Cape Lookout National Seashore is readying for the season by resuming a monthly outdoor stargazing event and opening its visitor center in Beaufort on April 1. Neither are offered during the winter months.
The national seashore’s next monthly Astronomy Night at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the Harkers Island Visitor Center.
During Astronomy Night, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Solar System Ambassador, Brandon Porter, will introduce attendees to the celestial objects in the night sky that can be viewed with the naked eye, and with a telescope.
After the presentation, park staff and astronomers from the Crystal Coast Stargazers, a NASA Night Sky Network astronomy club, will host a Star Party to view the moon and other astronomical objects above the Southern Outer Banks through a telescope.
Organizers recommend that participants check the weather and dress accordingly, bring lawn chairs or blankets, water, snacks, bug repellent and flashlight with a red filter that helps maintain everyone’s night vision.
The Beaufort Visitor Information Center is at 701 Front St., housed in the town hall building. Hours of the center will be 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily after reopening April 1. Inside the center there are exhibits on the ecology and history of the southern Outer Banks.
The visitor center is across the street from the Island Express Ferry Service dock, which is the authorized concessioner for passenger transport to Shackleford Banks. Call the ferry at 252-728-7433 or visit islandexpressferryservice.com for details.