A Night Sky program at Pecos National Park
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