Astronomy Day 2024 in Victoria

Posted by as Special Events

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Royal BC Museum present

International Astronomy Day

at the Royal BC Museum and Observatory Hill, Victoria, BC, Canada

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Amazing Astronomical Activities for all Ages!

2024-PressRelease-IAD – contact Randy Enkin (email) (250) 893-9067

2024-Astronomy Day Poster – (6.4Mb PDF printable at 8.5″x11″)

Astronomy Day 2024 – event photos

May 19, 2024 – Yesterday the Victoria Centre held a highly successful IAD event at the Royal BC Museum and at the Centre of the Universe. We had big crowds taking in our presentations at the RBCM during the day, and in the evening at the Centre of the Universe.

I want to thank everyone whose great work contributed to this success, notably the volunteer team headed by Randy Enkin, with big assists from Lauri Roche and David Lee, amongst many others. I also want to thank the people at the RBCM, the Friends of the DAO, and the other groups who made Astronomy Day a success.

I also thank the Victoria Times-Colonist, which ran articles on IAD two weeks ago and yesterday, along with photos in today’s newspaper. 

Christopher Gainor, FRASC, President, Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada

Royal BC Museum – 10AM to 3PMevent

675 Belleville Street, Victoria

Interactive activities outside on the plaza

  • View the Sun (video) safely through solar telescopes (weather permitting)
  • Ask an Astronomer – find answers to those questions about astronomy and space you always wanted to ask
  • Interactive activities inside in Clifford Carl Hall (Museum main level)
    • Telescope show-and-tell (video) – try out telescopes and ask questions
  • Astrophotography (video) – take photos of the night sky with your own camera and see our members’ work
  • Children and families astro crafts – kids make their own astronomy and space souvenirs
  • Ask an Astronomer – find answers to those questions about astronomy and space you always wanted to ask
  • Responsible Lighting (video) – get pointers on how to reduce your own light pollution, and feel better for it
  • UVic Astronomy & Physics – interactive astronomy for students
  • Science Venture – hands-on, minds-on science, engineering and technology learning opportunities for youth entering grades 1 through 12 (STEM). Experience the Spiro Mars Rovers (robots)!
  • Camosun College Astronomy – astronomy courses, university transfer
  • Oak Bay High & Monterey Middle schools – students, teachers and parents

Public Lectures in Newcombe Auditorium video

You Versus the Universe – Nathan Hellner-Mestelman

Nathan Hellner-Mestelman

Abstract: During our everyday lives, we donít usually think about the mind-boggling scale of the universe around us, the enormous history of our cosmos, and the epic future awaiting us. Prepare to leave our little planet behind on a quirky voyage across time and space!

Bio: Nathan Hellner-Mestelman is an impassioned astronomy nerd in Grade 11, and recent author of Cosmic Wonder: Our Place in the Epic Story of the Universe. He enjoys reciting slam poetry, playing the ukulele, and sharing the wonders of the universe with all.

The Stars – John McDonald

John McDonald

Abstract: When I was a child I was fascinated by the points of light in the sky we call stars. What are they, where did they come from and how far away are they? Are they all like our sun with planets travelling around them and are any of those planets inhabited? In this talk I will tell you some of the fascinating things astronomers have learned about stars.

Bio: John McDonald is a physicist, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (UK) and Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta. His research was in particle physics contributing to the work at TRIUMF in Vancouver and CERN in Europe. Currently, John is enjoying retirement in Victoria and having a great time observing and photographing the sky.

North Star to Freedom – Amy Archer

Amy Archer

Abstract: What is the connection between the 100,000 people that traveled the underground railroad and the night sky? Can you imagine the logistics of using stars to guide you over such a far distance, while in immediate peril? Do you want to know how a meteor shower helped connect families of enslaved people that had been separated? From a young age Amy has thought it fascinating how the night sky could be used to navigate a people from unspeakable hardship to freedom.

Join Amy Archer to hear stories about how the night sky played a hand in helping people navigate from unspeakable hardship to freedom. The night sky is full of new discoveries waiting to be had, and there are so many stories to share of its rich history, join us as we explore vignettes about the Underground Railroad and the Night Sky.

