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2020 Visions In The Sky: A Preview Of Astronomical Events – WSKG.org

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It won’t be long after the start of a new year when astronomy buffs can enjoy the first of a few special events that will take place in the sky.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, January 4, the Quadrantid meteors may be seen in the northeastern sky. The radiant, or general point of origin from where most of the meteors will fall, is near the handle of the Big Dipper. This annual meteor shower has been known to produce up to 100 meteors per hour, but viewers are more likely to catch 15 to 25 per hour. The Quadrantid peak is limited, only an estimated six hours before and after its maximum.

There are several celestial events that will be viewable from Western New York in 2020. Some may be seen from the naked eye but others, including a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in December, will be better enjoyed with a telescope. CREDIT MICHAEL MROZIAK, WBFO

Two more meteor showers known for their frequency will return in the second half of the year, with the Perseids peaking around August 12 and the Geminids peaking between December 13 and 14.

In March, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn may be seen in the eastern sky, not long before sunrise.

“They’ll all be clustered in the east-southeast,” said Tim Collins, observatory astronomer at the Buffalo Museum of Science, who told WBFO this grouping will begin around St. Patrick’s Day. “It would help to have a clear horizon to see it, but on (March) 18 the waning crescent Moon is going to join the pack and you’ll have four objects just sitting right there for you to stare at.”

A “supermoon,” when the Moon will be at its closest point to the Earth, will occur April 7. While the variation of the Moon’s distance won’t seem as apparent to most viewers, Earth’s natural satellite will be at a perigee distance of 221,772 miles.

Mars will again offer a treat to sky watchers in October, when it reaches opposition to the Sun on the 13th of that month. It will be viewable from dusk to dawn and at a magnitude rivaling Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and planet Jupiter.

With larger telescopes, such as the Lundin telescope at the Buffalo Museum of Science’s Kellogg Observatory, one may be able to see some Martian surface features. Collins is hopeful the weather, both on Earth and on Mars, will be cooperative this time.

“The last time this happened, about two years back, we ran into a global dust storm on Mars and it blocked all the surface features,” he said. “Hopefully we don’t have that happen again, and we’ll be able to identify polar ice caps, maybe some of the features like the Valles Marineris as well.”

One of the most special events viewable from Western New York will occur shortly after sundown on December 21. Jupiter and Saturn will slowly appear to close in on each other during evenings throughout the autumn but on the first day of winter, they’ll be at their closest from Earth’s vantage point. They’ll be within one degree.

“For those not familiar with what one degree of separation really means, it’s a fancy way of saying it’s going to fit in the same field of view in a 40-millimeter eyepiece on your telescope,” Collins said. “You can actually look into a telescope and see two planets at the same time.”

Collins added if you can get your hands on a larger telescope, you’ll be able to view not only Jupiter’s Galilean moons but also some of Saturn’s larger moons, and they will appear as though it will be hard to tell which moon belongs to which planet.

There are some other sky events happening in 2020 but to see those, you’ll need to travel. On February 18, Mars will pass behind the Moon but you’ll need to be in the western half of North America, where it will be seen shortly before sunrise.

If you’ve got some vacation time and some money to spend, there’s an annular solar eclipse happening on June 21 that can be viewed in parts of Africa, Arabia, southern Asia and the southwestern Pacific. The moon will pass in front of the sun but will be too far from Earth to cover the sun entirely. What you’ll get is what looks like a brilliant ring.

A second solar eclipse, this one a total eclipse, will occur December 14 but will only be seen in the lower two-thirds of South America and a very limited portion of southwest Africa.

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COVID-19 Today: School, child care cases for Newmarket, York Region, and Ontario – NewmarketToday.ca

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Newmarket (reported Friday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 0 school-related cases
  • 0 schools closed

Licensed child care facilities

  • 0 child care centre cases
  • 0 child care centres closed

York Region (reported Frisday, Sept. 25, at 5 p.m.)

Schools

  • 1 school outbreaks*
    • Blue Willow, Woodbridge (1 student, 1 staff)
  • 0 schools closed
  • 12 confirmed cases
  • 7 students
  • 5 staff/visitors
  • 8 (-2) schools under surveillance**:
    • Carrville Mills (1 staff), in Thornhill
    • Little Rouge (1 student), in Markham;
    • St. Michael the Archangel (1 staff); Tommy Douglas Secondary (1 student), Our Lady of Fatima (1 staff), in Woodbridge;
    • Maple High (1 student), Dr. Roberta Bondar (1 student) in Maple
    • Kleinburg P.S. (1 student) in Kleinburg
  • Surveillance closed for Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1 staff) and J. Addison (1 student), in Markham

*An outbreak is declared when 2 or more cases are confirmed within a 14-day period, with at least one case acquired in the school

**Schools with a laboratory-confirmed case that was not transmitted within the school 

Licensed child care facilities

  • 4 child care centre outbreaks*
  • 2 active outbreaks
    • Childventures Early Learning Academy, Aurora (1 staff)
    • Montessori School House, Maple (1 child, 1 staff)
  • 1 case child
  • 4 cases staff/visitors

