Date(s) - November 18, 2017
1:15 pm - 6:30 pm
Categories No Categories
We’ll meet at Sky Meadows State Park for a walk up the mountain, picnic supper, and stargazing during the park’s last “Astronomy for Everyone” event of the year.
We’ll gather at the kiosk adjacent to the Visitors Center parking lot at 1:15 pm for our walk of about 2 miles. We’ll meander up to the Piedmont Overlook via the Gap Run and North Ridge trails and then return to the grounds near the Visitors Center. There, we’ll have our picnic dinner as we enjoy an unobstructed view of the sun going down behind the Blue Ridge.
Sunset will be at approximately 5 pm.
At 4:30 or so, Sky Meadows will begin their “Astronomy for Everyone” event. The event includes a youth program, adult multi-media program, and a guided star and constellation tour. In the meantime, local amateur astronomers will be setting up their telescopes, each aimed at some deep sky object of their choosing, and we’re all invited to take a look!
Dogs are allowed.
See the detailed program description at http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/park-event-info?id=SK170025-07. If you like looking at printed sky maps, you can get one at http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html. Scroll down to Northern Hemisphere, November 2017: Northern Edition.
For our picnic, we ask that everyone bring their own chair, meal, and beverages. If you feel moved to bring something to share as well, that will be lovely, but it is not required. We’ll bring card tables for shared items. There are no picnic tables.
Sky Meadows is a protected dark sky location. All lights will be off, and there will be no moon. You’ll need a flashlight with a red filter to maintain our night vision. We’ll have red plastic and rubber bands to cover your light if needed. You’ll need extra layers to stay warm, and a tarp and/or blanket are recommended. Restrooms are available.
Participation in any of the scheduled programs is optional. You may choose to simply relax on your blanket or chair and appreciate the stars because they’re nice to look at.
Sky Meadows State Park is on Rt. 17, 1.3 miles south of Rt. 50. There is a $5/car entrance fee.
You’ll be given a park map at the entrance gate. If you arrive after we start walking, I feel confident you’ll have no trouble catching up! Here is our walking route:
Boston Mill Road ==> right on Gap Run Trail ==> right on North Ridge Trail ==> left on Piedmont Overlook Trail to benches ==> back down Piedmont Overlook Trail ==> left on North Ridge Trail ==> left on Boston Mill Road