Tarleton’s annual ‘Star Party’ twinkles this Friday

Ashleigh Cifelli

Guest Writer

The stars at night are big and bright — deep in the heart of Texas in Stephenville. And you can see them this Friday evening at Tarleton’s annual “Star Party.”

Orion Nebula captured on Feb. 5, 2016 by Scott MacNeill at Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown, Rhode Island. Scott said this image is a composite of 25 shots. Photo courtesy of earthsky.org.

Larry Barr, manager of the Tarleton planetarium and observatory, said spring is the ideal time for stargazing.

“Spring, with its clear skies and cool weather provide for beautiful observations,” Barr said.

The Star Party happens twice a year at Hunewell Ranch Observatory east of Stephenville and kicks off at about sunset. Anyone who wants to come should arrive after 6:30 p.m. The party will end at 11 p.m.

The observatory uses a 32-inch Ritchey-Chretien reflecting telescope designed and fabricated by Astronomical Consultants and Equipment of Tucson, Arizona. It is computer controlled and uses a high-resolution imaging system.

When asked if there’s anything in particular to look for this Friday, Barr exclaimed, “Let’s find out when we get out there!”

The Orion Nebula and Jupiter will be good to look at, he added.

Barr asked all those attending to dim their headlights to parking lights as they approach the observatory.

For a map to Hunewell Ranch and more information, visit www.tarleton.edu/observatory.

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