Sherry Buttnor

Metchosin hosts Star Party

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will host its annual Star Party in Metchosin this Labour Day long weekend

Nothing is more serene than a night under the stars. The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will host its annual Star Party in Metchosin this Labour Day long weekend.

It’s the first time the event will run over a long weekend, but the date was chosen with the night sky in mind. “We pick a time when there is no moon in the sky,” said Sherry Buttnor, a member of RASC. “We do that so people can actually see the nebulas and the galaxies.”

With the moon out of the picture, astronomy photographers can capture amazing photos of the night sky and the mysteries it beholds. “This is a great time of year to see the Milky Way, toward the centre of our galaxy and andromedas,” Buttnor said. Star partiers will also learn about different stars and what their colours mean, for example bright blue stars often have a short life span while big bloated red stars are near the end of their life. Over the weekend a series of workshops and guest speakers will speak on all things astronomy.

“We are all about public outreach and anyone with even a little interest is invited to come,” Buttnor said, adding even people without telescopes are welcome. Each night around 9:30 p.m. an RASC member will give an astronomy 101 talk and a guided telescope tour through the field at the Metchosin municipal grounds. Children’s activities will be held Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. with face painting and outer space-themed crafts.

The Star Party is open to everyone. Anyone is allowed to come and camp for the weekend. There is no fee to attend, but donations are welcome. Campers are welcome to come and set up after noon on Aug. 30. Activities are set to begin around 7 p.m. The party is at the Metchosin Municipal Grounds 4450 Happy Valley Rd.