Planetary journey takes in the sights of Oak Bay

Sunday morning walk starts off from Oak Bay municipal hall

Doreen Hall

Doreen Hall

A group is preparing to take a tour of the solar system without ever leaving Oak Bay.

The inaugural Vancouver Island Walk of the Inner Planets is set for March 15, when a group of sky watchers will stroll along a scale-replica journey through our planetary neighbours.

“First of all, it’s a great way to explore Oak Bay. A good part of the route is along the Centennial Trail that was created in 2000,” said walk organizer Bill Smith. “But more than that, it’s to get people talking about the planets.”

Smith devised the idea of a scale-replica model of the solar system not long after the Cattle Point Star Park was created in Oak Bay to raise awareness of the problem of light pollution.

“I wanted to create some reason why people might want to go there during the day when they can’t see the stars,” he said. “How do I make these buses of tourists stop there?”

He at first wanted to create a model of the solar system at Cattle Point but was informed it would be impossible to get permission for any more cairns along the water. But that wasn’t enough to stop Smith, who instead simply shifted his model to a much larger scale.

With Cattle Point representing the sun, Mercury is at Willows Beach, Venus at the Oak Bay Native Plant Garden, Earth at Anderson Park, Mars at Gonzales Lookout, Jupiter at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Saanich, Saturn at the Sooke Potholes, Uranus at China Beach, Neptune at Port Renfrew and Pluto at Bamfield.

“We now have the world’s biggest orrery [planetary model],” said Smith. “On the same scale, the edge of the solar system is called the Oort Cloud, and the Oort Cloud is at the Canadian Embasy in Beijing.”

But the March 15 walk will stick to the inner planets so passports won’t be required.

For the purpose of the walk, Oak Bay’s municipal hall will be substituted for Jupiter’s moon Europa, and it is there the walk will start at 10 a.m. It will travel along Foul Bay Road (the asteroid belt), before going on to Gonzales Lookout, Blueberry Hill, the Native Plant Garden across from the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, past the marina to Willows Beach and back to the Village along Bowker Creek, stopping for refreshments at the conclusion.

Smith estimates the walk will take between two and three hours.

“I did it with my dog and it was really quite easy,” he said. “I don’t want people to be intimidated.”

Those wanting to participate in the walk are asked to meet at the municipal hall at 10 a.m. March 15. You can view some of the sights from along the walk at http://imgur.com/a/bDcmY#0.

 

editor@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Victoria police continue to look for missing man Tyrone Goertzen and are once again asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police put out another call for help finding missing man

Tyrone Goertzen, 33, was first reported missing June 4

Rachel Rivera (left) and Claire Ouchi are a dynamic art duo known as the WKNDRS. The two painted the new road mural at Uptown. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Artistic mural at Uptown brings creativity, fun to summer shoppers in Saanich

Road installation the largest of its kind in Greater Victoria

Kathy and Doug LaFortune stand next to the new welcome pole now gracing the front entrance of KELSET Elementary School in North Saanich. LaFortune completed the piece after suffering a stroke with the help of his wife and son Bear. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
KELSET school in North Saanich unveils welcome pole on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Carver Doug LaFortune completed pole with the help of his son, wife after suffering a stroke

Colwood council is looking at potential summer weekend closures to traffic of a section of Ocean Boulevard at Esquimalt Lagoon, to allow for more of a park-like setting during summer events such as the popular Eats & Beats event, shown here in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Mayor lobbying for summer weekend closures of beachfront Colwood roadway

Rob Martin to bring motion forward to June 28 council meeting

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read