Star Party offers different view of night sky

Robi Mukherjee, a member of The Local Group Astronomy Club in Santa Clarita, calibrates his telescope for the quarterly Star Party at Vasquez Rocks on Saturday. Samie Gebers/ Signal
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Dozens of local astronomers set up their telescopes next to the iconic Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce on Sunday.

“Last night was the new moon,” said David Flynn, the president of The Local Group Astronomy Club in Santa Clarita.

“We don’t have a moon competing for viewing.”

That was the goal of the astronomy club on Sunday. They wanted a clear night sky and they hoped that the wind would settle down in the evening.

A group waits at dusk for the quarterly Star Party to begin at Vasquez Rocks on Saturday. Samie Gebers/ Signal

Dozens of people came out to Vasquez Rocks on Sunday for the quarterly Star Party that is sponsored by The Local Group Astronomy Club. The public was encouraged to bring their own telescopes, but welcomed to look into any of the member’s telescopes for free.

One such telescope was that of Stefan Webster, a 75-pound viewing instrument that his father built.

“Sometimes you get kids that come to the front of the telescope and go,‘Where’s the picture?’” Webster said.

“You always get those wows, oohs and ahhs. That’s why we come out here, to get that.”

Crystal Sause wasn’t unfamiliar with Star Parties. She noticed that every time she attended an event thrown by the club, she would learn something new.

Don Cogan calibrates his telescope at dusk before the quarterly Star Party begins at Vasquez Rocks on Saturday. Samie Gebers/ Signal

“The astronomy club (members) are so gracious with all of the information they have and it’s not something you normally get to do,” Sause said

“The sky is constantly changing, and every time you look through a telescope you see something different than the time before.”

Flynn said that a major goal of these gatherings was not only throw an exciting event for the public to attend, but to help people learn about the space around them.

“Looking at pictures is great, but actually looking through the telescope with your own eyeball is something special,” Flynn said.

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