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Astronomy in the Swamp

Clear Skies, Brilliant Moon Draw Astronomy Fans to Stephen C. Foster State Park:

FARGO, GA., February 8, 2012 -- Often surrounded by dark skies, visitors to Stephen C. Foster State Park can’t help but be awed by brilliant stars above. This lack of light pollution in the remote Okefenokee Swamp is what makes the Georgia state park a big draw for astronomy fans. It is also why the Astronomy Public Outreach Education foundation is partnering with the park to help share a love for planets, stars and moons.

Saturday, February 25, will be the first of an astronomy series offered by Stephen C. Foster State Park.  The initial event will feature viewing Earth’s crescent moon, as well as Venus, Jupiter and its moons, brighter star clusters, nebulae and more.  Carl Moore and Ted Treiber of Astronomy Public Outreach Education will bring several telescopes for people to share.  They currently have loaned a 12.5-inch SkyMaster Dobsonian telescope to the park and are working on building a permanent 15-inch telescope for future astronomy programs.
The Lunar Party begins at 7 p.m., and reservations are required by calling 912-637-5274.  Parking is $5 and the event is $3 for ages 5 and older.  Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is somewhat remote, visitors may want to make reservations for the park’s cabins or campground by calling 1-800-864-7275.  Future Dark Sky Star Parties will be held on March 24 and April 12, 13 and 14.
Stephen C. Foster State Park is located 18 miles northeast of Fargo at the end of Ga. Hwy. 177.  It is the primary western entrance to the famed Okefenokee Swamp, offering fishing, boating, photography, wildlife observation, hiking and picnicking.  Visitors can also bring their own binoculars or telescopes to take advantage of the lack of light pollution.  For more information, visit call 912-637-5274.

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