The Webb Telescope, star of this month’s astronomy evening

Humanity’s last look at the James Webb Space Telescope as it heads into deep space in December 2021. Credit: Arianespace, ESA, NASA, CSA, CNES

See the James Webb Space Telescope that NASA launched in December 2021 during this month’s Astronomy Night at Cape Lookout National Seashore, a Certified International Dark Sky Park.

Head to the theater at Harkers Island Visitor Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. to hear NASA Solar System Ambassador Matthew Bruce give a 45-minute talk about Webb, “the world’s largest space telescope , the most powerful and complex ever built and launched into space,” organizers said.

Following the presentation, park staff and area astronomers from the Crystal Coast Stargazers, an astronomy club in NASA’s Night Sky Network, will host a star party on the grounds of the Visitor Center. Attendees will have the chance to view astronomical objects above the Southern Outer Banks through the lens of a telescope.

The free event is kid-friendly, but organizers don’t ask for pets. Solar System Ambassador programs are rain or shine, but stargazing is weather dependent. Organizers recommend dressing for the weather, bringing lawn chairs, blankets, water, snacks, insect repellent or other comfort items, and a flashlight with a red filter to help 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.

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