FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/ 03/12/11
WOODLAND TWP.- A free “Star Watch” will be held at New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s Franklin Parker Preserveoff Route 532 in Chatsworth on Saturday, May 28, from 7:30 to 11 p.m.
Members of the Willingboro Astronomical Society (WAS) will present this educational program at one of New Jersey’s premiere “dark sky” areas, where large expanses of preserved land mean very little light pollution to obscure views of planets, constellations, galaxies, nebulae and other celestial objects.
The program is open to all ages, and participants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets, binoculars and snacks. The star watch is weather dependent, so those who plan to attend should check the event’s status on the WAS website at www.wasociety.usthat afternoon.
The evening will include an observation session after dark with a variety of powerful telescopes provided by WAS members, and a laser-guided “sky tour” of the stars and constellations.
“This is a great opportunity to learn about incredible and diverse objects that fill the nighttime sky,” said Chris Jage, assist director for South Jersey at New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We’re grateful to our friends at the Willingboro Astronomical Society for coming to the Franklin Parker Preserve to share their telescopes and expertise with the public.”
Some of the celestial objects that are expected to be observed that night include:
The planet Saturn, whose beautiful ring system is now tilting toward Earth
The Ghost of Jupiter, a planetary nebula
Double stars such as Mizar & Alcor, Cor Caroli, Iota Cancri and Algieba
Open clusters M44 (“The Beehive”) in Cancer and Melotte 111 in Coma Berenices
The “Chatsworth Lake” entrance to Franklin Parker Preserve is on Route 532, one mile west of the junction of Route 563 and nine miles east of the town of Tabernacle. For exact directions, go to http://www.njconservation.org/html/preserves/franklinparker.htm.
The 9,400-acre Franklin Parker Preserve – located between Brendan Byrne State Forest and Wharton State Forest in the heart of the Pine Barrens – is the largest of New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s many preserves throughout the state.
New Jersey Conservation Foundation is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve land and natural resources throughout New Jersey for the benefit of all. Since 1960, the Foundation has helped preserve more than 120,000 acres of open space and farmland. For more information on the foundation’s programs and preserves, visit www.njconservation.orgor call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).
For more information about the Willingboro Astronomical Society and its schedule of Star Watch programs, contact Bernie Hosko, Star Watch director, at email@example.com.