The National Star Party at Irving Nature Park was well attended with about 290 people showing up to look at the night sky. For many, it was their first look at Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, double stars, and our Moon itself. Clear skies and low humidity afforded good viewing.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday with a Canada-wide National Star Party.
In Saint John, Irving Nature Park hosted the public along with local members and guests of the SJAC and RASC NB Centre with an evening of stargazing, Starting at 9:00 pm with a brief talk by Saint John astronomer Curt Nason at the observing area, about a dozen telescopes were set up to give the public night sky views. It continued till about 11:30.
James Carroll, Irving Nature Park’s Site Manager, gave the crowd a welcome followed by Curt Nason from the SJAC and RASC.NB informing everyone what to expect.
Early evening highlights were the craters and mountains on the Moon, Jupiter with its moons, and Saturn with its fascinating rings.
As with all park events, this was offered free of charge by J.D. Irving, Limited. The Park also provided hot chocolate, and stayed open late to accommodate the public and astronomers.
You may be also be able to see more pics on the Facebook Event page.
Irving Nature Park has been good for local astronomy and has made the Park and staff available for many events, among them the annual Moonlight Snowshoe Walk. Leading into the Park is also the site of Saints Rest Beach, where astronomer Chris Curwin sets up a telescope on most clear evenings for public viewing which he calls Astronomy by the Bay.
Sunday, July 30, 9 – 11:30 pm: Canada-wide National Star Party
Note: Event was scheduled for Saturday, July 29, postponed to Sunday due to clouds. Sunday offered almost pristine skies.
Where: Irving Nature Park, Observing Area (above the Interpretative Shelter)
Parking: Please park in the parking lot at the Interpretative Shelter.