Ottawa Astronomy

Workshop Series




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Passing on experience

The OAOG has long strived to share astronomy with the public, to try to expose people to the hobby and get them more involved in it.  Before I joined the group in 2009, it was common for the OAOG members to have workshops at the group's monthly "Gabfest"; a casual meeting where members sit and chat about astronomy or whatever interests them.  The workshops gradually disappeared, but the interest in them has not.  For that reason a number of OAOG members have come together to organise workshops again.  There is a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience out there amongst our group members, and the workshop is a perfect way to share that knowledge with other people interested in astronomy.

This webpage will maintain links to any presentation material generated as part of past workshops.  Notice of upcoming workshops will be posted here, on the Yahoo tech group for the OAOG, and on the Ottawa Astronomy Meetup Group.  Anyone who is interested in attending a workshop is welcome to, I just ask that you let me know beforehand so I know how many people to expect.  A map to where the workshops are held is located here.  We will also try to broadcast our workshops live on Ustream for those who are out of town or can't otherwise make it in person.


Jim T.

EDIT (13-Dec-2013):  The organisers of this workshop series (myself, Rob Lavoie, and Simon Hanmer) have recently been in discussions with the Ottawa chapter of RASC.  The objective of the discussions is to expand the scope of the workshops and to bring together these two groups in the interest of sharing knowledge and expanding involvement in amateur astronomy.  Look for information regarding OAWS to be available on the RASC Ottawa website as well as during monthly RASC meetings.  


Upcoming Workshops

February 22nd, 2018 @ 7pm - Understanding the Universe - Part 9: The Moon, presented by Brian McCullogh

          March 2018 - Double Stars w/ Chris Thuemen

         April 2018 - Meteors w/ Pierre Martin

         May 2018 - Open clusters and OB assoc. w/ Glenn LeDrew


Please RSVP to me if you would like to attend.



Past workshops

  1. Feb. 1st, 2013  -  Astro image processing basics incl. unsharp mask, LP removal, and noise reduction, by Rob Lavoie
  2. Mar. 22nd, 2013 - Remote Control Observing, an overview of techniques and experiences by Jim Thompson  (printer friendly version)
  3. July 26th, 2013 - Introduction to Telescopes & Mounts, a beginners look at the types of scopes and mounts and how they work by Jim Thompson (printer friendly version)
  4. Nov. 8th, 2013 - Introduction to Basic Image Frame Calibration, an overview of how and why you calibrate astro images by Simon Hanmer & Rob Lavoie (printer friendly version)
  5. Dec. 13th, 2013 - What the Heck is a Histogram (And How Do I Use It?), an introduction to image histrograms, what they mean and how to use them to manipulate your images by Jim Thompson (printer friendly version)
  6. Jan. 24th, 2014 - DIY Micro and Mini Observatories, by Simon Hanmer and Rob Lavoie
  7. Mar. 14th, 2014 - Your Favourite Astronomy Books, book reviews by Mike Moghadam, Barry Matthews, John Thompson, Larry Stewart, & Jim Thompson
  8. Sept. 19th, 2014 - Binoculars for Astronomy, an introduction to the technical and practical aspects of using binoculars for astronomy, by Glenn LeDrew
  9. Oct. 24th, 2014 - My Voyage to  Mars  :  why I went, what I saw, and side trips there and back, by Simon Hanmer (Youtube video also available)
  10. Feb. 20th, 2015 - Solar System Imaging for Dummies:  Jim Thompson passes along what he has learned about imaging Solar System objects over the course of the pasts 4 1/2 years.
  11. Jan. 29th, 2016 - Understanding the Universe - Part 1:  Introduction, presented by Rob Lavoie. (Youtube video also available) For those interested in the RASC Explore the Universe observing certificate, you can find additional information at:
  12. Mar. 10th, 2016 - Understanding the Universe - Part 2:  Finding Your Way In The Sky, presented by Denis Legault.  (Youtube video also available)
  13. Apr. 14th, 2016 - Understanding the Universe - Part 3:  Stellar Evolution, presented by Jim Thompson. (Youtube video also available)
  14. Nov. 10th, 2016 - Understanding the Universe - Part 4:  The Science of Globular Clusters, presented by Simon Hanmer (Youtube video also available)
  15. Feb. 9th, 2017 - Understanding the Universe - Part 5:  The Science of Spiral Galaxies, presented by Simon Hanmer (Youtube video also available)
  16. Mar. 30th, 2017 - Understanding the Universe - Part 6:  The Sun, presented by Jim Thompson (Youtube video also available) plus links to videos shown during presentation (video1, video2, video3, video4, video5, video6)
  17. Oct. 19th, 2017 - Understanding the Universe - Part 7:  The Solar System: A Geological Perspective on Current Controversies, presented by Simon Hanmer (Youtube video also available)
  18. Dec. 8th, 2017 - Understanding the Universe - Part 8: Nebulae and Structures, presented by Tim Cole
  19. Jan. 11th, 2018 - My Favourite Astro Image or Video, a round table evening where people were free to bring their astro related images and videos to share.


Other presentations by Jim T.

These are some additional presentations that I've given over the years on astronomy related topics, but not as part of a workshop.

  • Oct. 2013 - "80's Astrophotography vs. Video Astronomy"; re-presented at the 10th Annual Video Star Party (July 31st to Aug. 3rd, 2014)
  • Aug. 2014 - "Filters & Video Astronomy"; written for presentation at the 10th Annual Video Star Party (July 31st to Aug. 3rd, 2014) but did not get presented until Aug. 19th on NSN (Youtube video also available)
  • Apr. 2015 - "The Photographic Lunar Atlas"; presented at the April 10th, 2015 Ottawa RASC meeting.  Get a high resolution version here (24Mb), or a low resolution version but with my notes here (2.7Mb).  (Youtube video also available, starts around 0:26:30)
  • Jun. 2015 - "Understanding Astronomical Filters"; a slightly modified and updated version of the presentation from Aug. 2014.  It was presented at AstroCATS 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
  • Apr. 2016 - "My Visit to Guan Sheng Optical"; as part of a trip to Taiwan for my work I was able to pay a visit to GSO.  Presented at the April 2016 Ottawa RASC meeting.  (Youtube video also available, starts around 0:32:00)
  • Jun. 2017 - "How to Observe the Sun"; in preparation for the August total solar eclipse I discuss how to safely observe the Sun and what to look for.  This presentation is a sub-set of the UtU - Part 6 presentation that was given at the May 2017 Ottawa RASC meeting. (Youtube video also available, starts around 1:44:50)
  • Nov. 2017 - "The Great American Eclipse - An Astronomical Journey"; my presentation summarizing the trip I took with my family around the US southwest in order to see the total solar eclipse.  (Youtube video also available, starts around 1:26:00)
  • Aug. 2018 - "CCD vs. CMOS:  Which is better?"; my presentation summarizing astrovideo camera bench testing, given at 14th annual video star party.
  • Aug. 2018 - "Video Astronomy & LP Filters"; a rework of my filter presentation given at the 14th annual video star party.


Non-OAWS presentations of interest

The links below are to websites hosting other interesting astronomy themed presentations.


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Last updated: 12-Aug-18

Copyrights to all content from the webpages hosted here belongs to Jim Thompson. Nov. 2009.