Northern Prairie Star Party


Presented by the RASC Edmonton Centre

Northern Prairie Star Party 2019
September 24 – 29, 2019
Black Nugget Lake

The sixteenth annual Northern Prairie Star Party will be held at the Black Nugget Lake campground south east of Tofield from September 24 to 29, 2019. Most of our group activities will occur on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28.

This event is open to the public – registration fees apply. Camping fees apply if staying overnight.*

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

If you need more information or have questions, please email Rick Bramm.

Saturday Afternoon Program (September 28)

1:45 pm
Project-based astronomy:
A fantastic way to ignite students’ interest in science

Ian Doktor
Jasper Place High School physics and math teacher (with students)

Bio: Ian Doktor is a passionate science educator and amateur astronomer. He spends his nights doing Astrophotography, Photometry and Spectroscopy and his days teaching Astronomy and Physics at Jasper Place high school. Several of his students have been involved in a variety of science and Astronomy projects including Variable Star Observations, Spectroscope construction and Gravitational Torsion Balance building.

2:45 pm
Liftoff! The Story of the First Made-In-Alberta Satellites

Callie Lissina
Project Manager, AlbertaSat, University of Alberta

The successful launch of the Ex-Alta 1 satellite marked our province’s place in space in May 2017. The satellite was designed and built at the University of Alberta by the AlbertaSat team comprised of about 50 students, mostly undergraduate volunteers, guided by faculty members. The Ex-Alta 1 mission paved the way for the upcoming Ex-Alta 2 satellite and inspired graduating students to pursue their own ventures in the space sector. Ex-Alta 2 is now slated to launch in 2021 as part of a national mission run by the Canadian Space Agency. Come learn about our province’s first spacecraft and what the students who made it will be doing next.

Bio: Passionate about space technology, Callie has been designing and operating satellites with the AlbertaSat team for four years. She was one of the primary operators of the Ex-Alta 1 satellite and is now Project Manager of its successor, Ex-Alta 2. Drawing on this experience, in 2018 she and three of her colleagues co-founded a space company, Wyvern, which will provide Earth observation data from a satellite platform. She is a strong advocate for women in STEM and for educational outreach. Beyond engineering she enjoys training competitive dancers at an Edmonton dance studio. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta, studying mechanical engineering.

3:45 pm
Solar system dynamics and the remaining outstanding
puzzles in our understanding of planetary formation

Brett Gladman
Full Professor, UBC and Canada Research Chair in Planetary Astronomy

Bio: Brett Gladman graduated with a Bachelor of Science in physics at the University of Alberta in 1988, completing a thesis project on solar system dynamics under Professor Doug Hube. He completed his PhD in Astronomy at Cornell University in 1996 and continued with post-doctoral studies in Nice, France and Toronto. He became a faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of British Columbia in 2002. His research involves small-body detection and tracking using many telescopes around the world, large-scale celestial mechanics and studies of planetary formation and evolution.

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Important Information

Directions  |  Site Photo  |  Environment  |  Sponsors  |  Annual Summaries

Join us for an unforgettable autumn weekend under the stars at the annual Northern Prairie Star Party at Black Nugget Lake Campground. Bring your telescope and your sense of wonder for stargazing under seriously dark skies (Bortle Scale 3).

Daytime activities abound – the site is located on a major fall migration flyway and offers exceptional birding opportunities. Lake shore campsites are available, with canoeing and fishing at your doorstep.

While bright lights of any kind are not allowed after dark in the star party area, since they immediately destroy fellow astronomers’ dark adaptation, a separate location is available for campers wanting to use bright lights at night.

Access to the site is entirely by paved road about an hour from Edmonton, making this an easy way to join fellow amateur astronomers for some autumn observing at a convenient dark sky site.

It is highly recommended that star party attendees reserve a campground site as soon as possible (starting May 1) by calling the campground operator at 780-663-2421 and stating that they are with Northern Prairie Star Party.

For further information please contact Rick Bramm.

Future NPSP Dates:
Sep 15 – Sep 20, 2020