A Night Sky pro­gram at Pecos Na­tional Park

Pasatiempo - - CONTENTS -

Ex­pe­ri­enced stargaz­ers and novices alike are in­vited to a Night Sky pro­gram at Pecos Na­tional His­toric Park at 8 p.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 3. Led by in­ter­pre­tive park ranger Eric Sainio, the free event takes place in the main park head­quar­ters park­ing lot. A few tele­scopes will be avail­able for use, and at­ten­dees are wel­come to bring their own if they wish. Sainio said the main plan­ets vis­i­ble that night will be Saturn and Mars as they align with the red­dish-hued Antares, or Al­pha Scor­pii, the largest star in the Scor­pius con­stel­la­tion and among the 20 bright­est stars in the night sky. The pri­mary goal of the evening is to learn to­gether while “look­ing at the vast­ness of the galaxy and the vast­ness of imag­i­na­tion” in the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. This is the sec­ond such event the park has hosted this sum­mer, and Sainio hopes to con­tinue the pro­gram next year. He in­sisted that be­cause he is not an ex­pert in as­tron­omy, he likes a great deal of au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion and is open to all ques­tions and ob­ser­va­tions.

If you go, wear long sleeves and closed shoes, as it gets cold in Pecos at night and, due to the re­cent wet weather, the mos­qui­toes are par­tic­u­larly ac­tive right now. (Bug spray is also en­cour­aged.) For more in­for­ma­tion, call 505-757-7241. — Jen­nifer Levin

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