Bio: Amy is a first generation Canadian with roots from Trinidad and Tobago, she was born in Edmonton, Alberta and has spent most of her life on the West Coast. Amy is the mother to one very inquisitive teenager, whom she is always learning from. Amy is the Vice-Chair of the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (FDAO) and has been involved with the organization for the last 7 years. Amy is constantly fascinated by the knowledge of the astronomers and can be found at most Saturday Night Star Parties either behind the scenes or looking through her favorite telescope.

Making the Most of Spilled Milk:  The Story of the Milky Way, Our Home Galaxy – Simon Smith

Simon Smith

Abstract: We live in the Milky Way galaxy, a swirling sea of old stars and young stars, bright stars and faint stars, and massive clouds of gas and dust. But where did our stars, gas, and dust come from, and how did they all arrange themselves into the soft glow of light we see splashed across the sky on a crystal clear night? In this presentation, I will share with you our best understanding of how the Milky Way formed from the chaotic early Universe, how it built up all the many stars we see around us, and its likely fate in both the near and far future of the Cosmos.

Bio: Simon is currently working towards his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at the University of Victoria. He studies the smallest galaxies in the Universe – known as ‘Dwarf’ galaxies – and has helped discover several of these tiny galaxies in and around our cosmic neighbourhood. Originally from the small town of Oxenden, Ontario, Simon has lived in Victoria for three years and has been a keen participant in the astronomy outreach community.


IMAX Cosmic Series – May 17-19, 2024


Centre of the Universe and the Observatory – 7:30PM to 11PMevent

The Hon. Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor looking through Chuck Filnesss' telescope

Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Road, Saanich

Reserve Your Tickets (free – available May 15th) – only ticket holders will be admitted to this evening event. (Daytime events at the Museum do not require tickets!)

  • Plaskett telescope tours
  • Planetarium shows
  • Observing through telescopes
  • Virtual reality with the Rift
  • Centre of the Universe gallery
  • Children’s Activities
  • Gift shop
  • Presentation – Looking for precious metals at the end of the galactic rainbow – Dr. Trystyn Berg

Please Note:

  • All Astronomy Day activities are FREE and available to the general public.
  • Membership in RASC is not required.
  • Regular admission applies to the Royal BC Museum exhibits and IMAX Theatre.


Press Coverage

2023 INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMY DAY IN VICTORIA SET FOR UVIC ON SUNDAY APRIL 30

Posted by as Events, Special Events


2023 Public Night-Sky Viewing Begins at the Centre of the Universe at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory Saturday April 29.

International Astronomy Day events will return to Victoria for 2023 on the weekend of April 29 and 30. The public is invited to daytime activities at the Bob Wright Centre on the Ring Road at the University of Victoria on Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The night before, Saturday, April 29, public telescope viewing will take place at the National Research Council of Canada’s Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the Centre of the Universe from 7:30 to 11 p.m.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Victoria Centre and the University of Victoria (UVic) Department of Physics and Astronomy are proud to sponsor family-friendly Astronomy Day activities, which will begin outside the Bob Wright Centre at 11 a.m. with solar telescopes for safely viewing the sun on the main concourse. The shift of daytime Astronomy Day activities to Sunday means that there will be FREE PARKING for the public at UVic.

Inside the Bob Wright Centre there will be astrophotography and historical displays, and tours of the Bob Wright Centre Observatory. RASC volunteers and Science Venture staff from the UVic will engage children with hands-on activities. All the astronomy presentations, displays, and workshops are free.

There will be free lecture presentations on astronomy in the Bob Wright Centre by Dr. Deborah Lokhorst of the National Research Council (NRC) on the DRAGONFLY Telescope, Simon Smith of UVic on Dwarf Galaxies, Xiaoyi Ma of UVic on Finding Exoplanets, Nathan Hellner-Mestleman of Mount Douglas Secondary School on Life in Space, David Lee of the RASC Victoria Centre on Astrophotography the Easy Way, Dr. Madeline Marshall of the NRC on What’s Been Happening with the James Webb Space Telescope?, and Dr. John McDonald of the RASC Victoria Centre presenting A Photo Tour of the Summer Sky.

