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August 8, 2013

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The stars have fascinated some of history’s greatest minds, from Vincent Van Gogh to Oscar Wilde to Neil DeGrasse Tyson. It’s a part of human nature—looking up to the skies for hope and inspiration, or for contemplative introspection. If you catch yourself staring into the sky on clear Tennessee nights, you won’t want to miss the Barnard Astronomical Society’s annual Star Party. Pack yourself a blanket, a lawn chair and some bug spray and drive out to the Cloudland Canyon on Saturday, August 10 to take part in the stargazing.

The BAS will kick off the event with an informative astronomy program focusing on identifying constellations. Then, you’ll take up telescopes and find the sky’s map for yourselves. The program begins at 8 p.m., with the stargazing session following soon after on the tennis courts of Cloudland Canyon State Park. Members of the BAS will be on hand to provide observations and help to find things not visible to the naked eye.

All this would be intriguing enough on any normal summer night, but this star party happens to coincide with the start of the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower period—one of the most regular and consistent showers in performance. That means there’s a strong chance of seeing shooting stars, so make sure to bring along your list of wishes and make them all count. The event itself is free, but you’ll need five bucks for parking at the Cloudland Canyon State Park.

Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn, Ga. (706) 657-4050, gastateparks.org/cloudland

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August 8, 2013

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