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Stargazers delight, 2022 Statewide Star Party happens this week

A girl looks through a telescope during a Statewide Star Party event in Nags Head on Feb. 5, 2019,
Contributed Photo
North Carolina Space Grant
A Star Party participant looks through a telescope at an event in Nags Head on Feb. 5, 2019.

The 10th Annual North Carolina Statewide Star Party takes place this week with 35 public skywatching events across North Carolina on Friday, April 8, and Saturday, April 9.

"We want to galvanize interest in astronomy and space across the state", said Lee Cannon, communications specialist for North Carolina Space Grant.

About 3,500 people are expected to participate in this year's events. Here in Eastern North Carolina, events are planned at:

"Each location is different", said Cannon, "but there will probably be some activities for kids, people on hand to help people who are new to telescopes to use them and look around at the universe and point out what they can see with just the naked eye".

The theme is “Understanding the Universe”, which will focus on science and engineering related to NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

"It's launched, it's in place, it's already sending back some images that are mindblowing", said Cannon. "We want people to leave with a sense of awe that the universe is huge and fascinating and there are beautiful and interesting things out there and we hope they'll leave with a thirst to learn more".

As of Monday, conditions are favorable for stargazing. The National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City is calling for clear skies on both Friday and Saturday night. The Statewide Star Party is part of the North Carolina Science Festival.