Free Public Stargazing with the RASC Ottawa Centre

 

Here's Our Public Stargazing Schedule for 2017!

Month Planned Date Rain Date 1 Rain Date 2 Rain Date 3
May Fri May 19
held on date
Sat May 20 Sun May 21 Fri May 26
June Fri June 16
cloudy
Sat June 17
cloudy
Fri June 23
cloudy
 
June Fri June 30
held on date
     
July Fri July 14
cloudy
Sat July 15
held on date
   
August Fri Aug 18 Fri Aug 25    
September Fri Sept 15 Sat Sept 16    
October Fri Oct 20 Sat Oct 21    

How to read this table

We hold one star party for each row. We'll hold the star party on the Planned Date if the weather is good. If not, we'll try for the first Rain Date, and so on.

What's public stargazing?

  • At stargazing events (also called star parties), our members set up their telescopes and share their passion of the night sky by inviting the public to look through their telescopes. Our star parties are held in the parking lot of the Carp Branch of the Ottawa Public library (scroll down for map, location). 
  • All star parties are free. They are wonderful family-friendly events and well-suited for people who wish to know more about the night sky. We do not sell or promote anything except our love of the night sky!
  • You do not have to bring a telescope to attend. If you have binoculars, bring them with you. Otherwise, just bring yourself!
  • All star parties are weather permitting. If the sky is cloudy, we will cancel an event. Sometimes, because of unpredictable weather, we might have to cancel a star party with only a few hours notice. Before travelling to the star party please check the Twitter feed on the home page for the latest Go/No-Go status.

Don't know what to expect? We've thought of that! Check out our Handy Guide for Stargazing Visitors.

Public observing — start and end times

Public observing starts at sunset on every scheduled evening and will continue, weather permitting, until 12:30 AM. You are also welcome to arrive after sunset and leave sooner than 12:30 AM.

People with telescopes are welcome to arrive 90 minutes before sunset to set up equipment. All equipment must be removed from the observing site by 1 AM at the latest.

Location and Directions

We set up our telescopes in the parking lot of the Carp Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. This is adjacent to the famous Diefenbunker Museum.

The Carp Library is at 3911 Carp Road, Carp ON. Here's a link to a Google map for the site.

Need help with your telescope?

Do you own a telescope and have difficulty setting it up? Are you having trouble seeing objects through it? Don't know which end to look through?

If you'd like to bring your telescope, mount, and eyepieces to a star party, we will help you. Please arrive 60 minutes before the scheduled start time and we will help you set up your telescope before the sun sets. We'll happy to help you throughout the evening.

Don't forget —  you don't need to bring a telescope to attend any of the star parties. You are welcome to look through our members' telescopes!

Other info

We are delighted that members of the Ottawa Astronomy Friends club will be joining us with their telescopes. They offer this short article on what to expect at a Star Party.