The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, the RASC Victoria Centre, and the NRC Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre will host evening activities at Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Road, on Saturday, April 29 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Visitors with tickets will be admitted to Observatory Hill starting at 7:15 p.m. The Centre of the Universe exhibits will be open that evening, and the Observatory, including the historic Plaskett Telescope, will be open for tours. RASC members will have their personal telescopes set up for public viewing if the weather permits. There will be a presentation on the growing issue of satellite constellations by Dr. Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The public viewing on the evening of Saturday April 29 marks the beginning of public events at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory for the summer of 2023. Further public events at the DAO will take place this spring and summer on selected Saturdays.

Entry to the Observatory grounds for all public evenings in 2023, is by ticket ONLY. Tickets are FREE but require reservation. To obtain your entry ticket and further information on Saturday Star Parties, please go to www.eventbrite.ca/o/friends-of-the-dominion-astrophysical-observatory-12071364164#events. Tickets will be available starting Wednesday April 19. Current Federal Government Covid guidelines will be followed.

The RASC Victoria Centre is proud of its history and association with both amateur and professional astronomy in Victoria and its mandate for public education in Astronomy. For more information, please continue to explore our website.

Contact persons: Lauri Roche roche.lauri@gmail.com or 250-652-2361 or David Lee david@victoria.rasc.ca.

Saanich Fair 2022 Report

Posted by as Special Events

Welcome to Fall. I always think that as soon as the Saanich Fair is over that it really is the start on a new season.

Solar Scopes

First of all, I need to thank a LOT of people for all their help this past weekend. It takes time and people power to organize, prepare, load, unload, set up, put out telescopes, chat to hundreds of smiling people, answer questions, give away a telescope and then take down, load and unload all over again. But we did it.

A huge thank you to our load-up and set-up crew who helped on Friday afternoon: Dave E (who also donated our telescope) and Sam F who helps on Fridays and Saturday nights up at the CU for the Friends of the DAO.

On Saturday Ken M came early along with Alex Schmid to help set things up on the tables and put out the telescopes. Dave Robinson, Michael W, Lisa M, Cameron B, Deb Crawford from the RASC and Amy and Alyssa, Rachel and Ryan, Sam F, and Evan W from the FDAO were the busy volunteers that day. It was very warm and there were thousands of people at the fair. Terrific sunspots and a beautiful prominence on Ken’s H-Alpha telescope.

RASC Victoria booth

On Sunday the drizzle started early but it never really rained. We did have some drips in the tent that needed mending and we huddled under the tent and tarps trying to keep things from getting too damp. Alex, Ken M, David Lee, Marjie Welchframe, Jill Sinkwitch, Brock J, and Gae V “personned” the RASC tent and Evan (bicycling in all the way from Oak Bay in the rain!), Ben Dorman, and Zaina S kept the group happy for the FDAO. At 3:45, fifteen minutes before we cleaned up the sun came out. ☀️

And on Monday we did it all over again. The day was beautiful, not quite as hot, but manageable. Ken was back with his H-Alpha and Alex was there for the third day in a row. 👏👏 Joining them were Chris Gainor, Dorothy P, Maryl M, John P, and Brian B, with Ben Dorman, Caitlyn, Mark L, and Patricia G-S for the FDAO.

We had a draw for a great little telescope on Monday. It was won by a woman in Colwood named Melissa L and she was thrilled to get the phone call. We had well over 1200 entries into the draw and talked to many more over the weekend.

FDAO booth

At the end of Monday Ken M, Brian B and John P took everything down and packed up. Off to the CU to unload. David Lee met us there and we did all the work to put everything back in a quick 20 minutes.

Amazing volunteers. Thank you to all of you.

And I just wanted to say thanks specially to Sid Sidhu who kept in touch from the hospital and was in our thoughts all the time. The Saanich Fair is special to him and we missed him very much.

On to next year?
Lauri Roche

Saanich Fair 2022 photo album

2022 Island Star Party

Posted by as Special Events

The Cowichan Valley Starfinders Astronomy Club and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria Centre invite everyone to the dark skies of South Cowichan for the 25th Annual Island Star Party!

