Observer Nights

Observer and  Imager Nights

Imagers' Night - This Friday, January 19 - 7:00 PM to  ????
Skies permitting, the first Imagers' Night of 2018 will be Friday evening at All-Star Telescope.   Under the direction of George Cavanaugh, everyone is invited to set up imaging equipment and receive support and help from our staff and friends on how to take great astrophotos.   If you would like to see what is entailed in the process, please take a look at our video, Astrophotography 101.   You are welcome  to come and learn and see various imaging systems.  If you are looking for help and assistance, we request that you become familiar with all of the functions of your camera, especially using manual settings and setting your "live view" to be able to see stars or night-time objects.  A good test of needed skill with the camera and telescope is to be able to point it at a some bright stars such as the Pleiades Star Cluster, to be able to set the camera so you can see some of the stars on "live view" and to be able to zoom in on one or two stars and adjust the focus.     Please use your camera's manual and become familiar with these procedures as a pre-requisite to receiving help and assistance with your equipment.
Dress warm.   Coffee and washroom will be available   January evenings are cold and no warm-up area is available.  No charge!  No reservation required.  However, as all things in astronomy the weather will determine whether or not the event can proceed and the quality of the event.   Just watch the weather and the Clear Sky Clock to determine if it is worth your time to come.

Special Observer Morning for Lunar Eclipse - Wednesday, January 31 -5 AM
Join us in the early morning hours of January 31 for the first lunar eclipse in two years.  Come at 5:00 EclipseJan31AM for c and setting up equipment.  Mid-totality from All-Star Telescope is at 6:30 AM.   In addition to these spectacular orange-red views of the eclipsed moon, total lunar eclipses offer a rare two hours of dark skies during a full moon for viewing deep sky objects.  
Do you want to photograph the lunar eclipse?   See Alan Dyer's blog,How to Photograph the Lunar Eclipse.

On Regular Observer Nights (evening events) note the following: 

Observer and Imager Nights are informal evenings to share views of the nightsky with others interested in astronomy. Imaging, or astrophotography, has also become a significant part of astronomy and these evenings are also avaiable for your to pactice and learn the various aspects of doing astrophotography.   Assistance avaiable when possible.  Bring along your own telescope if you have one or you can share views from other telescopes.  Bathroom is available. There is no charge and no pre-registration is required. Just come. (Unfortunately staff usually do not have time to offer help on the use of equipment or to work on equipment needing repair or maintenance.   Please contact us about bringing in your equipment at another time.)

Note on AstroPhotography:   As time permits, staff of All-Star Telescope will give a hand at setting up and using imaging equipment that has been purchased from All-Star Telescope.   Please come at 7 PM to set-up before dark.  Imaging may continue until sunrise.

Observer Nights:  Bring your telescope or come and enjoy the views through telescopes set up by others and by All-Star Telescope.

When Attending

  • Use this this map to get here. Watch for the lit "star" up the driveway marking the observing area.
  • Please enter and park where your headlights will not face observers.
  • No pets please
  • Refreshments available / warm-up area occassionally available
  • All ages welcome - children must be under an adult's supervision
  • DRESS WARM! - Evenings get cold in Alberta at all times of the year.  Dress for sub-zero temperatures for an enjoyable evening.
  • Imager's Night:    TBA  - regular evening nights

    -you may begin setting up equipment at 6 PM.   Please bring your own table, chair and extension cord.   Washroom available but no warm-up area - please dress warm.  While you may stay and image until dawn, no camping or overnighting - campgrounds and motels available in Didsbury, Carstairs and Olds.  Check the forecast and Clear Sky Clock to determine if you should attend.  In the case of cloud, no other activities are planned.  Please, no pets.   Drop us an e-mail if you have further questions.

If you would like to participate in astrophotography, bring your equipment early to set-up.   Or you may also wish to see others in action with their imaging.  Assistance available when possible. 

  • Scopes usually available for viewing (our favourites are the Celestron CPC and NexStar SE )

2017 Imager Night Schedule

Saturday, November 18 - 7 PM

Report on Lunar Eclipse of September 27, 2015

Eclipse2014A group of 190 people joined us at some point of the evening to enjoy the last lunar eclipse until 2018.  While the evening began cloudy and we missed the moonrise as the eclipse began, the skies later opened to give us great views of the eclipsed moon and then the entire period of the moon's movement out of the earth's shadow.   You can see a timelapse video of this on our FaceBook page.


PhilByScopeSpecial Guest:  Thank you to Phil Oltmann for bringing his new 32' Dobsonian Telescope.    Normally during a full moon the sky is also bright and it is difficult to see the deep-sky objects such as nebulas, galaxies and star clusters.   However, during the eclipse the sky will darken and offer about one hour for deep sky observing.   Phil  pointed his massive telescope at the moon and perhaps other deep sky objects.  At times there was a long lineup to view through the scope

Report on the Eclipses of last October and special viewing sessions:

Eclipse2014Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday, October 8- At 5 AM there was a small clearing in the clouds to allow us this photo of the eclipsed moon.  A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the earth so the shadow of the earth blocks the sun from shining directly on the moon.  Sunlight, however, is refracted through the earth's atmosphere and reaches the moon but the refracted light produces a redish or orange colour on the moon similar to earth's sunset colours.  (Photo by Ken From of All-Star Telescope)

Why was this so special?  Firstly, the moon changed colour dramatically over a three hour period from the bright, white full moon to various shades of orange and red with brightening and darkening surface areas as the moon moves through the earth's shadow.  Secondly, you can notice the moon's movement against the stars as the moon slowly drifts in an easterly direction - something most noticeable during a lunar eclipse.  Thirdly, you will notice the sky darkening and the stars coming out as the moon hides in the deepest part of earth's shadow.   For deep sky observers, we have the gift of dark skies for a couple of extra hours to observe nebulas and galaxies that are normally washed out by a full moon.   Fourthly, and uniquely to this lunar eclipse, you can spot Uranus to the lower left of the eclipsed moon and include it in photos you take of this eclipse. Fifthly, the eclipsed moon is set against the background of the Milky Way as it moves towards the western horizon.   This can make a fabulous landscape photo if you are set up in advance - camera and tripod.  The next lunar eclipse will be April 4, 2015 and All-Star Telescope will be hosting viewing during this eclipse also.


GPS Coordinates - Viewing Site: 51° 37' 25" N / 114° 05' 55" W




Observer & Imager Nights

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