Join us for a dark sky adventure

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Monday, March 06, 2017

This will be Dark Sky New Mexico’s first star party. The group is planning to hold two such events each year. // DSNM
On Saturday, April 29, Astronomy Editor David J. Eicher and Senior Editor Michael E. Bakich will host a full day and night of astronomy presented by Dark Sky New Mexico, which manages one of the darkest locations in the United States.

The star party will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hampton Inn in Lordsburg, New Mexico. This site offers both spacious meeting rooms and a convenient meeting place, just off Interstate 10.

Both hosts will present two lectures each. At noon, Eicher will detail “The New Cosmos: Great Discoveries of the Past Decade.” Then at 2 p.m., he’ll reveal “25 Exotic Targets for Deep-Sky Observers.” At 1 p.m., Bakich will talk about “The Great American Eclipse of 2017,” and at 3 p.m. his topic will be “What We'll See Tonight.”

One object the group might look at through a large telescope is irregular galaxy IC 10 in Cassiopeia. This object is a member of the Local Group and lies only 2.2 million light-years away. // Mark Hanson
After a short break so attendees can absorb all that they’ve heard, the group will travel to the Dark Sky New Mexico Ranch in Animas, where everyone will enjoy a chuck wagon dinner. Participants will be able to interact with the astronomers throughout the event, but part two really will begin at sunset (7:55 p.m.) as the 3½-day-old crescent Moon appears low in the west while brilliant Jupiter dominates the eastern sky. Then, as night truly falls (9:24 p.m.), the celestial scene opens up to star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

For more information and to register for what promises to be a great astronomical get-together, head to Dark Sky New Mexico’s website.

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