Sherry Buttnor

Sherry Buttnor

Party with the stars this weekend

Astronomers are gathering at the Metchosin municipal ground for a weekend of gazing at stars, watching solar storms and camping out.

If you can’t travel to Mars, going to this weekend’s Star Party in Metchosin might be the next best thing.

Astronomers from across Greater Victoria are gathering at the Metchosin municipal ground for a weekend of gazing at stars, watching solar storms and camping out.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada-Victoria Chapter hosts the party, which is open to the public.

Metchosin astronomer Sherry Buttnor leads a workshop called Astronomy 101 for anyone wanting to learn the basics. She’ll also host a guided telescope walk on Friday night (Aug. 17).

During the day, Buttnor said many members will have their telescopes set up to watch magnetic storms on the sun.

“It’s absolutely true you are never supposed to look at the sun unless you have the proper equipment. You can do it safely if you know what you are doing,” she said, explaining that she uses a neutral density white light filter on the end of her telescope.

Buttnor has been involved in astronomy for 30 years and has even built her own telescopes.

In the early mornings, the Andromeda galaxy is one of Buttnor’s favourite sights.

“It’s our nearest neighbour. It’s 2.1 million lights years away, but as far as astronomical distances go, it’s right next door,” Buttnor said. “I like to take what I’ve learned and share with others.”

Families and children are encouraged to come out and learn about all types of astronomy.

“Kids look through the eyepiece and they are wide-eyed at what they see,” Buttnor said.

Saturday afternoon, from 4 to 6 p.m., children’s activities include crafts involving planets and comets as well as face painting.

“It’s best if people bring their own telescopes,” Buttnor said. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve got, even if it’s just a drug store telescope, everyone’s welcome.”

Throughout the weekend there will be series of workshops and lectures as well as plenty of time to look into the universe. All flashlights must have tape over the end to dim the light.

The star party runs from Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Aug. 19 at noon. There is no charge to attend the star party, but donations are appreciated. Food and drink is not provided. For more information, go to victoria.rasc.ca/events/StarParty. The Metchosin muncipal grounds is located at 4450 Happy Valley Rd.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

PARTY TIMES

Friday, Aug. 17

• 8 p.m. door prizes

• 8:30 p.m. Speaker Dr. J.J. Kavelaars Senior Research Officer at the NRC Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

• 9:30 p.m. Guided telescope walk and Astronomy 101

Saturday, Aug. 18

• Solar viewing all day

• 1 p.m. astronomy swap meet

• 2 p.m. workshops on spectroscopy and observing lists and awards

• 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. activities for kids

• 8 p.m. door prizes

• 8:30 p.m. Speaker Dr. Cassandra Fallscheer, Postdoctoral, University of Victoria, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

• 9:30 p.m. Guided Telescope Walk and Binocular Tour of the sky by Scott Mair

Just Posted

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

Most Read