HOBBS STATE PARK EVENTS
Evening of Night Sky
A special Hobbs State Park Star Party, co-hosted by the Sugar Creek Astronomical Society and the Photographic Society of NWA, will be held Saturday, May 12. The night begins with short lectures at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Star Party beginning at 8:30 p.m. in which the public will be able to look through powerful telescopes and practice dark-sky photography. The course is free and will be held at the Visitor Center.
Tim Johnson of the Photographic Society of NWA will kick off the evening with a brief presentation on “Night Photography.” He will show some of the equipment used, techniques, and share some amazing examples of the kind of photographs of the night sky that can be achieved. Following the lecture, take your own night-sky photographs during the Star Party.
Rick Marshall, president of Sugar Creek Astronomical Society, will give a presentation on the king of the planets, Jupiter. He will cover some facts about the largest planet in our solar system, the history of human investigation of Jupiter and its moons, and what to expect when looking at Jupiter during the Star Party.
What to bring if you can: Camera and a tripod for night-sky photography; flashlight (covered with a red cloth or red balloon); binoculars and/or telescope; folding chair for one per person and a star chart if you have one.
Come hear and see an exceptionally interesting and informative program on a most timely subject. Handouts on a variety of nature subjects will be available. This will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 3, at the Park Visitor Center and there is no cost to attend.
Denis Dean, 15-year Arkansas and Florida master naturalist, will speak on the plight of these majestic carnivores. According to Dean, “This program is about the effect the melting ice is having on polar bears and the loss of their habitat — which may cause the entire population to revert back to where they originated, as brown bears. Scientific evidence has found that the brown bear, a species that also includes grizzly bears, was a precursor to polar bears, which then went on to develop specializations for inhabiting the harsh Arctic.”
According to “Science” magazine, polar bears burn up to 12,300 calories per day, mainly on a diet of seals. How do they “hunt” those seals? The bears wait for hours by seals’ coneshaped breathing holes in the sea ice. When a seal surfaces to breathe, the bear stands on its hind legs and smacks the seal on the head with both of its front paws to stun it. Then the bear bites it on the neck and drags it onto the ice. They’re far more successful doing this than any other method of hunting.
The Hobbs State Park-Conservation Area Visitor Center contact phone number is 479789-5006 and is located on Arkansas Highway 12 just east of the War Eagle Road intersection. To learn more about upcoming Friends of Hobbs speakers and other park programs, go to www. friendsofhobbs.com.