December Adventure Quencher: Star Party

The Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve hosted their annual Star Party on December 11, 2014.  The party was part of the Reserve’s monthly “Adventure Quenchers” where the public is invited to join in on activities that help participants become better stewards of the environment and coastal habitats around them.

Participants were able to tour the building, dig into a bowl of chili, and enjoy arts and crafts that were all associated with stars and star gazing. One such activity was the cookie decorating station. Children and adults alike were able to decorate their own cookies with star sprinkles and other delicious adornments.  Even Santa and one of his elves made a special appearance!

After filling up on chili and hot chocolate, two groups were loaded onto hayrides and brought down to the dock “at the end of the road” for some star gazing where viewers hoped to catch a glance of one of the many falling stars of the Geminid Meteor Shower. The groups were also able to learn about light pollution in our area as well as find some new constellations with their smart phone or tablet applications they had downloaded beforehand.

The groups were then led on a night-time hike through the Reserve’s Birding Trail where some were lucky enough to spot two white tailed deer. Both groups were able to mimic a screech owl call and have a response from owls in the area. How lucky!

To find out more about light pollution, check out http://www.globeatnight.org/light-pollution.php 

To help track light pollution in your area, download the Loss of the Night citizen science application on your smartphone or tablet.

 

Visitors enjoy chili and hot chocolate before setting out on the night’s adventures.

One group loads up to head down to the docks to star gaze.

One group loads up to head down to the docks to star gaze.

A visit from everyone's favorite man dressed all in red was a special treat.

A visit from everyone’s favorite man dressed all in red was a special treat.

 

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