• Stars appear behind a dramatic landscape of rocky mountains, rolling hills, and fields of grass

    Santa Monica Mountains

    National Recreation Area California

National Park Service to Host Sky Star Party August 18

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Date: August 7, 2012
Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

NEWBURY PARK, Calif. -- Experienced and novice star gazers alike are invited to attend a free "Sky Star Party" on Saturday, August 18 from 7:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at Rancho Sierra Vista in Newbury Park. Hosted by the National Park Service and led by Cal Lutheran University's Dr. Mike Shaw, the family-friendly evening will include a constellation tour, a short night hike and telescope viewing of the Milky Way.

"Many of these objects are billions of years old and thousands of millions of light years away," said Dr. Shaw. "Consequently, the starlight that reaches us on any given evening is millions of years old, so we are literally looking into the past."

Dr. Shaw will assist the group in using a telescope to observe star clusters, gas nebula and double stars within the Milky Way.

Attendees are encouraged to bring flashlights.

Directions to Rancho Sierra Vista: Take the 101 Ventura Freeway to Thousand Oaks. Exit Lynn Road south (turn left if coming from LA). After passing the Reino Road intersection, go one mile to Via Goleta. Turn left at Via Goleta (park entrance) into parking lot.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area (SMMNRA) is the largest urban national park in the country, encompassing more than 150,000 acres of mountains and coastline in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. It comprises a seamless network of local, state, and federal parks interwoven with private lands and communities. As one of only five Mediterranean ecosystems in the world, SMMNRA preserves the rich biological diversity of more than 450 animal species and 26 distinct plant communities. The mountains are home to 20 endangered plant and animal species.

Did You Know?

Rangers from California State Parks and the National Park Service discuss program ideas.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area was established in 1978, but the National Park Service did not own public parkland in the area until 1980. National Park Rangers devised clever ways to promote the national park goals without land by creating thriving partnerships with many agencies.