Location: Bright Angel Park, 4528 Tigwell Rd, Duncan, BC, Canada

Starts Fri Aug 26, 2022, 4:00 pm
Ends Sun Aug 28, 2022, 10:00 am

Two Full Nights of Observing, Guest Speakers, Door Prizes, Telescope Mentoring, Walking Trails, Swimming.

  • Admission includes camping for two nights on the observing field in designated areas.
  • Motorhomes, travel trailers, campers, tents and vehicles welcome, however this is bare camping, with no services in the camping area.
  • Flush toilets, potable water, extra parking available a short walk from the observing field.
  • Not a camper? There are a good selection of accomodation a short drive away in Cowichan Bay, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake, Cowichan Station, and Duncan. Reserve early, since the Cowichan Valley is a popular vacation destination.
  • Gates to the park are locked at 9PM, so park outside the gate if you are not staying overnight!

Full Weekend Admission: (Includes 1 year CVSF membership) – cash only please

  • Individual: $20.00
  • Family: $30.00 Adults up to 3 Children (17 years or younger)
  • Evening “Drop In” Free, but donations welcome
  • This event is open to the public. Membership in CVSF or RASC is not required.
2022 Island Star party – printable poster (16.8Mb pdf)

2022 Island Star party – printable invitations (2×2 layout, 98kb pdf)

Astronomy Day 2022 – Victoria

Posted by as Special Events

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Royal BC Museum present

International Astronomy Day

at the Royal BC Museum, virtual online, and Observatory Hill, Victoria, BC, Canada

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Amazing Astronomical Activities for all Ages!

Press Release – contact Randy Enkin, President (email)

2022 Astronomy Day in Victoria
2022 Astronomy Day in Victoriaposter (88Mb PDF) & poster suitable for printing (3Mb PDF)

Telescope at Astronomy Day 2017

Royal BC Museum – 10AM to 3PMevent

675 Belleville Street, Victoria

  • Interactive activities outside on the plaza
    • View the Sun safely through solar telescopes (weather permitting)
  • Interactive activities inside in Clifford Carl Hall (Museum main level)
    • Telescope show-and-tell – try out telescopes and ask questions
    • Astrophotography – take photos of the night sky with your own camera and see our members’ work
    • Children’s astro crafts – kids make their own astronomy and space souvenirs
    • Ask an Astronomer – find answers to those questions about astronomy and space you always wanted to ask
    • Responsible Lighting – get pointers on how to reduce your own light pollution, and feel better for it

Public Lectures in Newcombe Auditorium

  • 10:30AM – Tracking the Moon for 30 Years – Randy Enkin, President, RASC Victoria Centre
  • 11:30AM – Observing the birth of planets in the universe – Ruobing Dong, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria
  • 12:30PM – Cosmic Collisions and the Fate of the Milky Way – Mallory Thorp, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria
  • 1:30PM – Demystifying Machine Learning – Karun Thanjavur, Physics & Astronomy, University of Victoria

Please Note:

  • All Astronomy Day activities are FREE and available to the general public. Membership in RASC is not required.
  • Regular admission applies to the Royal BC Museum exhibits and IMAX Theatre.
  • A concise handout for beginners: Interested In Astronomy?
  • After visiting our Astronomy Day in Victoria event, please let us know what you thought – survey – thanks!
  • We host public events with measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Please do not come if you are sick or have been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19. We strongly recommend wearing masks while inside buildings with crowds. Wearing masks in public indoor settings is not required by BC public health. Wearing a mask is a personal choice.

Asteroid Hunters – IMAX Theatre (admission applies)

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (Star Wars), Asteroid Hunters ventures into deep space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world.

Written and produced by Phil Groves, produced by Jini Durr and directed by W.D. Hogan, Asteroid Hunters introduces asteroid scientists – the best line of defense between Earth and an asteroid’s destructive path – and reveals the cutting-edge tools and techniques they use to detect and track asteroids, and the technology that may one day protect our planet. The effects of an asteroid impact could be catastrophic and while the current probability of an event in our lifetime is low, the potential consequences make the study of asteroids an incredibly important area of scientific research. Witness the latest in planetary defense and how science, ingenuity and determination combine to explore the world’s most preventable natural disaster.

