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Star party scheduled for Mancos State Park

An image of Saturn in 2010. A view of Saturn is expected to be a highlight of stargazing program Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 p.m. at Mancos State Park.

Astronomer John Buting and the Four Corners Stargazers will present a “Summer Starry Night” on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 8:30 p.m. at Mancos State Park.

Buting noted that “fiery red Mars, Saturn’s surreal 3D rings and one of the best views of the Milky Way available anywhere in the world will highlight this telescope and green laser program.”

Attendees will learn the “multi-cultural mythology of the summer constellations and view the many celestial jewels that adorn the richest part of the pristine night skies still available to those who live in and visit the Four Corners,” Buting said.

Buting also said that there will be a very close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter that evening. It is best visible at 8:45 p.m. This is the third and final pairing of these two that has occurred over the past 2.5 years, he noted. Buting added that last June they were separated by less than 0.3 degree--the closest in 2,000 years.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own small portable telescopes, binoculars or cameras. However, only red light only is allowed after dark, so white flashlights, cell phone screens, etc. should be turned off or left in cars. Warm clothing is suggested.

The event itself is free. There is a $7 entry fee for each vehicle, so carpooling is recommended. Military members and veterans can still obtain a free pass for all state parks for the remainder of August.

For more information, call the park at (970) 533-7065.

Aug 11, 2016
Perseid meteor shower peaks Thursday in Colorado