Dark Sky Viewing Area to host first laser guided tour of 2024 on April 5

The sleek new light barrier at the Lennox and Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area, designed by Tamworth's Bon Eco Designs.

Adam Prudhomme

Lennox and Addington’s Dark Sky Viewing Area will open a new season of celestial observing with a once-in-a-lifetime event next weekend.

Starting on Friday at 9 p.m., the popular Laser-Guided Stargazing Tour events will kick off under a new moon, weather permitting. Guests will get an informative laser-guided tour of the night sky that denote points of interest and will have the chance to peek through a telescope.

A similar event will run Saturday night and a bonus Sunday viewing will take place ahead of Monday’s ultra-rare solar eclipse. Each event will get underway around dusk, which is expected to be 9 p.m. and will run for an hour and a half.
Admission is free, but pre-registration is required to ensure there’s enough room to accommodate all visitors. Tickets are available at https://naturallyla.ca/events/laser-guided-tour-of-the-night-sky-april-2024/.
While the Dark Sky Viewing Area will be the place to be to witness the night sky free of light pollution, it won’t fall in the path of totality (where the moon fully covers the sun) during the actual eclipse on Monday afternoon. As such, it won’t make for a great spot to witness the actual eclipse, though  Greater Napanee, Loyalist and much of Stone Mills will fall in this path.

The Dark Sky Viewing Area is located 37 km north of Napanee at 7980 County Road 41 in Erinsville. It’s noted as one of the premier star gazing sites in Ontario, drawing over 8,000 visitors annually. It’s a favourite place of photographers or those who want to set up a telescope and enjoy breathtaking glimpses of the galaxy.

This weekend is just the start of what will be another busy season of events, each one focusing on a different point of interest as they roll into pristine viewing. For a list of this year’s events visit www.DarkSkyViewing.com. Weather will also be a factor and clouds can spoil the fun. The Dark Sky Viewing Area Facebook page is updated regularly ahead of weekend events to let people know what conditions are like before they make the trek.

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