2023 International Astronomy Day Set for UVic on Sunday, April 30

Public night-sky viewing begins at the Centre of the Universe at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory on Saturday, April 29

Dumbell star
The dumbbell nebula, captured by UVic student Seth Fleming-Alho (@wetcoastastro)

International Astronomy Day events will return to Victoria on April 29 and 30, 2023, hosted by UVic’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Victoria Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Activities will allow participants to view the skies, learn more about space and explore recent advances and issues in astronomy.

International Astronomy Day is an annual celebration of astronomy and an opportunity for astronomy enthusiasts and professionals to share their knowledge and love of outer space with the general public. Activities are available for all ages.

Saturday, April 29, 7:30 – 11 p.m.

Observatory Hill, 5071 West Saanich Rd.

Evening activities hosted by the Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, the RASC Victoria Centre and the Herzberg Institute include:

  • View the Centre of the Universe exhibits
  • Tour the observatory, including the historic Plaskett telescope
  • Watch a presentation on the growing issue of satellite constellations

Entry to the observatory grounds is by ticket only. Tickets are free but require reservation.

Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Bob Wright Centre, UVic

Family friendly activities include:

  • View the sun up close using solar telescopes (weather depending)
  • Tour the Bob Wright Centre observatory, home to one of the largest telescopes at any Canadian university
  • Participate in child-friendly, hands-on activities with staff from Science Venture and RASC volunteers
  • View astrophotography and historical displays
  • Listen to lectures on a variety of different astronomy topics, including the DRAGONFLY telescope, dwarf galaxies, protoplanetary discs in the Milky Way galaxy, life in space, and astrophotography the easy way.

All activities are free. Parking on campus will also be free that day.

Full event information

Looking for even more astronomy? UVic hosts an observatory open house every Wednesday night, and offers daytime telescope tours for school groups and other groups of all ages. Tours can be booked by emailing observatory@uvic.ca.

About UVic’s Department of Physics and Astronomy

UVic’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is home to the Astronomy Research Centre, and two teaching telescopes: the 0.2m Celestron and the 0.8m DFM telescope. The DFM telescope is one of the largest optical telescopes on any Canadian university campus. The Astronomy Faculty at UVic are among the best in the country, and contribute to research on a diverse array of topics, including theoretical, observations and computational cosmology, adaptive optics, stellar structure, active galactic nuclei, exoplanets, supernovae and astronomical instrumentation. Victoria has one of the largest concentrations of astronomers in Canada due to the presence of the UVic Astronomy group and the Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics.