Red Rock State Park hosted a star party, which was sponsored by Keep Sedona Beautiful. The Astronomers of Verde Valley (AVV) had their telescopes ready for attendees to view the heavens.
J.D. Maddy of AVV gave an interesting astronomy presentation, followed by telescope viewing of galaxies and the galaxy-rich constellations of Leo and Virgo. Under the dark skies of the park, the summer Milky Way was starting to make its way across the night sky. The planet Jupiter was high in the sky as it goes through the constellation of Libra. Venus was glimpsed low on the western horizon as it hovered in the constellation of Gemini. The easily recognizable constellations of Ursa Major, the Big Dipper, and Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper, were riding high in the northern sky. The first globular clusters of the summer made their first appearances.
The Keep Sedona Beautiful Dark-Sky Committee and the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek Dark-Sky Committee distributed dark-sky literature and talked with the attendees about light pollution, dark-sky compliant lighting fixtures, the importance of keeping our night skies dark, and advised the attendees which communities in Arizona are International Dark-Sky Communities (IDSC), and what it means to be an IDSC. Light refreshments were provided.