Star Party Planned For Highland County

Highland County will once again host astronomers from the Charlottesville Astronomical Society for a Star Party over the weekend of September 27th-29th.  The final decision as to which one of these three possible nights is selected, based on the weather forecast, will be made by Thursday, September 26.  Stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio, or monitor The Highland County Stargazer’s Facebook page, The Highland County Chamber of Commerce website, and The Recorder Facebook page to find out which night is chosen for best visibility.

A number of Astronomers and some very powerful telescopes will set up atop Jack Mountain on the clearest night within the three day viewing window.  The public is invited and will have a chance to view nebulas, galaxies, planets, and other astronomical wonders.  The event starts off with an orientation session at the Highland County Public Library at 6:30 p.m. to explain “viewing etiquette” and preview what can be seen.  Those attending will then carpool to the viewing site atop Jack Mountain.  When twilight begins at about 7:30, it will be dark enough to observe planets.

If you plan to attend, dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes, and bring a folding lawn chair.  Red glow sticks will be provided because regular, white flashlights diminish night vision.  There is no charge for this public event which celebrates Highland County’s unique dark sky resource. For more information about the event, you can contact Michael Bedwell at 468-2316.  Here’s hoping for clear skies!

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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