Dark Sky Festival - Seminars & Workshops
1:30 to 2:30 pm
- Basic Astronomy & Our Night Sky
Brad Blois - TAWBAS Volunteer
Newcomer to the hobby of astronomy? In this seminar, your presenter will take you through a casual tour of the night sky as viewed from your backyard.
This “crash course” in basic stargazing will guide you through the basics of what you can see in the sky, how the sky changes over the year, identifying the main constellations in all four seasons and ways to better see the sky with your unaided eye or a simple telescope or pair of binoculars.
- Aurora Citizen Science (NASA presentation)
Dr Elizabeth MacDonald Program Scientist, Citizen Science Strategic Working Group lead, NASA
In the last decade, smartphones and social media have opened a new age for geophysical research. Because the aurora is such a dynamic global phenomenon with relatively few satellites and ground-based instruments to cover a vast territory, accurately predicting real-time visibility of the lights is quite difficult. Citizen scientist volunteers are making a real difference.
Since 2014, the Aurorasaurus platform has engaged thousands of everyday people to contribute to improving our collective knowledge. Along the way, the innovative results have surprised scientists and captured the world’s attention. Largest among these discoveries is the beloved story of STEVE, an aurora-like phenomenon brought to scientists’ attention by citizen scientists. The first work was recently published that identified this poorly known light show that appears far south of the usual northern lights. STEVE, or strong thermal emission velocity enhancement, has touched many lives via citizen science.
- Satellite Clutter & Space Junk
Mike Couvrette - Tawbas Volunteer
Come and discover interesting information and facts about the proliferation or as some refer to as an explosion of satellites being launched. As well the presentation will look at the growing problem of space junk - how does it get there, how much is there and, what happens when it comes back (and a lot of it does) ... A good demonstration of gravity at work!
2:45 to 3:45 pm
- Basic Aurora Photography / Astrophotography
Mark McGuire - TAWBAS Volunteer
Wondering if your camera is good enough to photograph the aurora or make star trails? Let our talented presenter walk you through the basics of night-time photography.
For this casual, hands-on session, bring your camera and learn how to prepare for a quiet evening of photographing the night sky and the aurora borealis. Discussion topics can range from camera selection right through to the camera/video settings you should be using as well as site selection and preparation
- ABoVE (a NASA/JPL Project) - Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment
Leslie Garrision - Outreach Coordinator, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Climate change in the Arctic and Boreal region is unfolding faster than anywhere else on Earth, resulting in reduced Arctic sea ice, thawing of permafrost soils, decomposition of long- frozen organic matter, widespread changes to lakes, rivers, coastlines, and alterations of ecosystem structure and function.
Since 2015, NASA's Terrestrial Ecology Program has been conducting a major field campaign, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), in Alaska and western Canada. ABoVE seeks a better understanding of the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems and society to this changing environment.
- Dark Sky Preserves
Wood Buffalo National Park
Presentation of DSP in Canada's national parks. With more than half Earth’s dark sky preserves (19 out of 36), Canada is the world leader in protecting the night against human-made light pollution.
More details on this presentation to follow.
Tawbas Seminars - Saturday (Aug 21)
3:00 to 4:00 pm
- Meteor Impacts / the Earth gets smacked!
Mike Couvrette - TAWBAS Volunteer
Since the formation of our home planet Earth, it has been bombarded by objects from outer space and many of them have left their marks in a big way. In this presentation we look at the science of meteoroids and the resulting impact sites across the globe, including Pilot Lake NT, and on our solar neighbors.
The presentation includes a scaled down demonstration of a meteorite impact!
- Telescope Use and Selection
Brad Blois & Mark McGuire - Tawbas Volunteers
Join us under one of the canopy tents to learn more about telescope use and the differences between a refractor, reflector or the compact Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope. Find out how the different types of mounts work and their uses in astrophotography. Have that nagging question of what would be the best telescope for you to buy answered, and much more.
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Updated: 13 August 2021