By David F. Rooney
An opportunity to see a special presentation by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) followed by an opportunity to watch the Perseid meteor shower from atop Mount Revelstoke on Tuesday evening should send your curiosity into overdrive.
Sunday’s supermoon is done and the Perseids, a prolific meteor shower associated with debris from the comet Swift-Tuttle, are expected to peak this week with possibly as many as 60 comets an hour streaking through the night sky.
The RASC’s free From Earth and Beyond show is to be presented at the Nels Nelsen Chalet on Mount Revelstoke from 8 pm until 9 pm on the evening of Tuesday, August 12. It should broaden your understanding of the earth and sky, the solar system, the cosmos, and the Universe beyond. Then, after dusk, if weather permits (and it should: Tuesday is expected to be dry and clear), you can drive to the dark summit of Mount Revelstoke National Park to watch the impressive Perseid meteor shower until 1 am. The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. During the peak, the rate of meteors burning through the sky reaches 60 or more per hour.
“We’re going to bring two 12-inch reflecting telescopes,” Guy Mackie of the RASC’s Okanagan Centre, told The Current last week.
Founded in 1868, The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada is Canada’s leading astronomy organization bringing together over 4,500 enthusiastic amateur astronomers, educators and professionals. Please click here to learn more about the RASC.
The Okanagan Centre, of which Mackie is a member, boasts its own observatory with both a 25-inch optical telescope and a soon-to-be-unveiled radio telescope. Please click here to learn more about its programs, which include wheelchair access to its telescope.
Mackie said the radio telescope should be complete this autumn. It will be used for serious astronomical investigations and graduate-level research. Students from UBCO and Okanagan College contributed to the advancement of the radio program.
Jacolyn Daniluck, Parks Canada’s chief public relations and communications officer in Revelstoke, says this public event should be very exciting.
“We’ve done this before but the weather hasn’t always cooperated with us,” she said. “I think it will be different on Tuesday.”
Revelstokians keen on seeing the Perseids’ spectacular display as they’ve never see it before are invited to bring their own telescopes and/or field glasses to join in the sighting from the mountain’s summit.
Date: Tuesday, August 12
Time: 8-9 pm – Earth and Beyond – Presentation by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada at the Nels Nelsen chalet
Meadows in the Sky Parkway open until 1 am for star-gazing on Mount Revelstoke’s summit