Summer Star Party at the DAO – Sept 12, 2015

Posted by as Special Events

Summer Saturdays at the DAO
Program for Saturday, September 12, 2015

The last summer star party at the DAO this season!

 Event Info

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is open from 7:30 to 11:00 pm with last entrance at 10:00 pm

In the Centre of the Universe:

  • Exhibits Open: 7:30 to 10:45 pm
  • Planetarium Shows – every half hour from 7:45 to 9:45 “Constellation Stories”

Auditorium Presentations:

7:45 to 8:30PM and again at 9:15-10:00PM – Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope’s Outreach Odyssey – Mary Beth Laychak

The Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope serves a diverse audience of astronomers and the general public in six countries: Canada, France, Hawaii (US), Taiwan, Brazil and China. The recent hiring of a full time public outreach manager gives CFHT the opportunity to expand its outreach presence in each of these nations while simultaneously reaching our local Big Island community. The observatory’s goals are ambitious; unlike other multi-national institutions pursuing a dynamic outreach presence, CFHT is a smaller facility with fewer staff fully devoted to public outreach. In this talk, I will discuss who we are at CFHT and our plans to connect to the people of Canada, France and Hawaii.

Speaker: Mary Beth Laychak


Mary Beth Laychak is the Outreach Program Manager at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mary Beth has an undergraduate degree in astronomy and astrophysics and a Masters degree in educational technology. Her passions include astronomy, sharing astronomy with the public and astronomy based crafts.

8:30 to 9:15PM – Adaptive Optics and the Thirty Meter Telescope – How Victoria will Widen our View of the Universe -Paolo Turri

Since the invention of the astronomical telescope in the 17th century, astronomers have pushed the technology to build larger lenses and mirrors to observe fainter and more distant objects. But for a long time, optical telescopes haven’t been able to improve their resolution because of the limit imposed by the turbulent atmosphere. Adaptive optics is a new technique that corrects the atmospheric aberrations on telescopes and opens new horizons in astronomy. I will discuss how adaptive optics performs its magic and I will show some of the results that can be achieved with it. We’ll give also a look at the future adaptive optics system for the Thirty Meter Telescope that will be built in the next decade. This instrument is part of the Canadian contribution to the telescope and it will be assembled in Victoria on the very same hill of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory.

Speaker: Paolo Turri


Paulo is from Italy and he graduated in Padua and Trieste (respectively for his Bachelor and Master degrees in Astronomy). He is a PhD student in Astronomy at the University of Victoria and his field of research is adaptive optics. This year at the Annual CASCA Conference he won an Award for Best Student Talk at the conference.


On the Centre of the Universe Deck:

New! Live, through the lens viewing with the 16“ telescope.

Friends of the DAO – Sign up as a new member! We need your support to bring educational programs back to the DAO during the year and to upgrade the exhibits. Popcorn, Hot Chocolate and Light-Up wrist bands available by donation.

In the Dominion Observatory:

Historical Tours of the Plaskett Telescope, the computer room and the Dome – new tours begin every twenty minutes from 7:30 to 9:30 pm
Plaskett Telescope will open (weather permitting) at approximately 9:45 and presentations that show what the telescope is seeing will be given on an ongoing basis until 10:45 pm

In the Parking Lot:

Telescopes will be set up for Solar Viewing and for Night Sky viewing by members of the RASC all evening.

A reminder that there is NO SMOKING on the hill at any time.

Please dress warmly as it gets very cool after it gets dark.

There is limited parking for those with mobility issues at the top of the hill. Please ask the Commissionaires when you arrive if you need one of these spaces. We cannot guarantee a spot at all times but visitors may be dropped off and picked up if necessary.

There is limited parking at the top of the hill. Most of the parking is in the lower lot. Please be advised that there are a number of stairs to climb to get to the entrance to the Centre of the Universe building and the DAO.

For safety reasons, no foot traffic is permitted on the road to the top. Visitors may not park on W.Saanich Rd and walk to the top.

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