Earth Hour: Stargazing

A green and red Perseid meteor striking the sk...

Photo credit: Wikipedia

One of my fondest camping memories in recent memory took place one night last summer.  It was a weekday night at Darlington Provincial Park and there was hardly a soul in the park; there were probably only two other occupied sites in the Hilltop campground where I camped.  The night was clear and the wind picked up.  The surrounding trees protected my site from the wind but I could hear the water of Lake Ontario crash against the shore as the wind picked it up and threw it down heavily.  I wanted to walk down and take a look; the sound was haunting,  But I had just settled in and had started a fire.  So I stayed put and sat next to it.  Before long I was no longer memorized by the flame of the fire but by the brilliant glitter of the stars.  It was like seeing them for the first time.  I sat there for three hours with my head back stargazing into the night sky hoping to see a shooting star.  I saw a few in that solitude of tranquility.  It was a beautiful night that I will always remember.

This Saturday, March 23 between 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. at the Port Whitby Marina, the town of Whitby is hosting a free Stargazing Party as part of their Earth Hour celebration.  The Durham Region Astronomical Association will have telescopes available to the public.  Hopefully you too can catch sight of a shooting star.

UPDATE: 3/23/2013Earth Hour: Whitby Marina

Hats off to the Durham Region Astronomical Association for putting on their Stargazing Party.  Even though it was plus 2° C we were at the lake front it was very COLD.  More importantly though, the sky was clear and I saw Jupiter in all its striped glory along with two of its moons.  However, what impressed me the most was a crisp high-definition close up view of the moon.  It was spectacular!