The Montreal Planetarium

logo-pla_140_0The Montreal Planetarium, part of a larger consortium called Space for Life Montreal (Biodome, Insectarium, Botanical Gardens), is doing some great outreach on their website with simple and easy ways to get your astronomy fix. They have a feature called “Monthly Sky” – read it to discover what you can see in the sky this month. There’s also “Questions about astronomy” with some common FAQs. Don’t miss the section on “Astronomical events” with a list of major events in astronomy, past or future. And finally “Ephemerides” which has information on the phases of the moon, solstices or equinoxes. There’s also a seasonal bulletin called “The Pocket Planetarium”.

And if you want to get offline, maybe you’ll have visitors this summer to Montreal, and if that’s the case, Space for Life sounds like a great place to start the tour.

Image is a logo from the Space for Life website

Stargazing in the winter

NightSkyI’m fortunate enough to be part of a friendly walking group.  We take evening walks in the winter to look at the stars.  We usually take our walks in one of Montreal’s beautiful nature parks, such as Parc-Nature de l’Île-de-la-Visitation, which is located on the north side of the island.  We are able to enjoy the night sky, while being surrounded by trees, water, and white snow all around.  The scene is spectacular.  The next time you are out on a winter night, look up and see if you can recognize Orion, The Hunter.

The BBC has some brief video clips on how to identify some interesting features of the winter night sky.  For more details, take a look at Patrick Moore’s book, The sky at night.

Image of Orion from H. Raab