Asteroid Hunters has a run time of 38 minutes and is presented by IMAX here in Victoria in association with Huahuang Pictures.


Shooting for the Moon – 4-6:30PM – cross-Canada RASC webinar

The party begins at 4 pm PDT on Zoom with a pre-recorded talk and a live Q&A with Canadian Astronaut David Saint-Jacques from the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal! Following the Q&A, at 5 pm PDT, we will start our National Livestream on both Zoom and Youtube, featuring live views of the Moon from across Canada (including Victoria), RASC Member’s moon content, and more! Register here


Centre of the Universe and the Observatory – 7:30PM to 11PM

The Hon. Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor looking through Chuck Filnesss' telescope

Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Road, Saanich

Reserve Your Tickets (free) – only ticket holders will be admitted to this evening event. (Daytime events at the Museum do not require tickets!)

  • Plaskett telescope tours
  • Observing through telescopes
  • Presentation – 8:30PM & 9:30PM – The Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope – Dr. Chris Gainor
    • Summary: The stories of the two largest space telescopes: The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in 1990 and is still operating after 32 years, and the James Webb Space Telescope, which is about to begin operations in space after its launch last December 25.
    • Biography: Christopher Gainor is a historian of technology specializing in space exploration and aeronautics. He has written four books on the history of space exploration and two on Cold War history. His most recent book is a history of Hubble Space Telescope operations published by NASA. Gainor is editor of Quest: The History of Spaceflight Quarterly. From 2018 to 2020, he was President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, and he is a fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Gainor holds a Ph.D. in the history of technology from the University of Alberta, and has worked as a history instructor at the University of Victoria and the Royal Military College of Canada.

Astronomy Day 2022 photo gallery

Press Coverage

Artemis Star Party – Apr 16, 2022

Posted by as Special Events

The RASC Victoria Centre and the Friends of the DAO invite you to join us for a “Shooting to the Moon” Artemis Star Party.

Date: Saturday, April 16th, 2022

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm Pacific Time

Guest Speaker: “The Artemis Missions and Canada’s Future Role in space” – Randy Attwood, RASC, Mississauga Centre

  • Send your photos of the Moon into our Tre”moon”dous Lunar Photo Give Away Contest
  • Try your luck in a special Moon Quiz
  • Find out how to take great photos of the Moon with your cell phone
  • Ask an Astronomer your questions with admitted selenophile, Randy Enkin

YouTube Link – watch event


Artemis Star Parties – RASC

Artemis Missions – Canadian Space Agency

Astronomy Day 2021

Posted by as Special Events

A celebration of International Astronomy Day in Victoria, BC, Canada was held on May 15, 2021 as a virtual online event, sponsored by the Friends of the DAO and RASC Victoria Centre. Hundreds of people attended this live-streamed 4-hour event through both Zoom and Youtube.

Thanks to everyone who made this event a success!
Thanks to everyone who made this event a success!

The program lineup

  • Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) Virtual Tour
  • Live Solar Viewing from the DAO with David Lee, Sid Sidhu & Chris Purse
  • Guest Presentation – “Fossils in our Galaxy” by Dr. Kim Venn, a specialist at UVic in observational stellar spectroscopy, and the chemo-dynamical analysis of stars in the Galaxy and its nearby dwarf satellites. Stars contain a fossil record of the chemistry of the Universe at the time and place where they were born. Stars formed early in the universe contain very low amounts of elements heavier than Helium, and astronomers call these stars ‘metal-poor’. They are the fossils of ancient star formation in the galaxy. By studying the most metal-poor of these stars, we can read that fossil record to learn about the origin of the elements and formation of the Galaxy. Dr. Venn discussed the recent results on the metal-poor galaxy, including newly discovered streams in the halo, very metal-poor stars found in the Galactic Centre, and metal-poor stars in the Galactic disk that orbit in the opposite direction.
  • University of Victoria Telescope Tour with Karun Thanjavur
  • Ask an Astronomer (or two) with Jason Beaman and Nathan Hellner-Mestelman, hosted by Amy Archer
  • Astrophotography Gallery with Marjie Welchframe, David Lee and friends featuring music from Vox Humana, Jeff Enns (composer)
  • Planetaruim Show from the CU – Draco & Hercules – Aaron Bannister & the constellation blanket
  • Live Stream from the Plaskett Telescope, the Centre of the Universe (CU) and other locations featuring David Lee, Dan Posey, Dave Payne, and Brock Johnston – the RASC Electronic Assisted Astronomy Group and hosted by Ruhee Janmohamed

