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Moving to another country.

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#26 Binojunky


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Posted 17 October 2019 - 10:57 AM

Your odds increased as soon as you selected the Canada option.


My experience is that the opportunity will present itself in a location and you will learn how to adapt to make the best of where your opportunities take you. Very best of luck to you in your future!


Coonabarabran, NSW, Australia is the town nearest the Siding Springs Observatory complex and is an awfully nice place. Quite a few astrophysicists there.

It depends where you live, greatly I may add, LP carries on unabated in certain parts of Canada due to the never ending greedy ideals of Developers, I have in the course of 15 yrs lost my skies to massive builds in my area and it carries on, 600 new chicken shacks going in up the road from me, as for the winters?, not good for humans or equipment for that matter,coldday.gif  Dave living in LP Ontario.

Edited by Binojunky, 17 October 2019 - 11:01 AM.

#27 Cotts


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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:31 PM

Canadian here.  Universities in Canada with Astrophysics programs:


Athabasca University: Physics and Astronomy
    Bishop’s University: Department of Physics
    Brandon University: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    Guelph University: Department of Physics
    McGill University: Department of Physics
    McMaster University: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    Memorial University: Department of Physics & Physical Oceanography
    Memorial University: Department of Physics, Grenfell Campus
    Mount Allison University: Department of Physics
    Queen’s University: Department of Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy
    Royal Military College: Graduate Studies and Research Division
    Saint Mary’s University: Department of Astronomy and Physics
    Trent University: Department of Physics
    Université Laval: Groupe de Recherche en Astrophysique
    Université de Moncton: Département de physique et d’astronomie
    Université de Montréal: Groupe d’astrophysique
    University of Alberta: Department of Physics
    University of British Columbia: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Calgary: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Lethbridge: Department of Physics and Astronomy
    University of Manitoba: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Ottawa: Department of Physics
    University of Regina: Department of Physics
    University of Saskatchewan: Department of Physics
    University of Toronto: Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics
    University of Victoria: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Waterloo: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Western Ontario: Department of Physics & Astronomy
    University of Winnipeg: Department of Physics
    York University: Department of Physics & Astronomy


All of these are in cities of at least 50 000 population and the best Astrophysics programs, Toronto, McGill, British Columbia etc. are in the largest cities - 3 million and up.  No dark skies for a radius of 100km....


Have you chosen a short list of schools to apply to?  Maybe this will help...


top 8 schools for Space Science and Astronomy/Astrophysics


by far the most prestigious programs with excellent international respect are at the University of Toronto....



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#28 HowardSkies


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Posted 26 October 2019 - 05:46 PM

I am located in Toronto and it has a milder winter then many parts of Canada, but it is unlikely you will want to brave the January and February nights to observe, although I have done it successfully several times.  The 'shoulder seasons' can be frustrating as many nights are cloudy with poor seeing, sometimes for weeks on end.  Of course the large cities have the typical LP.  I do most of my observing 2 hours north of Toronto with nice dark skies over the summer, but the bugs can present a problem.  There are excellent Universities in and around Toronto.


Good luck .... Maybe you want to consider Australia with warmer climate and darker skies?



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#29 ensign



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Posted 26 October 2019 - 08:09 PM

Yeah im a little worried about this, i like cold weather but not at that level .

The lowest temperature i got here in Brazil was 0° if remember correctly.

I assume 0 C.  If 0 F, you’ll be fine. The winters here in southern Ontario Canada are somewhat colder than 0 C - although extremes can reach -20 C, a typical day in January will have a high temperature around -7 C.  That’s the coldest month, though.  Winter usually starts in mid- December and ends in mid - late March.


Temperatures are moderate the rest of the time with highs in the summer in the 30s. And you can always dress for the cold.

#30 elakrab


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Posted 28 October 2019 - 02:24 AM

If I can be fully honest, the more you approach the poles the less appealing the places are usually astrophoto-wise. As a general rule, in summer you don't pass the twilight, in winter you get usually bad, humid and really cold weather. I moved from Spain to Germany and that is what I found anyway. Plus the sky is a bit less interesting as you get access only to sources near the equatorial pole (more circumpolar stuff) and you lose access to the galactic plane and sources with negative declinations. 


Science-wise your odds are better though. What I ended up doing after I moved to Germany is to get a very portable astrophoto set that I can mount quickly at those brief moments with decent weather and also take with me every time I go to an observatory to work. 

Edited by elakrab, 28 October 2019 - 02:27 AM.

#31 jpcampbell


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Posted 28 October 2019 - 09:38 AM

Canadian here, living in Montreal. While light pollution is always a problem in any city, dark skies are only 90 minutes away north of the city. I was at Lac Memphremagog this summer and while I had bad luck with the state of the sky, it was obvious that the area is quite dark. No large towns nearby and sparsely populated. The view I had was to the north, so no light dome, and when I got a break from the haze the view was incredible. I imagine if my view was to the south, the light dome of the Montreal-Laval area would be in evidence, but still pretty good. I was also in the Laurentians later in the summer and again, very dark sky since we were away from the ski towns.


Winter though - not at all ideal for observing! I actually started observing in the winter, and my temperature limit was -12 C (5 F). Anything colder than that was excruciating. Actually, not much fun at -12 C either but when I've gone two weeks without observing, I'll put up with the cold.


So, the advantages - not too far from dark skies. This probably wouldn't be the case in the Toronto area - which is among the most densely populated areas in North America. The disadvantages? Quite a few. While we have long nights in winter, they tend to be cloudier and very cold. Summers tend to be very pleasant and clearer, but the observing window is very short. Around the solstice here in Montreal, the most time I can hope for is about 4 hours, from 22:30-2:30.


Good luck to you!


Edit: I realize now that I didn't really answer your question. If the cold frightens you, then go to British Columbia but if you can stay away from Vancouver. It's very expensive and even cloudier in winter than Montreal. If you think you can handle the cold, then maybe Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, QC? It's also relatively close to the Lac Megantic observatory and in a beautiful part of Quebec. Sherbrooke is a small city of 150,000, but the surrounding area is sparsely populated and you wouldn't have to travel far for a dark sky. Also, you'd probably be OK doing astrophotography within the city itself.  

Edited by jpcampbell, 28 October 2019 - 09:51 AM.

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