March 29, 2013 : Royal Astronomical Society of Canada approves the new CATTLE POINT NATIONAL URBAN STAR PARK which will be based in Oak Bay, Victoria, BC Canada. It’s unique low lighting provides a wonderful location for star gazing.
The popular picnic and birdwatching destination is approved by both Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and Oak Bay Municipality as one of the nation’s dark sky sites – there are 14 countryside “dark sky preserves” but only one other urban star park.
Mark Bohlman, an astronomy enthusiast who got his first telescope as a child, first presented Oak Bay council with the proposal last October 2012 and it was ultimately approved by council in January 2013. The Victoria branch of RASC after getting the go-ahead Friday from the national committee, now plans the implementation. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Mark Bohlman <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Bill Smith at email@example.com
Some Preliminary Ideas for the Park
- Website and SmartPhone app to match the park’s location and date/time – with audio narrative – for sample content see “Night Sky” by Rick Nowell.
- Cairns to match exact location of summer and winter solstice(s)
- Some extremely interesting construct – Below is vision of how a monolith might look (ala “2001 – a space odyssey”).
- Say 12 feet high.
- Granite or marble.
- Perhaps with creative use of glass
- Embedded solar powered PC +
- screen inside glass/granite remotely programmable
Goal is to create a great learning experience for students and tourists.
Ideas are already coming in fast and furious. These include a real-time app for the park perhaps linked to the world-wide telescope or a real telescope mounted in the park. Also planned is an iPhone app and use of “Google Glasses” for tourists and local visitors.
The possible engraved “monolith” (ala “2001 – a space odyssey”) if permission is given to erect, could be engraved with items like :
1) Burgess-Sagan’s Pioneer plaque – engraved
2)Engraved Pale Blue Dot speech: by Carl Sagan :
N = R* fp ne fl fi fc L
•N = The number of communicative civilizations
•R* = The rate of formation of suitable stars (stars such as our Sun)
•fp = The fraction of those stars with planets. (Current evidence indicates that planetary systems may be common for stars like the Sun.)
•ne = The number of Earth-like worlds per planetary system
•fl = The fraction of those Earth-like planets where life actually develops
•fi = The fraction of life sites where intelligence develops
•fc = The fraction of communicative planets (those on which electromagnetic communications technology develops)
•L = The “lifetime” of communicating civilizations
Frank Drake’s own current solution to the Drake Equation estimates 10,000 communicative civilizations in the Milky Way. Dr. Drake, who serves on the SETI League’s advisory board, has personally endorsed SETI’s planned all-sky survey.