Highland County’s 2022 Star Party Planned

According to a press release, plans have been finalized for the 2022 Highland County Star Party. The date window is September 23, 24, or 25, depending on which of those three nights has the best viewing conditions, with few clouds, calm air, and low humidity. The final decision as to which one of these three possible nights is selected, based on the weather forecast, will be made by noon on Wednesday, September 21.  Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio, The Highland County Star Gazer Facebook page, The Highland County Chamber of Commerce website or The Recorder Facebook page to hear which night is chosen for best visibility. In case none of those nights work out, organizers will try again the weekend of October 21-23.

The Star Party will be held again this year at the Skip Jones property at 923 Sounding Knob Road, atop Jack Mountain, which is east of Monterey. From US 250, turn south onto Sounding Knob Road and drive up the fairly steep gravel road for approximately a mile and a half. The address is clearly marked on the left. While the road to the viewing site is sometimes steep, it can be traversed easily in high clearance vehicles.

A number of knowledgeable amateur astronomers will be bringing their powerful telescopes to give attendees a chance to see celestial objects visible in our dark skies. Bring your own telescopes and binoculars too.

Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes, bring a folding lawn chair, and plan to arrive around sundown at 7:14 pm, so you can get oriented to the layout before total darkness.  Carpool if you can as parking at the site is limited.   A parking attendant will direct you when you arrive at the property. Red glow sticks will be provided, because regular, white flashlights diminish night vision.

The public is invited, and there is no charge for these events which celebrate Highland County’s unique dark sky resource.   For more information, contact Michael Bedwell at 540-468-2316 or mbedwell6@gmail.com.

Following VDH and CDC guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should wear masks and all participants should maintain social distancing.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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