The community is invited to a star party at 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 30 at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road.
First, visitors will start the evening off in the planetarium to get oriented. Next, everyone will head outside to observe the night sky through telescopes. The summer sky shows off the Milky Way, which is the galaxy seen edge-on from its center way out into its spiral arms.
During the program, Chick Keller will talk about what is known of the galaxy’s spiral shape and show where dust clouds obscure much of it. The group will have a chance to look at objects that tell what’s going on in the night sky, such as star formation, age-old remnants, clusters, nebulae and more.
The party will be extra special due to the spectacular event in the evening sky; at around 9 p.m. Venus and Jupiter will make a close approach, passing within 0°20′ of each other. The size of the Moon is 0°30’, so this will be an amazing sight! The pair will become visible at around 8:43 p.m. as the dusk sky fades, 26° above the western horizon. They will then sink toward the horizon, setting 2 hours and 32 minutes after the Sun at 10:55 p.m. At closest approach, the pair will be close enough to fit comfortably within the field of view of a telescope, but also will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars
This program is free to attend, but registeration is required. In case of inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled for July 1. For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505.662-0460.