Have you ever seen a galaxy directly with your own eyes? How about a nebula? How can the sky have holes in it and why are they black? Will Ison, the mysterious green comet, survive its brush with the Sun and emerge in the night sky in December as the “Comet of the Century” with a spectacular tail stretching halfway across the heavens? Will you know how best to see this once-in-a-lifetime event?
These and many other intriguing questions will be answered in an educational and fun-filled evening as Blanco State Park hosts its semi-annual Stars-in-the-Park event on Saturday, November 9th.
Participants young and old will meet at the Park Pavilion at 6:00 pm to learn about astronomy and have the opportunity to view stars, planets, galaxies, and nebula through a variety of telescopes. Volunteer astronomers will be on hand to help with the telescopes and explain the wonders of Blanco’s nighttime sky.
If it is cloudy, the event will still go on and will feature the Stellarium computer program showing close-up views of the heavens with many pics from the Hubble Space Telescope.
If you need red cellophane for your flashlights (to preserve night vision), Friends of Blanco State Park volunteers will be there to help you. You can also join (for Free!) the Hill Country Alliance’s Night Sky Co-op to fight light pollution and help preserve the Hill Country’s starry nighttime skies.
“We are very excited about this event,” said Blanco State Park Interpretative Ranger Brooke Bonorden, “and are looking forward to having a good turnout. I guarantee that everyone who comes out will learn a lot and have a wonderful time to boot.”
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 Blanco State Park at 830-833-4333, ext 241;Brooke.Bonorden@tpwd.texas.gov.