Blanco State Park will host a “Stars-in-the-Park” event on Friday night, April 19, 2013, starting at 7:30 pm. Aided by amateur astronomers from the Austin Astronomical Society and the Hill Country Astronomers, this celebration of the starry nighttime Hill Country sky is sure to be a stellar success.
The event will begin with John Watson, a local Blanco astronomer, using his computer-driven Stellarium – similar to a mini-planetarium – to orient visitors to the particular night sky above Blanco on April19th. Armed with an idea of what they will see and why it is important, visitors will then circulate among several telescopes assembled on the lawn in front of the park’s 1930s-era pavilion. Each telescope will be aimed at a different celestial object and the volunteer astronomers present will eagerly explain both the astronomical details and, often, the folklore attached to each object.
With summer approaching, the days are getting longer and longer and the sunset is getting later and later. Therefore, this will be the last Stars-in-the-Park event at Blanco State Park until fall.
Attendees are urged to bring flashlights with the lens covered in red cellophane or with a red balloon. Red light preserves night vision. Friends of Blanco State Park volunteers will be on hand to assist anyone needing red cellophane.
Attendees will also be able to join, at no charge, the Hill Country Alliance’s Night Sky Co-op. This group is dedicated to fighting light pollution and preserving a treasured Hill Country natural resource – our starry nighttime sky.
The event is free with a day entry permit into Blanco State Park - $4.00 for those 13 and older, free for those 12 and younger and for Texas State Park Pass holders.
For more information, contact the Blanco State Park at 830-833-4551 or check out their website at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/blanco/.