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Past Events

Updated: 1 July 2018

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 mweasner@mac.com).


Star Party and Dark Sky Special Event, Oracle State Park, Saturday, 30 June 2018, 5-10pm [NEW!

The event began with the Friends of Oracle State Park, the Oracle Dark Skies Committee, and the International Dark-Sky Association providing an information table:

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The Friends of Oracle State Park raffled off two telescopes that had been donated to the Friends. Here are some hopeful visitors buying tickets:

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Park visitors got to enjoy live music with musician Bruce Carlson on acoustic folk guitar, sharing songs of love, life and landscapes. Bruce is a local singer/songwriter whose style is influenced by Paul Simon and James Taylor.

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Here are Mike Weasner and Park Ranger Jennifer Rinio drawing the two lucky telescope raffle tickets. Congratulations to the winners!

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While the music was playing, the Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club began setting up their telescopes:

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Following the live music, a full house listened to a "Storytelling Sky Tour" from guest speaker Jim O'Connor in the Kannally Ranch House living room. Here is Park Ranger Rinio introducing Jim:

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Jim's core astronomical interest is in how various cultures use the night sky. Visitors learned about the constellations through Native American cultural stories of the local populations (O'odham, Yaqui, Navajo, Apache). He shared contrasts of how each tribe views the creation of the Earth, sun, and stars.

Outside some of the visitors began looking through the many telescopes that had been set up:

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Here Dr. John Barentine of the International Dark-Sky Association is explaining the use of one of the Park's telescopes to Park Manager Vince Micallef with the planet Venus high in the western sky (upper left):

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As the sky became darker the stars began coming out. Here the constellation of Scorpius (the scorpion, upper left) is looking down on the visitors:

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Before the waxing gibbous Moon rose the Milky Way made a grand appearance over Oracle State Park:

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About 9:30pm the Moon rose over the Galiuro Mountains:

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The Moon was followed shortly afterwards by the planet Mars rising. The last of the nearly 200 Park visitors left after 10pm following a thoroughly awesome event at Oracle State Park.

Thanks to the Friends of Oracle State Park for sponsoring the musician, to Jim O'Connor for his wonderful and educational talk, and to the Saddlebrooke SkyGazers Club for providing the telescopes and the views of the planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, galaxies, nebulae, double stars, and the Moon.

Photos by Mike Weasner and Anne Lucic, Friends of Oracle State Park.


Previous Events

Blue Moon Trail Music Event, Oracle State Park, Saturday, 31 March 2018

View the report.

Talk and Star Party, Oracle State Park, Saturday, 24 March 2018

View the report.

"An Inner Astronomy" Art Show Closing Reception, Triangle L Ranch, Oracle, Sunday, 18 March 2018

View the report.

Family Reading Night, Oracle Mountain Vista School, Thursday, 15 March 2018

View the report.

Live Music and Star Party, Oracle State Park, Saturday, 17 February 2018

View the report.


Past Events - 2017
Past Events - 2016
Past Events - 2015
Past Events - 2014


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Copyright ©2018 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@me.com
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