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Contact: Tim Cruze, 806-857-3151
FRITCH, Texas – Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument will host a Star Party Saturday, May 23 beginning at 8:30 p.m. at Alibates Visitor Center.
Professor Arthur Schneider, Director of Renewable Energy at Amarillo College, will give an interpretive program on the night sky and stars of the Texas Panhandle. The program will begin with a presentation in the Alibates Visitor Center Theater, followed by an outdoor viewing in the parking lot. A 16" reflecting telescope will be provided, which will allow participants to observe star clusters, planets, and galaxies. Professor Schneider will guide visitors in observing the night sky with telescopes, binoculars, and the naked eye assisted by Park Rangers.
Focus for the evening will be our solar system, starting with a crescent moon, 32 % illuminated by the sun. Telescopes will show craters, lunar dark areas called seas as well as mountains and valleys. The brightest planet, Venus, will be visible in the west and Jupiter, the king of the planets, in the southern sky. Jupiter will be especially interesting with its four great moons (Galilean Moons) and the distinct cloud belts around the equator. Later in the evening, the planet Saturn will make an appearance in the southeastern sky. The spring stars and constellations will also be visible.
Professor Schneider has conducted star parties in the past at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Clayton State Park, and other schools in the Panhandle area.
Join us for an evening of star gazing at the Alibates Visitors Center and a short overview and orientation. The theater presentation will begin at 8:30 p.m. and the outdoor viewing will begin at around 9:00 p.m. Participants should bring outdoor clothing and lawn chairs – refreshments will be provided. In case of inclement or cloudy weather, there will be a full night sky presentation in the theater of the Alibates Visitor Center.
Sign up today for the first star party of the season. For reservations, call Lake Meredith National Recreation Headquarters at 806-857-3151. For more information, please contact Alibates Visitor Center at 806-857-6680.