Upcoming Events

NOVA astronomy course for beginners | Fri 17 Oct – ? PDF Print E-mail

NOVA: New Observers to Visual Astronomy

Earn your "Explore the Universe" Certificate!


The Halifax Centre of the RASC is pleased to offer its version of the popular NOVA Program (New Observers to Visual Astronomy).

This program is intended to provide anyone interested in astronomy (including new RASC members) with basic astronomy knowledge and skills to enable them to become proficient amateur astronomers and to foster an environment wherein new members may quickly become active, participating members of the Society.

Participants in the NOVA Program will receive a copy of the printed course materials. Over the length of the course, the students will be walked through completion of the RASC’s Explore the Universe Certificate, which will provide an observer with an introduction to the various aspects of astronomical observing, from lunar observing to deep sky objects.

The program consists of 9 lessons, each of which covers different aspects of amateur astronomy. Each lesson will consist of a lecture, with videos and other demos to clearly explain the various concepts.

The course will begin on 17 October at St Mary’s University. Program will be held in Room 305 of the Atrium building and will start at 6:30 PM on the same evenings as the regular Halifax Centre meetings. Each lesson will last about an hour.

Please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or post to the Halifax list for more information by 10 October.

The cost of the program will be $60 to cover materials. Payment is due on the 17th. The course fee is payable by cash or cheque made out to Halifax Centre RASC.

Course outline (subject to change):

Lesson 1 – Observing

How to prepare for an observing session, complete an observing log and
the basics of lunar sketching.

Lesson 2 – Motions of the Sky and Seasons

Apparent motion of the stars across the sky, the changing path of the
sun and why we have seasons.

Lesson 3 – Maps, North, Distance, Position and Brightness

Star maps, finding north, measuring distance, location systems
(alt-azimuth) and magnitude of sky objects.

Lesson 4 – Telescope Types and Using Them

Telescope types, mounts and accessories, techniques for using your
telescope (aligning a finder-scope, polar alignment, etc.)

Lesson 5 – Star Designations, RA & Dec, Deep Sky Objects

Common star designations, RA/Dec coordinate system, different types of
deep sky objects

Lesson 6 – The Moon & Eclipses

Moon Phases, lunar and solar eclipses, tides

Lesson 7 – The Solar System

Solar system formation & scale, observing the planets

Lesson 8 – Stars

Types of stars, temperature and colour of stars, stellar life cycles

Planetarium: "Cosmic Clockwork" | Thu 23 Oct PDF Print E-mail


Time:       Thursday, October 23 , 7:15 p.m.
Location:   Rm. 120, Dunn Bldg, Dalhousie University, 6310 Coburg Rd
Presenter:  Quinn Smith

"Cosmic Clockwork - what makes the Universe tick?"

The night sky is always changing, hour by hour, month by month and year by
year. Come to the Halifax Planetarium and see just what makes the Universe
unfold the way it does.

Admission:  $5 (at the door); reductions for families (min. age 8 years)

Reservations required. To reserve seats, e-mail  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , stating number of adults and children (8–15).
The Show is about an hour long. Full details will be sent before the Show.
Please do not be late; no admission after the door closes.

Please note that shows are most suitable for ages 8 and up; for younger children, please consider visiting the Discovery Centre for age-appropriate shows in their Digitarium.

Burke-Gaffney Observatory Public Telescope Viewing - Friday Nights PDF Print E-mail

Join us for a peek through the telescope at Saint Mary's University's Burke-Gaffney Observatory.

Detailed information about our Public Telescope Viewing Nights is here.

The scheduled upcoming dates are:

  • Friday, October 24 at 9pm
  • Friday, November 14 at 7pm
  • Friday, November 28 at 7pm
  • Friday, December 12 at 7pm
  • Friday, December 26 - NO TOUR

Due to limited space, tickets must now be reserved online.

Any other information can be obtained by contacting Dave Lane, Observatory Director.
We also offer private tours for groups of people. Details are here.