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Fraser Cain
Works at Universe Today
Attended North Island College
Lives in Courtenay, British Columbia
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Fraser Cain

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This Hangout On Air is hosted by Fraser Cain. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Weekly Space Hangout - April 18, 2014
Yesterday, April 18, 2:47 PM
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I misted it, watched the Space X Launch.
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Fraser Cain

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I love this picture of the Sun by +Chris Kennedy. It looks so 3D.
April 16th's Spotty Sun

The weather is being unseasonably kind to us here in the United Kingdom; indeed walking to work at 15:30 BST this afternoon in jeans and a t-shirt is somewhat rare at this time of year.

Thanks to the odd (but nice) weather, I was able to have my telescope set up for a few hours this morning; - I could get used to being a daylight astronomer, no tripping over cables, no freezing cold hands and no need to be accurate with alignment, indeed if it hadn't been for work, I suspect a few beers would have made it in to the session.

I am a layman when it comes to solar imaging, indeed I've not had many attempts at photographing the Sun, and every time I do, I learn something new, or have to rethink my expectations.

It's worth fighting through the mistakes, hardware glitches or horrible seeing conditions; every time I look at the Sun, it's different - and yes, whilst it's reasonable to argue that the planets and the Moon look different from night to night, nothing is quite so obvious as the Sun's changes, not over the course of days, but mere hours.

Today the Sun presented the most sunspots I have ever seen on the Earth facing side - this; combined with nice prominences made for an interesting disc to view.

Despite it being an insanely hot, radioactive, plasma ball that utterly dwarfs the Earth and will one far off day obliterate all life on Earth, I find it beautiful to look at and fluffy - no seriously it looks furry/fluffy.

The close up image of the sunspots to me demonstrates this "fluffiness" quite nicely and is to date the best photo I have taken of sunspots.

The prominence shot shows a certain "hairiness" to it, and despite it being the focus and original point of taking a photo of that region, I find the faint arcs in the upper right of the image to be much more interesting, I assume these arcs are following the otherwise invisible intense magnetic lines that twist and arc out of the Suns mass.

The full disc image, is a stitch of four images, two for the disc details and two for the prominences, this number is caused by the full disc not fitting on my cameras sensor, and the need to over expose the image to bring out the prominence details.

I'm still getting used to processing this kind of data, but I am learning that less is more, with much more subtle details being on show, compared to my prior attempts.

This is an addictive hobby, and I have much to learn, so roll on Friday, sunshine predicted and a day off work!

Technical Details:

Conditions: Patchy Cloud, Strong Gusts, Seeing varied from 4/5 to 2/5.

Time and Location: 16/04/14 @ 10:15 BST - Mansfield, England

Optical Train: Coronado SolarMax II 60 BF10, ASI120mm, and with close ups a Meade 2x Shorty Barlow and Teleskop Service Tilt Adapter (To remove Newton Rings).

Processing: Registax, Photoshop.
Sterling Gawthrop's profile photoFaravahar Homayoun Ir's profile photoJohn Douglas Porter's profile photoSasha Shmurak's profile photo
Both very helpful comments gentlemen.
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Fraser Cain

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Animation of Saturn's shepherd Moon

Check out this cool animation of Saturn's rings made by +Adam Synergy
NASA's Cassini spacecraft took these images of Saturn's Rings on the 13th-14th April 2014. I've assembled them into this gif image so we can see the dynamic F Ring being shaped by it's shepherd moon Prometheus.
Credit:= NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
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Fraser Cain

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Getting plants to grow in space

Being able to get plants to grow in the harsh environment of microgravity will be one of the biggest challenges to human spaceflight. If scientists can get the biology right, we'll have air, clean water, and food. We'll be able to travel further and last longer.

But low gravity does crazy things to plants. Here's a cool video from the +European Space Agency, ESA on what's involved.

I'd love to be a space gardener. :-)
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+Ash Clarke Plants clean water.
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Fraser Cain

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Some explanations for the weather on Westeros

People have wondered if there are some kinds of natural explanation for why Westeros in Game of Thrones might experience these extreme weather shifts, and have winters that arrive at unpredictable times. 

