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 AstroPixelsAstroPixels.com.
The week long Star Party takes place out at Merritt Reservoir and information can be found here at SandhillsWesternVacations.com.
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: https://www.flickr.com/photos/martyh74/
NAA Member's Hill!
M31 - Andromeda Galaxy
Milky Way NSP 20!
C11 Telescopes against a fiery Sandhill sky!
Ron and Jim
Space Shuttle Slide
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: http://www.sandhillswesternvacations.com/Cherry_County_Fair_3.php
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!