Jasper Star Party celebrating the David Thompson Bicentennial
Feb 5, 2011

Celebrate the David Thompson Bicentennial
with a Star Party at the Jasper Activity Centre.

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
Jasper Activity Centre

Come out to view some celestial wonders through telescopes. Astronomers from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada will be on hand to guide you through a beautiful dark sky to view planets, galaxies, nebulae and star clusters.

20110205_DTimage200 years ago, David Thompson, explorer and fur trader, navigated his way through the Rocky Mountains in search of a northwest route to the Pacific Ocean. With the surveying instruments of his time and “data from the sky”, he mapped the interior of Western North America with remarkable accuracy.

Join an astronomer for a constellation walk; have a race through the solar system; first-scope children’s hands-on astronomy.

Star Party Poster

Star Party Poster

Cloudy? Cold? Snowy? Regardless of the weather, a full roster of activities and presentations will be ongoing in the main Lodge.

Astronomy Presentations:

  • “Bringing Black Holes Down to Earth” with Dr. Sharon Morsink
  • “Our Inseparable Connection to Starlight” with Dr. Douglas P. Hube
  • “The Unfolding of a Cosmic Drama: The Death of a Star” with Dr. Massimo Torri
  • “Outer Space for Indoor Spaces!” with Frank Florian, from the TELUS World of Science — Celestial adventures in a state of the art inflatable planetarium

Astronomy Activities: 

  • Make your own Telescope ($15 material fee)
  • Astro-art, make a star map or planisphere and more

Warm Beverages and hearty chili available ($)

Bring warm clothing, warm boots, a flashlight which we can modify with a red filter or a head lamp with red lighting option. To reduce light pollution, a shuttle bus will transport all participants to and from viewing area.

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Speaker Bio’s

“Bringing Black Holes Down to Earth”
Dr. Sharon Morsink – Speaker
Associate Professor and Assoc. Chair (Graduate Studies)
Department of Physics
University of Alberta

20110205_sta1Sharon Morsink grew up in Windsor Ontario, studied physics at the University of Waterloo, and then did a PhD on black holes at the University of Alberta. After her postdoctoral research on neutron stars at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Sharon was hired as a professor at the University of Alberta. Sharon now teaches astronomy and physics courses at the U of A, where she also coordinates the public observing program, and does research involving X-ray observations and computational modeling of neutron stars.

As a child Sharon was fascinated by many different areas of science, but one turning point was the day that NASA sent her a parcel of brochures about astronomy. Aside from her professional involvement in astrophysics, Sharon enjoys looking through binoculars and small telescopes just for fun. Sharon is also an avid hiker and cross-country skier, and she loves Jasper National Park!

“Outer Space for Indoor Spaces!”
Frank Florian – Planetarium Show Presenter
Director of Space Sciences
TELUS World of Science Edmonton

20110205_sta2Although Frank Florian’s favourite place to be, except for being outdoors with his three young children, is at the eyepiece of one of his many telescopes. Frank’s celestial adventures can happen anywhere that his imagination, vast knowledge, and state-of-the-art inflatable planetarium will fit. Look out – your children will not want to leave this magical starry dome adventure and return to four walls!20110205_sta3

Frank speaks in the language of all ages and is the heart of community astronomy in the Edmonton area.

“Our Inseparable Connection to Starlight”
Dr. Douglas P. Hube – Speaker
Professor Emeritus (Physics and Astronomy)
Department of Physics
University of Alberta

20110205_sta4Doug Hube is a professional observational astronomer (retired) whose contributions to making astronomy accessible to the community are well known.

20110205_sta5Doug has much experience with dark-sky sites in Canada, the U.S.A., Chile and South Africa and is thrilled to present under the diamond-studded dark skies of Jasper National Park, home to both wildlife and wild aurora displays.

20110205_sta6The Northern Lights are among his favorite topics of discussion, as well as the intimate connections between the Sun, Earth and the space environment.




“The Unfolding of a Cosmic Drama: The Death of a Star”
Dr. Massimo Torri – Speaker
PhD. Physics
University of Milan

20110205_sta7Massimo Torri is an amateur astronomer at heart. He developed an interest in astronomy at the age of nine when he had a chance to read a pocket book entitled “Stars”, which he still owns after more than 30 years. Massimo sees the night sky as an open book full of great stories to tell and that’s why he is very active in the area of public education, particularly among K-12 children. From the nitty-gritty details of dark-sky photography, to giving simple answers to your complex questions, Massimo ‘is the man’ when it comes to satisfying your curiosity about the universe.