Stargazers to hold ‘Planet Pa-Looza’ star party


By Joan Mieritz | San Juan Stargazers

“Planet Pa-Looza” is the name given to the night of Tuesday, March 28, when the San Juan Stargazers will hold their next star party. 

The reason for the name is that five planets will be visible that night. Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be good for naked-eye observing from almost anywhere. Uranus pretty much needs a telescope to be seen, but all of the planets can be better seen with telescopes. 

This was going to be a club-members-only star party, but we decided to invite the public since the word is out on Facebook and more people may be interested in seeing “Planet Pa-Looza.” If you want to attend, please call (720) 626-9304 and leave a message with your name and number. Someone will call you back with information. 

It should be a fun night. We view from someone’s home so we can take frequent warming breaks by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate or cider. We have some tough and hardy members, but many of us are older and willing to take it easy in the cold. Please arrive just before it is dark and we will stay as long as you’d like. We have treats, but you can also bring something to share, if it is convenient.

The next San Juan Stargazer Club monthly meeting is Thursday, April 6, in the Community United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall at 434 Lewis St. Please use the doorway right off the large parking lot to the east. The front doors may be locked. If you would like coffee/tea, snacks and some stimulating conversation, you can arrive shortly after 6 p.m. for our social hour. 

From 7 to 8:30 p.m. sharp is the program, the topic being the remarkable planet, “Uranus — A Water World on its Side.” Our presenter, Ann Marie Kemp, has a special personal story relating to her dad and the amazing planet. I am certain that it will be very educational and interesting. Most people feel amazed after the video programs we have.

In April, there will be two deep sky viewing nights, on April 14 and April 21, both at our Meadows East location. Call the same number if you need directions. We have had some exciting star parties this winter with great viewing and important work on our telescopes. I hope that more people will be coming in April since the weather may be a bit warmer. We need to prepare for our summer of night sky programs at Chimney Rock when we will be back to using telescopes.

In May, our monthly meeting will be on May 4 with the same location and timing. Our program topic will be the planet Neptune. We hope to see you. Many people tell me that for months they “think of coming” to our meetings or activities. Save your thinking for our mind-blowing programs and just come. You won’t be sorry.