Every Saturday night, the Dominion (ADO) astronomical observatory hosts the Star Party. Guests are invited to come and explore the cosmos from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm. DAO hosts free parties from the summer of 2016.
There are many nighttime activities that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, says Calvin Schmidt. Experts and amateurs can enjoy gallery tours, astronomical presentations, Plaskett telescope tours, and examinations if the sky is clean, planetarium and souvenir shop.
There are also things for kids to enjoy, including crafts and virtual reality stations with many different simulation options, including walking through the International Space Station, explains Schmidt.
John Stanley Plaskett is credited for the existence of an observatory. He wanted Victoria to become soft science. In 1910, the Canadian astronomer began working to revive his vision of Victoria. After a delay in construction due to the war, the observatory was open to the public in June 1918 – 101 years ago.
"John intended to share the observatory with the public," Schmidt says. "And that's the tradition we've continued."
Schmidt believes the Elder parties are a great opportunity for learning and spending time with the family.
"That's a great place," he says. "It's a combined history and a current scientific device that is nearby [we] live."
The Star Party will be held every Saturday in the summer until September 7th. Free tickets can be purchased online before the event so organizers know how many people will be present because they have a capacity of 200 people.
Schmidt says tickets often sell, but some report for more than they need. The organizers are re-issuing the tickets for not delivering at 8 o'clock. There are activities throughout the night, he explains, so people can come at any time.