Star-gazing event set for Friday in Carolina Beach

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Starlab--Cape Fear Museum's inflatable planetarium--will be part of a stargazing event at Carolina Beach State Park Friday. Photo courtesy Cape Fear Museum.
Starlab–Cape Fear Museum’s inflatable planetarium–will be part of a stargazing event at Carolina Beach State Park Friday. Photo courtesy Cape Fear Museum.

Look to the skies this Friday during the annual Statewide Star Party in Carolina Beach.

The free event–a partnership between Cape Fear Museum, Carolina Beach State Park and a host of other community organizations–is set for 7 to 10:30 p.m. April 24 at the park, 1010 State Park Road.

Under this year’s theme, “Our Solar System,” gazers of all ages will be able to take a laser-guided tour of stars and planets and use telescopes to search out celestial bodies. Participants should bring a flashlight and are encouraged to bring their own astronomy equipment, if available.

There will also be a “Planet Jam” to teach a poetic method of remembering the planets in their order from the sun. A meteorologist will be on hand with digital displays of weather on other planets. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the museum’s digital planetarium, as well as hear a moon-inspired story, create a pocket-sized solar system to take home and learn about creatures of the night and their nocturnal secrets. There will raffles for prizes and passes to local attractions.

The third annual event is part of the North Carolina Science Festival. Participating organizations and institutions across the state will host sky-watching parties to help people discover the wonders of their night skies.
Founded in 2010, the North Carolina Science Festival is the first statewide initiative of its kind in the country. During a two-week celebration each spring, the festival brings hundreds of events–hosted by schools, colleges, libraries, museums, parks, businesses and other community organizations–together under one banner to recognize the economic, educational and cultural impact of science in the state.

It is presented by the Biogen Foundation and produced by Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.