50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Posted by as Events, Special Events

July 20th marks the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Due to media attention a desire to take a closer look at the Moon may grow as this date approaches. Unfortunately the Moon will not rise until 11:14PM on the anniversary of the landing. As a result the International Astronomical Union is organizing a global lunar observing event on July 12th called “On the Moon Again”. Between 8PM and 11PM on Friday July 12th, members of the Victoria Centre of RASC will set up telescopes in Oak Bay at the Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park. If weather permits they will be happy to share views of the Moon with you.

Apollo 11 astronauts on the Moon

Victoria Centre telescopes will also be in position at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory every Saturday evening in July from 7:15PM to 10:45PM for weekly Star Parties. These events, co-hosted with The Friends of the DAO, will include the following Moon related lectures:

July 6th: The Voyages of Apollo by Dr. Philip Stooke
July 13th: “Explore the Moon: My 50-Year, 30-Year, and 1-Year Projects” by Randy Enkin
July 20th: The Apollo Moon Walk by Dr. Chris Gainor
July 27th: Through the Knowledge Network: Space Suite Apollo and Space Suite IV

In addition to the above programs these Star Parties also include tours of the historic Plaskett Telescope, the Centre of the Universe Museum and Planetarium shows. Obtain free tickets to the Saturday Star Parties at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

During the week of the July 20th the Friends of the DAO will hold the following additional lectures on Apollo at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, starting shortly after 7:00 PM.:

Tuesday July 16: Canada’s Contributions to Apollo by Dr. Chris Gainor

Wednesday July 17: Apollo in the Age of Aquarius by Dr. Dennis Crabtree

Thursday July 18: The Voyages of Apollo by Dr. Philip Stooke

The Centre of the Universe at the DAO will also be open to the public from 10 AM to 3 PM on Tuesday July 16 through Friday July 19.

Here is more detailed information of the scheduled Saturday Star Party lectures at the DAO:

July 6th 2019 – 8:30pm repeats at 9:30pm
The Voyages of Apollo
Dr. Philip Stooke

Abstract: A summary of the Apollo Program including its origins, steps along the way to the Moon, the choice of landing sites and a pictorial look at each mission.

Bio: Phil Stooke is a planetary scientist and cartographer with a PhD from UVic. He taught in the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration at Western University in London, Ontario until his recent retirement. He has published The International Atlas of Lunar Exploration and similar books on Mars, and is currently revising his lunar atlas.

July 13th 2019 – 8:30pm repeats at 9:30pm
“Explore the Moon: My 50-Year, 30-Year, and 1-Year Projects”
Randy Enkin

Abstract: In 1969, at age 8, the Apollo missions motivated me to become an astronomer. Very quickly I mastered the subject, but then over the following 50 years I mostly found out how little I know. In this presentation, I will present my 30-year time series of lunar phase observations, and my lunar sketches from the past year which earned me the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada “Explore the Moon Observing Certificate” (https://www.rasc.ca/observing/explore-the-moon-observing-certificate). And you will be introduced to “Enkin’s Daily Moon” where images of the moon explore “the passage of time, illumination, the feminine, and world unity”. (https://www.facebook.com/EnkinsDailyMoon/)

Bio: Randy Enkin did not become a professional astronomer. He is a Research Scientist at the Geological Survey of Canada, working on earthquakes. He is an enthusiastic member of the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

July 20th 2019 – 7:45pm to 10:45pm
The Apollo 11 Moonwalk with Dr. Chris Gainor

Abstract: This presentation will show the entire Apollo 11 moonwalk as it was televised on the evening of July 20, 1969, along with descriptive slides. Chris Gainor will discuss the flight of Apollo 11, the symbolic aspects of the first walk on another celestial body, and the scientific work carried out by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface. The presentation will begin shortly before 8 p.m., just as it did in real time in 1969, and will continue for the two hours and 40 minutes of this historic event.

