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

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Laura Campbell was one of eight people to receive the Community Living BC Widening Our World award in 2020. (Courtesy of Laura Campbell)
Victoria woman earns provincial award for work with differently abled adults

Widening our World awards recognize community, inclusivity building

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point. (Photo courtesy CRD)
PHOTOS: Check out Greater Victoria’s new wasterwater treatment facilities

Long-awaited project has been up and running since late 2020

Staff Sgt. Darrell Underwood and Ian Gibbs, coordinator of volunteers for the Saanich Police Department, stand in front of the new Saanich Community Safety Office at Uptown Shopping Centre. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police call on volunteers for new community safety team

Community Safety Office to open spring 2021 at Uptown Shopping Centre

(Black Press Media file photo)
Court-registered sex offender arrested for breach of parole in Langford

Cameron Ratelle returned to correctional facility after female youth approached at bus stop

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

Most Read