On May 10, 2018

Spring star party invites public to gaze at the night sky

Saturday, May 12, 8:30 p.m.—POMFRET—On Saturday May 12, the Horizons Observatory will host a star party in partnership with the Springfield Telescope Makers (STM) of the Stellafane Observatory and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. The event will be located at the Horizons Observatory at Prosper Valley School, 1071 Pomfret Road, Pomfret, and will be free and open to the public.

At 8:30 p.m. Rob Hanson, co-director of the Horizons Observatory, will host a 30-minute presentation entitled “A Cosmic Sense of Place.” At 9 p.m., members of the Springfield Telescope Makers will have a variety of telescopes, many of them handmade, set up on the grounds and will aim them at a variety of deep-sky objects such as galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets for visitors to explore and enjoy. Rangers will also have an activity booth for astronomy-based junior ranger activities.

The event will occur regardless of weather. In the event of rain or heavy clouds, night sky viewing may not be possible but the presentation will happen regardless of weather.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a red-light flashlight, a flashlight with a red lens, or with a red piece of plastic covering the bulb, if they have them. There will be a limited number of red glow sticks available for those without a red flashlight. Even with red lenses, use your light sparingly; on a clear night, your eyes will adjust quickly to the dark conditions.

Finally, ask lots of questions. The amateur astronomers who are bringing their telescopes to this event love the night sky and sharing it with others.

For more information, call 802-457-3368 x222 or visit nps.gov/mabi.

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