Moon Landing anniversary events kick off early
On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface — the first crewed mission to land on the moon.
The Stockton Astronomical Society, Lodi Lake Nature Area Docents and Oak Grove Docents Council are kicking off celebrations a week early with two special events this weekend.
The events are a great excuse to kick off a week of celebrating Apollo 11’s great achievement — plus, moonrise is much earlier than on the actual anniversary.
“Can’t have a party without the guest of honor,” said Douglas Christensen of the Stockton Astronomical Society.
On Friday, head to Lodi Lake for an evening of star-gazing, with spectacular views of the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and more through the Stockton Astronomical Society’s large telescopes.
Start out at the Lodi Lake Discovery Center, which will open at 7 p.m. The center houses displays showing some of the wildlife visitors can spot in Lodi and the surrounding area, such as green herons, possums, Sandhill cranes, raccoons, skunks and more.
At 8 p.m., head to the area near the new boat launch where the society will set up their telescopes for a chance to view some amazing celestial sights.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking fees will be enforced in the lake’s parking lot. Street parking is free, but is not permitted on Laurel Avenue after dark. The lake parking lot entrance will be locked at 8:30 p.m., but the exit will remain open until the event is over, and cars may enter there.
For more information, call Julie Giometti-Wahl at 559-240-5612 or Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services at 209-333-6742.
The Stockton Astronomical Society will be out again on Saturday evening, telescopes in tow — this time, at Oak Grove Regional Park between Lodi and Stockton.
The guest of honor will be NASA scientist Dr. Kimberly Ennico Smith, who will give a presentation starting at 6 p.m. There will also be solar telescope viewing at this time, along with other activities and food trucks.
At 8:30 p.m., visitors will be able to view the night sky through a variety of telescopes shared by SAS members.
Like Lodi’s event, the Saturday evening star-gazing will be free, with a $6 per vehicle parking fee. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Oak Grove Nature Center, 4520 W. Eight Mile Road, Stockton. For more information, call 209-9538814 or visit www.stocktonastro.org.
Be sure to see Saturday’s Lodi Living section for more about the Moon Landing’s 50th anniversary and local celebrations.
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.