Transit of Mercury – See Mercury Cross the Sun
May 9, 2016

The Transit of Mercury on November 8, 2006 Credit Brocken Inaglory (Own work) [GFDL]

A rare astronomical event will occur during the morning of Monday, May 9, 2016 when Edmonton skies will see a Transit of Mercury. A transit of Mercury occurs when the orbits of Mercury and Earth around the Sun line up in such a way that, from certain places on Earth, the planet Mercury can be seen to cross the face of the Sun over the course of a few hours. On May 9, as seen from Edmonton, the transit will be in progress at sunrise, which is at 5:41 AM! But you don’t have to get up that early to see it since the event will take a leisurely 7 hours to complete.

Planetary transits are among the rarest of astronomical events. To see Mercury transit the Sun, you’ll need the magnifying power of a telescope that is fitted with a specialized filter to protect your eyes (see Viewing the Transit Safely below). Viewed this way, Mercury appears as a little black dot slowly moving across the face of the Sun. The transit presents a rare opportunity to witness a planet’s orbital motion in real time.

The most recent transit took place a decade ago, on November 8 2006, and after the upcoming May event, you’ll have to wait until November 11, 2019, for you next opportunity. So don’t miss it!
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RASC Regular Meeting
May 9, 2016
Globular Clusters and Their Weird Binary Stars

Hubble image of the nearby globular cluster NGC 6397. Credit: HST/NASA/ESA

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Craig Heinke
Globular Clusters and Their Weird Binary Stars

Globular clusters are old, dense conglomerations of stars, which are also unique physical laboratories. The denser globular clusters have stars packed so tightly together that stars occasionally collide with each other. More often, binary stars (pairs of stars orbiting around each other) have their orbits disrupted by other stars, leading to the replacement of one star in the binary with the intruder star and the formation of unusual binaries. Binaries including extremely dense dead stars, like neutron stars or black holes, can produce X-ray binaries, where the dense star steals mass from its companion. As the matter spirals down from the companion to the dead star, it heats up to millions of degrees and emits X-rays, permitting us to study these exotic systems.

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Astronomy Day – May 14, 2016

The RASC Observatory and the TELUS World of Science present International Astronomy Day.

FREE!

TELUS World of Science
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

  • Observatory * Solar viewing open to the public.
  • Information Booth: Displays and Q&A with our members.
  • Telescope Clinic: Bring your telescope and get helpful advice from our expert members.

8:30 – 11:00 PM

  • Observatory * Nighttime viewing open to the public.

Sidewalk Astronomy *
8:30 – 11:00 PM

Join our volunteers for Sidewalk Astronomy and enjoy the springtime night sky at the following locations:

  • Gazebo Park in Old Strathcona, on 83 Avenue between 103 and 104 Streets
  • The Promenade overlooking Victoria Park, on the south side of 100 Avenue at 118 Street


* Outside Events Are Weather Permitting
Check @edmontonrasc on Twitter for updates on outside events.

RASC Regular Meeting
June 6, 2016
Member’s Night

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

NOTE: This meeting is a week earlier than usual, on June 6, so that members may attend the public talk by Jocelyn Bell Burnell on June 13 (details on the public talk will be announced soon).

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Member Presentations

RASC members share their interests, projects, skills and passions.

  • Warren Finlay: Messier Bimarathon
  • Geoff Robertson: Movie
  • Dave Mussell: Observatory Project
  • Roman Unyk: C14 Project
  • Massimo Torri: Astroimaging Corner
  • Dave Roles: The Dave Roles Show

If you would like to give a short presentation, email the President.