Here's a great video from +Sixty Symbols that offers some ideas. And if you want an even more detailed explanation, check out this video:

Why is Winter Coming (Game of Thrones) - Deep Sky Videos
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Somebody (I'm among them) can't accept the "It's magic" explanation even from a fantasy story. (This is why I don't like fantasy)
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Fraser Cain

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First Test Flight of the F9R

Stop what you're doing and watch this video of the F9R rocket taking off, rising to an altitude of 250 meters, and then landing again. Each time we see one of these tests, SpaceX is getting closer to the dream of a reusable spacecraft.

I love the hexacopter footage... where do I get one of these?

Thanks to +Alessondra Springmann 
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Fraser Cain

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Watch a live occultation of Saturn

So here's something interesting you might want to watch. Saturn is going to pass behind the Moon in a little bit. It'll only be visible in a few parts of the Earth, including Brazil. ++Astronomia Ao Vivo is going to be broadcasting it live.
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  I did it - I saw Saturn disappear behind the moon ! They had  awesome camera/telescope  combo's . FireCapture looks hot   I missed some of the tech stuff...I did spot a MEADE  10" in use . They also did some Mars shots and Moonshots while waiting for the occultation . The resolutions for moon were wicked and beautiful .
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Here's a great timelapse video of the lunar eclipse

You know me, I'm a total sucker for timelapses. Here's a video by the amazing +Maxwell Palau of the recent lunar eclipse which he captured from a dark sky location in California. 

You can see how the moon gets chomped by the shadow and then turns red when it's completely covered by the Earth's shadow.

I was in flight when the eclipse began, but I was able to see most of it once I landed.

Did you get a chance to see the eclipse? 
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I saw it. (Waukesha, WI) My apartment unit faces north so I had to go outside and to the front of my building. It was cool.
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How Do We Know the Moon Landing Isn't Fake?

As we near the lunar eclipse we're thinking about the Moon. And thinking about the landings on the Moon. But how do we know they weren't faked? It's a puzzler.

Co-crafted with +Jason Harmer 
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SOMEONE needs to mention this :
That Mitchell and Webb Look - Moon Landing Sketch
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Clouded out? Can't see the lunar eclipse?

Watch a livestream version of the lunar eclipse, courtesy of +Scott Lewis and friends. 
Hello Space Fans!

Tonight there will be a total lunar eclipse tonight in the Western Hemisphere. 

+Scott Lewis  will be heading to Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA to do some on-site outreach with Dr. +Thad Szabo. Internet permitting, we'll be attempting to bring in a live feed of the lunar eclipse from LA and hopefully connect with our friends from the +Virtual Star Party  and bring in feeds from there too!

If you're in the Los Angeles area, you are more than welcome to join us on site. The event starts at 10:30 p.m. PT and parking is free after 10 p.m.

Cerritos College: 11190 Alondra Blvd. Norwalk, CA 90650
Parking Lot C-6 off of Studebaker, just south of Alondra Blvd.

Not local? That's okay too! Share with us your pictures of the eclipse in the event below! 

Keep Looking Up!

#ScienceEveryday   #Space   #Astronomy   #Eclipse   #LunarEclipse  
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Space Fan News!. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Lunar Eclipse Live!
Tue, April 15, 2:00 AM
Hangouts On Air

Guillermo Rubilar's profile photoRyan Schmitz's profile photoMichael Montoya's profile photoHarrell Brawner's profile photo
wow watching in Pueblo, Colorado.. it is  cool ... a one of a kind first time thing for me.. very inspiring..
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Publisher, Universe Today
  • Universe Today
    Publisher, 1999 - present
    Universe Today ( is one of the most popular space and astronomy news websites, with more than 3 million visitors a month. The site covers breaking news in spaceflight, astronomical science and gives you tips and tricks for amateur skywatchers.
  • Astronomy Cast
    Co-Host, 2007 - 2013
    Astronomy Cast ( is a weekly podcast co-hosted by Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. Each week we focus on a different topic in space and astronomy, explaining the science in a friendly and accessible way.
  • Astrosphere New Media
    Director, 2007 - 2013
    Astrosphere New Media Association is dedicated to promoting science and skeptical thought through internet-based technologies and distribution. We focus our efforts on the creation of technologies and content that enable better astronomy communications and greater astronomy content access for the public.
    VP Operations, 1996 - 2000
    Marketing Director, 2001 - 2002
  • Absolute Software
    Co-Founder, 1992 - 1995
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Courtenay, British Columbia
Hornby Island, BC - Vancouver, BC
Contact Information
(415) 967-3976
Publisher of Universe Today, a site about space and astronomy.
I'm the publisher of Universe Today and the co-host of Astronomy Cast.

