TOQUERVILLE – The St. George Astronomy Group and the Toquerville City will host a free public star party in celebration of International Astronomy Day Saturday.
The star party will be held at the Toquerville City Park, 250 W. Center Street, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The public is invited to come out and view a variety of celestial objects through different telescopes. Experts will be on hand to explain and assist.
From 6 p.m. until sunset a specially-filtered telescope will be pointed at the sun to show sunspots and huge hydrogen clouds moving through the solar atmosphere.
During twilight, telescopes will be pointed at the moon and the planets Venus and Jupiter. Venus is poetically called the “evening star” and it reflects sunlight brilliantly, while Jupiter is accompanied by four large moons that change position nightly.
After dark, at about 9 p.m., the telescopes will be turned to double stars, which are two stars that orbit each other; clusters of stars; the remains of an exploded star; a giant gas cloud that is the birthplace of stars; and distant galaxies.
An expert will use a laser pointer to point out the major constellations of the winter and spring sky.
Anyone who has questions about using their personal telescopes can bring them to the park, and experts will assist in setting them up and operating them.
Families are especially welcome.
Note: In case of cloudy weather, the event will be cancelled.
The St George Astronomy Group is an astronomy advocacy organization, whose missions are to reach out to the public through free star parties and other public events, and to preserve the dark skies over Southern Utah through proper outdoor lighting.
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