Gazing into the night sky this time of year, many people can pick out Orion’s belt, the trio of bright stars that allow even the most amateur of astronomers to point out one constellation.
But what you might not know is that behind this famous cluster of stars lies Orion’s Nebula, or M42, which real astronomers know as a place where new stars are born.
If you’re interested in getting a good look at Orion, Orion’s Nebula and perhaps the planet Uranus, consider attending “Planets for the People: Sidewalk Astronomy,” a free star-gazing event.
The event is set for 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Hunter Gatherer Brewery and Ale House, 900 Main St. In addition to being able to look through a telescope at the stars and planets, participants will learn about what they’re seeing from members of the Midlands Astronomy club and staff members from the State Museum’s planetarium.
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“If the weather is clear, we’ll have a beautiful view of the moon,” said Observatory manager Matthew Whitehouse. “Right now, most of our planet activity – Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – is in the morning sky, but we should be ableto see Uranus and, possibly, Neptune.”
For more information about Planets for the People, visit scmuseum.org.
The event is free and open to the public. If the evening is cloudy, check the organization’s Facebook page to be sure the program hasn’t been cancelled.
Katie McElveen, Special to The State