Lynch hosts ‘starwatch party’ July 27 at Big Marine park

MARINE ON ST. CROIX — Make friends with the stars while watching the great celestial show in the skies over Big Marine Park Reserve from 9 to 11 p.m. July 27 at a Minnesota Starwatch Party with Mike Lynch of WCCO.

This night with the stars, constellations, planets, star clusters, galaxies, and nebulae starts off with an indoor orientation followed by time outside under the heavens. Get to know famous constellations like The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, and Scorpius the Scorpion, and hear legends based on them. The group will also use large, reflecting telescopes including two, giant 20-inch reflectors that are among the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota. Participants will see up-close views of the moon, star clusters, nebulae, galaxies and other wonders of the mid-summer skies.

The group will use a new astronomical camera-telescope system for extra special views of the more distant universe. Participants will get a great handout package with a user-friendly star map and constellation chart, website list, a telescope-buying guide, and more.

Lynch is a meteorologist at WCCO Radio and has been hosting “starwatch parties” and teaching astronomy classes for more than 40 years. He also writes a weekly stargazing column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and is the author of the book; “Mike Lynch’s Minnesota Starwatch” that will be available for purchase at a discount.

Even if it’s cloudy out, the group will learn a lot, have a great time and get a Mike Lynch “Cloud Check” for a future Minnesota Starwatch Class.

This program will meet at the beach near the Beach Building. Participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. All are welcome. This program is free with a valid parks vehicle permit ($5 per day or $25 annually). Permits can be purchased at the park contact station. This program will be cancelled in the case of rain or severe weather.

Big Marine Park Reserve is on Manning Trail (County State Aid Highway 15) one-half mile north of 170th Street (County State Aid Highway 4) in May Township at 17495 Manning Trail N., Marine on St. Croix.

For more information on this and other park programs, see www.co.washington.mn.us/parks or call the Big Marine contact station at 651-430-8200.

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