Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Star Party and Night Skies Program at Paradise

Mount Rainier National Park News Release
August 2, 2011
Curt Jacquot, 360-569-6577, email: curt_jacquot@nps.gov

Star Party and Night Skies Program at Paradise: 9:00 PM, Friday August 5, 2011

Families and individuals of all ages are invited to the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park for a special program on Friday, August 5. The event starts at 9:00 PM in the lobby of the Paradise Inn with a short presentation about the National Park Service “Night Skies” program. The National Park Service has come to embrace night skies as one of the many scenic vistas the agency is a steward of. It is essential to keeping a park whole and touches on almost every aspect that is important to us - from sustainability to stargazers, and animals to ancient ruins.

At 9:45 PM there will be outdoor star gazing in front of the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center with Tacoma Astronomical Society (TAS) volunteers and their telescopes. Astronomy Society volunteers will also assist with special children's astronomy activities. All ages will be able to make astronomy devices called "star finders."

If weather makes star gazing difficult, the party will move inside the Paradise Inn lobby for a 45-minute film about the Milky Way galaxy.

Night Sky viewing at the park through Labor Day Visitors are also invited to join Mount Rainier volunteer astronomer-interpreter Don West-Wilke for night sky viewing Thursdays through Sundays through Labor Day. Don and his unique telescope will help visitors see the night sky (weather permitting) beginning at 10 PM at the following park locations:

Thursdays: Longmire Plaza in front of the National Park Inn

Fridays: Plaza in front of the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center

Saturdays: Plaza in front of the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center

Sundays: Backbone Ridge pull-out along Steven's Canyon Road

Mondays: Plaza in front of the Paradise Jackson Visitor Center

If you have questions please contact Park Ranger Curt Jacquot at (360) 569-2211, extension 6577. Information about the Tacoma Astronomy Society is found online at: http://www.tas-online.org/

General park information is available at www.nps.gov/mora or by calling 360-569-2211.

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