Updated: 21 May 2017
Since its formation in April 2014, the Oracle Dark Skies Committee has been attending various events around Oracle and Pinal County to talk about its work to have Oracle State Park designated as an "International Dark Sky Park". The Committee also does public outreach on the effects of Light Pollution and how everyone can help reduce the problem and save money as well. Selected past events are mentioned here.
If you would like a Committee member to talk to your company, organization, or group of local residents, please contact Mike Weasner (520-289-3402 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
"Arizona's Night Skies: Past, Present, and Future", Oracle State Park, Saturday, 20 May 2017
Message board at the Oracle Fire Station announcing the talk:
Dr. John Barantine of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) returned to Oracle State Park, Arizona State Park's IDA "International Dark Sky Park":
Dr. Barentine gave a one hour presentation in the Kannally Ranch House living room to a packed room (standing room only) of mostly first-time visitors to the Park:
Dr. Barentine described how dark night skies loom large in Arizona's history, and are part of why the Grand Canyon State became known as a global mecca for astronomy and space science. Access to natural nighttime darkness remains an important issue in Arizona's current politics and plays a role in its future, as light pollution from its cities reaches ever further into the corners of our state. He reviewed the archaeological and historical evidence for astronomy in Arizona's past, its development into an astronomy powerhouse in the 20th century, and threats to our night skies posed by population growth and land development in the 21st century.
At the end of his talk, Dr. Barentine offered listeners some practical tips on simple things they can do to help preserve Arizona's heritage of dark night skies.
After the talk, a star party was held on the Ranch House patio. Under an exceptional dark sky visitors were thrilled by views through four telescopes of the planets Jupiter and Saturn, and some galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters, and even a comet. Only seen from a dark sky location the Zodiacal Light was brightly shining from the horizon to near the zenith and provided a rare experience for the visitors.
The darkness prevented good photographs of the star party but here are some:
The star party wrapped up at 10:15 PM.
Thanks to the Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club for the telescopes support.
Photos by Mike Weasner, Oracle Dark Skies Committee.
Open House & Star Party at Oracle State Park, Saturday, 29 April 2017
View the report.
"Family Reading Night", Mountain Vista School, Oracle, Tuesday, 21 March 2017
View the report.
"International Dark Sky Park" Celebration & Star Party, Oracle State Park, Saturday, 18 March 2017
View the "Celebration and Star Party" report.
"Adventures with the Moon", Oracle State Park, Saturday, 11 February 2017
View the "Adventures with the Moon" report.
Past Events - 2016
Past Events - 2015
Past Events - 2014
Go back to the ODSC Home Page.