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Astronomical society hosts Friday star party

Wondering what to do after Christmas?

The Douglas chapter of the Astronomical Society of Nevada is hosting a star party 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Nature Conservancy River Fork Ranch off Genoa Lane.

“People don’t realize what they can see out there. When we look at Jupiter, we’ll be able to see the storm clouds of Jupiter,” outreach director Chris Johnson said. “It’s beautiful out there in space. The stuff you look at, you’re actually looking back in time.”

The astronomical society has held 14 star parties since it’s start in November 2012.

“We’ll have times when it’s quiet, and times when we’ve had 40 or more people,” Johnson said. “They like it. They come out and are pretty amazed by what they can see.”

According to Johnson, Friday is a good time to see the Andromeda Galaxy.

“It’s our sister galaxy. It’s the closest to us and almost identical to our galaxy. It’s a spiral galaxy visible to the naked eye. It’s pretty bright,” he said. “We’ll also look at some globular clusters, which are clusters of stars held together by gravity.”

Cloudy skies are forecast for Friday, but Johnson said as long as there are some breaks in the clouds, he’ll be able to find things to look at.

Johnson will have three telescopes for looking through with step stools for young children.

The astronomical society hosts star parties the fourth Friday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

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The Record Courier Updated Dec 24, 2013 07:23PM Published Dec 24, 2013 02:08PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.