Ottawa #PopScope

February’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Michael O’Shea and Viva Dadwal, to support Ottawa #PopScope, a series of pop-up public astronomy nights.

“Many Ottawans,” explains Michael, “have never seen the wonders of the night sky: the craters of the Moon or the beautiful rings of Saturn. #PopScope is our proposal to reconnect Ottawans to the night sky – and to each other – by hosting free, public astronomy nights.”

“Last fall,” Michael continues, “we purchased a telescope that we set up in a number of locations downtown. Our telescope intrigued our neighbours, who stopped by to ask questions or chat about the night sky. We were encouraged by this positive outlook and enthusiasm for astronomy, and we wondered what could happen if we extended the opportunity to look through a telescope to other residents across Ottawa.”

Michael and Viva’s #PopScope envisions setting up telescopes for public use across the Ottawa region on a series of nights this spring, with the locations announced through social media. To be the first to know when and where to find them, visit

Michael and Viva are civil servants by day and self-described community enthusiasts by night.

Funded by Ottawa (February 2014)