- DDOD Outreach
- Why DDOD
Update - 2013-11-28 @14:30 EST:
Comet ISON does NOT appear to have survived perihelion :-<
Viewing Comet ISON As It Swings Around the Sun
(November 28, 2013)
Click on the icon to see an animation I have posted on YouTube that shows the position of Comet ISON with respect to the Sun from just after sunrise to sunset (8 am to 4:45 pm EST) on November 28th, 2013 as seen from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. The view will be the same for observers anywhere within southern Ontario, and similar for observers throughout southern Canada and the bordering States.
*** Please DO NOT try looking for the Comet on this day using your eyes with a pair of binoculars or a telescope. The magnified Sun in the same field-of-view will cause PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE!!! Use the side of a building or a lamp post to BLOCK OUT THE SUN FROM VIEW and then look for the comet USING ONLY YOUR UNAIDED EYES.
To see ISON, the sky needs to be very clear around the Sun because the comet will look only like a tiny whitish spot of light not much brighter than the sky. Any haze or clouds will easily wash out or block your view of the comet. And of course, this assumes the comet has stayed intact as it swings around the Sun.
Closest approach to the Sun will be around 1:30 pm EST (35 seconds into this 52 second video). The white lines mark 2 degree divisions in Altitude and Azimuth. The Altitude value for each line is shown at the right edge of the video frame and the Azimuth values are printed at the top of the frame (but the numbers are partly cut off... sorry). Note that the true horizon is a bit lower than where the ground is shown in the animation, which is likely to be what you will encounter at your own observing site. Observers viewing from the north shore of Lake Ontario or Lake Simcoe may be able to see right down to the true horizon.
The yellow box shows the view using a 300 mm focal length lens on a full-frame camera (e.g.-Nikon D600) or a ~180 mm lens on an APS-format camera (e.g.- Canon T3i). BUT BE CAREFUL: You still need to BLOCK THE SUN FROM VIEW by your camera, as the glare from the Sun will make the comet invisible in your images, and imaging the Sun can DAMAGE YOUR CAMERA and HURT YOUR EYES if you look through the viewfinder at it!
I strongly recommend you watch Comet ISON today via one of the Sun-monitoring SPACECRAFTS (links at "earthsky.org").
--Ian Shelton, DDOD's Vice Chair & Resident Astronomer
The David Dunlap Observatory lies nestled in the heart of Richmond Hill, Ontario, a city of 200,000 just north of Canada's largest city, Toronto. The 190-acre oasis of mature forests, pastures and springs is home to two distinct deer herds and an abundance of other wildlife, including a coyote pack, foxes, voles, rabbits, honey bees, many species of butterflies, and birds including hawks, owls, doves, crows and songbirds. The property represents the last and largest urban open green space in southern Richmond Hill.
Originally deeded to the University of Toronto by the philanthropist Jessie Donalda Dunlap in memory of her husband David, the Dunlap Observatory opened on May 31st, 1935. Its magnificent 74-inch telescope was the second largest in the world at that time and has been used through seven decades to conduct much groundbreaking research, including the discovery of the first known black hole, Cygnus X-1.
In 2007, the University of Toronto wrested control of the land from Jessie Dunlap's heirs through a protracted legal case spanning 4 years. They then broke the public covenant that the land would remain a park and a research and outreach centre in perpetuity by selling the property to a developer intent on replacing most of the greenspace with hundreds of houses.
The DDO Defenders have been working hard to represent the public and inform all levels of government about what will be lost if the developer is allowed to proceed.
On April 12th, 2012, after six long and anxiety-ridden months of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) mandated mediation following a four year hard-fought and very public battle, an agreement was reached in March between the mediation parties to the David Dunlap Observatory Lands OMB case.
Minutes of Settlement were drawn up for signing by all parties to the mediation -- the landowner, Corsica Development Inc. (a subsidiary of MetrusDevelopments Inc.), the Town of Richmond Hill, the Region of York, the Toronto and Area Conservation Authority (TRCA), and the David Dunlap Observatory Defenders (DDO Defenders) Inc. This historic document was ratified by Richmond Hill Town Council on Thursday, April 12th. All mediation parties had been sworn to absolute secrecy under a strict gag order until Council signed off on the agreement, but now the silence has finally been broken and the details of the settlement agreement can be made public. (read more)
For further information or to offer support, please contact:
- Karen M. Cilevitz - Chair, DDO Defenders Inc.
firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 990-6694
The Minutes of Settlement is posted at the Town of Richmond Hill - DDO webpage.