Nova East Star Party
August 18-20, 2023
Smileys Provincial Park
There will be no Nova East this year. Details on refunds / T-Shirts to follow
Atlantic Canada's Longest-Running Star Party
Organized by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Halifax Centre.
Please note that some of the menus displayed at the top of the page have nested sub-menus (+).
On smaller screens (e.g. phones or tablets) the menus are hidden underneath the icon at the top left of the page.
At the 2022 Nova East (the first one held after the COVID-19 lockdown), we had a great weekend looking up! What will 2023 look like? Join us!
Watch a time-lapse of the telescope field from Nova East 2022 Two nights of observing (and some Nova Scotia Constellations, e.g. clouds).
Nova East was originally established as the camping and observing weekend for the RASC Halifax Centre and has grown to include participants from many other astronomy clubs in the Atlantic region, and a number of attendees from the northeastern United States. All participants come to enjoy dark skies in a sociable setting. A limiting magnitude of +6 is the norm. Nova East occurs on a weekend near the new Moon phase towards the end of summer.
Nova East registrants have access to all events, including all talks, workshops, and presentations, three nights of observing (weather permitting!), the astronomers' lounge and breakfasts, and the door prizes draw. When attending the talks, bring a folding chair for comfort. Nova East registrants have onsite parking (if camping) or adjacent site parking (if not camping).
Cancellation Policy: Should Nova East need to be cancelled (severe weather, health emergency, etc.), registration and camping fees will be refunded::
- If payment sent via e-transfer, you will be refunded via e-transfer by our Treasurer.
- If payment was mailed in with a cheque or money order, the payment will be withheld until Nova East. The Registrar will contact you to determine the refund method.
NOTE: If NE is cancelled, you will receive your prepaid T-shirt. Sorry, there are no refunds for T-shirts.
DEADLINES: for 2023
|Mail-In Registration - August 5, 2023
|Email Registration - midnight, August 17, 2023
|T-Shirt Order - July 7, 2023
Special Features of the 2023 Nova East
Keynote Speaker: Jason Dain on: “Burning the Candle at both Ends: a Birding and Aurora trip to Lapland” (8 p.m. Saturday)
In March of 2023, I had the privilege of travelling to Finland, Norway and Sweden. While there I spent the days photographing wildlife and the nights photographing the Aurora Borealis. I covered several thousand kilometres across Lapland on my quest and saw some amazing sights. Join me as I some share some photos and stories from my amazing trip to Lapland.
Speaker: Dave Chapman on: “Celestial Birds: their Lore and Wonder” (8 p.m. Friday)
Dave will present a light review of the bird constellations, with observing suggestions for beginners.
Clean the Mirrors of your Newtonian Reflector (by prior arrangement)
Dave Chapman will help you clean your mirrors, with his portable cleaning kit. BY ARRANGEMENT IN ADVANCE ONLY, via email to the registrar.
Sherman Williams Walk (Sunday 11 am)
The walk is named to commemorate Sherman Williams, an astronomer and naturalist who for numerous years led a nature walk at Nova East. His contributions to our Centre and to Nova East were numerous. Join Pat Kelly—astronomer and birder—for a trail walk to look for birds that frequent the area. Sign-up for the walk at Nova East.
Door Prizes (Sat 7 pm)
One door prize ticket per registration will be issued during the registration process. There will be some "right some good" prizes to be won again this year! Note: Must be present to win.
Our famous astro-breakfasts are returning for Saturday and Sunday mornings: pastries, fresh fruit, juice, coffee, tea. What better way to start the morning after a night of observing? Be sure to bring your own plates and utensils. Cups will be provided by Robin's Donuts for the hot beverages, but you are welcomed to bring your own. Please note that no hot food items will be offered this year. Breakfast will not be provided to registrants on Monday morning.
A quiet place for late night socializing. A kettle will be available as well as basic elements for refreshment. This will be held in the Events Building from 10 p.m. to 1 p.m. only on Friday and Saturday nights. To conserve our night vision, a red light will be used.
Flea Market (Sat 11 am)
In lieu of the auction held triennially, it was decided that a flea market would be fun for everyone! Bring your astronomy gear, imaging items, and astronomy-related books you would like to sell. There will also be a "donations table" where you can place items that members can pick up their newfound treasures and make a donation to RASC Halifax Centre. Let us know in the comments portion of the registration form if you are selling or donating at the flea market. Email our Registrar if you decide after your registration has already been forwarded. Please keep items at your site until 30 minutes before the start of the market.
Photography at Nova East
Throughout the weekend during Nova East, pictures and video will be taken as means of recording events. By registering for Nova East, you have agreed that RASC Halifax Centre may use your voice, likeness and/or photograph for inclusion in the Nova East Star Party website and for use in communications to advertise the Star Party.
Registrants will be asked to respect a quiet time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 1:00 AM to 8:00 AM.
Nova East Etiquette
To make Nova East an enjoyable and safe experience for everyone, we would appreciate your co-operation in following the Nova East Star Party 2023 Nova East Etiquette.
Because of health and safety concerns, members will identify which scopes are available for public viewing this year. We will be notifying registrants and Park staff should this change.
The public are welcomed to join
Paul Heath for his Sky Tour & Lore,
Tony Schellinck for his binocular table Observing Program (please Bring Your Own Binoculars) and
David Hoskin for Walk the Solar System.
For information about facilities at Smileys Provincial Park and nearby hotels and amenities, visit Accommodations
Sunrise. Sunset. Moon.
To assist you in planning your astronomical observations, we have provided the times of sunrise and sunset as a guide.
Friday Evening, Aug. 18, 2023
Sunset: 8:18 p.m.
Moonset: 9:30 p.m.
Saturday Morning, Aug. 19, 2023
Start of Astronomical Twilight: 4:29 a.m.
Moonrise: 9:23 am
Saturday Evening, Aug. 19, 2023
Sunset: 8:16 p.m.
Moonset: 9:46 p.m.
Sunday Morning, Aug. 20, 2023
Start of Astronomical Twilight: 4:31 a.m.
Sunrise: 6:23 a.m.
Sunday Evening, Aug. 20, 2023
Sunset: 8:14 p.m.
Moonset: 10:02 PM
Monday Morning, Aug. 21, 2023
Start of Astronomical Twilight: 4:33 a.m.
Sunrise: 6:24 a.m.