This is your monthly funtime reminder for our Open House happening at the Queen’s Observatory. The event will run from 9.00pm to 10.30pm on Saturday, April 14th. Please take note that we are in fact starting our SUMMER SCHEDULE, and so the talk will be later in the evening, and not at 7.35pm. This month’s feature presentation will be given by the always controversial Mr. Henry Ngo of Queen’s University. The title of the talk is “Where No Dinosaur Has Gone Before: Surviving an Asteroid Threat”. So controversial. In all honesty, I am desperately hoping for at least one dinosaur picture (hint hint, Henry). We invite you to join us on the 3rd floor of Ellis Hall in room 324 for the talk, before heading up to the 4th floor to scope out what you can on our Observing Deck.

So. Weather forecast. Not good. We’re expecting April showers and such, which means there’s a good chance we won’t be able to take out any of our scopes. It’s still a few days away, though, so we might catch a break! So long as there are no swarms of ill named “May flies” (more like “All The Time flies”…), I’m happy (I’m never happy about that this time of year). As always feel free to bring your own scopes and binoculars if the skies are clear, and discuss your findings with our graduate students, as well as the wonderful RASC folk.

In astronomical news, there are a few things you should be on the lookout for this month. First off, fan favourite Saturn will be on display! Rising in the East with the Virgo constellation, it should be nicely visible due South around midnight. If you have an impressively powerful telescope on hand, up to 5 of its satellites – Dionne, Enceladus, Rhea, Tethys and Titan – will be hanging out like mini loitering teenagers around the Mall of Saturn. Most small telescopes (preferably not right in the city centre) might be able to pickup the brightest of the five – 9th magnitude Titan. April 19th will be your best bet to catch the sight, with no Moon in the sky. Just 2 days later, on the night of April 21st (or the very early morning of April 22nd) at around 1am, still benefitting from a mostly Moonless sky, the Lyrid meteor shower (radiating from the constellation Lyra, in the East) should be flaring up. It isn’t a particularly strong shower, peaking at only about 15 meteors per hour, but it’s worth having a look see outside if the skies are clear, and you’re still up at that hour!

Finally, don’t forget to check out our awesome blog:

Checking it out every once in a while will keep you in the know about astronomical events, both at our facility and in the skies! We will feature news items, trivia posts and more!

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

Queen’s Observatory Coordinator