Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

N.C. Science Festival continues with star parties Friday

Posted April 21, 2015

Morehead Planetarium Skywatching sessions at Jordan Lake (credit: Lee Capps)

The N.C. Science Festival continues through this weekend with all sorts of (mostly free or cheap) activities for all ages.

The festival, held at locations across the state through various hands-on activities, science talks, lab tours, nature walks and more, highlights the educational, cultural and financial impact of science on the state. There are lots of events through Sunday around the Triangle. You can check the festival's website where there are handy search tools to search by day or region of the state.

I wanted to highlight a series of events that will happen on Friday. They are the Statewide Star Parties. Here, families are invited to come out and explore the night sky with the help of telescopes and folks who know what you're looking at up there.

There are seven Statewide Star Parties on Friday evening in the Research Triangle portion of the state, which includes Wake, Orange and Durham counties.

Here's the schedule for the region's Statewide Star Parties. They are all free. They also are all very much dependent on clear skies. Right now, the forecast is calling for partly cloudy skies on Friday evening. Before you go to any of them, be sure to double check that they are still on.

  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., along the American Tobacco Trail in Apex. The evening begins with some hands-on activities and stories, followed by stargazing. To register for this free event, call 919-387-4342.
  • 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, at Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh. Bring a flashlight!
  • 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, at Weymouth Woods in Southern Pines.
  • 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, at Wilkerson Nature Preserve in north Raleigh. The Raleigh Astronomy Club will be on hand for observing and other activities.
  • 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday, at Little River Park in Rougemont. Volunteers from the Chapel Hill Astronomical and Observational Society will have their high-powered telescopes out in the meadow to observe the night sky.
  • 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, at the Duke Teaching Observatory in Durham. Stargaze with Duke Physics and Durham Public Schools at the Duke Teaching Observatory. They'll use 10″ telescopes to view interesting celestial objects.
  • 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday, at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill. Guests can expect to observe a variety of celestial objects, both inside and outside of our solar system, as well as to participate in hands-on activities. Advanced registration is required.
  • On Saturday, Morehead also will host skywatching at Jordan Lake. It's 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday.

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