Star Party at Fraser River Heritage Park on Oct. 29

Mission will be hosting a star-gazing party Oct. 29 beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Mission will host its very own Star Party Oct. 29 at Fraser River Heritage Park.

These parties occur around the world — some even last several nights — as local astronomers line up their telescopes for the general public to view the wonders of the night sky. Mission’s organizers are praying for crisp, clear skies that night as members of the Fraser Valley Astronomers Society (FVAS) position their scopes at the south side of Heritage Park so viewers can watch the heavens parade their glories across the southern sky.

Fall is an ideal time for viewing as evenings often provide great seeing.

This year’s event is timed so the moon is in a waxing quarter phase, the planet Jupiter is readily visible in the evening sky, and the Milky Way’s companion galaxy Andromeda is overhead. Depending on its path through the solar system, a comet may be visible that evening, and a new supernova may be glimpsed, too, through binoculars and telescopes. Familiar fall constellations will move slowly across the evening sky. FVAS members will help viewers pick out special cosmic sites that night. Throw in the usual satellites passing overhead, the odd meteor, and perhaps even a transit of the International Space Station, if it’s in the neighbourhood, and you have an evening of fun and learning for the whole family.

If rain falls, FVAS astronomers will present a PowerPoint demonstration on the wonders of the heavens underneath the picnic shelter in the park, just behind the telescope viewing area. Refreshments will be available on site, as organizers will have supplies of hot chocolate, coffee and tea and nibblies on hand.

The Star Party has already generated significant interest and plenty of discussion around Mission amongst folks who have heard the event is being planned. People who have participated in other such events rave about the sights they see through the scopes. It’s one thing to look at a particularly bright point of light and say, “I think that’s Jupiter,” but it’s another thing entirely to look through a large telescope and see the brilliance of our solar system’s largest planet, its bands, perhaps the Great Red Spot, and the four Galilean moons lined up across her equator. Jupiter has more than 60 moons, but the four seen by Galileo — Ganymede, Callisto, Io and Europa — can be watched making their regular transits beside the planet or across its disc.

Depending on the size of the telescope, some galaxies move from being a mere blur to actually displaying a defined shape. Andromeda will be visible high in the sky near the constellation Cassiopeia. A new supernova has erupted in the Pinwheel Galaxy which is located near the handle of the Big Dipper, and may be visible through binoculars or telescopes.

Participants are reminded to dress warmly. The event starts around 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted.

Just Posted

Woody’s RV World hosts a grand opening for its brand-new Abbotsford location on Saturday. (YouTube)
Woody’s RV World hosts Abbotsford grand opening on Saturday

First-ever B.C. location for successful RV chain, located on Marshall Road

/  Bob Friesen Photos
PHOTOS: Father’s Day Parade cruises through Mission

Taking It To The Streets event featured about 100 vintage vehicles

Special weather statement issued for Fraser Valley as first summer heat arrives June 20, 2021, and set to persist all week. (Photo by James Day on Unsplash)
Second day of hot temperatures rippling across Fraser Valley

Communities from Abbotsford to Hope will see daytime high maximum temps of 32 degrees

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Emergency crews shut down White Rock’s Five Corners district on Feb. 19, 2020 following an assault. (File photo)
Trial underway in February 2020 death of White Rock senior

Ross Banner charged with manslaughter following Five Corners altercation

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Most Read