EXTRA Sky Event! Sky Watch at the Bonebrake Center

Submitted by Libby Sanders

Executive Director
Bonebrake Center of Nature and History

Come to the Bonebrake Center of Nature and History on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 to experience views of the solar system and the galaxy. Since the 2018 weather has been very rough on the events scheduled at the Bonebrake, we are adding an extra viewing to give the folks a chance to see the Moon, planets and stars in Salem. The event will run from 7:00 to about 8:30 p.m, and members of the Dent County Astronomers will be on site using powerful telescopes, including the Bonebrake Center’s kid/adult-friendly telescopes, dubbed “Charles” and “Shirley,” to explore the spring sky.

We’ll start the event by viewing brightest planets and the Moon in the evening twilight. It’s a very rare treat to see this much in just one evening. So, if you like seeing the Moon or Jupiter or Saturn or Venus or Mars, please join us. You’ll see lunar craters, the crescent Venus, Saturn’s rings, Jupiter’s moons and an ice cap on Mars.

After the Sun has set and darkness falls, we hope to be able to show you many interesting objects in the late-Summer sky. We’ll view some star clusters, double stars, and gas/dust clouds. We’ll point out constellations, too, using special lasers.

All ages are welcome. We’ll have our telescopes there will be free astronomy information from various science publishers. The Bonebrake Center’s “Kid Powered Telescopes” will be available for our young visitors. We’ll show the junior astronomers how to aim and control the telescope for great, unforgettable views of celestial objects. The kids will be more than attendees at the event — they’ll be participants.

There will be tools to help you immortalize the event with a smartphone photo of the Moon or a planet. So get yourself and your smartphone charged up for this event. We’ll use telescopes, lasers, and your eyes to help explore the night sky. All you need to bring is your imagination. Free astronomy information will be available, so you can continue to enjoy our night sky after you go home.

Sky Watches are always fun, with handouts, answers to questions, and sometimes a surprise or two! Dress for the weather (bug spray or a jacket may be in order) and come enjoy the views and experience a tour of the sky. This program is appropriate for the whole family and will be mostly outdoors. There will be access to the house and light snacks. The suggested donation is $1.00 per person or $5.00 for the whole family, but no one will be turned away. Registration is not required, but feel free to leave a message at the Bonebrake Center (573.729.3400) or e-mail at bonebrakecenter@embarqmail.com for more information.

To enjoy the night sky, we need clear sky and safe footing. We will monitor the weather as the event approaches, so be sure to check for cancellation due to unusable or unsafe conditions. If it appears the night sky will be too cloudy, the program will need to be cancelled. There will be frequent weather forecast updates on the Dent County Astronomers Facebook page as the event approaches. Persons may also call or text 573-247-0279 on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 18, if there is a question about possible cancellation.

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