MIDWEST CITY — The stars of the party will be in the sky Saturday when local amateur astronomers host their annual star party.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. at Steve's Pro Shop at 709B S Air Depot. It's free to the public.
The moon — although it's not a star at all — likely will be the biggest star of the party, said Mike Brake, spokesman for the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club.
“We'll observe the moon when it's high in the sky,” Brake said.
It will be 63 percent illuminated Saturday on what is also celebrated as Astronomy Day and International Observe the Moon Night.
Those who look toward the sky should see shadows and craters on the moon, Brake said.
Other than the moon, there are plenty of stars, planets and sights in the sky to see, weather permitting.
Venus should be visible. And the Ring Nebula, the glowing shroud of gas around a dying star, will be seen.
Stargazers also will see the star system known as Epsilon Lyrae, a quadruple star system that is described as two pairs of double stars, Brake said.
And the star cluster known as M13 should be visible high in the northwestern sky.
Other sights will be planets, star clusters and brighter galaxies.
Viewing will follow a brief lecture by club members about sky geography and demonstrations on various types of telescopes.
Steve Arthurton, owner of Steve's Pro Shop — which sells bowling supplies and telescopes — said he started selling telescopes to cater to the beginner in the late 1980s when Halley's comet was passing by.
One does not need to study star charts before the party, he said.
“A lot of people don't know the stars real well, but we do have atlases and books, so people can learn the skies,” Arthurton said.
The astronomy club meets monthly at 7 p.m. the second Friday of each month at Science Museum Oklahoma, NE 50 and Martin Luther King Avenue.
Club members also host a monthly star party during the Paseo Arts District's First Friday Gallery Walk.