The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is hosting Star Parties every Saturday, all summer. (Photo courtesy of the National Research Council of Canada)

RSVP to a party for the stars

The Dominion Astrophysical Observatory is hosting free events all summer

Every Saturday night, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) hosts Star Parties. Guests are invited to come and explore the cosmos from 7:30 to 11 p.m. The DAO has been hosting the free parties since the summer of 2016.

There are many activities throughout the night that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, says Program Manager Calvin Schmidt. Experts and amateurs alike can enjoy gallery tours, presentations from astronomers, Plaskett Telescope tours and viewings if the sky is clear, planetarium shows and a gift shop.

There are also things for kids to enjoy including crafts and a virtual reality station with many different simulation options including a walk through the International Space Station, Schmidt explains.

Credit for the existence of the observatory goes to John Stanley Plaskett. He wanted Victoria to become a mecca for science.

In 1910, the Canadian astronomer began the work of bringing his vision for Victoria to life.

After construction delays due to the war, the observatory was opened to the public in June 1918 — 101 years ago.

“John intended the observatory to be shared with the public,” says Schmidt, “and that’s a tradition we’ve kept going.”

Schmidt feels that the Star Parties are a great opportunity to learn and to spend time with family.

“It’s a great place,” he says. “It’s a combined piece of history and a currently used scientific device that’s right near where [we] live.”

The Star Parties will take place every Saturday of the summer until Sept. 7.

The free tickets can be acquired online before the events so organizers know how many people will attend, as they have a 200-person capacity.

Schmidt says the tickets often sell out, but that some people register for more than they need. Organizers re-release the no-show tickets at 8 p.m.

There are activities all throughout the night, he explains, so people can arrive at any time.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man arrested on Richmond Avenue after standoff with police following ‘serious assault’

Police were called early Sunday morning following an assault in the building

Victoria harpist releases ‘old school’ jazz album, makes singing debut

Musician ‘blown away’ by reactions to her seventh album Songs From the Harp

Victoria’s Christmas bird count set to take flight

More volunteers needed on the West Shore for Dec. 14 count

WestShore Skatepark Coalition faces uphill battle as costs jump $166,000

‘It feels like a David and Goliath situation,’ says coalition member

Trees topped, greenery snatched from Saanich park

‘If everyone took one thing, there’d be nothing left,’ says president of park society

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

Conservative urge Morneau to deliver ‘urgent’ fall economic update

Morneau says the first thing the Liberals plan to do is bring in their promised tax cut for the middle class

INFOGRAPHIC: How much money did your local university or college make last year?

B.C. university and colleges posted a combined $340 million surplus in 2018/19

B.C. creates $8.5M organization to improve safety for health care workers

Group will bring together unions, province, health care organizations

Kovrig clings to humour as ‘two Michaels’ near one year in Chinese prison

Their detention is widely viewed as retaliation for Canada’s arrest of Chinese high-tech scion Meng Wanzhou

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Most Read