Date February 6, 2008 at 11:00 PM
Categories Outdoors & Recreation
January 31st, 2008 (Santa Fe) - The Night Sky Program of the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance (NMHPA) and New Mexico State Parks in association with members of the Santa Fe Astronomy Club, announce a star party for Friday evening February 8th 2008.
Director of the Night Sky Program, Peter Lipscomb invites the public to the lodge at Hyde Memorial State Park starting at 7:30PM. Meet on the terrace up the steps and behind the lodge for an evening under the stars. We will begin with a green laser tour of major stars and constellations and then view celestial objects through telescopes. Take the short 8 mile drive from Santa Fe along Hyde Park Road (NM 475) for a stargazing evening that is out of this world! Admission is free.
The red planet, Mars still dominates the overhead sky. While the brightest star, Sirius, will be visible as a dazzling beacon to the south sharing the sky with the well-known constellation Orion. The Friends of Hyde Park will be on hand with cookies and hot apple cider to help ward off any chill. Come enjoy the beauty of a naturally dark and starry night sky. Many celestial objects will be in view including: star clusters, nebulae, interesting multiple star systems, and distant galaxies. The crisp air along with a canopy of stars and the winter Milky Way provide a peaceful setting for this time of year.
Under the leadership of the NMHPA, the New Mexico Night Sky Protection Act was signed into law in 1999. The purpose of the act is to regulate outdoor night lighting to preserve and enhance the state's dark sky while considering safety and the benefit of energy and financial savings. One of the first laws of its kind in the United States, the Night Sky Protection Act makes dark skies a priority in New Mexico to help preserve our natural environment, history, culture, and economy. To compliment the state law, many concerned municipalities have passed local ordinances that place additional guidelines on the use of outdoor lighting. More information is available in NMHPA's publication, "Consumer Guide to Night Sky Friendly Lighting" , which provides an introduction to the topic of light pollution and explains what New Mexicans can do to preserve a naturally dark night sky. The booklet can be downloaded from www.nmheritage.org or obtained by calling the NMHPA Night Sky Program at 505-989-3696.
The Night Sky Program is an educational outreach program providing information to individuals, businesses, and municipalities interested in working to reduce and prevent the negative consequences of light pollution throughout the state of New Mexico. The New Mexico Heritage Preservation Alliance is a statewide, private non-profit organization that promotes, protects, and advocates for New Mexico's heritage. In 1999, it declared New Mexico's night sky as one of its "Most Endangered" cultural resources -- an annual designation of historical properties, archaeological sites, and other cultural resources threatened by human encroachment and neglect.