A certified Starlight Hotel since 2014, Trout Point Lodge is responding to tremendous demand for guided star gazing activities by hiring two staff astronomer for its 2017 season. For the past 5-6 years, the Lodge has offered interpretive astro-tourism experiences from its position within the Acadian Skies & Mi’kmaq Lands Starlight Reserve, which sits at the heart of the eponymous Starlight Tourist Destination. The clear and dark skies, with essentially no light pollution, combined with the Lodge’s position near the end of the peninsula that makes up Nova Scotia, have made Trout Point a draw for many visitors who cannot appreciate the stars at home. Trout Point normally only has one staff astronomer each season, but the Lodge’s owners believe there is enough interest among guests to have two experts this year.
The first of the two staff astronomers is Alex Nadeau who studied astrophysics at the University of New Brunswick and was President of the university’s Astronomy Club. Alex was also an astrophysics intern in Germany. The other astro-guide is Daniel Shaffery, who is currently studying at the University College, Dublin (Ireland) where he is pursuing a BSc in Theoretical Physics.
Alex and Daniel will use the lodge’s stargazing platform along with a Meade 10″ telescope, astronomical binoculars, a portable Celestron SkyProdigy 130 mm scope, and Coronado 60 mm solar telescope.
“I estimate we saw double the interest is star gazing last year over 2015,” said Lodge proprietor Vaughan Perret. “It’s not just a sideline activity, but actually forms the purpose of many of our guests’ visit to Nova Scotia.”
Star gazing outings are offered every night after dinner given sufficicent weather conditions. Such conditions can be monitored from the Lodge’s Clear Sky Chart at http://www.troutpoint.com/astro-conditions.html.