When you visit Canada, one of the first things you may notice is the large number of observatories that are located in Canada. There are at least ten which are affiliated with or operated by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Three are in British Columbia, three are in Ontario, and Nova Scotia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec all boast one.
These observatories, as well as others around the country of Canada, take advantage of the fact that Canada has very minimal light pollution, which makes it easier to observe the stars and planets. In addition, Canada’s cool (sometimes very cold) weather offers optimal conditions for viewing the night sky. This is further enhanced when an observatory is located in an area that has high altitude, thus allowing for more visibility.
Because conditions are so favorable for observatory viewing in Canada, much of the research involving space is performed there. The researchers make sure to use telescopes with the latest technology so that they can provide the most accurate information.
Many of the major observatories, as well as some of the smaller ones, are open for tours. You can find out which ones are by utilizing the information found on Canada 411. Even if they’re not open for tours, though, don’t let that stop you from visiting one. You can still see the night sky, and you will no doubt be fascinated by what you can see.
Dress appropriately for the weather if you are visiting one of the high-altitude observatories. The temperature can be markedly different on the higher elevations than on the lower ones, and you want to be comfortable. It’s easier to see the stars and planets if you’re not shivering and your teeth aren’t chattering. Again, Canada 411 can give you weather information so you’ll know how to dress.