*An outbreak is declared with one or more confirmed case in children or staff

Ontario (reported Thursday, Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m.):

Cases in schools

  • 238 (+29) school-related cases
  • 110 (+10) students; 50 (+10) staff
  • 78 (+9) individuals not identified 
  • 198 (+20) of 4,828 schools with a case (4.10%)
  • 2 schools closed
    • Fellowes High School, Pembroke (1 student, 4 staff cases)
    • Monsignor Paul Baxter Catholic School, Ottawa (2 students, 2 staff)

Cases in child care centres and homes

  • 109 (+2) cases at child care centres and homes
  • 54 (+2) children
  • 55 staff
  • 36 (-1) of 5,111 child care centres with current cases (0.70%)
  • 10 (-1) child care centres currently closed (.20%)

York Region Public Health reminds parents and guardians to check your child daily for symptoms of COVID-19. For more information and resources, including how to protect yourself and others, visit york.ca/SafeAtSchool
 
You can download Canada’s COVID Alert in Apple and Google app stores or visit ontario.ca/covidalert

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A dazzling full 'harvest moon' is set to illuminate Vancouver skies next week – Vancouver Is Awesome

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While the weekend forecast calls for rain, Vancouver skies are expected to clear next week, which is just in time for the glorious full Harvest moon. 

Earlier this month, locals were treated to a full corn moon. Last year, September’s full moon was a full ‘harvest moon,’ which takes place in two years out of three. However, since October’s full moon falls closest to the fall equinox this year, it will carry the harvest title. 

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “this full Moon name is attributed to Native Americans because it marked the time when corn was supposed to be harvested.”

The Harvest Moon gets was given its name because farmers needed its silvery light to harvest crops. It has since inspired a rather dreamy, beautiful song by Canadian icon Neil Young, too.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac also notes that Native peoples would give distinctive names to each reoccurring full moon to mark the change of seasons. As such, many of these names arose when Native Americans first interacted with colonialists. 

The October moon will be at its fullest in Vancouver on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 2:05 p.m. 

Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.

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Dozens of McGill students living in student neighbourhood test positive for COVID-19 – Yahoo News Canada

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Dozens of students at McGill University are testing positive for COVID-19 according to their peers, but the university is not counting most of those cases in its official tally, because they happened off-campus.

Jacob Rothery, a student living in the so-called McGill ghetto in Montreal’s Milton Park neighbourhood next to the university, tested positive for COVID-19 this week. So did his three roommates.

Rothery says he knows of at least 20 other students who tested positive, and suspects more numbers are going to come from the popular and crowded student neighbourhood.

“There were a decent amount of students going to student bars,” he said. “And then on top of that, you don’t necessarily know who the people that you think you’re in your bubble with are seeing, so they could be seeing a bunch of other people, who are putting themselves in riskier situations.” 

Rothery says he and his friends did not violate public health guidelines, but that didn’t stop an outbreak in his group of friends.

“People may have had it, but had no symptoms. So they had no reason to get tested. And then you have gatherings that aren’t that big, maybe fifteen people or 10, but those 10 people see other people and their bubbles are a lot bigger than they think they are,” he said. 

Submitted by Jacob Rothery

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Submitted by Jacob Rothery

Thom Haghighat is another McGill student who is self-isolating, after he and his roommate tested positive for COVID-19.

He figures he caught the virus from one of the students returning to the “ghetto” from Toronto or elsewhere in Montreal.

Haghighat says he also knows of at least 25 students living in the area who tested positive, with a dozen in his immediate group of friends.

Like Rothery, Haghighat says he and his friends were limiting personal gatherings and keeping a small circle of people to interact with.

Despite this, he said, he still saw cases rise among his peers in the past week. He believes false negatives are part of the problem. 

“The first time we got tested, we tested negative. We still self-isolated, but I know a lot of people who would think they were in the clear to go see other people,” he said, noting that he knew others who also got false negatives. 

Rothery had also received a false negative test result earlier this week, before testing positive.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Only "on-campus" numbers” data-reactid=”45″>Only “on-campus” numbers

Despite these anecdotal reports, McGill University has officially recorded just six COVID-19 cases this week on campus, and says there is no evidence of community transmission on its campuses.

McGill’s main campus is downtown. The Macdonald campus, which houses agricultural and nutrition programs among others, is in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in the West Island.

A spokesperson for the university said the number includes staff and students who were present on campus in the week preceding their positive COVID test. 

Most classes at McGill have moved online, which means far fewer people are frequenting the campus. 

Justin Hayward/CBCJustin Hayward/CBC

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Justin Hayward/CBC

Some students say the university should include the numbers of students who test positive off-campus, as well.

“It’s important for them to at least take responsibility for the things that are going on in their student body, whether or not they’re technically on campus, because I think that distinction is pretty useless,” said Rothery.

For its part, McGill says it is working with public health authorities on strict protocols to limit the spread.

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