Live Music & Star Party at Oracle State Park
Posted: 19 May 2019
Saturday, 18 May 2019, a Live Music and Star Party event was held at Oracle State Park, our local IDA International Dark Sky Park. In the afternoon Amanda Gormley, International Dark-Sky Association Director of Communications & Public Affairs Director visited the Park. Here are Amanda and Mike Weasner, Chair of the IDA Dark Sky Places Committee at the Park Gate:
Live Music was provided by the Saguaro Sunset Trio. They performed an easy-listening mix of folk, country, and bluegrass music beginning at 5:30pm on the historic Kannally Ranch House upper patio. Visitors brought their own picnic and enjoyed the cooler temps, live music, and sunset views.
Shortly after 7pm a fascinating surprise appeared in the sky high over Oracle State Park. A research balloon launched by World View Enterprises in Tucson was shining brightly in reflected sunlight:
This telephoto photograph shows some details of the balloon, which was probably at an altitude of about 100,000 feet:
Clouds provided for a colorful sunset as the music played on:
About 7:20pm the Full Moon began rising over the Galiuro Mountains east of the Park:
Hikers on one of the Park's trails
The Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club provided telescopes and interpretation of night sky objects for visitors. Here are some of the visitors viewing the rising Moon:
More telescopes and Park visitors. The bright object at the center of this photo is the star Sirius.
About 8pm the International Space Station (ISS) with six astronauts onboard made a nice pass over the Park, providing another exciting experience for visitors. The bright object above center in the top photo is the ISS. The bottom photo is a 2 seconds exposure to show the movement of the ISS as it orbits the Earth at 17,500 MPH.
Although cloudy skies hampered viewing of the stars and faint objects in the sky, all the Park's visitors really enjoyed the music, sunset, the rising Moon, and their time viewing the night sky at Oracle State Park.
Thanks to the Friends of Oracle State Park for music sponsorship. Photos by Mike Weasner.
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