Star Festival gets big crowd and dark skies

Cear skies mean a phenomenal view of many astronomical phenomena during Clearwater’s sixth Star Gazing Festival on Thursday evening, Aug. 9

Bill Burnyeat (l)

Clear skies mean a phenomenal view of many astronomical phenomena during Clearwater’s sixth Star Gazing Festival on Thursday evening, Aug. 9.

More than 150 people took part in the event, organizers report. Some were tourists from as far away as Switzerland, others were local residents.

Sights seen included the Perseid meteor shower (associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle), the Dumbbell Nebula, the Hercules Globular Cluster, the Andromeda Galaxy and the Ring Nebula.

Viewing was aided by a 16” reflecting telescope brought by presenter Bill Burnyeat, the community astronomer at the H.R. Macmillan Space Center.

Burnyeat entertained the crowd with a discussion of stars, planets and history. He also involved the kids attending in a “play” based on mythology and the stars.

Clearwater’s Ron Van der Zwan and Keir Murray of Calgary provided additional telescopes plus assistance with viewing.

Success by 6 did a kid’s craft table while North Thompson Ladies Drill Team provided concession and parking.

Many other volunteers organized and participated in the event as well.

The new venue at Trophy Mountain Buffalo Ranch proved to be near ideal, with dark skies and plenty of room to move around.


Mark Thursday Aug. 8 on calendar for the seventh annual Star Gazing Festival.



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