Party like it’s 2099, or there­abouts

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

“What we have right now is a ce­les­tial tri­fecta,” said Cer­ril­los Hills State Park ranger Peter Lip­scomb just hours af­ter track­ing the Dec. 14 Gem­i­nid me­teor shower through the North­ern New Mex­ico sky. “A to­tal lu­nar eclipse, a full moon, and win­ter sol­stice all at the same time? This won’t hap­pen again un­til 2094!” Lip­scomb is more than a lit­tle en­thu­si­as­tic about the machi­na­tions of the night sky. His “star par­ties” at Cer­ril­los Hills in­clude juicy stel­lar tid­bits and views through the park’s pow­er­ful te­le­scope; he mans the State Parks Night Sky pro­gram; and he writes reg­u­larly about the plan­ets, stars, and other spaced-out bod­ies for The New Mex­i­can.

From 6 to 8 p.m. Satur­day, Dec. 18, Lip­scomb leads a “near-full-moon walk” along the trails of Cer­ril­los Hills State Park, where the moon­lit land­scape, ac­cord­ing to Lip­scomb, “will heighten your senses and soothe your in­ner lu­natic.” Dur­ing the hike, Lip­scomb of­fers tips on how to best view the eclipse — the first to­tal lu­nar eclipse in nearly three years — which can be seen from Santa Fe start­ing at 10:29 p.m. on Mon­day, Dec. 20.

Cer­ril­los Hills State Park is lo­cated 16 miles south of Santa Fe off N.M. 14. Moon walk par­tic­i­pants should gather at the park­ing area, which is off County Road 59 a half-mile north of the vil­lage of Cer­ril­los. Ad­mis­sion to the walk is $5 per ve­hi­cle. For more in­for­ma­tion call 474-0196. For di­rec­tions to and maps of the park, visit www.cer­ril­loshills.org.

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