Perseids Sky-watching Party and Astronomy Lecture 2024

Monday, August 12, 2024 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)
Night sky and telescope on grass.

Explore the night sky with astronomers from the Faculty of Science and Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The Perseids meteor shower will be at its most spectacular, so let's gather to learn something and then enjoy the view! We will meet first at 7:30pm in the nearby Optometry building for a short lecture by the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics' Dr. Liza Sazonova: "300,000 Years of Looking Up!"

300,000 Years of Looking Up!

Humans have looked up at the sky for as long as we have existed. Planets and stars have been by our side, seemingly almost within reach, taunting us to get closer. They were our first guides in the dark thousands of years ago, and continue to drive us to leave our planet and explore others. 

What are they? What makes up our Universe? Where did we come from? 

These questions remained at the heart of astronomy for centuries, and as we learned more about how vast and distant celestial objects are, we too reached deeper into space with our knowledge. I will talk about the history of astronomy: from the first recorded observations of the night skies to the modern breakthroughs in our understanding of how the Universe was billions of light-years ago. And of course, the mysteries we are still yet to solve!

This is a family-friendly event, but if your kids will have trouble sitting through a lecture, you're welcome to join us on the Columbia Fields around 8:30pm for the stargazing portion of the evening.

Note that if the skies are cloudy, the lecture will still take place on August 12th, but we will not gather on the fields for stargazing. Please register so that we can keep you updated.

Parking will be provided in Lot X ($7), near the lecture venue, and in the OpenText lot on Frank Tompa Drive, north of Brubacher House. It is an easy walk between both parking lots, the lecture, and the fields. Please do not park in the small gravel lot adjacent to the field, as your car lights interfere with our stargazing.