Did you know Killarney is one of only two provincial parks with an observatory?
And the park observatory, which hosts a variety of astronomy programs throughout the summer, recently got an upgrade!
In spring of 2018, the observatory in Killarney Provincial Park was upgraded to feature a new research-grade 16″ telescope capable of full computer and smartphone control, an attached 5″ refractor for outstanding astro-photography.
The original telescope is a Mease Cassegrain design with a manual mount. This makes it easy for beginners to get the hang of moving the telescope toward objects without worrying about confusing electronics.
In a park not too far away…
Killarney’s summer astronomy programs include drop-in nights with guest astronomers, as well as formal presentations and planet walks.
Join an astronomer-in-residence most Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the summer and fall for a variety of astronomy programs, ranging from daytime solar viewing, to nighttime planetary and star viewing, and many presentations on a variety of topics!
What happens in cloudy or rainy conditions?
We do our best to adapt to the weather, and the astronomers in residence are all specialists in different topics related to astronomy.
Under cloudy conditions, our astronomers often offer presentations about topics of interest instead of using the telescopes.
Although cloudy conditions can make star viewing difficult, it is sometimes still possible to view the moon fairly clearly.
Of course, if it is raining too heavily or if there is lightning in the air, we do have to cancel our programming. In these conditions, signs notifying visitors of the cancellation will be put out at the program’s location, and we will also post on our social media channels.
Not available on an astronomer in residence day? You can still stargaze in Killarney!
Did you know you can stargaze using a pair of binoculars?
You may not be able to see the level of detail that can be seen with a proper telescope, but next time you are in the park on a clear night, try taking a look at the night sky through your binoculars!
Through a pair of binoculars, you will have a much better view of the surface of the moon or get a clearer view of your favorite constellation than with the naked eye.
Want a preview of what to look for on your visit?
Check out our “Eyes on the Skies” series, written by Bruce Waters, for night sky highlights.