Solar Thursdays at Royal Botanical Gardens Start This Week!

Would you like to take a look at the sun, just for fun? Are you going to visit Royal Botanical Gardens ( on Thursdays this summer, or just in the neighborhood? Introducing “Solar Thursdays” – a weekly one-hour chance for visitors to  directly see features on our nearest star, the Sun, at RBG.
Solar Thursdays are a chance to see the sun through specially-equipped telescopes. We’ll be set up from 12 noon – 1 PM in July and into August, weather permitting. Some clouds will be OK, but heavy clouds will mean cancellation. We’ll be on the lawn in front of the main entrance to RBG Centre. There’s also a chance that other local astronomers might join in and bring along their own solar-equipped ‘scopes, too! Our address is 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, Ontario. Parking is free. We hope you’ll visit RBG after your look at the sun.
On Thursday we’ll likely see sunspots and solar prominences.  We’ll also have a solar weather update on hand. This offering is free of charge, and is being presented by RBG staff on their lunch hour.

Visit us on the front lawn of Royal Botanical Gardens Centre, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, Ontario, for Solar Thursdays! Here a visitor takes a turn looking at the sun with a Coronado 60 mm Solar Max II BF15 H-alpha telescope.

We will be looking through specially-equipped telescopes that filter the bright light from the sun. These filters make it safe to observe the sun’s surface. Remember:

No one should ever look directly at the sun without special, appropriate equipment. Permanent eye damage or blindness may result from inappropriate attempts to see the Sun, or the use of incorrect equipment. We will be using telescopes designed specifically for solar observation, or those equipped with filters specifically made for this purpose.

Once you’re familiar with the equipment and have things in focus, you will be able to take in the sights in just a few minutes.


The sun photographed on 23 July 2013 from the front lawn of Royal Botanical Gardens, by using eyepiece projection and a Sony pocket camera. Several prominences are visible in this view through a Coronado 60 mm Solar Max II BF15 telescope.

We hope to see you there!

Copyright © 2013 David Allan Galbraith

“Wave at Saturn” today at 5:27 Eastern Daylight Time!

This was received today via the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada:

Today (Friday 19 July 2013) at 5:27pm Eastern Daylight Time, the Cassini space probe in orbit around Saturn will take a picture of Saturn’s rings, backlit by the Sun. The Sun will be hidden behind Saturn, but Earth won’t be. If you want to wave at Saturn as this picture is taken, be outside at 5:27pm. It will be daylight in Ontario, but Saturn will be above the horizon. It will be about a quarter of the way up the sky, and roughly South-South East. For more information, check out

Pine River Observatory’s note: Earth will be 1.44 billion kilometers from Saturn when the photo is taken. Don’t expect your face to be too clearly visible in the photo.