Learn about the Night Sky at the Central Virginia Star Party
The community is invited to peer through telescopes and learn about the solar system Saturday night at a Star Party in Albemarle County.
The annual Central Virginia Star Party is provided by Dark Skies, Bright Kids, an outreach program created by the University of Virginia's Astronomy Department, and the Charlottesville Astronomical Society.
Several telescopes will be available to view the night sky at this family-friendly event. Astronomers will give tours of constellations as well as point out Mars and Saturn. They'll also explain how to find the North Star and why it's important.
Kimberly Sokal is a University of Virginia graduate student and a Dark Skies, Bright Kids volunteer. She says rural Virginia has some of the darkest skies on the east coast making them ideal for star gazing.
"The best thing about it is we really want them to ask questions about their universe and not be afraid to be curious," Sokal said.
If it rains or if it's cloudy, there's still plenty to do indoors. There will be a mobile planetarium set-up inside where you can also learn about the solar system.
Children will receive a free glow stick while supplies last. Organizers recommend bringing flashlights and blankets to the event.
The Star Party is Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Red Hill Elementary school located at 3901 Red Hill School Road in Albemarle County.
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Jennifer Von Reuter joined the NBC29 news team in June 2009 as a general assignment reporter. Prior to joining NBC29, Jennifer worked as an anchor and reporter for WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, MD. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story