Asronomy Night Oct. 23rd – near Platteville

Astronomy night on Starsplitter Hill

The Starsplitters of Wyalusing State Park, near Prairie du Chien, WI, will have one more program this fall–Saturday, October 23rd, at 8:30, Sharon Swiggum will do a presentation introducing the night sky–this will be done inside our astronomy center rain or shine.
Sharon Swiggum used to be a teacher, and she always tries to get the children involved in asking/answering questions! Any child who can sit through a 45 to 60 minutes would do fine. If younger ones cannot sit that long and the weather is clear, you can always come outside and wander from telescope to telescope to see what we are looking at outside. We often have whole families who are camping–babies, dogs on leashes, elderly couples and everything in between. 🙂

At dusk (around 7:30) we will begin to set up telescopes if the skies are clear.

Last week I was able to find 34 constellations in one evening.

Wear warm clothing! Standing still on a breezy night can be very cold, so bring several layers.

Don’t bring white-light flashlights. We use red lights so that our night vision is not affected.

If you have a star chart (planisphere), bring it along.

Everyone is welcome.

The program is free, although we do accept donations; you must have or purchase a park sticker to get into the park.

Unfortunately, the moon will be close to full, and it will wash a few things out of the night sky with its bright light. We still should be able to see the Andromeda Galaxy, Jupiter and as many as 4 of her moons, some star clusters and some double stars. Bring plenty of warm layers (it gets cold standing outside at night!). Also, we ask that you do not use white-light flashlights while in the area of our telescopes–white light ruins our night vision.

A couple weeks ago we had an unusually crisp-clear evening to observe at Governor Dodge State Park. I was able to locate 34 constellations–the most I’ve ever found in one night. The moon will get in the way of being able to find all of them this weekend, but this time of year is a great time to get out and see the stars–not too hot, too cold, or too buggy. 🙂
If you have questions, let me know–
Jean Nappjeaninwisc at centurytel dot net

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