Celebrating Dark Skies in Jasper, Alberta
This weekend Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada celebrates the night sky at its annual Dark Sky Festival.
Last night was wonderful. Skies cleared at Lake Annette for a star party with 1000 people in attendance. The event was a core program of a week-long Festival celebrating Jasper National Park’s status as a Dark Sky Preserve.
The top photo shows what we’re celebrating – the stars and Milky Way reflected in the still waters of Lake Annette. What you don’t see in that image are the hundreds of people behind me enjoying the star party.
I’m one of the featured guest speakers, though last night my role at the star party was to assist at informal tutorials to help people take their own night sky images. And lots of people showed up with cameras and tripods and got great shots.
While I was not able to make the rounds of all the activities, elsewhere at Lake Annette (just follow the coloured rope lights!) there were talks, First Nations performances and storytelling, laser tours of the sky, activities for kids, and lots of telescopes to look through. Everyone got to see amazing sights in the sky.
Shuttle buses from town came and went through the night, to avoid a parking lot jam. The Festival is a huge hit, with hotels in town filled – there isn’t a room available.
The event went very well, at what was perhaps Canada’s largest public star party ever held under dark skies.
– Alan, October 25, 2014 / © 2014 Alan Dyer