Astronomy Day – May 3, 2014

Posted by as Special Events

Time/Location: Saturday, May 3, 10am-4pm at the Royal BC Museum, and 8pm-11pm at Observatory Hill

Event Poster (4.9Mb PDF)

It was wonderful to see so many enjoy themselves!

In spite of the cloudy weather during the day and evening, the Victoria Centre’s International Astronomy Day celebration was a huge success. The total count this year was: 700 attending during the day at the Museum and 212 attending during the evening. These numbers would have been much higher if the weather had cooperated. Oh well, may be next year!

Our sincere thanks go to all the volunteers for their contribution to make this year’s IAD celebration an enjoyable experience for everyone. This year we were very fortunate to be back at the Royal BC Museum. It is a good site to attract a large public audience. Many thanks go to the Museum staff for their cheerful cooperation.

Royal BC Museum – 10am-4pm

  • Solar viewing (weather permitting)
  • Solar System model – walk among the planets on the plaza outside
  • Ask an astronomer – ask those astronomy questions you always wondered about
  • General information table – RASC Victoria Centre
  • Science Venture – interactive science exhibits from UVic students
  • Astrophotography display and information – learn how to use your camera to take night sky photos
  • Pearson College science exhibits – interactive and innovative science for kids of all ages
  • Telescope making table – learn how to grind a mirror to make your own telescope at home
  • Children’s Activity table – hands-on crafts, planet making, etc.
  • Static displays
    • Antique brass telescope from the CU museum
    • Other telescopes
  • Video media displays – 3D video displays, desktop planetarium, images from space missions
  • The physics of Angry Birds
  • Bad Science


  • 11AM – Mars Explorations – Chris Gainor, Canadian space author
  • 2PM – Worlds Without End – James Di Francesco – The recent discoveries of hundreds of planets by NASA’s Kepler satellite observatory have profound implications about the proliferation of planets within our Galaxy.  Namely, the latest statistics show that the number of planets in the Galaxy is likely larger than the number of stars.  Also, every star in the sky likely has at least one “Earth-like” mass planet.  James will summarize the most recent discoveries made by the Kepler team, and highlight the prospects of further discoveries by Canadians with the new Gemini Planet Imager.
  • Galileo might even make an appearance!

Observatory Hill – 8pm-11pm

Return to Observatory Hill

On International Astronomy Day, Saturday, May 3rd the RASC and the NRC Herzberg invites everyone back up onto Observatory Hill where the Centre of the Universe displays and the historic Plaskett Telescope will be re-opened for night sky public viewing.

Opening of the Hill is from 8 pm to 11 pm. Please wear warm clothing as it can be cool and windy in the evening. Parking is very limited so please follow all the directions of the Commissionaires for access.

Schedule of activities:

8:00 pm Gates open to visitors

8:00 to 10:45 pm Displays open in the Center of the Universe exhibit area

8:00 to 10:45 pm Telescope viewing with the RASC – parking lot

8:15 pm Welcome ceremonies – Center of the Universe Auditorium

8:30 pm Pubic Talk: Dr. Rita Mann “Death Stars in the Orion Nebula: Recent Observations into Planet Formation” – CU Auditorium

8:30 to 10:30 pm: Tours of the Observatory and Night Sky Viewing with the Plasket Telescope facilitated by Dr. David Bohlender

9:15 pm Public Talk: Dr. Michele Bannister “The Hidden Oceans of Icy Moons” – CU Auditorium

10:45 pm Closing of exhibits, telescopes and night sky viewing

11:00 pm Departure off the hill

Please join us as we celebrate the RASC’s 100th Anniversary in 2014. Thank you to the NRC/Herzberg for permitting us to put on this special evening program with them and we hope that we will be able to have more open Saturday night sky viewing in the summer. For more information please contact: Lauri Roche by email.


One Response to “Astronomy Day – May 3, 2014”

  1. David

    Looking forward to it !!

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