Spend Saturday evening among the stars at Big Marine Park Reserve

Stay up late and learn some constellations at an outdoor, bedtime Starwatch Party Saturday night.

From 9 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 3, at Big Marine Park Reserve, visitors will use large reflecting telescopes, including two 20-inch reflectors that are among the biggest mobile telescopes in Minnesota, to view natural wonders of the sky.

Discover constellations, including The Big Bear, Cygnus the Swan, Scorpius the Scorpion, and some of the great stories behind them.

The presenter, WCCO Radio meteorologist Mike Lynch, has been hosting Starwatch parties and teaching astronomy classes for more than 40 years. He also writes a weekly stargazing column for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and is the author of the book “Mike Lynch’s Minnesota Star Watch.”

Lynch will provide user-friendly star maps and constellation charts for personal use. If you come prepared, you can begin using the charts Saturday night. Here’s what to bring for each person.

A lawn chair lets you look at the sky comfortably, and a blanket will keep you warm and fend off mosquitos.

To read the star chart, you’ll need a flashlight. But a bright flashlight, while revealing the information on the chart, also reduces the size of your pupils, making it hard to see the night sky.

To solve this problem, bring a red cloth or piece of red construction paper to put over the flashlight. Your night vision will stay intact and you can read the chart, then look at the sky, without having to adjust.

If you get hungry at outdoor night parties, be sure to bring some snacks.

Big Marine Park Reserve is located in May Township at 17495 Manning Trail N. (CR-15), a half mile north of 170th St. (CR-4).

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