Free Evening Public Star Parties

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Free Evening Public Stargazing


The Ottawa Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) is pleased to announce the public stargazing schedule for 2016. 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!

See the Public Outreach page for a list other astronomy related events that the RASC is either organizing or participating in.


2016 RASC Ottawa Centre Summer and Fall Public Stargazing Schedule

See below for a list of public stargazing dates for 2016. It includes our target date for stargazing ("T") and a series of backup ("B1", "B2", "B3") dates that are alternate dates in the event of cloudy skies.


For example, we hope to offer stargazing on Friday Aug 26th. If it is cloudy on Aug 26th then we will schedule the next stargazing session on Saturday Aug 27th. If it is cloudy on the 27th then we will aim for Sept 3 and finally Sept 4. We will host stargazing on the first clear night of each row below. Thereafter, we will not proceed with stargazing for the remaining alternates dates in the row. Our next stargazing event will be in the following row.


  • Friday May 27 (T), Sat May 28 (B1), Sat June 4 (B2)
  • Friday June 24 (T), Sat June 25 (B1), Sat July 2 (B2)
  • Friday July 29 (T), Sat July 30 (B1)
  • Friday Aug 26 (T), Sat Aug 27 (B1), Sat Sep 3 (B2), Sun Sept 4 (B3)
  • Friday Sept 23 (T), Sat Sept 24 (B1), Fri Sep 30 (B2), Sat Oct 1 (B3)
  • Friday Oct 21 (T), Sat Oct 22 (B1)



** PLEASE NOTE ** : All events are weather-permitting. If the sky is cloudy, we will cancel an event. Sometimes because of unpredictable weather, we are forced to cancel an event with only a few hours notice. Before travelling to the star party please check here. We will post a "Go" or "No-Go" message here.

Next scheduled star party: Friday May 27.


Public Observing -- Start & End times

Public observing starts at sunset on every scheduled evening and will continue, weather-permitting, until 12:30 AM. You are welcome to arrive any time 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.


** PLEASE NOTE AGAIN ** : All events are weather-permitting. If the sky is cloudy, we will cancel an event. Sometimes because of unpredictable weather, we are forced to cancel an event with only a few hours notice. Before travelling to the star party please check here at this web site. We will post a "Go" or "No-Go" message.


Location & Directions

Carp-Library-Overhead.jpg
 We set up our telescopes in the parking lot of the Carp Branch of the Ottawa Public Library. This is in Carp, Ontario adjacent to the famous Diefenbunker museum.

Carp Library Address:
3911 Carp Road, Carp, Ontario.
Click here for a Google map to the site

If you are driving East or West on Highway 417, exit on Carp Road (this is highway #5) and proceed North. The Carp library is on the left hand side of Carp Road, just north of the Carp fairgrounds.


There is plenty of free parking. There are no washrooms on-site. The nearest public washroom is at the Shell gas station on March Road near Highway 417 (nearest intersection is Diamondview road).


Note: Please bring light clothing to protect against mosquitoes.


An Invitation to you

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? We'd like to help you.


If you wish, bring your telescope, mount and eyepieces to the star parties and we will help you. Please arrive 60 minutes before the scheduled start time (described above) and we will help you set-up your telescope before the sun sets. We are also happy to offer assistance throughout the evening.


Please note that you do not 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.


Contact Us

If you have any questions, please e-mail our Outreach Contact.



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