TEHKUMMAH— It was a perfect weekend for stargazing at Gordon’s Park’s annual Star Party weekend which included a wine and cheese reception, astronomy and laser sky tour and a variety of special guests.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada dark sky preserve offers an incredible astronomy experience with 360 degree observing.

The Star Party kicked off with a wine and cheese welcome campfire on Friday night, followed by a public astronomy session and laser sky tour.

The aurora borealis, also called the northern lights, as seen from Gordon’s Park on Manitoulin Island. Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas. photo by Dieter Lig
The aurora borealis, also called the northern lights, as seen from Gordon’s Park on Manitoulin Island. Aurora is named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.
photo by Dieter Lig

On Saturday, author and writer Joan Marie Galat gave a presentation on her book ‘Dark Matter’ which combines the science behind light pollution and its negative affects on nature, mammals, insects, reptiles, birds and the environment with related personal stories, many from her childhood.

After a presentation from Steve Pellarin and a pot luck supper, Ms. Galat gave another presentation on ‘Dot to Dot in the Sky,’ a series of books which Ms. Galat has written on how to find the various consolations and myths and tales from around the world about the consolations.

Another public astronomy session and laser sky tour was well attended before star gazers got a up close look at the stars in Francois Van Heerden’s presentation ‘Messiers through a Mallincam.’ Mr. Van Herrden used a telescope and mallicam to project images from his telescope onto a screen, sharing up-close images of the moon, stars and plants.

Sunday morning began with questions and answers and information sharing.

In the afternoon there were presentations from Sharron Valli on ‘New Ancient Astronomical Sites’ and Francois Van Heerdeen on ‘Shoestring Astronomy.’

Star gazers got an up close look at the stars and planets during Francois Van Heerden’s presentation ‘Messiers through a Mallincam.’ photo by Robin Burridge
Star gazers got an up close look at the stars and planets during Francois Van Heerden’s presentation ‘Messiers through a Mallincam.’
photo by Robin Burridge

The weekend concluded with free mini putt, horseshoes and bocce ball.

“We are seeing a lot of new people at our star parties and astronomy nights which is really great,” said park manager Paul Beduhn. “This weekend we have a good mix of returning visitors and people who are visiting us for the first time. We have a lot to offer here and it wonderful that people are coming to enjoy our dark sky preserve and other great features.”

There are upcoming astronomy nights at Gordon’s Park on August 20, 27, September 4, 19, 26, October 3 and 17 at 9 pm.

There is also a Dark Side of the Moon Star Party coming up the weekend of September 11-13,  public astronomy sessions and laser sky tours on Saturday, September 12, Friday, October 9 and Saturday, October 10 at 9 pm and an Aurora Borealis Weekend from October 9 to 11.

For more information about Gordon’s Park and upcoming events visit www.gordonspark.com.