Virginia State Parks offer many wonderful events and programs all throughout the year. Many of these programs are free or very moderately priced which helps in today’s economy. I was lucky enough to attend one of these events at Pocahontas State Park this weekend when the Crewe Astronomy Club came to hold an educational program about astronomy.
Not only did they have telescopes to look through, but they also offered wonderful information for kids and adults alike. They are quite knowledgeable about all things dealing with space. Even some theoretical physics.
We had the chance to view Venus, Saturn, Sirius, the Orion nebula, the Seven Sisters, Rigel, and the moon. It is quite an amazing thing when you can see objects so far away a lot closer. Saturn, with its rings, was quite breathtaking. The moon really came into focus with extreme detail of individual craters. During different times of the year, you can catch good views of Jupiter, and Mars. Unfortunately it got a little cloudy before we could look at galaxies.
Apart from the late arriving clouds, the night couldn’t have been better. We even had a horned owl try to take over part of the program when he decided it was a good time to begin hooting continuously. There was a gentle breeze and we got to hear the sounds of a beaver taking a late-night dive.
We heard the origin of Martians, and the always interesting story of the reading of War of the Worlds on the radio in 1938. For those of you who do not know, many people believed we were actually under attack from Martians and some even committed suicide. The FCC really stepped up their standards after this.
I recommend this program to anyone who has ever had an interest in anything dealing with space. The program is free, minus the charge to park your vehicle in the park. You can search for events at parks in Virginia by visiting our events page.