GRAY — The Maine Wildlife Park will host an Evening Star Party from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.

Participants will see the night sky first hand with Northern Stars Planetarium & Southern Maine Astronomers (SMA) while rotating through different stations and activities to find out about the stars and planets above.

The evening will begin with a brief introduction to astronomy by learning to interpret August’s “Sky map” and some other basics. Participants will get an outdoor tour of the night sky while experts use green laser pointers to highlight different objects and features.

Later in the evening will feature the opportunity to look through multiple telescopes set up in different locations of the wildlife park, with staff from Northern Stars and SMA interpreting the night sky at each. There will also be a variety of night-time activities including constellation craft corner and a lunar-scavenge — or just walk around the park learning more about astronomy and what the park’s wildlife does at night.

John Meader, the primary educator at Northern Stars Planetarium, will lead an educational exploration of the night sky. Northern Stars has been traveling to schools, libraries and events throughout Maine for the past 25 years sharing the wonders of the sky with nearly 20,000 Maine school children each year.

Southern Maine Astronomers have been around since 2005, with their primary objective to educate and provide assistance to anyone wanting to learn about Astronomy and needing help with their equipment. They offer programs with schools, including viewing the Sun and Stars. And they partner with Cornerstones of Science, out of Brunswick, and help libraries with their telescope programs.

Clear skies are necessary to run this program, so those planning to attend should call the park at 207-657-4977, ext., 0 if weather conditions are suspect or for more information. 

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