Summer star parties 2017

Humanity’s fascination with the celestial bodies dates back millennia.

And times haven’t changed.

Camper families love stargazing especially from mid-July to late August during the Perseid meteor shower. At peak time (August 11-12) — if the skies are clear — you can see up to 50-100 meteors an hour!

Star parties are held in our parks every summer, especially in Northern Ontario, where there’s less light pollution.


Our 2017 summer stargazing events: 

Restoule Provincial Park, August 4-5

night sky

Presented by members from the North Bay Astronomy Club and the Sudbury Astronomy Club.

  • Friday, August 4:
    • 1:00 – 3:00 pm – Solar Observing, done safely with specialized telescopes and filters (Kettle Point Beach)
    • 8:45 pm – Presentation by Lynn Chetwynd called “Do You See What They See.” After the presentation, we will meet the campers at Kettle Point Beach. Telescopes will be set up to share the wonders of the night sky and laser-guided Sky Tours will be offered (Campfire Clearing)
  • Saturday, August  5:
    • 1:00 – 3:00 pm – Solar Observing, done safely with specialized telescopes and filters (Kettle Point Beach)
    • 8:45 pm – Presentation by Robert Chapman called “The Life of a Star.” After the presentation, we will meet the campers at Kettle Point Beach. Telescopes will be set up to share the wonders of the night sky and laser-guided Sky Tours will be offered (Campfire Clearing)

All activities are weather permitting.

Quetico Provincial Park, August 11-13

night sky at Quetico

Don’t miss Quetico’s Astronomical Weekend at Dawson Lake Campground!

  • Friday, August 11:
    • 5:00 pm – Ask the Nat: Stars & Astronomy, (Information and Heritage Pavilion)
    • 8:00 pm – Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Information and Heritage Pavilion)
    • 9:30 pm – Perseid Meteor Shower (Information and Heritage Pavilion Parking Lot)
  • Saturday, August 12
    • 12:00 pm – RASC Solar Telescope (Information and Heritage Pavilion)
    • 5:00 pm – Ask the Nat: Aurora Borealis (Information and Heritage Pavilion)
    • 7:00 pm – Royal Astronomical Society of Canada visit (Information and Heritage Pavilion)

Killarney Provincial Park, August 11-15, 22, 29

Killarney observatory

Visit Killarney on August 11 for comet making at the ampitheater at 3:00 pm with park naturalists and astronomer Bill Sherwood.

Stick around for drop-in night sky viewing at the observatory at 9:00 pm. Guided by Bill Sherwood, take a peek through our 10 inch Meade 2080 LX3 telescope (donated by the Bruce Waters’ family). Bring along your flashlights, bug spray, lawn chairs, blankets and questions. Be prepared for an evening with the stars!

There will be drop-in sessions at the observatory on August 12 at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm. Make sure you make the evening session for the chance to catch a glimpse of the Perseid Meteor Shower!

August 13 has more drop-in sessions at 10:00 am, 2:00 pm and 9:30 pm. Learn about astronomy in Tom Thomson and Group of Seven paintings with Vicki Sherwood at the ampitheater at 8:00 pm.

On August 14, enjoy drop-in day sky viewing with Bill and Vicki at 10:00 am at the observatory.

Don’t miss the solar eclipse at 12:30 pm on August 21! Meet astronomer-in-residence Bill Gardner at the observatory.

Come out to learn and look at the night sky through our telescope with guest astronomer Bill Gardner on August 15, 22 and 29 at 9:30 pm.

Can’t make it these dates? Come up another time and sign out Killarney’s observatory for some self-guided stargazing!

Charleston Lake Provincial Park, August 12

Charleston Lake sunset

This will be the best night of the year for seeing shooting stars. Come for a fabulous light show!

Join internationally renowned astronomer Terence Dickinson to explore the amazing world of astronomy and then gaze through telescopes at the majestic night sky (weather & clouds permitting).

Rushing River Provincial Park, August 12

Join us to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower at its peak (50-100 meteor per hour!).

Plan to spend at least an hour outside: the meteors often come in spurts and are interspersed with lulls. Wear warm clothes and bring a chair or blanket to sit on!

Emily Provincial Park, August 25

Join us as the Peterborough child with telescopeAstronomical Association sets up several telescopes to help us explore the stars. Bring your questions with you and please turn off your flashlights once you walk on the field.

Driving? Park at the Park Store and follow the signs to Picnic Shelter #1. If it’s too cloudy or raining the event will be pushed to Saturday.

Rushing River Provincial Park, September 2

Join Peter Toth, Astronomy Enthusiast and Past President of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, for a daytime Solar Viewing Program. on Southside Beach.

Come back at 8:00 pm for a “laser show” of the Night Sky. Using a laser pointer, Peter will point out constellations in the sky. Park visitors will have an opportunity to look through a telescope to view stars and planets!

Love the night sky?

Read up on constellations, planets and more in the August edition of “Eyes on the Skies,” our monthly astronomy series!