A Time for Science, North Carolina Land of Water (NCLOW), ECU Integrated Coastal Programs and the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) have partnered to host a Star Party for the general public on February 5th from 6-9 p.m. at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head. The event will feature interactive planetarium showings led by astronomer Brian Baker beginning at 6, 7 and 8:00 p.m. with children’s activities, stargazing, telescopes, and opportunities to explore the portable, indoor planetarium throughout the evening. This event is funded by North Carolina Sea Grant and the North Carolina Space Grant Program. The Star Party will take place at Jennette’s Pier at 7223 South Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head, NC 27959 and the public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Brian Baker, A Time for Science Astronomy and Space Science Director, showcasing the portable planetarium at a school outreach event. Photo Credit: A Time for Science
“The Star Party is during a new moon, which is the optimal time to observe the night sky,” Baker said. “You’ll see the stars as you’ve never seen them before. Folks can use our telescopes or even bring their own to receive guidance on how to use them, which can sometimes be intimidating.” Baker studied astrophysics at Florida State University and has been teaching people of all ages about the wonders of the night sky for 11 years. He is now the astronomy and space science director at A Time for Science, located in Greenville, North Carolina. While the group travels for outreach events within their area, the Star Party is a rare treat for the Dare County Public.
This free event is an excellent opportunity for the public to engage with the nocturnal environment in a new way with expert guidance and observational resources. The event also compliments an ongoing research collaboration between A Time for Science and NCLOW in which CSI researchers and community members have been making field observations to help map and characterize the landscape, soundscape, and viewscape of the nocturnal environment across Tyrrell, Washington, and mainland Hyde and Dare counties.