“MOUNT GILEAD — Visitors can enjoy stargazing at one of the last dark-sky locations in the Piedmont region at Astronomy Night at Town Creek Indian Mount in Mount Gilead on Dec. 4, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The highlight of the night will be the Orion Nebula, found in the constellation Orion.
It will be peak viewing time as the constellation dominates the winter sky, since cold nights usually mean less turbulence in the atmosphere and better viewing conditions. Bring your telescopes or binoculars, and dress appropriately. The site telescope will be available also.
Reservations are required for this event. For information and reservations call (910) 439-6802.
Town Creek Indian Mound is located at 509 Town Creek Mound Road, Mount Gilead. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social , cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available at www.ncculture.com.”
Star parties are an integral part of viewing the night sky for experienced and inexperienced star gazers alike. Not only do star parties encourage community, but they’re a wonderful opportunity to interact with other passionate individuals, relax with your family, and enjoy the terrestrial and extraterrestrial sights. If you haven’t been to one, I’d highly recommend you try to go to at least one. Whether in an open field, at a science observatory or a backyard, knowledgeable individuals can offer insights regarding the infinite heavens above and help make sense as to what you are viewing. If you’d want to experience the night sky with a professional, then I’d suggest to attend your local university astronomy department. There, you can expect to hear and receive guidance from academic professionals. In addition, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to utilize University astronomy equipment, otherwise difficult or impossible for the public to use. But then again, that is the great thing about stargazing. Anyone around the world can simply look up and watch. Although, there is a more sinister force out there, causing the night sky to vanish, called light pollution. Light pollution, simply put, is light escaping into the sky. Without proper shielding, light continues to freely pollute our skies worldwide. There is some good news though: light pollution is 100% reversible. We have the technology to eliminate light pollution, once and for all, but we continue to use outdated and ineffective lighting principles. Here at Starry Night Lights, we are committed to eradicating light pollution and educating the public around the world about its effects.
Let there be night!