Party like it’s 2099, or thereabouts
“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.