The University Center of Southern Oklahoma is looking to light up the night a second time with a stargazing party from 8 to 10: 30 a.m. on July 28.
University Center Interim President Peggy Maher said this party will incorporate more activities for kids and last longer into the night. The center is also looking into making Snapchat QR codes for the event, as well as augmented reality activities.
“We learned from the first one, we took a lot of suggestions and we’re making this one even better,” Maher said.
Kids can make their own small red LED flashlights. The lights aren’t just for fun: Red light is the best to use for a stargazing activity, as brighter lights make seeing the stars clearly more difficult for the human eye. The center is affectionately calling the event Star Party 2: Howl at the Moon.
“We had a contest,” Maher said.
Maher said between 150 and 200 guests attended the last event.
“Now if we get 500 this time, we wouldn’t know what to do with them, but we’ll make do,” Maher said.
Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible, and the moon will be nearly full.
“We’ll have a little bit of darkness and then the moon will rise,” Maher said. “We’re really hoping for clear skies, and for the heatwave to be over.”
Telescopes will be set up for guests to view the planets. The center will have a projection screen showing NASA videos and STEM activities for kids. The center staff will also lead tours through UCSO’s building.
The center is looking for volunteers to lead stargazing groups. Anyone interested in doing so can call (580) 319-0300.
Trucks selling snow cones and snacks will be on site, as well as tables selling glow bracelets and necklaces. Proceeds raised from sales will fund the next star party.