Astronomy Night at Lookout will feature a film screening

The Crystal Coast Stargazers meet June 17 at the Cape Lookout Visitor Center. Photo: Doug Waters

HARKERS ISLAND — June 17 is the next astronomy night at the Cape Lookout National Seashore — a certified international dark sky park — and includes a special screening of the 2018 56-minute documentary, “Saving the Dark,” before the event does not move outside.

“Saving the Dark,” directed by Sriram Murali and created in association with the International Dark Sky Association, will premiere at the Harkers Island Visitor Center theater at 8:30 p.m.

Due to light pollution, nearly 80% of the North American population can no longer see the Milky Way. “Saving the Dark” explores the need to preserve the night sky and what can be done to combat light pollution.

Immediately following the screening of the film, park staff and local astronomers from the Crystal Coast Stargazers, an astronomy club in NASA’s Night Sky Network, will host a star party on the Visitor Center grounds. It is a chance for participants to observe the moon and various other astronomical objects through a telescope.

This event is kid-friendly, but pets are not allowed. Stargazing is weather dependent, but the film will screen rain or shine, officials said. Watch the weather or call the Visitor Center at 252-728-2250 before 5 p.m. to confirm event status.

There is no charge to attend.

Make the most of the night by coming prepared. Check the weather and dress accordingly. Also bring lawn chairs or blankets, water, snacks, insect repellent, and a flashlight with a red filter that helps maintain everyone’s night vision.

People can also consider bringing their own telescopes to learn how to get the most out of their equipment from Stargazers club members.

For more information, visit http://go.nps.gov/astronomynight.

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