Northern Prairie Star Party 2017
September 19 to 24, 2017
Black Nugget Lake

The fourteenth annual Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 19 to 24, 2017. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23.

For more information, please review the schedule and rules & regulations (PDF) and the Northern Prairie Star Party main page.

Keynote at 3:45 PM on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dr. Peter Brown
Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy

Canadian meteorite falls over the last quarter century – How has detection been enhanced and what have we learned?

Having been involved in one aspect or another of almost all Canadian meteorite falls since 1994, Dr. Brown will give a general talk about these falls, the development of a 20-camera meteor network in the last decade and what researchers have learned.

About the Speaker
Dr. Peter Brown is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta he got his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Alberta and completed his MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Brown studies small bodies of the solar system, with particular emphasis on the origin and evolution of meteors, meteorites, meteoroids and asteroids. His PhD thesis focused on the Evolution of Two periodic Meteoroid Streams: the Perseids and Leonids.

Public Talks on Saturday, September 23, 2017

Dr. Erik Rosolowsky (1:45 PM)

Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, University of Alberta

Living in our Local Group

Our Milky Way is found in a small “town” of galaxies called the Local Group. This talk will examine the two other spiral galaxies in our town, Andromeda (M31) and Triangulum (M33). We will discuss what these islands of stars tell us about how our own Galaxy has evolved over the course of the Universe. The discussion will focus on how galaxies build up their mass over time by turning gas into stars and on the importance of galaxy collisions in shaping the systems we see today.

About the speaker

Erik Rosolowsky is an associate professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Alberta. His research work uses radio and optical telescopes to unravel the connections between successive generations of stars in nearby galaxies and the Milky Way. He greatly enjoys teaching math, physics and astronomy at many different levels. Outside of work, Erik enjoys hiking, running, cooking, and playing board games. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and son.

RASC Edmonton Centre members (2:45 PM)

The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse That Was

A number of Edmonton Centre RASC members will have an opportunity to give a short 20-slide presentation on their eclipse-viewing experience. If you are interested in presenting, please email Rick Bramm.

Dr. Peter Brown (3:45 PM)

Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy

Canadian meteorite falls over the last quarter century – How has detection been enhanced and what have we learned?

Having been involved in one aspect or another of almost all Canadian meteorite falls since 1994, Dr. Brown will give a general talk about these falls, the development of a 20-camera meteor network in the last decade and what researchers have learned.

About the speaker

Dr. Peter Brown is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and Canada Research Chair in Meteor Astronomy. Born and raised in Fort McMurray, Alberta he got his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Alberta and completed his MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Brown studies small bodies of the solar system, with particular emphasis on the origin and evolution of meteors, meteorites, meteoroids and asteroids. His PhD thesis focused on the Evolution of Two periodic Meteoroid Streams: the Perseids and Leonids.

Observing Certificates

First introduced by Warren Finlay for the 2014 NPSP, the observing certificates are meant to give attendees a specific goal to accomplish with their observing during NPSP. This year, over the duration of the star party, participants are welcome to complete one or more Observing Certificate (three levels, from observing “with keen eyes and no optical aid” to “uncommonly observed objects for advanced observers”). Also for this year is a mini-bimarathon interweaving five laps around a short cross-country course (each lap is 700 meters in length) with observing 10 specified Messier objects. The mini-bimarathon is a shorter version of the bimarathon, a unique observing challenge invented by Warren Finlay.

The lists and instructions for the lists will be given out when people register on site at NPSP.

T-Shirts

The 2017 NPSP t-shirt design will be posted on this site when available. We will preorder the t-shirts like we did last year. Please let us know by emailing Rick Bramm if you would like (1) long or short sleeved t-shirt and (2) size extra small, small, medium, large, extra-large or double extra-large. Deadline for ordering your shirt is Friday, August 25.

Spectacular Prizes!!

When you attend the 2017 Northern Prairie Star Party, you will receive two tickets. One will be for a variety of prizes given out at the end of the presentations, donated by All-Star Telescope, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Edmonton Centre, and a number of individual Centre members. The other ticket will be for the prizes to be awarded at the BBQ, including a grand prize. Stay tuned for more details! If you would like to donate a prize, please email Rick Bramm.