Bio: Chris Gainor is a historian specializing in the history of space flight and aeronautics. He has five published books and is currently writing a history of the Hubble Space Telescope for NASA. He is President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

July 27th 2019 – 8:30pm to 10:45pm
Through the Knowledge Network: Space Suite IV and Space Suite Apollo

Producers – Imagine Create Media
Space Suite IV
A series of 10 short films that explore the infinite wonders of our universe and our interactions with the cosmos.
Space Suite Apollo
Trace the history of NASA’s Lunar missions from Mercury to Gemini, to the Apollo Missions that ultimately landed a man on the moon. Set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Space Suite Apollo gives viewers an unflinching look at the raw footage that continues to capture the world’s imagination.

Astronomy Day 2019 in Victoria

Posted by as Events, Special Events

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and the Royal BC Museum present

International Astronomy Day

at the Royal BC Museum

Press Release

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Amazing Astronomical Activities for all Ages!

Astronomy Day 2019 in Victoria poster
Astronomy Day 2019 in Victoria (printable poster – 201k PDF) – please spread the word and stick a reminder on your fridge

All Astronomy Day activities are FREE and available to the general public. Membership in RASC is not required.

Regular admission applies to the Royal BC Museum and IMAX Theatre.
Astronomy Day 2019 photo gallery

Telescope at Astronomy Day 2017

Royal BC Museum – 10AM to 4PM

675 Belleville Street, Victoria

  • Interactive activities outside on the plaza
    • View the Sun safely through solar telescopes (weather permitting)
  • Interactive activities inside in Clifford Carl Hall (Museum main level)
    • Telescope-making – grind a mirror and build your own telescope
    • Telescope show-and-tell – try out telescopes and ask questions
    • Astrophotography – take photos of the night sky with your own camera
    • Children’s astro crafts – kids make their own astronomy and space souvenirs
    • Ask an Astronomer – find answers to those questions about astronomy and space you always wanted to ask
    • Light-based Science – light is energy, and energy is a big part of our Universe
    • Responsible Lighting – get pointers on how to reduce your own light pollution, and feel better for it
    • Planetarium – cruise the night sky during the day while sitting on a couch

Presentations in Newcombe Auditorium

  • 11:00AM – Exploring a New World on the Edge of the Solar System, New Horizons and 2014 MU69 – by famed solar system expert JJ Kavelaars of the NRC. Poster (837kb pdf)
  • 12:00 Noon – Space Suite I – Our wondrous universe set to a timeless score – presented by Knowledge Network and Two Story Productions. Poster (837kb pdf)
  • 1:00PM – Observing Planet Formation around Young Stars – planetary researcher Ruobing (Robin) Dong from U Vic. Poster (577kb pdf)
  • 2:00PM – Space Suite II – Our wondrous universe set to a timeless score – presented by Knowledge Network and Two Story Productions. Poster (837kb pdf)
  • 2:30PM – Science & Storytelling: How discoveries of new worlds help tell stories of family – Elizabeth Tasker and Ria Voros. The two authors will discuss how they came to work together unexpectedly through Ria’s novel. Poster (2Mb pdf)
    • Elizabeth Tasker is an Astrophysicist at the Institute for Space and Astronautical Science at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Her forthcoming popular science book is “The Planet Factory”, on planet formation and exoplanets. The updated paperback edition comes out in Canada late April.
    • Ria Voros is a local Young Adult novelist whose forthcoming book is coincidentally titled “The Centre of the Universe”. In this story 17 year old Grace’s mother is missing. Grace is obsessed with exoplanets and she meets Elizabeth a few times in the book.

