Date(s) - July 6, 2019
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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We’ll meet at Sky Meadows State Park for a walk up the mountain, picnic, astronomy program, and stargazing during July’s Astronomy for Everyone event.
5:00 – meet for hike: 3.25 miles, 900 ft elevation gain. This gain of 900 feet occurs over 1.5 miles, corresponding to ascending a flight of stairs every 100 feet or so, 75 flights of stairs in all.
8:00 – BYO picnic/snacks
8:30 – junior astronomy program
8:40 – sunset
9:00 – adult astronomy program, look through telescopes, admire the sky
9:30 – sky tour with lasers
11:30 – park closes
(11:50 – moonset – waxing crescent (unlike the picture above 🙂 ))
Please wear boots or sturdy sneakers, and bring plenty of water along on the hike. Please also pick up a map at the entrance station. Entrance fee is $10. Save yourself and others some time, and bring $10 in cash. (Credit cards are processed over dial up. No wifi in that location.)
We’ll hike about 3.25 miles, heading out on the South Ridge Trail, including a quick side trip to George’s Overlook, and returning on the North Ridge and Piedmont Overlook trails. Total gain is about 900 feet. Sky Meadows rates the South Ridge Trail as Moderate Difficulty. That means it’s significantly more strenuous than your average neighborhood walk. The descent on Piedmont is fairly steep, not friendly to bad knees.
After the hike, we’ll retrieve our picnic supplies from our cars and have dinner in front of the Visitor Center. Please bring your chair, meal, and beverages. There are no picnic tables. Restrooms and water fountains are available. ALCOHOL – State law permits alcohol use only in private
areas (inside your cabin or camping unit).
For stargazing, a reclining beach chair, lawn lounge, or tarp/blanket is best. You may need extra layers to stay warm after dark.
If you use a flashlight, a red filter is required. Red plastic and a rubber band do the trick. We’ll have extra supplies available. Why? http://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/08/09/how-long-does-it-take-our-eyes-to-fully-adapt-to-darkness/ .
Detailed program description: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/park-event-info?id=SK190040-04
Sky map: http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html . Scroll down to Northern Hemisphere, Northern Edition.
Sun and moon monthly calendar: http://www.sunrisesunset.com/
Full size version of picture above: http://pictures.4ever.eu/cartoons/painter-182814