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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police see spike in excessive speeding compared to previous years

Nearly 100 excessive speeders caught since January 2020

Colwood branch drop-off to continue throughout summer

COVID-19 safety measures remain in place

Welcome to grilling season: Saanich firefighter talks barbecue safety tips

Grills should be cleaned, serviced prior to use, firefighter says

Cycling scavenger hunt comes to Tweed City

Cyclists scour Oak Bay for clues in Bike to Work Week event

Colwood woman launches Adopt a Grad

Facebook page aims to support students during pandemic

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

Most Read