The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (FDAO) and RASC Victoria Centre will be hosting nineteen Saturday evenings at the DAO, featuring guest speakers, solar and nighttime observing with telescopes provided by RASC Victoria Centre volunteers, tours of the historic Plaskett telescope, and more! Rain or shine, we will have something for everyone to experience.
Dates begin with International Astronomy Day on April 29th. Here are all the dates:
- May 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th
- June 3rd, 10th, 17th, and 24th
- July 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th
- August 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th
- September 16th and 23rd
PLEASE NOTE: due to the extreme traffic congestion in previous years, admission is now by ticket ONLY. Tickets are FREE and will be available during the week preceding each Saturday evening from our EventBrite site: http://daostarparties.eventbrite.ca
See you there!
Summer Star Parties at the DAO run every Saturday evening from April 29th to September 23rd with some exceptions as noted in the schedule above. To enhance your experience please note the following venues before you arrive. Activities are broken up in to seven main areas,
- Lecture Hall – This summer we have a full slate of topical presentations from the astronomy community which includes researchers, authors and passionate amateurs. There are possibilities of surprise guest speakers. Come early most presentations start at 8 p.m. and some though not all repeat in the evening.
- Plaskett Dome – The dome is a heritage site, and not to be missed. Tours are approximately 45 minutes long and start at 7:45 p.m. Two other tours start at 8:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.
- Planetarium – Planetarium shows run 6 times during the evening and are approximately 30 minutes in length. Come inside and learn about the constellations, and even a little sky lore!
- 16” Telescope – This research-grade telescope was originally located on Mt Kobau near Osoyoos for site testing towards potentially building an observatory there. It was then moved here to the DAO, and then from another area on the DAO property to this site when the Centre of the Universe building was constructed in the early 1990s. It is now available for viewing “live” through an eyepiece. The telescope is open subject to weather conditions most of the evening.
- RASC Member Telescopes – Royal Astronomical Society of Canada members have been long standing participants at Saturdays nights at the DAO for nearly 100 years. Weather permitting, members will take you on a telescopic tour of the evening sky.
- Information Area – There are volunteers available to help you with your evening visit and if you’re interested they can let you know how you can get involved in astronomy activities in Victoria. Look for kid friendly displays from Science Ventures in this same area.
- Interpretive Centre Displays – The displays from the former interpretive centre show Canada’s role in astronomy and contain a number of historical artifacts of interest.
Summer Star Parties at the DAO 2017 Presentations
Summer Saturdays’ Children’s Programmes
7:45 – 8:00 p.m. “Out of this World” Interactive Presentation – Auditorium
8:00 – 8:15 p.m. “Stories in the Skies” – Planetarium
8:15 – 8:30 p.m. “Meet the Telescope” Tour – Plaskett Dome
8:30 -10:00 p.m. Children’s Activities – Information Area
- Make and Take Craft Tables
- Family Scavenger Hunt
- IPad Interactives
- Night Sky Viewing
September 23rd , 2017 – Knowledge Network Trailer for Space Suite III – Two Story Productions Inc.
7:30 – 7:45 p.m. Trailer for Space Suite III
Opening the evening we have the trailer for the new Space Suite III. The latest addition to Two Story Production’s Space Suite series.
September 23rd, 2017 – In the Realm of the Galaxies – Dr. James Di Francesco
8:15 – 9:00 p.m.
Abstract: In this presentation, Dr. James Di Francesco of NRC Herzberg will discuss the plethora of galaxies that have been observed beyond our our Galaxy, the Milky Way. He will describe our place with the Milky Way, its overall structure, and the types of galaxies revealed by striking images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Also, he will describe some of the exciting new developments in galaxy origins made possible with new telescopes like the Atacama Large Millimetre Array.
Bio: James Di Francesco has been an astronomer at NRC in Victoria for over fifteen years. Born in Ontario, he received his BSc in Astronomy and Physics at the University of Toronto in 1990 and his PhD in Astronomy at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997. After obtaining his doctorate, he spent five years as postdoctoral fellows at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA and the University of California, Berkeley, before joining NRC in 2002. His research focuses on the origins of stars within vast molecular clouds in our Galaxy using the emission from their dense gas and dust at high-frequency radio wavelengths.
September 23rd, 2017 – Knowledge Network Space Suite II – Two Story Productions Inc.
9:00 – 9:30 p.m.
Knowledge Network and Two Story Productions Inc. have kindly provided us with the ability to show part II of the spectacular astronomy themed series Space Suite. Composed of 10 short clips it combines astronomy imagery with classical music.
September 23rd, 2017 – Searching for Cold Things in Chile: Why ALMA Matters – Dr. Gerald Schieven
9:30 – 10:15 p.m.
Abstract: The Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) is a giant multinational observatory located in the high desert of northern Chile, and made up of 66 telescopes designed to study cold gas and dust in unprecedented detail. In this talk we’ll learn what and why ALMA is, and about some of the astonishing discoveries ALMA is making.
Bio: Gerald Schieven is an astronomer at NRC. A native of Ontario, Gerald got his PhD from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst before working at Queen’s University in Kingston, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Penticton, and the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, before moving to Victoria in 2008 to lead the Canadian support of ALMA operations.