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Stargazing Party planned Saturday

June 14, 2013

orts Editor
If you're looking for something out of this world to do Saturday evening, both astronomy buffs and casual observers alike are invited to participate in the annual Stargazing Party on Saturday atop Scenic Mountain beginning at sunset.
The West Texas Amateur Astronomy Club of Midland will bringing some high-powered lenses which the public can look through to view the night skies as never before.
“The astronomy club will be bringing 18-inch lenses,” said State Park Manager Ron Alton. “They usually set up about six or seven telescopes and you can see quite a bit. I've seen some multicolored nebulas that are just amazing.”
The skies have to be fairly clear for the evening to be a success. In case of rain or heavy cloud cover, a back-up date has been set for July 13. Whether the stargazing takes place Saturday or next month, Alton hopes the community will show up and support the event, which in turn supports Scenic Mountain itself.
“After doing this for 35 years, I think people get outside less and less,” he said. “This is a good event because it's something different. It gives you a chance to be outdoors. And if you've never seen the deep skies through one of these telescopes, you can't even compare it. There's stuff in the deep sky you'd never believe was there. Events at the park are important and attendance is important. The park's visitation is monitored on a monthly basis and things like the Stargazing Party and the Movie On the Mountain we do each year, bolsters the fact that this park is being used.”
Admission is free and all ages are welcome. The WTAC will have their equipment set up for public use until 11 p.m.

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