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CHAOS Returns with Staunton River Star Party

What is a star party anyway? Staunton River Star Party is an event where
astronomers gather for gazing at the night sky with their telescopes.
You are invited to join in the fun 
March 27-30, 2014.

Having fun at Staunton River Star Party, in this photo by star party participant Steve Andrews

Having fun at Staunton River Star Party, in this photo by star party participant Steve Andrews

Why have a star party at Staunton River State Park? As it turns out, the sky here in this remote area of Halifax County is REALLY dark, which makes for excellent viewing conditions (weather permitting, of course). The folks from the Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society (CHAOS) found this location on a dark sky map several years ago. They realized that Staunton River State Park is a short distance from their home in Chapel Hill, NC, and provides all the amenities needed for a spectacular star party.

Setting up for the Staunton River Star Party in this photo by participant Pete Kubaco.

Setting up for the Staunton River Star Party in this photo by participant Pete Kubaco.

Members of CHAOS, along with their friends and fellow observers, return every spring and fall for this event that gets bigger each year. The spring 2014 Staunton River Star Party will be held March 27-30 and requires a registration fee. You can find more details and register for the full star party here. On Saturday night, March 29, the public is invited out to the park to join members of CHAOS for viewing from 8 - 11 p.m.

Here are some photos taken by star party participant Steve Andrews showing some of the things you might have a chance to see at the star party:

Very little light polution allows for good viewing of the night sky.

Very little light pollution allows for good viewing of the night sky.

Saturn with its rings.

Saturn with its rings.

Project 4 - MediumTycho

The moon's surface

There will be presentations on viewing the heavens above and viewing stations will be set up to see major planets (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) as well as many stars and other celestial objects. Bring a jacket as the weather will probably be cool. Parking is located at the pool parking lot adjacent to the Visitor Center (to keep car headlights off the viewing area) and is just a short walk to the observing field beside the Visitor Center.

There is no charge to attend the public viewing night on March 29th. For more information about this event, you may call the park office at 434-572-4623, or send an email . For camping or cabin reservations, call our Customer Service Center at 800-933-PARK (7275) or click here to reserve online.

Join us for the Staunton River Star Party and celebrate spring in Southern Virginia.

Location:

Staunton River State Park is 18 miles east of South Boston. Take U.S. 360 to Route 344. Follow Route 344 for 10 miles to the park, located southeast of Scottsburg, Va.

Its address is 1170 Staunton Trail, Scottsburg, Va. 24589-9636.
Latitude, 36.696066. Longitude, -78.685254.


Published: 03/13/2014


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