We're doing all kinds of really cool stuff here on Google+, like live streaming telescopes into Google+ Hangouts with our Virtual Star Parties, interviewing astronomers and space scientists. If you want to see our upcoming events, visit the Cosmoquest Hangouts page.

If you want to improve your Google+ experience, I highly recommend you import my Super Science Circle.

I've also got a lot of experience running Hangouts on Air here on G+. If you want to do the same, here's my handy guide of Tips and Tricks for Hangouts on Air.
Bragging rights
I have an asteroid named after me: 158092 (Frasercain)
  • North Island College
  • University of British Columbia
  • G.P. Vanier
Basic Information
Looking for
Friends, Networking
August 19, 1971
Fraser Cain's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Castle Clash

★★★★★ Top 5 Game in US and many others! ★★★★★ #1 Strategy Game on Android! ★★★★★ Raving 4.9+ Stars Rating!Build and battle your way to glory

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Why Einstein Will Never Be Wrong

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Hubble Looks but Finds No Trace of Comet ISON

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What Does The Government Shutdown Mean For NASA?

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More ISON Craziness: Tales of Popes, a Prophet and a Comet

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Frame Rate 140 | TWiT.TV

Netflix Uses Pirate Sites to Determine What Shows to Buy, Epix CEO: cord cutting will force the TV industry to innovate, and more.

The September Equinox: ‘Tis the Season to Spy the Zodiacal Light

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Should Robots or Humans Explore Space?

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The Cyber-Myth That Just Won’t Die: See Mars as Large as a Full Moon!!!

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‘TransFormers’ Could Beam Light Into Permanently Shadowed Craters

Permanently shadowed craters on the moon or Mercury are one of the most exciting locations to search for water. Because the walls of these c

Your Guide To When, Where and How To See The Aurora Borealis

As an amateur astronomer, two of the most frequently questions I'm asked are "When is the best time to see the aurora borealis and where is

Venus And Moon Caught In A Crazy, Phase-y Coincidence Tonight

Curious coincidences occur in the sky just as they do on Earth. Take tonight for instance. The moon is in gibbous phase or about 3/4 full -

Astrophoto: The Milky Way Over Panther Creek State Park

Amateur astronomers from Illinois frequently venture out to Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Park, a 26-square mile conservation area of prairi

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Poof! This Spacecraft Could Get Under A Planet’s Skin

If you want to get inside a planet or moon fast, the European Space Agency says lobbing a spacecraft at the surface might be a good approach

How to See Planet Neptune: Our Guide to Its 2013 Opposition

If you do your own stargazing or participate in our Sunday night Virtual Star Parties, you’ve probably noticed we’re starting to lose planet

Haiku for Mars: Winners Selected for MAVEN Mission

Fans of Mars and spaceflight waxed poetic as the haiku selected to travel to Mars aboard the MAVEN spacecraft were announced earlier this mo

Earth’s Highest Clouds Shine at the “Top of the Orbit”

Looking for a new desktop background? This might do nicely: a photo of noctilucent "night-shining" clouds seen above a midnight Sun over Ala

I've always been extremely happy with Seeco. They're highly skilled, but also keep my budget in mind, so they know when something is necessary and when we can just watch a problem, and fix it in the future. You can trust them completely.
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This is one of our favorite restaurants in Courtenay, and one of the first places I'll take visitors. The food is delicious, the portions are big, and the atmosphere is quirky. They've done a great job of injecting a little character into our small city.
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
2 reviews