This month’s Astronomy Night at Cape Lookout National Seashore, a certified International Dark Sky Park, will feature a starlight cruise around the lighthouse as well as star gazing from park grounds.
Cape Lookout, the Crystal Coast Stargazers, a NASA Night Sky Network astronomy club, and Island Express Ferry Service, the park’s authorized passenger ferry service concessionaire, partnered for this special night set for Aug. 27 at the park’s Harkers Island Visitor Center.
The ferry will leave Harkers Island Visitor Center at 8 p.m. and return from the lighthouse dock at 10 p.m. Matthew Bruce, a NASA solar system ambassador, will give a laser-pointed tour describing the celestial objects of the night sky from the beach.
Space on the cruise is limited and reservations are required. The program is free. Ferry tickets are $27 for adults & $17 for ages 11 and under.
For those who want to stay on land, park staff and astronomers from the Crystal Coast Stargazers will host a star party on the visitor center grounds. Participants will be able to see the moon, and other astronomical objects above the Southern Outer Banks through the lens of a telescope.
The free event is kid-friendly, but please no pets. Stargazing is weather dependent.
Organizers suggest monitoring the weather or calling the Harkers Island Visitor Center at 252-728-2250 before 5 p.m. the day of the event to confirm status, and dressing accordingly. Attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs or blankets, water, snacks, bug repellent, and flashlight with a red filter that helps in maintaining everyone’s night vision.
Those who own telescopes can bring them to Astronomy Night.
For more information, go to http://go.nps.gov/astronomynight.