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San Juan Stargazers to host National Star Party

By Joan Mieritz
Special to The PREVIEW

The San Juan Stargazers invite everyone to the organization’s first National Star Party, Aug. 8-11 at Capote Lake.

This year, there will be as many activities as the weather will allow. Next year, the event will be scheduled to follow the monsoon in September.

People can stay at a motel or at home and commute for activities. There also is camping at Capote Lake, with a special area reserved for people to camp beside their telescopes. The Stargazers have the entire east side of the lake for campsites, viewing and activities. There will be a community hot dog roast on Thursday night at 7 p.m., with viewing to follow.

There will be catered meals at the event, starting with a 5 p.m. dinner Friday, before setting up telescopes at Chimney Rock to join in the Night Sky Program. There will be a gourmet dinner  at 6 p.m. Saturday, with speakers presenting research and papers. At 9 p.m., the public is invited to an astronomy lecture including information about Native American constellations and star lore, followed by a night of deep-sky viewing.

Local people interested in astronomy are invited to come for meals, programs and night-sky viewing. This is planned as a “Star-party extraordinaire.”

If you plan to attend, arrive at Lake Capote before dark and turn right to drive over the dam and park on the south side of the lake. Prices are reasonable and ala carte for camping, meals and each event.

The Stargazers are part of the Astronomical League, which includes clubs from all over the U.S.

The club has a website, www.SanJuanStargazers.com, as well as an e-mail address, sjstargazers@gmail.com and a club phone number (970) 335-8286. check the website for details.

There will be no Stargazers meeting on Aug. 15, but the club will meet again the third Thursday in September at 7 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce.

This story was posted on August 8, 2013.