Centre of the Universe and the Observatory – 7:30PM to 11PM

The Hon. Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor looking through Chuck Filnesss' telescope

Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Road, Saanich

  • Plaskett telescope tours
  • Observing through telescopes
  • Lecture – 8:30PM & 9:30PM – Science & Storytelling: How discoveries of new worlds help tell stories of family – Elizabeth Tasker and Ria Voros
  • Only holders of (free) tickets will be admitted to this evening event!
  • Click Here to Reserve Your Tickets – currently sold out, but click the link to check back later!

RASCals Star Party 2018

Posted by as Events, Special Events

September 7-9, 2018

St. Stephen’s Anglican Church
7921 St Stephens Road – off Mt. Newton Cross Road
Saanichton, BC, Canada

2018 RASCals Star Party poster (719kb PDF)

 

Gates will open at 2pm on Friday. Camp on the field and setup your telescope for two nights of fun!

Cost: Free of charge! Visiting observers who stay overnight: suggested donation of $20/Adult one day or two.

Everyone who is present is entitled to tickets for door prizes, presentations, and access to the observing field.

Prizes for kids and adults, including three telescopes! See below…

Don’t want to camp? No problem if you live in the Greater Victoria area…you can drive home after an evening of fun on the observing field.

Staying after dark? Please bring a red light with you – no white lights!

 

Observing Field at St. Stephens Church
Observing Field at St. Stephens Church

The StarBQ crowd under the tarps!
Click image for slideshow of 2018 RASCals Star Party photos

Schedule of Events

Friday 7th

  • 2:00 pm – Gates open
  • 6:15 pm – Welcome and door prizes, including a telescope!
  • 6:30 pm – Astro Cafe – Theme: Star Parties
    • Bill Weir will share experiences from recent Mt Kobau and Merrit Star Parties.
    • Miles and Dorothy Paul will describe highlights from the latest Oregon Star Party
    • Nelson Walker will discuss his planning process for observing sessions
    • Plus Show and Tell Session
  • 8:00 pm until dawn: observing! No white lights during this time, please

Saturday 8th

  • Solar viewing – all day on the field
  • Afternoon presentation – TBA
  • 5:00 pm – StarBBQ – burgers!
  • 6:15 pm – Welcome and door prizes, including two telescopes!
  • 6:30 pm – Speaker – David Lee will share his experiences, insights and beautiful images acquired on his recent trip to Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona and during his time amongst the iconic Saguaro cacti.
  • 8:00 pm until dawn: observing! No white lights during this time, please

Sunday 9th

  • Cleanup – everyone please pitch-in & help
  • Please, no parking in the church parking lot this morning in consideration of Church members attending their service!
  • 12:15 pm – solar viewing for St. Stephen’s congregation
  • Early departures please!

Facilities

  • Camping on the observing field with your tent, trailer or motorhome – bare camping, no utilities on the field
  • Setup your telescope and other astronomy gear on the observing field
  • Some power on the field for astronomy equipment, but no RV plug-ins please!
  • Washrooms and porta potties
  • Water, self-serve coffee & tea
  • Visitor and drop-in parking

Please do NOT park on the field with your vehicle if you plan to leave after dark! In this case, move your vehicle off the field after setting up, and park in the parking lot with your headlights facing away from the observing field. The same parking request applies to visitors dropping in for the evening – leave your vehicle in the parking lot and walk into the observing field.


Star Party t-shirts

A very limited supply of RASCals Star Party t-shirts will be available for sale. Pre-order yours by contacting Joe Carr. Black t-shirts available in Men’s M or L sizes ($16 ea), white t-shirts available in Men’s S & XL ($12 ea), and white Kid’s t-shirts available in S & M ($12 ea).


Prizes

  • Bushnell 4.5″ reflector telescope – Friday night prize – donated by a RASC member
  • Sky-Watcher Virtuoso P114 4.5″ Matsukov telescope & computerized mount – Adult’s Grand Prize – Saturday night – donated by Quarky Science
  • Celestron Astromaster 130AZ 5” reflector telescope – Kid’s Grand Prize – Saturday night – donated by All-Star Telescope

 

 


Location

What to observe

Night sky on Sep 7, 2018 at 9:30PM
Night sky on Sep 7, 2018 at 9:30PM