Astronomy in the Park

A year after the opening of the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory the park astronomy program is doing very well. In addition to the outstanding Natural Heritage Education programs the observatory has hosted a number of visiting astronomers who have shared their enthusiasm and knowledge of the night skies with the public. With the recent addition of the computer guided mount, donated by Bill and Danielle Gardner, finding objects in the night sky has never been easier.

On August 10, Bill and Vicki Sherwood gave a two-part astronomy presentation. In the afternoon Bill made a comet with the main ingredient being dry ice. The dry ice created fog when added to water which the kids loved it. Clouds moved in during evening so the program was rescheduled for the following night, where 120 people enjoyed a great clear sky. The Perseid meteor shower was obscured somewhat by the moon but campers still managed to see a couple of shooting stars.

Recently, the Friends of Killarney Park published a new book – “A Camper’s Guide to the Universe” written by Bruce Waters. It provides the highlights of his 26 years of astronomy talks in Killarney Provincial Park as well as many useful observing tips and tools. All the proceeds from the purchase of the book will go to the Friends of Killarney Park to assist them in supporting their numerous park projects. The book is available directly from the Friends, or will be available soon from a number of camping retailers.

Join the Friends of Killarney Park during their Winter Activity Weekend (Feb 18-19, 2012) and get a chance to look through the telescope yourself. For more information contact the Friends at (705-287-2800), or visit www.friendsofkillarneypark.ca