Lots to see overhead at Dark Sky Viewing Area this month

Adam Prudhomme
Beaver Staff

The summer cosmic ballet will continue at the Lennox and Addington County Dark Sky Viewing Area this month as they host a series of stargazing events throughout August.

Starting Aug. 3 and Aug. 4, astrophotographer expert Joe Gilker will be at the site to offer a laser-guided tour of points of interest which includes a number of wayfinding stars, constellations and asterisms and the Milky Way. Guests can also bring along a telescope for an up-close view of seasonal celestial objects such as mars and saturn. Gilker will also be offering views through his high-powered telescope as well.

The following weekend, on Aug. 11, the County will host its monthly Astrophotographers Assemble event. The informal evening calls upon aspiring night sky shutterbugs to come out and photograph the stars while learning a few tricks of the trade from more expert photographers.

Perhaps the highlight of the summer season will take place Aug. 12-14 when the always reliable Perseid Meteor Shower will take place. During this event anyone who watches the night sky for 15 minutes will almost certainly see at least one meteor streak across the sky, if not more. At its peak, up to 50 lights will trail across the sky.

Perhaps best of all, they can all be clearly seen with the naked eye-in fact telescope or binoculars can actually hamper the viewing as the meteors can appear anywhere throughout the sky. This year’s event is expected to be one of the best viewing opportunities as there will be little moonlight to blow out the view.

All events, which are free of charge, will begin around 9:30 p.m. and will only take part if the sky is mostly clear of clouds. Anyone planning to attend is encouraged to check www.darkskyviewing.com for up to the minute forecasts before leaving home.

The Dark Sky Viewing Area is located at 7980 County Rd 41 and is renowned for being one of the premier places to view the night sky untouched by man-made light pollution.

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