moai_stargazing_at_ahu_tongariki_easter_islandBy Eric Elliott

Pioneer Staff

Have you ever looked up at the stars at night, blissfully wondering what exactly youre looking at beyond a bunch of lights in an otherwise dark sky? Wonder no more and make your way to the Astronomy On the Go event at Pynelogs Cultural Centre on Saturday, October 29th.

After receiving a grant from the Columbia Basin Trust, the East Kootenay Park Interpretation Program is unveiling a trio of Astronomy On the Go nights throughout the East Kootenay in Cranbrook, Invermere and Fernie to close out the month of October. Kayla Wilson, event organizer for the East Kootenay Park Interpretation Program, said they initially ran a trial event in Kimberley during the Palisade meteorite shower in early August that was a resounding success.

Everybody just had a great time that we really knew it needed to happen and how great its going to be, she said.

She said they decided on Invermere as one of the show locations because of the outdoor workplaces that many people working in Invermere have, such as in the mining and forest industries, who may find the event particularly interesting.

The forestry industry also gets people out and about and away from home and if you can look up at a constellation and say, When you look at there, Im looking at that same constellation tonight and Im thinking of you, it can connect children to parents or some people to lost ones, she said.

The East Kootenay Park Interpretation program will be bringing in John Reid, an astronomer from the H.R. MacMillian Space Centre in Vancouver, to give these presentations throughout the East Kootenay. Ms. Wilson said the presentation will work in two parts: one being a presentation with visuals of the various constellations and stars so that people know what they are looking at, and second as an interactive experience outdoors where people can look up at the sky and put their newfound knowledge to use.

Were really fortunate that its the new moon so all the constellations will really be visible so people who really want to get to know the basics of their constellations, when they look up, they can feel really honed in a bit able to see them clearly, she said.

Also, why it works so well is that one evening it just brought us all together and there was jokes, banter, learning, quietness together. It takes you from this planet, out. Sometimes we forget to look up and I think it changes your demeanor. It changes your outlook when you look up and its magic.

Those interested in making it out to the event are encouraged to go to Pynelogs Cultural Centre on October 29th for 6 p.m., with the event wrapping up around 9 p.m. There is no cost associated with this event.