Back for 2016! The Victoria Centre will be hosting thirteen 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 May 14th. Here are all the dates:
May 14, 21, 28. June 4, 11. July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. August 6, 13, 20. Special encore September 24.
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: https://summerstarparties.eventbrite.ca
See you there!
Summer Star Parties at the DAO run every Saturday evening from July 2nd to Aug 20th. 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 8:15pm and most do not 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 7:45pm. Two other tours start at 8:30pm and 9:15pm.
- 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 1990’s. 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.
September 24th 8:00pm – 9:00pm and 9:15pm – 10:15pm The ISU (International Space University) and the Mission to the Asteroid Osiris-Rex
Dr. Geoff Steeves is a physics professor at the University of Victoria in Canada and a faculty member at the International Space University. He conducts research on Mars analogue environments and tele-robotic exploration. At the International Space University he chaired the SSP Space Science Department from 2012-2014 and now co-chairs the Space Humanities Department 2015-present. Geoff is an experienced SCUBA diver and pilot with a commercial pilot’s license and multi-engine instrument rating.
Speakers for this season
May 14th – Journey to the Edge of the Solar System, New Horizons The First Mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt (Ivar Arroway)
May 14th – The Greatest Show on Earth: Solar Eclipses (Michael Webb)
May 21st – Introduction to the Night Sky (David Lee)
May 28th – The Night Sky Hitchhiker’s Toolkit: A Guided Tour of Observing Equipment (RASC Members)
June 4th – Imaging Other Worlds (Benjamin Gerard)
June 11th – Monsters in the Dark: Black Holes and Their Messy Habits (Nicholas McConnell)
July 2nd – Introduction to the Night Sky (David Lee)
July 9th – Where Baby Stars Come From: A Look Behind Orion’s Dusty Veil (Steve Mairs)
July 16th – Gravitational Waves and a New Era of Discovery (Nicholas McConnell)
July 23rd – The Birth, Life, and Death of Stars (Jared Keown)
July 23rd – The Story of the Hubble Space Telescope (Chris Gainor)
July 30th – What is Dark Matter? (Kyle Oman)
August 6th – Observing Planning and Logging Panel Discussion (RASC Members)
August 13th – Light and Life, Sculptors of Earth: The First 2 Billion Years (Dorothy Paul)
August 13th – Voyage to Alpha Centauri (Christian Marois)
August 20th – The Moon, Meteorites, Monks and Me (or MMMM… !) (Leslie Welsh)
August 20th – Astrophotography: Imaging the Sky Panel Discussion (John McDonald, Dan Posey and David Lee)
August 24th – Talk from the Victoria Chapter of the Planetary Society (topic to be announced) (Geoff Steeves)