Family stargazing returns to Mission Oct. 20, as Fraser River Heritage Park and Fraser Valley Astronomers Society launch the second annual Star Party.
Last year’s event saw more than 100 people gazing at the heavens through a wide variety of telescopes, spotting night sights like Jupiter, the moon, the Pleiades star cluster, Andromeda galaxy and more.
This year’s event will bring more such heavenly objects “up close and personal” for participants. The evening’s activities are free and start at 7:30 p.m. near the south edge of the park, where the scopes are lined up with a clear view of the southern night sky. A slideshow depicting Hubble and other high-powered telescope views of deep space objects will be running under the picnic shelter at the park, whether skies are clear or cloudy. Last year’s program played to a large audience that moved back and forth between the sights on screen and those seen through the lenses of the assembled telescopes.
Stargazers are, in effect, looking back in time. Starlight travels at the speed of light, so images seen through a telescope are of how that object appeared when the light left it. Even sunlight takes eight minutes to reach Earth. Jupiter’s light left more than 43 minutes before we see it, while light from stars left millions of years ago, in many case, billions.
Fraser Valley Astronomers Society members will provide information and viewing advice. A concession will be open, donations will be accepted, and everyone is welcome to attend.