:41 p.m., and continues until 1:43 a.m. During this time the Moon will be completely covered by the Earth's shadow.  The umbra finally departs at 2:50 a.m., and the eclipse is completely over by 3:48 a.m.

Unlike a solar eclipse, no special filter is necessary to view the eclipse, and there is no risk to the eyes in viewing the eclipse.  Binoculars may be helpful.  

Note: the observatory will not be open for this event due to the late hour,  and because telescopes are not necessary for viewing. 

A picture of the moon taken through our main telescope during the 2018 Observe The Moon Day.

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 7-8:30pm
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