Oracle State Park - Winter Evening Stargazing Event
Posted: 25 January 2015
Winter Evening Stargazing Event, Oracle State Park, 24 January 2015
To celebrate the accomplishment of the Oracle Dark Skies Committee (ODSC) in bringing recognition and attention to Oracle State Park's dark sky resource, a day and evening event was held at Oracle State Park with live music, a guest speaker, and stargazing. This message was displayed at the Oracle Fire Station:
The Oracle Dark Skies Committee and the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) had information tables:
Two telescopes that have been donated to Oracle State Park by the manufacturers were on display (and would get used during the stargazing portion of the event):
Donations by Star Guy (left) and Meade (right)
Live music was performed in the living room by Oracle's own "Drumension": introducing world ambient electronica, or "electronic dreamscapes" to put the visitors in an introspective mood before the evening star party.
While the Park visitors were enjoying the music, the Oracle Dark Skies Committee had a private "pot luck" dinner to celebrate their accomplishment of Oracle State Park being designated as the 20th worldwide IDA "International Dark Sky Park" and the first in the Arizona State Parks system:
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Rinio & Evaline Auerbach
Following the music, State Representative Frank Pratt introduced the guest speaker:
Arizona Humanities Council guest speaker, Ken Zoll, then gave an excellent presentation on "Ancient Native American Astronomical Practices". The large crowd really enjoyed his talk.
During the event, visitors stayed warm by the outdoor heater and the upper patio fire pit, and were able to sip hot cider and hot chocolate offered by the Friends of Oracle State Park (FOSP).
After the sun set, Park visitors began enjoying looking through the many telescopes that had been set up:
Telescopes and binoculars were provided by the Park, ODSC and FOSP member Stan Bembenek, and the Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club. The partly cloudy skies and cold temperatures did little to dampen the enthusiam shown by the Park visitors as they were thrilled to view several planets, the Moon, nebulae, galaxies, and Comet Lovejoy. Many just enjoyed being in a dark sky area so they could appreciate seeing the stars as they had never seen them before from their homes in light polluted cities. The last group of visitors reluctantly left the Park after 10 PM.
Go back to the ODSC Home Page.