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Special Event Invite
February 28 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Instead of a meeting this month the club will be participating in the Vancouver Island Astronomy Organizations Open House, hosted by the Nanaimo Astronomy Club
Thursday, February 28 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at Beban Park Social Centre in Nanaimo.
Map of location bebanparkmap
Vancouver Island ASTROFEST
Hello Fellow Stargazers. We have a first for our next meeting!
When : 28th Feb, 6.30-9.30pm.
NOTE THE EARLIER START & FINISH TIME.
Where : Beban Pk Social Complex, Rooms 1/2/3.
(Written by Janeane MacGillivray)
They call themselves astronomy enthusiasts, amateur astronomers, or astronomy hobbyists, and there are thousands worldwide, including on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo Astronomy Society will bring four groups and two businesses together for the first Vancouver Island AstroFest on Thursday, February 28 at Beban Park from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event.
Discover the activities and services offered to members and the public by the Nanaimo Astronomy Society (NAS), the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Victoria Centre, the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (FDAO), and the Cowichan Valley Starfinders (CVSF).
Two businesses are also participating – Island Stars Observatory, which offers guided tours of the west coast night sky (plus art, photography, publications, and music inspired by it) on Hornby Island; and Quarky Science from Victoria, a science and nature store whose goal is to make science interesting, fun, and accessible to people of all ages.
AstroFest attendees can take a Virtual Reality tour of the International Space Station with the FDAO’s Oculus Rift and Go setups, and enter to win the door prize, a pair of 25×70 binoculars from Quarky Science.
Hear how Nanaimo and Victoria groups host world-class speakers on exoplanets, star and galaxy formation, black holes, cosmology, observatory instrumentation, and more. A high degree of collaboration is key to astronomy and space science, and professionals from Herzberg Astrophysics in Saanich (National Research Council of Canada) and the University of Victoria are known and valued for Pro-Am (professional-amateur) partnering such as this.
Ever heard of a Star Party? Find out more about these fun events, where club members set up telescopes and binoculars to share their love and knowledge of the night sky with fellow enthusiasts and the public. CVSF has hosted a summer weekend Star Party for 23 years, the RASC has hosted one for 18 years; and the FDAO and RASC have co-hosted summer Saturday Night Star Parties at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory since 2014. Tours of the DAO’s 1.83m Plaskett Telescope, which turned 100 last year, and entrance to the Centre of the Universe Interpretive Centre are included in these free-of-charge evenings.
Clubs hold free public observing sessions for lunar and solar eclipses, the Moon, Sun, and planets, deep sky objects, with frequent sightings of the International Space Station passing overhead. At AstroFest, learn more about these sessions in your local area – they’re advertised on the groups’ web or social media sites listed below. Groups also participate in outreach activities at schools, universities, community groups and events, advancing science literacy through astronomy.
Wondering how to start observing yourself? For the novice visual astronomer, RASC will have its Explore the Universe Guide on hand. Also available will be RASC’s world-renowned Observer’s Handbook, “the essential reference for professional astronomers, amateur skywatchers, teachers, and everyone who enjoys the night sky.” This annual publication, as well as SkyNews magazine, is one of the many benefits of RASC membership (both can be purchased on their own). Other benefits clubs provide to members include telescope lending programs, socials and conventions, volunteer opportunities, and a shared passion for astronomy outreach activities like AstroFest. Hope to see you there!
Web & Social Media Sites
nanaimoastronomy.com and facebook.com/groups/nanaimoastronomy
victoria.rasc.ca and facebook.com/groups/VictoriaRASCals
thecentreoftheuniverse.net and facebook.com/FriendsDAO
6:30 – 7:00pm : FDAO International Space Station Virtual Reality Booth
7:00-7.50 : Presentations from Nanaimo Astronomy Society, & the Victoria branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
7:50 – 8:20 Tea/Coffee break with Organization Table Displays and VR booth
8:20 – 9.00 Presentations from Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, Cowichan Startfinders, and Island Stars Observatory.
9.00 – 9.30pm FDAO International Space Station Virtual Reality Booth demo.