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PHONE: 908-234-1225, EXT. 104

Stargazers invited to May 15 'Star Watch' in Chatsworth


WOODLAND TWP. – As part of the celebration of its 50-year conservation legacy, New Jersey Conservation Foundation will team up with the Willingboro Astronomical Society (WAS) for a “Star Watch” at the Franklin Parker Preserve in Chatsworth on Saturday, May 15, from 7:15 to 11 p.m.

The event, at one of New Jersey’s premiere “dark sky” areas, will include a laser-guided tour of the planets and constellations, and a “binocular beam” to guide participants as they view the heavens through their own binoculars. WAS will provide an observation session with a variety of powerful telescopes. The evening begins with a childrens program, “Cooking up a Comet,” in which a comet is created using dry ice, water, sand and other materials.

Admission is free, but adults are encouraged to make a $5 donation to New Jersey Conservation Foundation. Participants should bring lawn chairs, blankets and binoculars. Snacks will be provided.

The Star Watch is dependent on clear weather, so those who plan to attend should check the event’s status that afternoon on the WAS website at

Among the celestial objects to be observed are the two-day-old crescent moon, the brilliant planet Venus, the red planet Mars, the ringed planet Saturn, the asteroid Vesta in the sickle of Leo the Lion, the double stars Mizar & Alcor, Cor Caroli and Iota Cancri, the “Ghost of Jupiter,” a planetary nebula in Hydra, and the galaxies M51/NGC 5195 in Canes Venatici and M81/M82 in Ursa Major.

Use the “Chatsworth Lake” entrance to the Franklin Parker Preserve on Route 532, one mile west of the junction of Route 563 in the center of Chatsworth. For directions, go to For more information, contact Chris Jage, assistant director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation for southern New Jersey, at 609-567-2112 or

New Jersey Conservation Foundation and the Willingboro Astronomical Society have frequently partnered to sponsor Star Watches during the past few years.

For more information about the Willingboro Astronomical Society, its schedule of Star Watch programs or general astronomy questions, contact Bernie Hosko, Star Watch director, at (856) 768-4567 or, or Joe Stieber, vice president, at (609) 980-8614 or

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 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 preserved more than 120,000 acres. For more information on the foundation’s programs and preserves, visit or call 1-888-LAND-SAVE (1-888-526-3728).

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