Sunday, July 27, 2014

Before summer ends...Nebraska Star Party, Crazy Day savings, and Cherry County Fair!!!

On this night the moon is (check it out....) one day after a new moon. Why is that important? It makes the stars that much more brilliant and, after all, the star party is about the beauty of the stars! It's the 21st annual Nebraska Star Party with the theme, It's a Sure Bet!
Star gazers will be out from July 27-August 1 this year and it's a sure bet everything is going to cooperate!

Mr. Eclipse is the keynote speaker and is a scientist emeritus and NASA's expert on eclipses. Additionally, he maintains NASA's eclipse website as well as his own MrEclipse website. He has also co-authored the book, Totality-Eclises of the Sun, along with Five Millennium Canon of Solar Eclipses with 5000 years of eclipse maps, and most recently, Lessons from the Masters: Current Concepts in Astronomical Image Processing. Without a doubt, Mr. Eclipse chases down eclipses and participated in dozens of eclipse expeditions around the world. Wonder what his favorite one was?

You'll have to come and hear him speak to find out that answer for yourself!! He's made a name for himself by following eclipses and to honor him, the International Astronomical Union honored him by naming an asteroid Espenak. An asteroid named after himself!

While Fred Espanak is retired to rural Arizona, that doesn't mean he's not willing to come out and share his knowledge and passion for those strange, mystical, occurrences called eclipses! You can check out his astrophotography at

The week long Star Party takes place out at Merritt Reservoir and information can be found here at

Back in the day, there wasn't TV to watch, so people kept their evenings free and watched the stars. Whether you're a veteran star gazer or you've never even looked through a telescope, the organizers are hopeful that you'll plan to spend the eek with them for an unforgettably fun and economical vacation under the stars.

Wednesday, July 30, there will be programs for adults and children. Adults can listen to Mr. Eclipse while the children's program is designed to stimulate interest in science. It' sa hands on program and features lab activities promoting thought and discovery! These activities will be held at Valentine High School, located on Green Street in Valentine.

So you thought about signing up to attend the week long event and didn't. You can still experience the thrill of seeing the stars on Friday, August 1, when organizers host the ever popular Public Star Party which begins at 9:00 p.m. at the Snake Campground at Merritt Reservoir.

Here are some scenes from last year's 20th event and retired astronaut Clayton Anderson.
These were taken by star gazer Martin Hrdlicka, with many thanks! You can view more of his photos via flickr:

Dinner Time! 

NAA Member's Hill! 

 M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

Milky Way NSP 20! 

Veil Nebula 

 C11 Telescopes against a fiery Sandhill sky!

Ron and Jim 

Space Shuttle Slide 

Swan Nebula

These photos are by Laura Vroman and show the photographers voting for their favorite astrophotograph. Below is Martin kneeling as he makes his selection. 

Martin chooses his favorite photo while others enjoy the sights. 

 Who is that in the front of the class? Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson...Nebraska's only astronaut.  He was so passionate about becoming an astronaut he applied to the program 19 times! 
Never say never! 

You can look at the sun BUT ONLY WITH SPECIAL TELESCOPES. USING SPECIAL TELESCOPES these kids were able to see solar flares and sun spots. 

Kids are learning the different sizes of the planets. One of them said, "Jesus is bigger." 

The things you can learn at the Nebraska Star Party are overwhelming, wonderful, simple, exciting, and part of your everyday life, actually. One of the organizers said it is the solar flares from the sun that predict our weather patterns. 

But you'll have to join in the fun to find out more!

The Star Party will wrap up officially, Friday, August 1. But some may hang out since is a great opportunity for a family vacation. Everyone can take part in Crazy Day, Saturday August 2!!! Our sponsors will have bargains galore for you! School is right around the corner, and you may be surprised at the savings you'll find down Valentine's Main Street! 

Up next will be the Cherry County Fair. For immediate information go to:

Summer is nearly at a close...but it's not over yet! There's still plenty for you and your family to enjoy in the Sandhills of Nebraska!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

God Bless America!!!

God Bless America and we're happy to be celebrating her birthday this July 4th! Fireworks continue to reverberate throughout the night and light up the skies( it's 2:30 a.m.!!!). 
We've had blessed rain that has kept the rivers flowing, the fields green, and temperatures cool enough to enjoy it all!
Here then, from and her sponsors, a birthday celebrating America's freedom all the way from the Sandhills of Valentine, Nebraska!

Great message Berry Creek Gun and Pawn! We do love our freedom...Veterans, thank you! And God bless our troops - keep them from harms way! Amen!

George and Martha make an appearance!

The Lions Club did a fabulous job, as always, with the fireworks display after the demolition derby!

Just a little cooperation! This parade entry had a little trouble, but Support our Troops was its message! Troops, we're red, white, and blue, behind you!

There were several Rat Rods wearing patriotic colors in this years parade!

Fire Chief Terry Engles is thankful for the moisture this year! Celebrate July 4th!!!!

 The Quilting Cupboard....

 Cherry County Hospital...

Henderson's IGA..... 

Trade Winds Lodge....

Brewer's Canoers....

Outback Screenprinting and Embroidery.....

Fear Not Pattern Co.....

All wish America a very Happy Birthday! Long may she wave and may God Bless her and her men and women that fight bravely to keep her free!